Grumblewick Coombe


(9th layout)

After exhibiting "Carne" at the Chelmsford Exhibition in 1999 we were invited to enter the "Narrow Minded" competition for the 2001 show.  The rules being that you had to build a micro layout the size of an A3 piece of paper (297mm x 420mm), the controls and transformer could be extra to the layout.  So, like the fools we are, we entered.

I wanted to try to get short 009 scale trains to run around three sides of the layout in a "U" shaped track plan, and instead of making the track run around a hill or works of some kind, I wanted a scenic sunken valley with a small building in, and a curved viaduct for the trains to run over.  It was a challenge to get the tight curve, only 5" radius, to join the 12" radius Peco 009 turnout, and the curve of the point had to be broken, and bent to meet the curved track near the viaduct.  In fact, every millimetre mattered in a layout this small.  The "fiddle yard" was a tiny 3.5" two-track traverser under the hill.

The layout featured the viaduct, as mentioned, a hillside to hide the traverser, an inn, a tiny halt with a chute down to the rear of the Inn (for delivery of beer!), animals and birds.

"Leo" (Paul Windle/Bachmann 0-4-0) and mixed train at Grumblewick Coombe halt.

The halt, with beer barrels being sent down to the inn below.

Modified Jouef/Egger Decauville "Llew" taking the curve to the viaduct and passing the loco siding. 

The Kibri viaduct kit was built to a tighter radius for the layout.  The Inn can be seen through the centre arch.

 "Llew" runs over the viaduct.

The inn was made from two cast resin ornaments bought on Great Yarmouth seafront and were under-scale, perhaps nearer to 3mm.

Bagnall "Leader" and train leave the tunnel (fiddle yard).

The little fiddle yard area where the trains were despatched from.  The small head shunt meant that locos could be run round their train by sliding the traverser forward and driving through before sliding it back again and coupling-up.

An article appeared on Grumblewick Coombe in "009 News" March 2002.

We were very pleased to win the competition on that occasion, and we would be back again next year to enter a new layout.