My name is Matt Wickham, 26, from Buckinghamshire. I am a member of a few Heritage railways round the country, and enjoy the odd day out to one now and again.
I started in model railways around the age of 9 / 10 getting my first train set which was the Hornby Queen Mary Freight Hauler. I then started to add other loco’s and Diesels to the collection, which was only a loop with some buildings made out of card.
As I got a little older 13 / 14 I re made my layout and went down the preserved railway route, I made a model of Chinnor station in Oxfordshire which is about 20 minutes away. This was an L shaped layout with a fiddle yard at one end and a run round loop and a station at the other.
This layout was my attempt at building a proper running and working layout and not a round loop of track. Sadly this didn’t last and the layout was binned a few years after, salvaging most of the loco’s and stock which were battered and worn out by this time.
As the years rolled by a few attempts were made to get back in to the hobby, designs were initially drawn up for a layout based on Havenstreet on the Isle of Wight again present day image, but realized there wasn’t RTR stock suitable for this and again abandoned it.
2005 came and a serious start was finally made.. I decided to base my new layout on Horsted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway, this was started and was built in my room. By mid 2006 after sorting all the issues and problems which comes with being out of the hobby for quite a few years, the layout was finished… or so I thought.
From mid 2006 to now 2010, saw a period of heavy development, many things replaced and the layout improved. Station buildings, New canopy supports, subways, Carriage and wagon workshop, powered points, scenery, back scenes, this is just a short list of what development the layout has had. Locos and rolling stock also improved old items sold off to fund new ones, and now I’m pleased with what I have which is a nice collection of locos based on the Bluebell with a few not based there but some of my favourites.
This layout shows that things can be done on budgets, and little money, It’s my hope in the future to expand, and build one more layout Based on Sheffield park to give my 26 locos somewhere to live.