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Ironstone model labour of love set for club exhibition
2:00pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
SO FAR, it has taken 15 years to perfect and construct.
Now, a working model of the Hook Norton ironstone quarries, built by members of the Oxford and District Model Club, will go on show at an exhibition.
The model shows the quarries near Hook Norton which supplied ironstone to the Brymbo steelworks in Wrexham from 1899 to 1946.
Since Brymbo was 132 miles away, a narrow gauge tramway system was set up to transport the ironstone to main line railway sidings on the now closed route between Banbury and Kingham for onward transport to Wales.
This became the largest two-foot gauge railway in ironstone industry.
Now very little of the works remain, and only the engine shed and remodelled workshop building can be seen.
Chris Goodwin, from Risinghurst, has been working on the model for 15 years.
It is still a work in progress but this is the first time it has gone on show at the exhibition.
When completed, it will measure 25ft by 5ft.
He said: “Everything is made from scratch.
“I have got quite an extensive collection of photographs of the ironstone quarries and modelled the layout on that.
“The project started off with me and my son Michael, 35, and about four other people.
“Over the years people have moved on to other things and other people have helped out but I have been the person doing most of the work. I have probably worked on it for an average of an hour a day or more.”
The former research assistant in the physics department at Oxford University added: “It’s been a very interesting project.
“I like problem-solving. I am interesting in making all the bits and am more of a constructor than an operator.
“I am interested for other people to see what I have done and to appreciate all the effort that has gone into it.”
The Oxford and District Model Club has been running since 1966 and this is the 44th annual exhibition.
Exhibition manager Ron Alcock said: “I have been involved in the club for about 35 years and am the last surviving founding member.
“There are 15 working layouts on show at the exhibition, six of which have been built by club members.
“I enjoy the exhibition. It’s a challenge but I do still get a buzz from doing it.
“At the end of the day I always think we put on a good show.”
- The exhibition is open from 10.30am to 5pm at the United Reformed Church halls, Collinwood Road, Risinghurst, on Saturday, September 21. Admission costs £4 for adults and is free for children.
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