Eastwell and Other Layouts
A layout originally called Sherdington was started under the umbrella of the Ilford and West Essex MRC by the EM Gauge Society members of the club. Subsequently it was renamed Eastwell.
There was a permanent split for the I&WE MRC in 1987 following the premature death of Alan Browning. This split created the "East London Finescale Group" or the ELFs who joined the Chiltens Model Railway Association (CMRA).
Because of lack of space the existing plans for Eastwell was never completed. Subsequently Eastwell Station was also extracted from the larger layout by excluding the exchange sidings and the crusher plant scenes - and exhibited attached to the storage sidings between 1984 and 2001. This now resides in a purpose built garden shed. The exchange yard known as Ropeway Sidings was cannibalised to extend the Eastwell Ironstone Company layout, which itself was extended several times under the management of Paul James. One baseboard of Ropeway Sidings - the Ironworks building was given by the IWEMRC to the Rutland Railway Museum, although we are not aware that it is on public display. Two of four last baseboards made eventually became part of Eastwell Ironstone Company ..
When he died Alan Browning was building a layout called Coleorton No2 - a colliery. This was exhibited several times 1988-1989 as an incomplete layout but did not perform too well and was retired for modifications which have still to be completed. This now resides in the Peterborough area.
The Eastwell Ironstone Company layout was exhibited between 1984 and 2002. After Alan Browning's death it was moved to Hereford where it now resides in a purpose built trailer.
The AMBIS_Engineering range was developed from the needs of the Eastwell group layouts which were not satisfied by the then available products. That theme is being continued to support other layouts under construction.
Following the move to Norfolk a small experimental layout called Newton Gate was refurbished for use at exhibitions. This is being managed by the Northern Twig of the ELFs.
Published References to Eastwell
1) Model Railway Constructor, May 1980, "For Sherdington Change to Eastwell"
2) British Railway Modelling, May 1997, "Eastwell, not so much a layout more a way of life"
3) Model Railways, August and September 1987, "Mini Eastwell"
4) British Railway Modelling, August 1994, "Eastwell Ironstone Company"
Also the book by PSL "Adding Realism to Your Model Railway" Michael Andress, 1988 uses a number of photographs of Eastwell on pages 37, 39, 49, 86 and 92.
A single photograph of Ropeway Sidings in the booklet by British Railway Modelling called “A Century of Progress” by Bob Essery (1999)