Culham station in model form
Culham station and the Old Ticket Office in particular has featured both in railway modelling magazines and in model form over the years. Here we list those magazine articles we know about, and feature some miniature incarnations.
Our website contains much historical information of use to a potential modeller. Additionally, a number of PDF files have been developed when making our own models of the ticket office and other buildings at Culham. These can be accessed by visiting the 'Make your own Culham buildings' page under the 'BITS & BOBS' menu tab. Photographs of our own models feature towards the bottom of this page
Culham in the Model Press
Railway ModellerMay 1974, Article On the broad gauge, early GWR architecture
Photos and plans of the Ticket Office at Culham
Railway ModellerJuly 1974, further notes and photos from a reader on Culham station
Model Railway JournalNo 21 1988, Article Culham Goods Shed
Photos and drawings of the Goods Shed at Culham as modelled for Pendon Museum
Model RailSept 2000, Article The Editor visits Culham Station
Photos and article of the station at Culham, then and now
Railway ModellerApril 2015, Article Timber Tracks Station Building
Photos and article showing the construction of a wooden kit for the Ticket Office at Culham
British Railway ModellingFebruary 2018, Covermount dvd
Visit to the Old Ticket Office and thence to Pendon museum by Phil Parker and Andy York
Models of Culham
Click or tap on any thumbnail to see a gallery of larger images of your chosen model
Pendon Parva - Pendon Museum
All photos ©Pendon Museum, www.Pendonmuseum.com
Just a few miles down the road from the station at Culham is the famous Pendon Museum in Long Wittenham.The main exhibit (in terms of size) is that of the Vale of White Horse circa 1930. It is not a model of a real location, but rather it aims to portray and preserve the essence of the Vale with very accurate and detailed models of actual buildings set in a representative landscape. The imaginary village of Pendon Parva is served by the GWR main line and boasts an impressive village station and facilities.
Whilst the station layout is fictional, the Ticket Office and Waiting Shelter opposite are based upon those originally at Culham. The Goods shed too is exactly as would have been found at Culham, with one bit of artisic licence. In order for it to fit in with the fictional station layout it is in fact modelled as a mirror image of the original. In 1988 its constructon was the subject of an article in issue 21 of Model Railway Journal.
Other buildings in the group include, as in real life, the Railway Inn, adjacent cottages and the brick road bridge together with the original covered footbridge over the tracks.
It is pleasing to find a model of Culham in broad gauge days. This superb example by David and Sylvia White is built to 7mm scale and aims to show Culham as it was in about 1860, just before its conversion to standard gauge. The method of broad gauge track construction can be seen to advantage.
As seen here in 2017 it is a work in progress and will eventually grow to include more of the station, but already features the Old Ticket Office and the road overbridge. Just to the left of the first image a carriage can be seen waiting, perhaps ready to return to Nuneham House having brought someone down to catch the London train. The footbridge is a beautiful model in its own right but one would not have been seen at Culham until the early 20th century. Of course, artistic licence means that this doesn't matter in the slightest.
Wooden kits - Timbertracks
All photos ©Timbertracks, www.Timbertracks.co.uk
Produced in 4mm and 7mm scale by Timbertracks, these superb wooden kits of the Old Ticket Office and the original waiting shelter on platform 1 caught our attention. Construction and painting of the Ticket Office was the subject of a detailed article in the April 2015 edition of Railway Modeller. This range of kits will soon cease to be available as the producer, Brian Lewis, plans to retire at the end of 2018.
Seen at the exhibition at Steam in Swindon in 2017, this large 7mm layout of a West Country GWR station in 1920/30 uses Culham as the inspiration for the main station buildings. It is intended to include interior detail in the Old Ticket Office, and the wooden floorboards can already be seen through the open Waiting Room door. Just as in real life, the inset postbox is installed to the side of the doorway. The Waiting Shelter, whilst based on that originally at Culham, has been upgraded and now sits on a wide island platform.
The fifth picture was taken from a different vantage point at a show in Reading in 2018. Work has been suspended on the interior of the ticket office as all efforts are reportedly being concentrated on completing an extension to the layout in readines for future shows.
Bespoke scratchbuilt model - Kirtley model buildings
All photos ©Kirtley Models, www.Kirtleymodels.co.uk
Amongst the many beautiful models produced by Kirtley Model Buildings is this 1/32nd scale, Gauge 1, model of the Old Ticket office photographed in 2009. A visit to their website is highly recommended as they produce not only bespoke buildings but also a range of papers, signs and books. Their model of Watlington station building is superb.
4mm scale scratch built model
Unknown modeller and photographer
Finally, here is a picture of a 4mm scale scratch built ticket office which we were sent in early 2017. The station has become an island terminus and also acquired a red telephone box.
Our own models of Culham buildings
The first 'kit' which we produced was of course a model of the Old Ticket Office itself. It took several attempts to get the layout of the walls and slated roof right, and the chimneys were quite a challenge even in 4mm scale. We hope you agree that the effort was well worth while.
This model was made without the forecourt valance but we have produced an alternative sheet which has a valance all round. It is not clear when the forecourt valance was removed. It can be seen in photographs from 1911 and is shown on an official 'As Existing' drawing of the ticket office from 1935 but it had definitely gone by 1975. So we have covered both bases.
Whilst it has long been demolished, there are enough photographs to give an idea what this building looked like. The building was originally provided with a flattish overall lead roof which can be seen in various older photographs and drawings. Sometime prior to the late 1950's this was replaced with a corrugated tin roof with a slightly steeper pitch. Both options are included in our construction sheets.
Originally consisting of an open central waiting area with a Ladies' Cloakroom at the Didcot end and a Gents' at the other it differed from that illustrated in the drawings from 1843 as available from the Network Rail Corporate Archive. A more accurate picture is given by their 'As Existing' drawings from 1935 which show the central portion to have been infilled with a wooden wall above a stone course. Incorperating two windows and a double entrance door this formed an enclosed waiting room which presumably, even when open, always had a fireplace as there are two chimney pots on the chimney stack. The other fireplace would have served the Ladies' cloakroom, gentlemen not being afforded such comfort.
Our model is therefore a 'best guess', given the limited reference material available. We are however pleased with the finished result.
Nobody seems to have made models of the buildings at Culham in 'N' scale. We thought we would have a go by scaling the '00' sheets, with the ticket office being first. The chimneys were very fiddly to make, but having experimented a bit with the larger kit they proved to be fairly straightforward. Some of the brick overlays were left off as they proved too small to handle, but it doesn't detract from the finished article.
The actual model is only 9cm end to end, 11.5cm with the canopy, so it proved difficult to light and photograph with the colours not looking as vibrant as on the '00' model. Clicking on a thumbnail will reveal larger versions of the images which, on a laptop or PC, will display at twice life-size or more. Close examination will show that the forecourt valance has been included in this version of the kit. This was really to make life a little easier as it gives a bit more material to fold and glue.
There was effectively more room to work with when laying out the A4 sheet for the 'N' scale model, so we were able to put all the brick walls into a continuous strip with a bit extra at each end to fold under. The wood infill centre section could then be glued behind the brick ends highlighting the effect of it being a later addition. We think the first photo shows this to advantage. Maybe we'll have a rethink with the '00' scale walls one day.
To be a bit different, we built this 'N' scale model with the later corrugated tin roof. The chimney having to be cut to suit the pitch of the roof.
We were pleased to be invited to run a stand at the 2018 Oxford and District MRC exhibition. One special feature of their shows is that they include a 'show within a show' devoted to the diminutive 'Z' gauge. We therefore decided to do our bit towards this and have a go at making the Old Ticket Office in 'Z' scale. Again we used our sheets, but rather than produce specials in the right size we simply scaled the '00' and 'N' sheets when printing them out.
In this scale the chimneys proved a bit too much of a challenge to make on the diagonal, being in fact slightly thinner than a matchstick. Whilst you can't quite see them, the model is complete with canopy roof beams and supporting brackets. To give an idea of the relative sizes these two photographs show the '00', 'N' and 'Z' scale models grouped together.
We simply couldn't resist making the Timber Tracks '0' scale models of the Old Ticket Office and Down Platform building whilst they were still available, so here are the results of our efforts. Whilst the kits are not entirely accurate in a number of aspects, and we admit to making a few mistakes whilst making them, the results are really pleasing. They were made 'as supplied' and look splendid in their 'raw' state, so much so that we are not going to paint them but leave them as can be seen here.
Since these photographs were taken we have added glazing (frosted where applicable) and cast brass door knobs. The chimney pots supplied with the Down building kit were white metal castings but, as can be seen, we replaced them with ones which we turned from wood dowel.