Meet the Crew
Like others in the group coming late into “serious” modelling meant that I felt the need to join the local model railway club. Sadly the local club was struggling for existence in membership terms having “enrolled” me as no 7! Within a relatively short period of time the Chairmanship arose and on the back of no-one else wanting it I took it over!
Well five or six years later; with the club membership at over 20 and finances sound I felt the need to let someone else take the reins and stepped down. During my period of office I also assisted on the exhibition circuit with the quite excellent Ian Harper / Garry Thomas layout “Latelee Town” culminating at DEMU Burton on Trent in 2005 when the layout was sadly retired after about 30 shows. The rest as they say is history.
I have a “Den”, I had an idea, and initially Ian, John, and I got together with a fledgling concept. With recycling being a watchword (so is economy) using the fiddle yard boards from another Harper / Thomas layout the large “Ambleforth” tail chaser, the front concept of Burton Old Bridge was born. Over the ensuing months the select band of skilled lunatics became interested and were drawn in rather like bees around a honey pot until we have a comfortable number of very skilled and knowledgeable partners in the project. Yes I had an idea…seemed like a good one at the time, and still does, because we enjoy the project and each others varied level of sanity. Long may it continue; see you on the circuit in 2009! (& 2010 & 2011 etc etc)
Its Uncle Freds fault. Aged three (me, not him) carrying me to Boreham Wood & Elstree station in his rucksack, to peer over the bridge at the steam trains hurtling back & forth through Elstree tunnel. Then just before he died, bless him, giving me all his ‘oo’ models. That combined with six years traveling from South London to London Bridge on Southern Electric. I didn’t have a chance!
I'm a late arrival to railway modelling, i'd always loved going to exhibitions and browsing the model shops but it wasn't untill my father, shortly before his death, mentioned that he wanted to build a garden railway at his new home in france that I was inspired to do something about it. Later that year I was off sick for a couple of rainy autumn weeks and getting very bored so sent the missus out on a shopping trip to get me a board and some bits and pieces to mount the harry potter set that my kids had bought me for xmas a few years earlier.
Being a computer systems engineer it wasn't long before i started thinking about running that little layout with DCC and automation with the computer. A lot of research and a brief foray with a hornby select unit convinced me that DCC was the way forward. A trip to Dortmund in April that year followed and i hammered my credit card, coming home with an ESU Ecos, a copy of RR&Co and a few other bits from LDT. The Bug had bitten shall we say.
Shortly after that I joined the Bury St Edmunds MRC and was introduced to the other members of the BOB group, a private spinoff from the club. With my interest and knowledge of DCC I was soon invited to get involved with BOB, neither me or my wallet have looked back since.
| Our "i've got one on the van" man and all round electrical expert. |
Credits and Acknowledgements
Gordon designed and built our model of the Ballochmyle Viaduct.
|Ian Harper||Ian was involved in much of the early work on the layout, not least the scenic tunnel board which was entirely his creation.|