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 RailSeptember 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
Railway ModellerJanuary and February 2019, Articles - Weatherbury Magna, a joint GWR/LSWR layout in 7mm scale
Whilst not stricly about Culham, the main GWR station buildings are based on those at Culham and the Old Ticket Office can be seen in several of the photos.
Models of Culham
Click or tap on any thumbnail to see a gallery of larger images of your chosen model
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.
Seen at the exhibition at Steam in Swindon in 2017, this large 7mm layout of a fictitious 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. We were approached by the team responsible for information which we were able to provide and were pleased that they also found our website helpful. 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 fourth picture was taken from a different vantage point at a show in Reading in 2018.
Two articles covering Weathbury Magna were included in the January and Febraury editions of Railway Modeller magazine in 2019. The ticket office can be seen in some of the photos and we also got a mention.
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.
Back in the early/mid 1980's a range of 4mm scale cast resin kits was produced under the 'City Streets' brand. Originally based in Kent it seems that this small business suddenly disappeared without trace. Included in their range was Culham ticket office. This example was made by Derek Grant for use on his outdoor 4mm scale railway and has weathered well over the past 30 years.
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 Porter's Room 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 Porter's Room.
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.
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 no longer be available as the producer, Brian Lewis, ceased production during 2018 and plans to stop trading altogether by the end of 2019. It should be no surprise if these buildings look familiar as these kits were used on Weatherbury Magna and the broad gauge layout by David and Sylvia White both seen above.
We simply couldn't resist making the '0' scale versions 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.