Raven Gill

Raven Gill - 2014

(18th layout)

Mention of this layout has already been made in post "Photospot 4", but here is a more detailed description.

Railcar "Loyalty" emerges from the fiddle yard (traverser unit).

At each of our Group's annual open day exhibitions, we have set a members "Challenge" to be presented at the show, and where members of the public could vote for their favourite model.  At our first exhibition, the challenge was to build a scenic layout in 288 square inches (called the 2 square foot challenge), extra space would be allowed for a fiddle yard and the controls/power.

At the time, I had been struggling with enthusiasm to come up with a new layout to replace Whitsend.  Many plans were done fir it, but none of them hit the mark.  So, it was a nice change to have a go at the "Challenge".  My entry was "Raven Gill" unashamedly based on my previous layout "Grumblewick Coombe".

(Click on images to enlarge)

Above is the baseboard, and I've used the same method of storing trains as Grumblewick, by using a two-track sliding traverser.  Because the layout was slightly larger though at 19" x 17", I managed to squeeze-in an extra turnout in the station area.  There was a 35 sq. in. recess for the traverser.

The scenery under construction.  We used Soft-Rok hydro fibre compound on card former's and cork bark.

The greenery when added by my wife.

The layout would feature a sunken valley with three buildings: a pub, a semi-detached cottage and a tower-style folly.

The semi-detached cottages, built from Wills materials, Coarse Stone (sanded), Slate tiles and SS86 cottage Doors and Windows.

Completed cottages.

The pub made in the same way as the cottages, and a resin cast stone folly.

The folly, The Raven Inn and the cottages.

The only other buildings were a simple goods shed and an even simpler waiting shelter.

The layout starts to take shape, now with the Stenning water tower, and coal bunker.

The traverser.  Only the track lined-up with the scenic line is powered, using Scalextric braids underneath the traverser plate and connecting with a powered contact.

The goods shed.

Old, very old, Jouef Decauville "Llew" at the loco siding.

The old folly is inhabited by a reclusive old man, and he feeds the ravens from the top of the tower every afternoon.

Just like at Grumblewick Coombe, important freight was ale for the inn.

"Llew" starts from the tiny station.

....then passes the loco siding and takes the curve onto the viaduct.

...crossing the viaduct, an old Kibri "N" gauge kit that I had.

...and head round the back of the cottages and into the fiddle-yard.

As you can see from the photographs, I had to run short locos, preferably 0-4-0's and short items of stock as it was particularly tight in the station area.

An article on Raven Gill appeared in "009 News" July 2016.

The little layout was later sold.