Merseyside Model Railway Society


S4 - Rockingham 1929 

A model of a fictitious West Riding community in 1929.  S4 scale 4mm to the foot; 18.83 mm P4 track. Terminus to fiddle yard - 24ft x 2ft (max). Rockingham has won a number of best layout awards in the last couple of years. Rockingham has now been retired to Ian's attic!

photos by Alisdair Macdonald

Welcome to the MMRS' S4/P4 layout
Rockingham 1929

built and donated to MMRS by Ian Clark; now retired and no longer available for exhibition

Rockingham depicts a small West Riding community in September 1929. We are in a time between the closing of the Great War and the Wall Street Crash (some six weeks away). A few things have change of course, the Midland and Great Central Railways gave way to the newly-formed LMS and LNER a few years ago; and only last year Barnsley and District Traction became Yorkshire Traction.

At the centre of the area modelled stands Rockingham Pottery; for a number of years the layout was exhibited under this name. The Rockingham works did exist, but were never connected to the railway system, the lines ending at Warren Vale Colliery, about a mile from the pottery.

Two of the pottery buildings are still extant and have been incorporated into the model. These are the 'Waterloo' kiln (strangely enough built in 1815) and the counting house (a cottage still inhabited when I last visited the site a few years ago). The remaining pottery buildings were drawn from photographs taken when the structures were in a derelict condition and a drawing on company letterhead (which I first saw in an exhibition at the museum in Stoke-on-Trent). The pottery is best know for its rather ornate porcelain and indeed two complete dinner services were produced for the Royal Houselhold.

The layout is an intricate web of fact and fiction; as the model has gradulaly progressed in an easterly direction my imagination has taken over more and more. At the western end of the layout is Rockingham High Street and its flourishing market, dominated by the 'White Heart Hotel' and the Yorkshire Penny Bank. This scene contains nearly a hundred figures (the number changes as some fall off in transit and are replaced by newcomers), many of whom have been re-clothed in period costume.

After leaving the pottery area trains (mainly goods with the occasional parcels and workers trains added for variety) pass along the back gardens of Wentworth Cottages. This group of five cottages once had gardens extending down to the Warren Brook; but the land-owner decided to benefit the community by selling most of the land to the railway companies, and now washing lines live cheek-by jowl with steam locomotives.

Ian Clark - February 2006

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  Last modified:  February 05, 2017