My friend John Marsden passed away in 2010 and his cousin let me have his trains when he was clearing the house. John was working on an 1830s themed layout with a collection of exquisite, and unique, home made trains to run on it.
The layout was to be a large roundy-roundy and progress was slow so he built a diorama (above) to display his trains on in the meantime.
This diorama was centred around an old coaching inn now also serving as a railway ticket office, as was often the case in the early days of public tram roads.
When I took possession of the trains I did a bit of work on the diorama so that it could be used as a module in the Cheshire Railway Modellers’ OO layout (below), though by that time CRM was in decline and the remaining members more interested in On30 so The Bell Inn was never included in an exhibition layout and has spent much of the past five years in my shed.
I have moved it to the garage this afternoon and am contemplating conversion to a self contained end to end layout, the bridge to the left (A) will be retained but the abutments (a) need new brickwork. The track nearer to the front of the baseboard will be cut short in front of the inn (B), making it into a siding, and the rear track will become a single line carrying on beyond the level crossing into a short off stage area.
The crossing (D) will be sandwiched between two cottages predating the railway (C and E) with thick woodland (F) completing the viewblock for the right hand staging area.
Marsdenby will be worked on intermittently, giving me a change from the On30 FCPyF because I like to have a couple of different projects on the go at the same time so that my interests do not concentrate too much on a single layout.