Today is Brewery Pit’s Birthday!
I started building the model on the 1st January 2008 in a spare bedroom in an Ilfracombe townhouse. I had read an article in Model Rail Magazine about building a model railway for £100, so I decided to have a go.
Although that means that Brewery Pit is now 11 years old (blimey, where does the time go!) that doesn’t mean that it takes 11 years to make a model like it, but it is safe to say that the model has cost me far more than £100 as the years have gone by.
I read somewhere that there are two types of people when it comes to making model railways. There are those that build layouts and finish them off and move onto a new one, and there are those that reinvent the layout they are working on over and over again. I like this analogy as it makes some sense out of how I have worked on Brewery Pit over these last 11 years. Although the track work has stayed the same from those days in January 2008, the rest of the model has changed in various ways over this period.
I would say that if you lumped the actual time I have spent on the build across these years, it probably amounts to a good 6 months of graft along with many mistakes and mishaps.
Version 1 (January 2008-December 2008)
The first version of the model had plywood back-scenes at either end and a Peco industrial scene pasted (badly) onto it. Cardboard Metcalfe buildings were prominent features and there was also a stone retaining wall at the rear of the layout with a hidden track behind it. The river also lead into a pond near the front of the layout. An abutment with a signal box on the top that sat over the tunnel that exited the layout to the east was another feature. I almost finished this version with road signs and grass and various other details.
Version 2 (December 2008-December 2013)
The plywood back-scene soon warped during a house move and was replaced with MDF. This marked the second version of Brewery Pit’s existence with a housing estate on top of the retaining wall and plasticard and tiling grout setts replacing the previous gravel based tramways. I also redesigned the river to be a culvert channel with Woodland Scenics water and wave effects and thick wetland vegetation.
Version 3 (February 2014-Present)
The third version of Brewery Pit came about due to a disaster in a second house move that saw the entire housing estate destroyed as it hurtled to its doom from the top of a bookcase. It was never quite how I wanted it to look anyway (and certainly didn’t look right afterwards), so I decided to change the model and make it more brewery-focussed for this final version, which saw the entire stone retaining wall disappear (along with the hidden track) and the third removal of the river, this time it was replaced with acrylic sheet.
I also did further work on the tramway setts now being made of DAS clay and tile grout. The retaining wall was replaced with the malting towers and I have now vowed that this is essentially the final iteration of this layout, mostly because I am eager to move onto something new.
So as you can see, those 11 years have been spent mostly making three different versions of the same thing… well, this is how I justify it anyway.
I have lots of fun plans for Brewery Pit, which include adding some lights and raised water channels and signals and maybe some other things, but for now, I plan to honour the layout’s birthday by running the first loco that ever ran on it 11 years ago: my Bulleid Q1.
Happy Birthday Brewery Pit and a Happy New Year to Everybody!