Skimbleshanks Mill

Scale: 7 mm Scale/14 mm (2 ft) Gauge

Alison Barker

Welcome to Skimbleshanks Mill, a fictitious industrial backwater somewhere in a forgotten corner of post-war England. From left to right, the narrow gauge railway takes varied (and unspecified) goods to and from the Warehouse, squeezing between the Lady Boss’s House and the Triangle House behind the little Engine Shed. Materials are delivered to the Mill and Factory from the high-level tramway, and tipped by conveyor belt. You might even find Skimbleshanks (T. S. Eliot’s famous Railway Cat) lurking in one of the alleys….

The layout was originally put together by three friends, Laurence Murray, Alan Shelley & Roy Thurston, of the Twickenham & District Model Railway Club, and it reflected their modelling interests.

Alison spotted the model for sale at an exhibition in 1998. She has a love and practical knowledge of 2-foot industrial narrow gauge railways spanning more than 20 years, making the subject entirely suitable. The size of the model makes it easily-transportable, and it takes up relatively little storage space.

This model is built to the unusual gauge of 14 mm, representing true two-foot narrow gauge, and therefore the locomotives and rolling stock are all either kit or scratch-built.

One engine and four wagons were bought with the layout; the majority of the rest have been made by Tim Rossiter (Skimble’s own Duty Shedman & Chief Mechanical Engineer) from the products of Wrightlines, Black Dog Mining Co. and Roy C. Link. They are fitted with “Kadee®” (n) couplings. People and animals are from ABS Models and Phoenix Miniatures etc.


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