Wild Swan Books

Geoff Williams' Aylesbury LNWR

Researching & Modelling the Prototype
Bob Williams

Softback  -  120 pages  -  £24.95


Geoff Williams was born in Great Eastern Railway territory in 1913, and developed a keen interest in railways from an early age. By 1919 he had a model railway he could lay out on the floor, which featured an LNWR liveried Bing locomotive. Having established a work and family life, Geoff returned to model railways after the birth of his first son Bob and in 1955 discovered the attractive old station at Aylesbury High Street. This chance discovery set Geoff on to a quest to record, research and ultimately recreate the scene in miniature, which resulted in two models of the station.

This book, written by his son Bob, recounts in detail the two models of Aylesbury that Geoff built, including the methods and materials he used and the rolling stock and locomotives he created. From the early 1960's Geoff worked on the final version of Aylesbury, having sold the first to Pat Whitehouse, and it this very fine model that forms the core of this book. Built to EM standards, it was ground breaking in many ways, not least in the effective use of perspective modelling to create a very convincing backdrop to the railway scene in a very limited space. Geoff died in 1998 with the model substantially complete and since then the layout has happily been acquired and restored by Tim Peacock and the Risborough and District Model Railway Club. The culmination of both their and Geoff's work was exhibited at the 2016 "Railex" show in Stoke Mandeville, which was quite an achievement, especially given that the layout had originally been permanently built into the loft of the family home.

This book is fully illustrated with extensive photographs, plans and sketches, including a detailed new scale drawing of the station in 2mm scale, prepared by Steve Phillips from the original and frail LNWR drawings. Split into two sections, the first part of the book covers the building and restoration of the model, while the second half covers the research that went into creating it, including site photographs, maps, historic documents and sketches made by Geoff himself. Although Geoff only modelled the station at Aylesbury, this section of the book covers the whole branch including Marston Gate station, Mentmore Crossing and Cheddington where it joined the main line.

The book features full signalling details, comprehensive photographic coverage of all related structures, together with extensive information on the trains that used the branch, their sources of traffic and the rolling stock used. The book also contains a wealth of detail on numerous aspects of the LNWR and forms an excellent companion volume to Bill Simpson’s The Aylesbury Railway from Oxford Publishing in 1989, 150 years after the line had opened.

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