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Navigators Model Railway Group

Established 2013 with more than 150 years experience!

‘BREWSTON’...… A triumph in traditional DC OO railway modelling

It is a 00 gauge layout based upon an imaginary joint GWR/SR market town junction with a racecourse nearby, somewhere in the West Country and set in the quieter days of the 1930’s era...!  It currently measures about 17’0” long by 8’0” wide with a depth of 1’9” in most sections. It is now located in my converted garage, which has been fully insulated, etc., as this was too small to take my car...! Not too difficult a decision to make.....  I just needed to ensure that I had enough funds to finance the project....!

This layout came about in 1997, when Jill, my late wife (an equestrian), spent two mornings each week riding out and exercising several horses, after I had retired from riding...! To be fair, I used to have horses and ride out with her on a regular basis for over 15 years, but there came a time when my back suffered too much, and I stopped riding horses. It did not take long before I decided to build Brewston...!

For those interested, the baseboards are constructed of 2” x 1” prepared softwood in an open framework style, with a 12mm plywood top covered with 6mm ‘Foam Cor’ board. All is set on one level with supporting legs about 4’0” high, and permanently fixed at the back to the walls. In those earlier years, it measured about 14’0” by 6’0”.

Brewston started out as a simple ‘terminus to traverser’ layout, but soon changed, when Jill suggested that she would like to see trains ‘running around’....! That lead to some modifications, and also adjusting the traverser to then deal with an inner branch line.  even though supportive at a distance) still made some very good suggestions to improve the layouts appearance....!

Sadly, Jill passed away in 2008, following a brief illness, and I then decided to move to a smaller home. Until this move, Brewston had been located in a spare room at my workshop in Surrey. With help from a friend, the layout was dismantled and moved to its new home in the ‘converted’ detached garage. This move presented me with another challenge, as the layout needed extending both ways to make the best use of the space available. Three of the four corners were retained with the fourth being reconstructed. The traverser was replaced with a ‘lift out’ section located within a new fiddle yard along one long side of the layout, which also allowed easy access to the room. Both ends had their lengths extended and the station complex was lengthened with additional track and points, giving better operational running of both passenger and goods trains. I was left with one corner requiring new landscaping, and decided to create a new halt terminus with cuttings behind it that lead to the fiddle yard area. In this way, continuous running could be maintained, and separate branch line trains could still run at the same time.

Many of the model railway layouts, that can be seen at club shows, are sparsely populated and Jill suggested that I could create a busy ‘market day’ scene, with locomotives having crews and coaches having passengers. If you have attempted this detailing work, you will know how difficult and time consuming that it is, but the finished result is well worthwhile....!

A real model railway is never finished, and I’m sure that some further minor ‘modifications’ will happen in due course....!

Brewston is dedicated to my late Jill, who not only gave me the confidence to create it, but also helped me, over the years, to ‘pay attention’ to the many details that a model railway requires....!  Not bad for an equestrian lady...! Real ‘Soul mates’ are rare to find, but I was very privileged to have spent those years with Jill.

My sincere thanks go to a great ‘bunch of experienced '4 mm / 00 gauge modellers’ modellers’ who are the members of the Twickenham & District Model Railway Club (formed in 1961) for all of their support and encouragement in progressing this layout.

Finally...... pictures ...... thanks to Carol, my Sister-in-Law who is a professional photographer, for taking so much time and trouble to provide the pictures in the following “links”.....…  Photos 1 and also..… Photos 2