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The facts, Gibben Quarry: takes its name from Derek Gibbin who donated the layout to the club at the end of 2016. It was just a track on a baseboard and was going to be the start of a N gauge continental railway layout. We realised that he had more sidings etc. at the front than the small fiddle yard at the back, so track was relayed and electrics redone to use these sidings as part of a fiddle yard where engines / trains could be stabled whilst others were manoeuvred or ran through. It’s designed to show what can be done in a relatively small space using just one controller. A small team of members have been working on the layout during 2017 ready for its debut at The International N Gauge show in September. It is not meant to be a specific era, or even a specific place, as you can run steam or diesel locomotives, depending solely on their ability to go round a couple of tight curves. It is hoped it will inspire other modellers who don’t have the room we have for our other larger layouts.

Gibben Quarry

A Birds-Eye View of the Lay-out

Gibben Quarry, The History?  The firm of Gibben & Taike started life in late Victorian era as a small aggregates firm with a little hole in the ground next to the railway. It’s workers being from the nearby hamlet hadn’t far to travel,  the small industrial building between the railway and the quarry being its office and headquarters.

Early extraction was by horse and cart taken the short distance to the adjacent railhead and loaded into 4-wheeled stock hired from the railway company. This gave a very limited output and provided the company with a somewhat “hand to mouth” existence. However, the grand schemes of the Victorian era needed considerable aggregates so prices were buoyant and they survived into the Edwardian times.

As the political turmoil in Europe gathered pace, the firm faced its own problems. The quarry  had been in operation for a number of years and had progressively worked its way away from the railhead. The rail-borne tubs which had replaced the carts had been a success but now could no longer cope with demand and were life expired. The company faced a stark choice, expand and modernise or die.

The board considered many options and decided to raise funds and invest in a conveyer system from the extraction face to the railway with wagon loading facilities over its loading bay. Mr. Richard Sutcliffe had installed such a system in a number of coal mines and they had proved highly efficient and economical. His company would be approached to investigate the feasibility and financing of such a system.

Mechanisation worked and the company was able to continue, while  building and rebuilding after and during two World Wars kept the requirement for aggregate at a good level. However, all quarries have a limited life and this small one was reaching the end. It’s then minimal output and the reducing passenger numbers on the line would inevitably attract the attention of a certain ICI accountant…!                                                                                                          MPT

Construction:  As you can see from the far right there was nothing ground breaking in concept just the usual framing and ply top. The left picture shows initial trail of the projected plan. The two clips attached to the top were waiting for the back-scene to be applied when created. Derek had already begun creating the local infrastructure before the model had been wired and many happy hours were spent getting the “gubbins” in and working judging from the soldering, muttering and calls to deity from the kneeling position either under or next to the model. All good fun.