Conisborough Curate´s Model Railway Hobby

September 1939

Mexborough & Swinton Times, September 16, 1939

Conisborough Curate´s Model Railway Hobby

Model railway trains hold eternal attraction for the male, both young and old, and the Rev. Fred Herrington of Crookhill Road, Conisborough, curate of Conisborough Parish Church, is no exception. He has rolling stock to be envied. Look, at his equipment and within a few minutes you will want to try controlling his signals or setting the miniature points for his expresses

About three years ago Mr. Herrington decided to indulge in a model railway hobby and purchased a 20 volt engine and a section of line. Since then he has been busily building up his railway and has now three electric engines and eight carriages.

“I once tried the railway out on the lawn and the lines covered its whole length”, he said “but owing to the bumps and hollows of the surface the engine had a tough time of it pulling the laden trucks up and down, and I brought it inside again”.

“The chief snag with a set of this size is finding a room which is large enough to accommodate everything without making the scene look cramped and at the same time finding a room which is not used sufficiently for living purposes to merit its constant cleaning, because that means of course that the track sections, the model stations, the signals and the points have to be dismantled and it is a big job handling anything like that”.

“My brother, Mr. Wilfred Herrington is rather clever at making model tunnels from any kind of little boxes, and when all the equipment has been placed in position and the room darkened the scene is very real. For the benefit of the youngsters at the St. Andrew´s Mission Boys Club we use, a Bradshaw´s railway guide and go on imaginary journeys between the different stations. We reckon once round the room as a mile, and fifty or sixty circuits are made in he journey. When the boys get hold of it, however, I don´t have much of a look in except to say “Take your foot of that line, or utter other admonishments. In their enthusiasm the boys are apt to get a little rough with the fragile little engines.

“The lines can be fixed so that trains are relieved of wagons at certain points and then come into contact with them again after reversing and shunting. Signals can be set so that they can be operated from a distance. Points can be so set that they divert a train on to a siding but the best effect of all was an experiment I once tried, I fixed a number of fairy lights so that they lit up in various colours when the train passed over a certain section of line and made contact with a strip of metal opposite the lamps. The effect of a darkened room was wonderful.

“A person can control the trains from another room by means of a length of flex and a control box specially fitted up for the purpose. There are contacts placed in half circle on the box and as the pointer moves from point to point it increases or decreases the supply of current as desired. If the train is brought to a standstill and the pointer is moved in the opposite direction the train will reverse.”

Mr. Herrington hopes shortly to obtain more signals and points which can be controlled from a switchboard at will, and when that happens his railway will add to its ever increasing fascination.


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