Beckenham and West Wickham MRC

Shellsea Harbour

Layout owner: Giles Barnabe
Scale: OO - standard gauge
Period: c.1926
Layout size: 5ft 7ins by 1ft

The imaginary town of Shellsea is situated on the South Coast, opposite Fayling Island, and has a station on the former LB&SCR line joining Brighton and Portsmouth. During the mid- Victorian era the island became a popular holiday destination, but there was an irritating two miles between the local station and the quayside from where the ferry sailed to Fayling. As the main line company was unwilling to build a branch line to serve the quay, local interests promoted and built a steam tramway to the harbour. The tramway remained independent at the railway grouping in 1923, and retains its unique flavour using elderly equipment, although from time to time small Southern Railway locomotives are hired when there is a locomotive shortage. As well as taking passengers to and from the harbour, the line also transports all the daily necessities for the island’s inhabitants, as well as serving the town’s commercial quay. The period modelled is the late 1920s.

The model is built on a folding baseboard, and was an entry in a competition to design a layout that could travel in an airline carry-on bag.