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L&NWR Crest

This layout is now retired and dismantled

Chester & Holyhead Railway Crest

My paternal grandfather used to go to North Wales on holiday and he used to sent post cards to my mum and dad of the towns on the North Wales coast.  The towns in the photos were enchanting and one of Llandudno dated in the 1960s looked as f it had been photographed in the early part of the 20th century, except the postcard was based on a real colour photo and there was 1960s cars like Ford Cortinas.  The postcard could only be described as enchanting with modern cars in an Edwardian setting.

The shops and hotels were recently painted in pastel shades and there were no  modern 20th Century buildings to be seen.  Another post card was of Conway Castle at the mouth of the River Conway.  My mind was made up I must visit this land of enchantment and see for my self.  I did and I fell in love with the railway stations on the line for many of them still retained their original LNWR look.

I built a diorama of the goods yard at Conway Castle and included a low relief backdrop building of the castle.  Although it didn't win any prizes when I took it to a Furness MRC exhibition in the 1980s it was well accepted.  Some club members said it should be exhibited in its own right as a layout. In the 1980s the exhibition was held over Easter weekend so being a member of Furness Club I was in attendance all weekend. I got into conversation about what was needed to win an award at the exhibition and I made notes what the exhibition judges and public looked for in a layout.  It had to run very well under all conditions, no derailments, no uncoupling of rolling stock. The layout must be continuous running and not an end to end like Mardale, which I had taken to the exhibition in the 1970s. The list went on.  I started asking visiting members of the public what they looked for in a model and one chap gave me a lot of ideas. A tunnel at both ends of the layout, a goods shed and a working engine shed with a turntable.

I hadn't planned to build a layout of Bangor Station and had previously researched Llandudno Junction Station but it didn't have any tunnels.  My mind wandered to Bangor a few miles to the west and decided that would be the ideal N gauge exhibition layout.  Data was gathered and in a visit to the area I took a heap of photos.  The previous year I had done the same with Conway and "The Junction" and had produced the diorama.

Work began on the layout and the fiddle yards. The fiddle yards were kept narrow  and the outer  line sidings were not alongside the inner line sidings like conventional fiddle yards but they were staggered.  This meant a longer yard than normal but it allowed more sidings per board.  I found that I was going to have to stretch the viewing area then I came up with the idea of incorporating the Conway Castle diorama into the layout. This gave the layout a total length of 18 feet which was quite long for an N gauge exhibition layout.  The goods yard and engine sheds were on a add-on side mounting baseboard and blended in well with the main baseboards.

Scale length buildings were made of the the station buildings at Bangor and the sizes of the engine shed and goods shed were estimated from a book giving all the track diagrams of the stations on the North Wales coast. 

The layout went on exhibition in the Easter of 1985 at Barrow and on the Saturday evening at a party put on the club it was announced that Bangor had won the coveted Platform 3 trophy for the best running layout.  I could not believe my ears and although I never noticed at the time I found that some fellow exhibitors were somewhat jealous.

Later that year it attended the Workington MRC's exhibition in the Carnegie Theatre in Workington.  It was manned by fellow Workington MRC members as I also had a trade stand at the exhibition.

Alas the photos and slides I had of Bangor were stolen in a robbery when my flat in Morecambe was burgled in 1990.  This means I have no photos of the layout I can upload onto this website but one can see prototype photos of Bangor by clicking on the prototype photo gallery link.

Did you visit an exhibition where Bangor went on display and take some photos of the layout. If so can you email them to me and I will upload them to the website and give recognition to copyright ownership of them.


Many thanks for choosing to visit my web pages.  

 Tom Jenkins 2014

Page last updated 28th December 2014


Any photos shown on this website are strictly copyright, so please do not copy any of them for any form of commercial purpose.  Private individuals may download the images for their private use but any copying, both commercially and private purposes for use in books, magazines, newsletters, brochures or handbills, any form of advertising and for use on private or commercial websites is strictly forbidden



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