Wel­come

Model Rail (UK) - - Welcome - Richard Fos­ter Ed­i­tor

I’ve al­ways been ob­sessed with the slate quarry at Di­nor­wic and its as­so­ci­ated nar­row gauge rail­ways. As we’re on the cusp of 2019, that means that it’ll be 50 years ago next sum­mer that the quarry closed for good. While I don’t con­done tres­pass­ing, those in­trepid ex­plor­ers who have gone the ‘wrong side of the fence’ into the old quarry work­ings have re­turned with sim­ply fas­ci­nat­ing im­ages of aban­doned build­ings, full of de­cay­ing equip­ment, and with boots and coats still in the ca­bans where the men left them half a cen­tury ago. Di­nor­wic quarry is one of those places that makes me wish I’d been born ear­lier. I’d love to have seen it in its hey­day. Or would I? Would I have ac­tu­ally wanted to see the moun­tain­side alive with men, dump­ing slate waste on to the Welsh land­scape, the air thick with dan­ger­ous slate dust and the ever-present risk of death? Is it the fact that ev­ery­thing’s been aban­doned and left to rot that ac­tu­ally gives the quarry its al­lure? Ei­ther way, Ju­lian Bir­ley’s 7mm lay­out man­ages, in a com­par­a­tively small space, to give us a small glimpse into this long-for­got­ten world. It’s easy to for­get that thou­sands of men were em­ployed in such haz­ardous oc­cu­pa­tions, from coal mines in Scot­land to dig­ging out tin from un­der the sea, miles away from the Cor­nish coast. Their work con­trib­utes to the story of our rail­ways, but their ef­forts and sac­ri­fice de­serve our re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion.

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