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Gorbriton Hill (O)

History (Circa 1855 - 1932)
This O gauge, 7mm scale model layout depicts a branch line which terminates at one of the many ubiquitous seaside towns found along the coast of Great Britain. This initially independent line was opened in 1855 by the Gorbriton and Wilsea railway company. The branch was 15 miles long beginning at Gorbriton Hill station, continuing through, Wilsea and Holbeach stations before ending at a connection with the Midland main line. As is the case with many of the early branch lines built during the years of railway mania, the line soon found its self in financial difficulty. After much deliberation it was eventually offered to the Midland Railway company, later to become the London Midland and Scottish railway, which took over the line in 1867. After years of fighting for survival, the advent of paid holidays in the thirties gave the branch a new lease of life in terms of passenger numbers. These were especially high during the summer months due to the attraction of the nearby Wilsea seaside amenities.

The club house entrance to the fiddle yard

History (Circa 1932 - 1965)
The viability of the branch was also helped by the increase in freight revenue from the newly built Palmers Brewery, the Rogers Corn Mill and local coal merchants. In addition timber and fish were also carried from coastal ships visiting the small town quay. In 1932, following increasing prosperity, several other railway companies were encouraged to seek running powers over the branch line. The L.M.S. subsequently agreed to these powers being divested to the Southern and Great Western Railways. It is also interesting to note that during the late thirties up to the early sixties the Gorbriton Royal Hotel received the occasional royal visitor conveyed by the royal train. Up to its demise under the Beeching axe in 1966 Gorbriton Hill was a mecca for railway enthusiasts as it was uniquely placed, being a terminus for Great Western, Southern and Midland passenger and freight traffic.

A view of 'Engine Shed Allotments' with cabbages made from earrings!

Reality 2017
In reality of course Gorbriton Hill is a fictitious town, as is the associated branch line. The name Gorbriton is in fact an amalgam of the first three letters of Gordon, Brian and Tony from the club O gauge section. Nevertheless the layout has been built to fulfil two important criteria, to be of interest to the viewer and to run a range of stock. To this end we hope that the layout and stock we have put together will leave you with an impression of the atmosphere that would have existed between 1932 and 1965 on the Gorbriton branch line. There are a number of cameos on the layout which we hope will elaborate on the "history" story e.g. look out for Fred on top of the brewery chimney.

Loading of local produce in a small siding

Rogers and Son Flour and Corn Mills

If you are interested in booking this layout (when complete) for exhibition then please contact Jack Sully (SRMC Chairman) jaspud10@aol.com for further details and infomation.

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