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Railway model of Douglas station to go on public display

(11 December 2019) An intricate model of Douglas Railway Station has arrived on the Island with help from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporter’s Association was gifted the 4×1 metre model by Association member, former Island resident and railway enthusiast Michael Radcliffe, and will be exhibited around the Island at various locations. The model is set on Senior Race Day in 1961 and features Douglas Station, the Isle of Man Steam Railway and the TT Races at Quarterbridge.

The Steam Packet Company assisted members of the Association to travel off-Island with a van to collect the model and bring it home.

Michael, who now lives in South Staffordshire, explained: ‘When I was a young lad we would get a school holiday on Senior Race Day. In 1961, rather than watch the races, I spent the day travelling on the various railway systems. In the ensuing years I spent a lot of time working off-Island and on regular trips home I witnessed the reduction in size of the Douglas Station complex.

‘During this period I fell in and out of railway modelling. It was not until I found a small number of Isle of Man Steam Railway engine and rolling stock kits had become available that the bud of an idea sprouted, thanks very much to the encouragement and help from fellow railway enthusiast Robin Winter. Realising that very few people would know what Douglas Station looked like back in 1961 became the motivation behind the model.

‘With that in mind we now have what you see today. Limited space at home is the reason behind the move, so I’m grateful to the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporter’s Association and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for coming to the rescue – the model will shortly be on display in its rightful home.’

Bill Cubbon, Chairman of the Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporter’s Association, said: ‘Michael is a highly skilled model maker and we are honoured to receive this kind donation, it’s wonderful to look back on how Douglas Station looked almost 60 years ago. The model will be on public exhibition shortly at Hills Meadow Halt, Hills Meadow so keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates – it’s well worth a look.’

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘We were pleased to help Isle of Man Steam Railway Supporter’s Association in bringing the model to the Island for public display. We’re sure it will bring many people joy and give Islanders a glimpse of how Douglas Station once looked.’