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EASTWELL IRONSTONE COMPANY

by Paul James

 


The EM gauge layout Eastwell Ironstone Company, owes its existence to a particularly interesting history, and the persistance of its owner, Paul James. It was developed from the original Sherdington and Eastwell layouts which were constructed between 1974 and 1977. The Eastwell Ironstone Co is situated in the South Midlands iron ore field and is connected to the BR network by exchange sidings alongside an ex GWR secondary line.


The era portrayed is the early 1970's, and a eclectic mix of industrial steam and diesel locomotives can be seen plying their way between the works area and the BR exchange sidings. Prototypical operation is followed from where the ironstone hoppers are loaded at the crushing plant, and taken away for exchange with empty returned hoppers.


A mixture of BR locomotives and stock can be seen passing by on the main line, representing those which would have been seen in the area and timescale.


There is a lot of history behind the concept and evolution of Eastwell, much of it published in the model railway press over a number of years. The Eastwell layout photographs are courtesy of Tim Rogers, Paul Bason and Paul James.


The following list of magazines feature photographs and articles on the layout - Model Railway Constructor (May 1980), Model Railways (Aug 1987), Model Railways (Sep 1987), British Railway Modelling (Aug 1994), British Railway Modelling (May 1997), Rail Express (July 1997).


Exhibitions attended with Eastwell.

1989
September. Bulmers Rly Centre, EOS open day. Mini.
4/5th November. Shrewsbury. Mini.

1990
4/5/6th May. Wolverhampton. Mini.
26th September. Bulmers Rly Centre, EOS open day. Mini.
13/14th October. Halifax Mini.

1991
12/13th January. St Albans. Mini.
18/19th May. Expo EM, Bletchley. 1st exhibit of exchange sidings.
24/25th August. Rochrail 91, Southend. “U” shape.
25/6/7th October. Leeds. Short “L” shape for one and only time.
December. Hereford swapmeet. Mini.

1992
Should have gone to Whitby in August but exhibition was cancelled.
November. Burnley. “U” shape.

1993
9/10/1/2th April. Harrogate. Mini.
12/ 13th June. Chatham. (The Gainsborough!!) Straight.
28/9/30th Aug. Skipton Straight.
13/14th Nov. Hull. (One of the best!!) Straight.

1994
1/2/3/4th April. Harrogate. “U” shape.
14/15th May. Expo EM, Bletchley. Straight.
5th Nov. Risborough & Disrict MRC, Aylesbury. Straight.
December. Hereford swapmeet. Straight.

1995
January. Shrewsbury. (one day only). Straight.
22/23rd April. Crawley MRC, Horsham. “U” shape.
19/20th Aug. Cleveland MRC Redcar. (That £10). “L” shape.
16/17th Sept. Chippenham Modern Image Show. Straight.

1996
16th March. Slough. “U” shape??
4/5/6th May. Wolverhampton. “U” shape.
28/29th Sept. Peterborough. Quickest dismantle 45Mins Straight.

1997
15/16th Feb. Festival of Model Railways, Doncaster. Straight.
13/14th Sept. Rail Express 97, St Albans. “U” shape.
8/9th November. Tolworth Showtrain, Hampton Court MRC. “U” shape.

1998
16/17th May. Expo EM, Bletchley. Layout + Dragline “U” shape.
28th Nov. Expo EM West, Malvern. “U” shape.

1999
I have no records for 1999 for some reason. I know we exhibited at the Rutland Railway Museum, Cottesmore but I don’t know if it was this year. I also have a note for Farnborough in 1999 but can’t remember going. If anyone can remember this or any other exhibitions in 1999 let me know??

2000
26/27th Feb. Cardiff. Straight.
14/15th October. Portishead. “U” shape.

2001
14/5/6th April. York. “L” shape.

Over the 10 years we exhibited we attended at least 35 exhibitions. I think this list covers everything but if anyone can add to it let me know.