“If a man’s home is his castle, then it stands to reason that his garage is his sanctuary!
Let me welcome you to mine, ‘The Train Shed’, aka the garage where I am able to indulge in my hobby.
Whilst a painter can create a two-dimensional image of a scene or event on canvas, a railway modeler uses their creativity to achieve the same result but in three-dimensional miniature form with the benefit of being able to bring the scene to life with the movement of trains, etc.
My model railway is a 4mm to the foot (00 gauge scale) model based upon my memories of the railways and other particular buildings and features in and around Cheltenham Spa Gloucestershire in 1957.
The railways had been nationalised some 9 years earlier and steam locomotives would prevail for almost another decade. Cheltenham was still a ‘genteel’ town with little manufacturing largely still relying on ‘old money’ and was a great place to grow up in.
Whilst railway modelling has been a life-long hobby, virtually all of the current layout has been built since we moved into Hunters Green in 2009. When we arrived there were already 12 ‘Johns’ so I soon became ‘John, the train man’ and that in itself became a great icebreaker. Whilst it is by nature an individual pursuit (which has been a lifesaver during our many long lockdowns) we now have five railway modellers in the Village and we visit each other’s layouts and model railway exhibitions and hobby shops whenever we get the chance. Whenever my roller garage door is up, there is a great chance that I will have a few interested residents stop by for a look and a chat which makes it all worthwhile!
Photographs courtesy of my good friend John Collingwood (also a Hunters Green resident)”