Granny Wendy's Railway - Balmuchy Halt.
This is a Gauge One, 45mm gauge track and 10mm scale, branch is situated on Granny Wendy's Railway or G.W.R. for short, deep in LMS territory.
The layout is some thirty feet length overall and two feet wide, it came into being in 2006 when the exhibition manager of the Inverness and District Model Railway Club said “Can you do something in Gauge 1 for the annual exhibition?” A reluctant “Yes” and then “There’s thirty feet available and you have two months!” This is a Guage One, 45mm gauge track and 10mm scale, branch is situated on Granny Wendy's Railway or G.W.R. for short, deep in LMS territory.
A rather bare 24 feet of base board appeared with a platform and little else other than a belligerent crofter, Sylvanus McRidd, a Brittain’s figure, (alleged to resemble G.W.’s husband) who refused to make way for the railway, thus giving us the excuse to end the line. A friend produced a copy of an 1880 Ordinance Survey map showing the proposed route of the Fearn to Portmahomack branch passing within a few yards of home, that gave us the name. For the 2007 exhibition, a transformation had been wrought due to a concerted effort by the family.
Additionally a three road traverser six feet in length takes care of the stock when off stage, (Why didn’t we buy a bigger car?).
At the 2006 show a solitary Johnson 1P 0-4-4 tank engine trundled back and forth with a few kit built wagons, there was no passenger stock at that time. As this locomotive was purchased for use on a garden railway it is battery powered and radio controlled. In spite of frugal use the battery failed about an hour before the end of the show.
As a result of enjoying ourselves a council of war decided another locomotive and passenger stock were needed. Accordingly an order was placed with RPM of Oldham for a Fowler 2P 4-4-0 to join his Johnson 1P, and for a rake of four L.N.W.R. suburban carriages from Curlew Coaches of Southwell, Nottingham. As a result of G.W. surfing the net she has also managed to acquire a scratch built Highland luggage composite (green), this was built by Mr Kennedy of Inverness in about 1970. For exhibition purposes this is paired with a L.N.W.R. brake third. We have a photograph confirming this as a genuine pairing in the early grouping years.
The goods rolling stock was purchased as a job lot and includes stock from the big four and British Railway. Track and points were supplied by Tenmille of Ringshall, Suffolk and ballasted with red granite chips in the usual laborious manner. All structures were scratch built with plywood and plasticard and painted by G.W. who claims to have enjoyed this her first effort at modelling.
Note: New model is being worked on for 2011/12 which is a 60 foot model of Fearn Station, Highlands, Scotland.