November 17, 2013

Tayming the inner Creggan

I grew up mostly in Ringwood East but early in 1983 my family moved closer in to the city to Balwyn. Realising the city wasn't far away, one day I went for a ride just to see how far I could get toward the city, weaving my way through the backstreets where possible to avoid heavy traffic. From memory I didn't make it the first time, but I did the next and many times afterwards, it becoming a regular Saturday or Sunday afternoon ride generally ending up at Spencer St station to watch the train movements. I still have a map marked with the route I usually took. Along the way I rode up a path and came across what for an East Ringwood boy seemed an apparition, a house of such interest, detail and fascination that I couldn't help but always pass by this place and stop there on my way to town. Here's the "house", "Tay Creggan"....
Picture: Google Street view with enhancement

Later I was to find it was actually an ex-house being near-completed by the gifted architect Guyon Purchas and passed through some hands before being purchased by the Baptist Church and made into their Stathcona Girls school. Today it is Heritage listed and recognised as an architectural item of some merit, built in the Arts & Crafts style of which I am very fond. None of these base facts means too much to me though. Rather Tay Creggan is a symbol of those times in life when you are confronted with the reality that there is an impressive and entirely different world that you knew nothing about and that you might aspire to get closer to.

So......thanks for staying with me, there is a point to all of the ride and this experience had a lot to do with why I model this section of railway. When it came to finding an appropriate building for one of the far corners of the layout, Tay Creggan was a not unsurprising choice. Given the distance from viewing and place it occupies though, this is not a building in the sense of the others that now inhabit Glenburn:

Construction is basic - cut and bent card mounted on styrene sheet:

While the fascia (incomplete above) of the building approximates the prototype, the shape of the building is entirely dictated by the space it occupies:
The building straddles one and a half of the Suburban storage sidings and as such has been kept narrow and indeed has only as much of the second side as will clear the pantographs. This will work on the layout though, as the typical viewing position is not that above (I was standing on my step ladder), but rather that below:

Work on Tay Creggan continues with roofing, detailing, weathering and myriad other tasks remaining to be done before final emplacement on the layout, however this view gives an idea how it will eventuate. Once I have completed this far corner I could probably turn my mind to finally starting to scenic the yard in the foreground including covering the ermmmm inspection pit....

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