Layout 3 - Construction

Construction work had begun long before I had even settled on my final layout design.

We still had buildings to make, and also a Viaduct to make up too.

IMy design brief for layout 3 was:

* Set during the 1970s, somewhere in the North Midlands, not too far from Sheffield.
* One of the stations would be located in a medium sized town.
* A Smaller branch station and small depot would be included too.

I managed to do quite a bit of detective work on what things looked like during the 70s - a great excuse to watch boxsets of "The Sweeney" and episodes of "The Professionals", and also look in books at photos.

My Dad was lucky enough the remember the later 1970s, and my Grandad lucky enough to be working for British Rail at Wath and Tinsley Yards during the 70s - so they were a good source for information.

So I began work on what would be a High-Street; first building being a Bank.....


















There's a lot of truth in the fact that it's always the little details that make a huge difference- the things that are there, which you wouldn't normally notice or even bother about, but just take for granted. But you are quick to notice if they aren't there, or right....

In this case, the Nat-West Bank would have looked like this in the 1970s; it wouldn't have had a Cash-Point outside, and it wouldn't look flash and corporate like many of todays buildings.

Also - things, like a Burglar Alarm would have existed. In fact, very few properties had them installed, as they were expensive. You'd be more than lucky to find a house with one fitted in those days.

That kind of equipment was only installed in Banks, Post-Offices, Jewellers and places that carried high value stock.

A bit of detective work showed us that there also weren't many companies about installing them either - and those that did exist held contracts with various Banks....

In this case, EMI owned just about everything that was electronic - and held a contract with Nat-West and other Banks to fit Alarm Systems via their sideline company 'AFA-Minerva' - so we thought our Nat-West should be kitted out accordingly.....











Also - most Town Centres had at least one major chain Cinema, many even had two within 100yards of each other.

These Cinemas tended to be operated by Rank (Odeon) and EMI (ABC).
The Cinema Kit we had available was already named 'Regal', and that seemed to be a name adapted across the ABC circuit for many of their cinemas.

So it was decided by the name on the box that our Cinema would be an ABC.

People often forget that Cinemas were once tied to different Film Studios and Distributers, so to see a particular film, you'd have to go to a certain Cinema chain - for instance, to see 'James Bond' you'd need to go to an Odeon.

I chose one of my favorite 1970s films, 'Holiday on the Buses' that was made by EMI and would have shown on the ABC cinema chain.

IWe managed to find some photos on how ABC cinema fronts looked during the 1970s and make up signs to match.



A Natwest Bank in all it's glory.











Our Nat-West,complete with Alarm, some blinds and
1970s posters in the Windows.






The original Metcalf Cinema Kit.



























VThe same kit with our signs added. 
Still a little more work to do.






We also added a couple of shops and a pub!











Streetlights were added last.

After looking at photos of typical 1970s High Streets, we found that the street lamps were in fact made of concrete - mainly at the Stanton Ironworks near Nottingham.

Many of the street lamps were installed just after the Second World war, and as the country was still on rations, certain materials were hard to come by - steel being one of them - so industry had to look for alternatives.

We managed to track down some 00 Gauge lamp posts that we could easily modify and paint to look like concrete lamps.

Our High Street is also wired up, with lighting in all of the buildings and working street lighting.


The High Street all wired up and ready to install


The High Street more or less complete.
Ignore the tempory road!
But there is one thing missing......


















The kind of thing that would be stuck on the side
of a Bank during the 1970s.