I had already built two previous 3mm scale models, which were both fictional, and went to many exhibitions in the North West. I really wanted to build a model of a real location, so my thoughts went to Allhallows and I started work on it in late 2005. It was designed to be an exhibition layout, 25ft long by 2ft wide. It really received the kick start it needed, when I was showing some members of my model railway club (in Leyland) pictures of the station and the beautiful four-
It was first planned to be portable, some 24ft long and in 4ft sections to fit in my car and go to exhibitions. But a major change in my circumstances involved a house move and I now have a dedicated model railway room where Allhallows is set up as a permanent layout. A large amount of research was necessary even for a small branch like Allhallows. I was fortunate to have in my possession the BR track diagrams, which gave lengths of platforms, sidings etc and the BR signal diagrams, which also showed the interlocking.
So the first job was building the baseboards, using my usual method: 3x1 inch wood frames and a top of 7mm ply. On top of the plywood I use half-
Next was the track. In 3mm scale this means making it yourself. I used printed-
Information of the structures came next. I bought the two essential books for the line — Mitchell and Smith’s Branch Line to Allhallows, published by Middleton Press, and The Hundred of Hoo Railway by Brian Hart (Wild Swan Publications). Research did not end there; I also trawled through all my railway books and magazines, seeking out photographs of Allhallows and Stoke Junction. I also searched the Internet and found a few photos there as well.
I found that I had to be careful with some articles, especially in magazines. One in particular, in a popular railway magazine, had an article on the branch with one of the photos showing a C class on a rake of Mkl coaches in a weed-
There is an excellent 1956 track and structure location plan in Brian Hart’s book, which was very useful indeed. I built the platform at Allhallows out of balsa wood with the SR concrete sides being resin castings from 3SMR (www.3smr.co.uk). The long canopy was constructed from Plastruct items. The station buildings and platform signal box made out of card. I worked out the sizes from the photographs and the station plan.
The only concession I made to the model in respect of the original, was the length of the platform at Allhallows. Due to space restriction and the overall look, I had to shorten the platform to about half of its real length. Surprisingly, in model form it looks right. I was fortunate with the turntable, as the PECO model for 3mm scale is the exact same size and very nearly the same type as Allhallows. The goods shed at Allhallows was an ugly affair, never used and demolished in 1951. The platelayers' huts are resin models of the one at Allhallows by Unit Models (www.unitmodels.com)
The large public house behind the station building still stands and as far as I know is still trading. I was therefore able to photo this from all angles and get decent measurements. The biggest problem was finding out what colour it was painted in the 1950s when it was a Charrington’s pub. The Internet was no help but through a 3mm colleague, I was eventually able to get information from a friend of his who had worked for Charrington’s brewery.
Stoke Junction was a bit more difficult. Not many photographs exist and none of the front of the station house. Indistinct views of the track-
Beyond Stoke Junction on the Hoo Junction side stands an upright freezer, which is not to be moved! So Just beyond the station, li have had to build scenic break in the shape of a yellow brick overbridge, of which there are a few on the line, but not near Stoke Junction. Beyond this lies the fiddle yard in the shape of a seven-