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Author Topic: Narrow Gauge Adventure the story of The Craig & Mertonford Railway, By P.D. Hancock Review  (Read 1763 times)

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Online Bealman

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Narrow Gauge Adventure the story of The Craig & Mertonford Railway, By P.D. Hancock

Book Review: This is going to be a top review because this book is very dear to me.

It is an old book first published in 1975 by Peco Publications, and written by the late P.D. Hancock who has only recently passed away. He was a true pioneer of model railways, in particular narrow gauge. He was working with 009 long before it became commercially available! In his book, he explains how he was tossing up as to whether to use 9mm or 9.5mm gauge. He chose 9mm, which of course we all know is N gauge.... so when N gauge modelling started to hit the scene during the 1960s, he had access to lots of mechanisms and stuff he could hack about to suit his purposes.

The book is based mainly on the many articles he had published in Railway Modeller magazine during the 50s and 60s. As a kid I used to drool over these articles - I had never seen modellling of that calibre before and I was truly inspired. Both his articles and this book are lavishly illustrated with photographs (albeit B & W - don't forget, we're talking 50s-60s here) and exquisitely hand drawn diagrams and illustrations - a technique I have tried (not very successfully) to copy with my own hand drawn layout plans.

His narrative is written in a style that almost puts it in the 'couldn't put it down' category - it is great reading.  We have a number of people on this forum who are interested in trams, and so was he. There is a fascinating chapter called 'The year of the trams' which would certainly appeal to our trolley fans. Other chapters cover building construction, landscape construction and of course his wonderful narrow gauge locomotives.

Ok, so it's not N gauge - it's 4mm scale narrow gauge, and many of his construction techniques are of course dated now, but it is fascinating to see the evolution over the years of this truly pioneering work. It certainly inspired me and if I can achieve just a fraction of the atmosphere P.D. Hancock managed, I will be a happy little modeller.


ISBN: 900586 54 0

Score: 5
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online Bealman

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Since I wrote this review back in May 2013, it is most satisfying to read in the "Whatever happened to...." feature of the April 2015 Railway Modeller that many structures and even a complete section of this iconic layout have been preserved.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

 

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