Dr Paul Glover lives in the Chiltern Hills and is a regular visitor at Bucks Hill. Over the years, he has developed an impressive 7mm scale permanent layout called Aberayon, running around a wide loft area. A single track joins two stations via a return loop that runs into open country, while the longer runs along the sides include many sidings and buildings. Paul runs the trains most days, concentrating on prototypical fully signalled operation.
I have been involved in some of the re-arranging and upgrading work that has recently taken place, with the addition of some landscape work, mainly in the area of the station approach and return curve. A few initial pictures follow here, mainly of the new landscaping additions, but a selected few examples are added in to show the excellent DCC controlled L.M.S. and G.W.R. stock collection. The layout will shortly be photographed for a full colour magazine feature by Chris Nevard, and the recent work in all departments anticipates this.
The return curve features a light stone single track viaduct, and we have completely reworked this area of the layout. This view is of a small section of the new 2D backscene which has now been installed, showing an Exmoor farm with gentle moorland beyond, along with the addition of some modelled tree growth on the slopes of the Ayon valley.
This pair of single decker buses were scratch built for Chilton by Barrie Kelsall. The prototypes were built as 34 seaters in 1930 – 1932 and served the Midland Red until 1950.
One of the many road vehicles that appear around the layout, with a hay barn also visible behind the fence. There are quite enough subjects to provide material for a feature, without even noticing the railway. In this view, one of the Pickfords heavy horses is having a stone removed from it’s shoe.
Chilton station only has one platform, and is the next stop after the Aberayon terminus. It has a pair of sidings for coal wagons, a small ground frame signal cabin and a level crossing with a connecting bus services. The attractive red brick station building shown here was beautifully made by Carl Legg.
This March 1929 Derby built Fowler 4P-D 2-6-4T is one of a collection of L.M.S. & G.W.R. locomotives that appear at Aberayon. Buffered up to a tender locomotive, it waits to cross the main line, and couple up to its next passenger duty. The model is a JM KIt made by Nigel Smith, and painted by Ian Rathbone.
The view looking away from Aberayon has been extended and adapted with a clouded sky to better match the moorland landscape between the terminus and Chilton.
Aberayon’s goods yard crane
G.W.R. cabin & existing rural backscene.
Bogie L.M.S. carriages at Aberayon
The Aberayon end of the viaduct has a road crossing the Ayon valley carried by a low level single arch bridge in grey stone, with more Exmoor farm buildings to the right.
A collection of hand written 6 and 7 plank open mineral wagons are shunted into their sidings by a pair of small industrial tank locomotives. The South Leicester wagons were weathered by Martyn Welch, and the Frank Butt wagon is by John Petcher.
Two of the storage roads surrounding the turntable are occupied by Great Western locomotives, and in this view, we can just see the single line with Its fixed distant signal as it rounds the curve behind them. We have included a small tarred barn with a slate roof at a reduced scale on the new backscene, surrounded by a row trees behind the lineside fence.
L.M.S. branch line train, with a narrow gauge industrial line just visible through the second arch running along the riverbank.
Moorland appears behind a cultivated field to the right.
L.M.S. bogie brake third, built to L.N.W.R. Diagram 345 waits in Aberayon’s platform road, coupled to a Lav composite. The rake was made by John Petcher as 1890 build stock, with the standard arc roof, presented here in the L.M.S. period 1 livery.
I still have more work to do between the viaduct and Aberayon station, so there will be yet another prepared batch of trees and some more undergrowth needed before my next work session. These foreground trees briefly interrupt our view of the trains, while the diffused overhead lighting prevents any unrealistic shadows casting onto the rear panel.