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I suppose it’s a familiar story. My dad bought me a wind-up clockwork toy train - I believe it was Hornby - for Christmas when I was 3. As Dad was in the Army we moved about a lot and that train stayed with me for several years. I also remember going on holidays to Bude in Cornwall on steam trains in the early 1950s.
A trip to Cyprus intervened but on return I was given a Hornby-Dublo 3-rail Duchess of Montrose set and it was put on a 6ft x 4ft table in a spare bedroom.
Unfortunately we couldn’t set it up in our next few houses and so it lived in various lofts for ages.
I got married, had a daughter & a son then, when the latter was about 10, I bought him a Hornby set with Zero-1 control. We built a layout round his bedroom wall and expanded the stock over the next few years until he went to University. I changed job and the layout was set aside.
At that point I took up model engineering and built a steam loco in 7 1/4” gauge and a battery-operated Class 08 in 3 1.2” gauge.
Following retirement and downsizing, the lathe, milling machine etc have made way for much smaller projects.
So now I model in Z, N and 009 using both analogue and DCC control.
I’m currently the webmaster of Silverfox DCC MRC based in north Milton Keynes, a member of MERG and also of the N Gauge Society.