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Building up steam...

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Anne Diamond | 12:46 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2012

A friend dropped off a copy of "Railway Modeller" for me in the studio last week, because he'd heard me say that I have always wanted to own a model railway - ever since I was a little girl. I didn't want to play with Sindy and Tressy dolls, I wanted a railway layout. My cousin Peter had one, with a locomotive that pumped out smoke from its chimney. I used to stand and stare with envious eyes.

Now, looking through the pages of the railway magazine, I have started to realise that it's never too late - and that I could still realise my childhood dream. It's not just a world for youngsters (in fact, anything but...), it's an obsession shared by thousands of older people who can at last afford the time and money it needs.

What's more, it's not just for the seriously nerdy. Yes, there are clearly hundreds of men in lofts surrounded by acres of miniature trains and layouts in ultra-accurate detail, carbon copies of The Real Thing. But there are also people who delight in building fictitious villages, made-up railway companies, and even fantasy islands!

So I'm working on a villagey landscape loosely based on the seven villages of Malvern (in Worcestershire where I was brought up) with a GWR railway livery, a backdrop of the Narnian mountains, and a mainline for the Hogwart's Express.

So far, I've made a carboard non scale model of what the layout could look like. Watch this space.



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