The Start

 Before I built Hadarford in the hold of our narrowboat 'Hadar', I built a small model railway. I had tried previously to build a ‘009’ narrow gauge layout in a pine box, but due to the tightness of the curve, only one of the locos I had could negotiate it. Since we moved onto our residential mooring here in Warwick I had planned to build a ‘009’ layout in the garden. However I ditched that idea and instead built this little layout to sit on top of the display cabinet housing my O gauge stock from my exhibition layout 'Holmehurst' in our saloon. 

This was the original layout from inside the box, in this photo I have already sawn the board up and removed the curved track.

This photo is with the sections repositioned to form the new layout.

The layout has had a wood edging added to it and placed in it’s position on the shelf above the display cabinet with my ‘0’ gauge rolling stock in it.

The new section of track has been added to reconnect the original two halves.

Starting construction of the road bridge over the railway to divide the layout to the right, from the “fiddleyard” to the left.

The road bridge is completed.

Ballasting the new section of track and remaining exposed baseboard painted with “chocolate” emulsion paint.

Attaching the 3 buildings and fences. the smallest building came ready made and painted, the other 2 were kits which had to be built and painted.

Trees positioned and fixed in place.

Rock face and bushes fixed in place at the end of the layout, appropriately shaped so I can still see all of the TV from my armchair!

Level crossing made from balsa wood and painted.

Scatter and foliage added. This was before I discovered static grass.

The high level line which emerges from the mine, constructed from balsa wood with tipper wagons on the mine track, which tip the material mined into the larger wagons below.

Level crossing barriers and loading gauge fitted.

The high level line platform completed with safety barriers and access ladders, and the mine entrance constructed and all painted.

The rear of the rock face has been finished off with balsa wood, and subsequently varnished, to hide the rough rear to the ‘cork’ that I used for the rock face, and the wood construction to attach it to the baseboard.

Sprinkling ‘scatter’ on using a teaspoon!

The darker grey scatter represents the tarmac roadway. The lighter grey has just been applied and awaiting drying before removing the loose scatter.

Different coloured scatter used in the station and mine area, the darker grey scatter represents the tarmac roadway. The lighter grey has just been applied and awaiting drying before removing the loose scatter.

Station and mine area scatter completed and the station platform constructed from balsa wood fixed in place.

Adding ‘spilled’ mining material on and around the high level line. Applying PVA glue to the selected piece held in tweezers.

Positioning the piece in place, this was repeated for each piece in the scene.

Mine workers fixed to the layout.

I then painted some wild animals and placed them in various locations around the layout. A badger.

A Hedgehog.

A pair of Squirrels.

A hare running beside the track.

4 Rabbits.

Finally a Weasel scurries alongside the road.

Rock climbers on the rock face, either side of the mine. Like the wild animals I had to paint these. I used to teach rock climbing at a school for 2 years, and a member of a climbing club for about 10 years, hence the cotton used to simulate climbing ropes is positioned as if a real climb. 

But I doubt I would be climbing around a working mine and railway! It is called 'modellers licence'.

The climbers on the rock face, viewed from the other side. 

If you look closely the two climbers on the left are using double ropes. Double ropes are used in certain circumstances, such as routes that wander and a single rope would have too much friction through the carabiners, and when climbing slate which has very sharp edges and can cut through a rope like a knife through butter, but by have 2 ropes this risk is reduced.

And finally station station staff and passengers were added to the layout, which has completed it.

The finished layout on top of the display cabinet containing my O gauge stock from my exhibition layout 'Holmehurst' in our saloon on our narrowboat Hadar.


Some general views.

A showman's engine visiting.


Passenger and goods trains awaiting departure from the platform and mine line. 
Logging engine ready to do some shunting.


OOPs! A slight accident. Handy the crane is nearby 😂