The Original Morpeth

This posting follows on from the request made by Brodie. After he wrote that he’d like to see some photos and a plan of the original Morpeth, I spent some time looking at the old photos I had of the layout and also scratching around for a plan of that layout. I found this exercise much harder than expected however I’ve managed to come up with a few images I’m willing to post and I’ve even come up with a plan. Having the plan is a lucky accident as I wasn’t sure (after the passage of about 8 years) that I could accurately draw the plan from memory. And to be honest I’m too lazy to relish drawing a plan of a layout that hasn’t existed for that long anyway.

As I searched the computer folders that contain the photos of my layouts and models it occurred to me that the reason that I have so few layout shots of any quality is simply because this layout was started to the purchase of my first digital camera. The quality of these photos is what I would describe as “seconds” and this partly explains why they haven’t been published before, here or anywhere else for that matter. Another reason is that these early photos were taken of a layout in the process of being built. I tend to keep the photos I’m less than happy with to myself and the ones of “in progress” subjects tend to be for my reference alone. A lack of ballast, less than satisfactory colour rendering and messy materials sitting in the edge of shots would normally mean they would stay filed away.

However I’ve also come to realise that if I’m going to blather on about an old layout then I probably should make some effort to illustrate what I’m talking about. So please forgive the quality of these photos, they are just about the best of what is available. The shots I’ll post cover angles and views that I’ve never published before. I did have a few visitors to the layout but mostly Morepth was the preserve of myself and my very good friend and fellow modeller Jim Pullen, without whose help this layout would probably never have reached the stage that it did.

The layout was a fairly convention point to point shunting layout that took up two corners of my double garage when I lived in Armidale, NSW. It was my first effort in O-scale and utilised Peco 32mm gauge track laid directly onto mdf. The scenery did progress a bit further than can be seen in some of these photos, for instance I laid ballast down on all the track that had scenery around it. Most of the buildings that appear in the plan were built however I have noticed that I have a derelict house showing that never got beyond a box drawn on the plan stage.

I’ve never regretted pulling a layout down but I must admit to having some mixed emotions about not being able to finish Morpeth MkI. I seem to remember that I was really looking forward to building the derelict house and the road over-bridge that are also shown on the plan. Maybe these two structures will get a Guernsey on the new version of Morepth?

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