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To commemorate the 160th anniversary of the railway coming to Long Preston the Heritage Group arranged an Exhibition of the History of Long Preston Station, which was opened in July 1849.
The exhibition featured a large, detailed 'O' gauge model of the station and sidings as they were in the 1920's, together with working model engines and rolling stock of the period.
There were also be displays of photographs and documents showing the history of the railway.
Photographs of the Model are by:
Steve Flint, courtesy of the Railway Modeller magazine [RM]
Tony Wright, courtesy of the British Railway Modelling magazine [BRM]
The layout in 7 mm scale, O Gauge, had been built by Jamie Guest and his colleagues at Wakefield over the last 14 years and was exhibited for the first time in 2002.
It started out as a simple model of a small Midland Railway country station near the owner’s boyhood home but grew. It is set in the early 1920’s and all the trains are representative of examples that would have worked through the station in that era. Much detailed research has gone into producing examples of the correct liveries and vehicles.
The buildings are all based on the real prototypes and are as accurate as we can make them. The main aim has been to reproduce what a busy section of the Midland’s route to Scotland would have looked like in the early 1920’s.
To add interest, modellers’ licence has allowed the inclusion of an 0/16.5 narrow gauge line. This is based on a nearby prototype that was built in 1920, by the Fylde Water Board, to take construction materials to Stocks reservoir. Materials were actually taken by road vehicles from Long Preston to Tosside, 5 miles away, where the 3’ gauge line started. The model is based on the “what if” the line had actually come all the way to Long Preston and includes a narrow gauge transfer yard on the site of the Water Board sidings. These include a mixed gauge section. Again much care has gone into building accurate models of the rolling stock.
Photographs from the Exhibition
The exhibition proved very popular, not only with the residents of Long Preston, but with visitors coming from all parts of the region. The Village Hall was full for both days, with people looking at the model and the exhibition boards which told the history of the railway in the village.
Jamie Guest and his fellow modellers were delighted with the interest in the model and pleased that the older residents of the village thought it a faithful record of the station and goods yard. Though one resident, Florie Dodgson, who used to live in the station master’s house, did spot one flaw in the model -
The Future of the Model
After being on the model railway exhibition circuit for many years, parts of the layout ( which in total is about 40 foot long ) are showing their age. Jamie plans to dismantle the layout and start on a new one of Lancaster Green Ayre Station, covering the same period and of course also the Midland Railway.
Because of the great interest in the model of Long Preston Station, Jamie offered to donate the station section of the layout to the village, if a home could be found for it. After some quick measurements of a large cupboard at one end of the Hall it was concluded that it could just fit into a central slice of this.
After subsequent negotiations between the Heritage Group and the Village Hall Committee it was agreed to proceed and the model was eventually installed in April 2011.