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.
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.