You might remember me briefly mentioning in passing that part of the genesis behind the establishment of my lovely new girl-cave was because Hub would be building a model railway in our former office.  You can read about the start of this journey here.

Anyway, I am delighted to announce that the main substance of today’s post has been written by none other than Hub himself:

"Bagshot Terrace receives a delivery"
“Bagshot Terrace receives a delivery”

Hello. Hub here. Lizzie has very kindly allowed me to do a guest post.

I have learned through what is a blissfully happy marriage to heed the danger of the Lizzie question. Any sentence that begins “Do you think you might…?” or “Might you like to…?” is fashioned to snare the unwary. It may have been couched in the interrogative, but woe betide the simpleton that replies, “well I have thank you very much but I don’t think I will”. Such a response is met with beatific smile and the kind of silence that makes a man realise he has done something very wrong.

Thus is was, as I was happily minding my own business planning my new model railway, that I heard the dread words “Might you like to do a guest post on my blog about your railway?”. I promised to think about it – always my first ploy which at least buys me time. I even agreed to think about it again when next challenged, which both Lizzie and I know is a desperate act that simply puts off the inevitable.

So here I am. My reticence is not just that I very much doubt that, unless you happen to be mad keen on model railways, this will be of interest to you. It is also that I am immensely in awe of my wife’s blogs and her writing style. I do not want some casual surfer of the blogosphere to chance upon these ramblings and think it is her work. However, I have had the Lizzie question posed to me, and as I value my sanity it must be answered in the affirmative.

I have over the last six months been designing a model railway layout. I am going to build it in N gauge which is scale of 1:148. This is quite small and my thumbs are large. However, the work I have been doing building the various buildings for the layout is training these fingers of mine to a nimbleness they have not known since my youth. The length of design time has been partly enforced because the baseboards on which the layout will sit is being custom built. The builders have a very healthy order book and I hope I am soon to reach the top of it

You will have seen how we created space for Lizzie in what I understand is now christened the Buttery. Between us we have an uncanny knack of being able to make space when we really put our mind to it. It was Lizzie who said to me, when I told her that I had always wanted to build a model railway, that we simply had to make it happen. In a few short minutes we had planned the move of furniture around the flat and cleared most of the floor space in what had been our office to create the Man Cave. Below are a couple of photographs that show a full size print of the layout as it is to be.

You see before you the town of Elvenhome. It sits by the coast somewhere in England. In time it is some point between the nationalisation of railways in the UK (1948) and a point just before Bill Haley caused the clock to rock. The main station, Weathertop, is visited by trains from most of the major cities north of a line drawn between London and Bristol. There is also a small branch line that wends its way around the town, passing the dockside before branching off the main line slowly to climb to reach the village of High Elven (with a halt at Sharkey’s End) that sits above the town (where the church is in the picture).

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It is clear that building the layout and undertaking the modelling work is going to require me to become a structural engineer, an electrician, architect, builder and to acquire many more skills. It is going to be very good fun. I will enjoy actually playing trains of course, but the thing that excites me the most is creating Elvenhome which I can see ever more clearly as each bit of it is created.

Here’s the rub though. I have learned so much already by following a number of other railway modellers on YouTube. I have heard at least twice the question “Don’t you think you would like to do a video blog of you building it?” I have promised to think about it three times now, which is chancing my arm. What to do, what to do…?