The Central Layout

The heart of the Museum is its central 1930s gauge 0 model railway layout, constructed by Chris Littledale and transplanted from the Hove Engineerium in 1991. With the exception of a handful of modern tinplate locos and some nice post-war Exley carriages (and some “architectural model” buildings), almost everything else on the layout – signalling, lights, trackside buildings, accessories – dates from the 1930s and could be found in a 1930s toyshop. The 60-odd road vehicles on the layout are from the Tri-ang Minic range and are painted tinplate with clockwork motors.

Trackside buildings are by Bassett-Lowke, Hornby, Jouet de Paris, and Marklin. Locomotives and rolling stock are by Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Georges Carette, Hornby, and Marklin. Trees and plants are by Britains. The overhead tinplate Zeppelin is a Marklin reissue.

The named buildings on the layout – “Wulf Never Importers”, “F. Burridge Electrical Engineers” and the Hefford engineering works – were all created in memory of original members of the museum team who have since passed on.