Ghylldale by John Varley

Ghylldale is an imaginary narrow gauge railway nestling in the North York Moors where the hills meet the North Sea Coast.  Here the steep sided, sinuous valleys have been an obstacle to transport for centuries.  Although standard gauge railways thread their way along Eskdale and Newtondale, some of the lesser known dales might well have been served by the narrow gauge. 

Let us imagine a small quay on the estuary of the River Rye.  The little railway which serves it, provides an outlet for timber, stone, wool and other produce.  Inward goods are in the form of coal, fertiliser, fish and all the necessities of life which the scattered communities of Ghylldale cannot produce for themselves.   

Ghylldale takes its name from the fictional village which, for many years appeared on the cover of “Dalesman” magazine.  I am indebted to the late Mr. Jos Armitage, (IONICUS) who created Ghylldale, for allowing me to use the title.

The quayside was made using DAS modelling compound, spread thinly onto a base of MDF or thick card.  Whilst still soft, the paving cobbles and the quay wall were impressed using a piece of plastic strip and a small screwdriver.  

The station trackplan has recently been modified and extended to accommodate the Peco Lynton & Barnstaple coaches.  Under development is an electric tramway and water mill.  

Buildings, typical of the Yorkshire coast and moors are being added all the time.  The “Birch Hall Inn” is a Bachmann replica of its namesake in  Beckhole near Goathland.  The “Central Stores” is based on a shop and cottages at Hutton-le-Hole.  The low relief cottages behind the pub are a mirror image of “The Stocks” at Robin Hood’s Bay.

I am grateful to Darryl Foxwell who built the boats for allowing me to use them on the layout.  

Most of the locomotives are based, some more loosely than others, upon prototypes built by famous  Leeds engineers such as  Manning Wardle, Hunslet Engine Co.  and Hudswell Clarke. 

 The occasional visitor will appear from time to time.  Amongst these, are models owned by other  members of the 009 Society who attend exhibitions with me.

I began building “Ghylldale” in 1995 to entertain my then little daughter.  Thanks to the help and encouragement of fellow 009 Society members, it developed into a successful, prize-winning exhibition layout.  It has appeared at model railway shows all over the North of England, as well as specialist Narrow Gauge exhibitions and open days.

It has also attended major hobby fairs in Bremen, Leipzig and Stuttgart.  

In 2015 it appeared at the Great Central Railway Model Event, and in 2017, together with Ian Drummond’s “Waterhulme”  it celebrated 20 years of exhibitions at Narrow Gauge North.

This layout is not available for exhibitions at this time.

Ghylldale - by John Varley
Ghylldale – by John Varley