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West Kirby Joint Layout by Bob Powell In 2012, Manchester Model Railway Society (M.M.R.S.) members Chris Bennett, Bob Powell, Paul Rees and Dave Williams decided it would be a challenge to construct a 1930s-50s layout of a Wirral location in EM gauge. The defunct, (1962), West Kirby terminus of the LNWR & GWR joint line from Hooton was chosen. From Council and Network Rail archives, we obtained copies of engineering and architectural drawings. Our “senior” member, architect Chris Bennett, drew plans of the station, goods-yard and adjacent timber-yard. As the layout was to be portable, Chris developed a lightweight baseboard design using 4” thick blue foam insulation, 4’ long by 2’ wide. The sides are clad in 3mm, the ends 9mm, plywood. Sadly Chris died in 2013, before he was able to see his designs used. There are three baseboards plus a fiddle yard, dowelled and clamped together. They rest on four trestles and assembly is quick. Modeling began in 2014, with scratch construction of the station platform, buildings, timberyard, overbridges (using original drawings) in “plasticard”. Trackwork is Marcway; the points hand-operated via buried “stiff wires” and frogs “switched” by ‘Frogjuicers’. Rolling stock consists of re-gauged OO gauge r-t-r stock and kit-built wagons. Stock is fitted with Spratt & Winkle auto-couplings which sadly gave teething problems! Scenery models the prototype and includes scratch-built embankments, trees, shrubs, roadways, and trackside clutter. Our first outing was to the 2015 Merseyside exhibition, where it created lots of interest from local people who remembered working there, using it or living alongside it. Rather than just selecting four photos of the layout, we've chosen photos that show two views of the station as it was (circa 1952) and two photos of the layout itself, from the approximate same location.  

Model Railway Express Issue One December 2016  
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