This page was updated @08 February 2016

Welcome to my Web Site. I have tried to include items that I am interested in, that are not normally seen on the web, or in books.

Scalefour Society

EM Gauge Society

Clutton Village Homepage

Index Page


New on this site

  1. Links tidied up and Exhibition dates revised till 2018

Personal Interests

Modelling railways is a hobby that provides me with a lot of enjoyment. It also develops skills that can be used with effect elsewhere.

What skills are these you ask? Surely I am just playing trains, sending them round in circles, no skill in that. Ah, but look at skills like carpentry, electrics, mechanical engineering, artistry, the list could go on. But you say "it all comes out of boxes". No such luck for I seek to achieve that little bit more from my models. I model to the P4 standards for 4mm modelling. For those with extensive magazine collections, have a look at Model Railway News for August 1966. Since those days, modelling has come a long way. Have a look at the Scalefour Society web site or EM Gauge Society. What’s in it for me? If I say that a consistent set of standards means that I can take my models to any other P4 layout in the world, built to the same set of standards and it will run as well there as at home. You can’t say that about so called universal 00 standards.

But modelling goes beyond the standards, for I have seen very authentic layouts that were made to mainstream standards. But they had atmosphere, or for me, when there were no trains in sight, they stated what they represented. This is that elusive artistry, and why I have chosen to model my layout in considerable depth.

Research is a considerable part of it and I suppose I am fortunate in that I started to be interested in Clutton station in the mid 70s. Even though the site is still relatively intact there are threats at present.  But in my research I have had considerable problems with certain areas. Books are all very well, but you often have to look at the real thing. And when I started looking, the track and buildings had been removed only 7 years before.

What is this site about?

Essentially I have tried to write a site directed at helping those modellers who live abroad. I never cease to be amazed by the standard of models from many thousands of miles away. What is it like for people who can only see British railways through pictures and drawings. There are a lot of gaps in published literature. I have pored over pictures, given up and had to look at the real thing. I have concentrated on the areas that interest me of course with relevance to my model.

There are copyright problems with pictures, so I have tried to be careful in my choice of photos and drawings. I have not copied pictures from books that are currently available. Where photos are not mine, I have tried to indicate this.

The Project

CLUTTON station is a personal project by Tim Venton. It is built to P4 (18.83mm gauge, 4mm scale) standards in a space 24x7'. Clutton is a passing station on the Great Western branch from Bristol to Frome between Pensford and Hallatrow.  I have set the period as post 1948 BR WR but pre 1956 when the last station master retired. I will say that I have had to compress the model from approximately 21' long down to 16' (of station area) to get it into the available space. I worked on the premise when I started it, that if in the future I moved, I could rely on getting a typical garage space approximately 16'6" by 7'. As such, Clutton could fit in there, with the doors open. Well I did move and was fortunate to obtain a garage of considerable size (for Britain), kicking the car out gives me a space some 23' by 17'. The layout will just fit in diagonally. A plan of the layout is on the model page. This should show that the layout is continuous, with the fiddle yard around the back. For operation, the operators stand behind the layout, but the lever frame operator sits out the front. Communication between them is via block bells. A map of the village and station can be found at the Somerset County Council site. A picture of an electric key token can be seen at Chris Osment's site. Details of the village and its attractions are on its home page.


It's a big project. Baseboards are built of stressed plywood, supported on a ladder sub frame. This means that the 24' of layout is supported on 5 trestles. Track work comprises individual plastic chairs glued onto plywood sleepers. I may add some details of track construction, when time permits. All signals, including the ground signals and the running line points, are worked by the interlocked lever frame, which represents the actual frame in Clutton Signal Box. The main signals even bounce (when they feel like it). The single main lines are controlled by representations of the electric key token instruments. These are interconnected with the lever frame, and used to control the electrical circuits that powered the trains.

A few years ago I adopted DCC (Digital Command Control).  Setting aside the "gimmicks" of double heading, banking etc, what DCC brings for me is route setting in the fiddle yard.  At last it is possible to sit down to operate the layout.  I can also substantially increase the capacity of the fiddle yard and its flexibility in operation.  It is also possible to tweak the low speed running, and set the maximum speeds.  So passenger trains run at 40mph while freight trains run at a maximum of 20mph.

Current thinking on the engine front is for can motors driving separate gearboxes mounted on the axle via sets of universal joints. Split axles/sprung chassis are a must. I used to use Portescap motors but as time has gone on, they have been removed from engines as they go through shops. These days there are only Mashima/Canon motors in use.

Goods stock is virtually all compensated, though I am finding that Bachman wagons straight out of the box, change to Branchlines/Maygib all metal wheels and new couplings stay on my track very well.. Coaches are a mixed bag, though after some early exhibitions where the super duper sprung coaches stayed at home because they would not run round the layout I adopted a more prosaic method of using standard plastic bogies with Branchlines nickel silver wheels.  Coaches run in sets using Keen delta shaped couplings.  They run very well.



I thought I would add some notes on my photographs. I started taking photos of railways in 1970, initially on an Ilfomatic. Some photos from this are on this site. I progressed to 35mm, ending up in 1978 with an Olympus OM1. More recently into the 90s, advances in 35mm compacts meant I tended to use a Yashica T4 for a lot of pictures. It is a very portable camera, takes superb pictures, problem being there is so little to take photos of these days. Most of my photos up to 20 years ago were taken on black and white, I went onto colour print, and then rediscovered colour slides.  Main ingredients I find for good photos are sharp lenses, and getting the light in the right place.

I have acquired a digital compact camera.  It is useful for model photos, with its extraordinary depth of field. However, relying on one format for photography can mean problems, so I still use 35mm slide film occasionally as a back up. Digital does get backed up onto several copies, but you never know.

It's the camera in your pocket that gets the pictures, as Galen Rowles said F8 and be there. So I haven't been encouraged to get a DSLR yet.

The pictures in this site have mostly been selected from my files. There is a mixture of colour/black and white. Some of them I will admit are not as sharp as they could be, they were taken a long time ago.

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You can send me an e-mail at



Unfortunately Spam mail has started to reach me via the web site, please replace the + sign with an @ sign, and the dashes with dots




Somerset County Council

An extensive site with local details.

Clive Williams Station Photo Index

A good starting point, saves hours of trudging through magazines link working 12/13

Historical Model Railway Society

The HMRS website

Clutton Village

The 'Homepage' for the village, with some photo's, stories, local gossip etc

Building History

Dating buildings and mapping

Bodleian Library Map Room


Economic History resources

Of use

British Car Webs

Could be useful, but too many broken links

English weights & measures


Historic Maps

The older OS series maps

Industrial Railway Society


Mainly Trains

Online shopping - dangerous

Church plans

Very useful for modelling purposes

Kidderminster Museum

Museum and photofairs

Railfan Users

Very extensive, but unindexed photographs site

RailWest Home Page

Chris Osment's site

Severn Valley Railway S&T

A very good site for signalling details

The Signal Box Home Signal

A very useful site

The Titfield Thunderbolt

Simon Castens' bookshop in Larkhall, Bath

UK Heritage Railways

Links to the preservationist's sites.

Irail links Site

A useful links site

GWR Modeling site

Some useful information



Exhibitions etc

I attend a maximum of three shows per year, the future bookings are:

Trainwest (Corsham) April 2016

Railex May 2016

Tolworth 2016

Scaleforum 2017

ExpoEM 2018

Railwells 2018 Will be Clutton's final public show

Watch this space for announcements about further exhibition appearances.

Previously at:

Railwells 1991,

Railwells 1993

Railwells 1994

Westinghouse 1994

Railwells 1997

Railwells 2001

Scaleforum 2004

Clutton (youth club) 2004

Clutton (youth club) 2005

York 2006

Railex 2006

Expo EM 2007

GW Expo 2007

Warley 2007

Peterborough 2008

Harrogate 2009

Birmingham (Redditch) 2009

Stafford 2010 (Best in show)

Middlesborough 2010

Cardiff 2010

Southampton 2011(Best in show)

Ally Pally 2011

Scaleforum 2011 (Ken York Trophy)

Worcester 2012

ExpoEM 2012 (Peter Denny Cup) 25th show

St Albans 2013 (Dennis Moore Cup)

Scalefour North 2013 (Walton Evans Trophy)

Wigan 2013

Epsom 2014

Woking 2014

Utrecht 2015

Magazines & DVDs

You can read about Clutton in British Railway Modelling Vol 14, No 10 (January 2007) and Model Railway Journal 163, Train Miniature No 147 (French).  

It also appears on the Railway Channel DVD No 1 now available on Youtube, and the Steam Era Model Railway layouts Volume 6 by There are a number of videos on Youtube, just search on Clutton.

Whitchurch appears briefly on the DCC Expert video

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