David Batstone – Rowthorne
Rowthorne is a picturesque village in Derbyshire on the edge of Hardwick estate. It’s railway was one of many in the area built to serve local collieries and today many of these routes have been turned into footpaths.
As you walk to the Eastern end of Rowthorne trail you come to the disused colliery of Pleasley where the winding shed and head stock are still present and where there is a well preserved museum which you can visit on Sundays for just a donation. The walk will take you through some lovely scenery of all different landscapes, perfect for any railway enthusiast in a slightly wistful mood.
This particular line has one historic fact worth noting which is that it was built in the 1880’s, the owner of Hardwick Hall, Duke of Devonshire, insisted a private station was built for him about a mile from the hall. It is not known if the station was ever used, but by consulting a nearby information board, it is relatively easy to determine the site of this extravagance.
The route came under the aegis of the London Midland & Scottish Railway and then British Railways London Midland Region, and it is this period that the railway is modelled in the 1960’s.
This small branch-line station on a mineral line on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border would have originally had a minimal passenger service. Goods facilities and passing loop available.
This OO Gauge layout was originally constructed by Derek Gelsthorpe to whom David shall always be grateful for his excellent railway modelling skills. Since ownership of the layout passed to David, it has been re-wired for DCC operation and additional sidings are being added to allow a wider variety of trains to be run to keep the viewer interested.
Rowthorne has been exhibited at the May 2014 Bristol Model Railway Exhibition in Thornbury.