Nictun Borrud was born when a member went into the Club storage shed one night and came out carrying a sheet of un-braced chipboard with some OO Gauge finescale track stuck to it. This sheet had been rescued from the loft of deceased member whose house was being cleared ahead of being sold. A small crew set to work and have turned this sheet of chipboard into a very fine layout.
The fiction surrounding a number of the Club’s 00 layouts is that the Meon Valley line achieved its intended potential and became a secondary main line of some note serving the resort that was supposed to grow up between Portsmouth and Southampton along the northern shore of The Solent; it would also have served as a diversionary route for trains to both these cities. Nictun Borrud is a part of this fiction; in the run-up to D-Day there was a need to hold a number of very high level meetings at or close by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Forces in Europe (SHAFE) and one of the proposals put forward to facilitate this by the US Army Transportation Corps was to build a branch line from the Meon Valley Line to somewhere close to the village of Southwick where SHAFE was located in Southwick House. In the event, the meeting actually took place aboard the LMS Royal Train which was parked in the goods yard at Droxford for the duration – but why let reality get in the way of a good fiction?
Nictun Borrud is a fairly close representation of what might have existed somewhere between Southwick and North Boarhunt if the USATC had had their way and built the line. But if it represents Southwick, why is it called Nictun Borrud? Well, as the original board was scavenged the crew decided to continue this way of working and almost everything on the layout has been either ‘nicked’ or ‘borrowed’ from other projects or member’s bit boxes; hence the name Nicked and Borrowed (Nictun Borrud).
In recent years the layout has undergone a major scenic revamp. It is the first Club layout to be flocked with static grass and the first one to be modified to use a cassette based fiddle yard. More recently it has undergone a major electrical refit where the solenoid point motors have been removed and replaced with RC servo switch machines; the entire signalling system has also been upgraded and is fully operational including the ground PLS signals. It is also the test bed for a new “standard” LED based exhibition lighting rig. The next stage of the development plan includes the introduction of electromagnetic coils to facilitate hands free shunting.
Click on a photo for a larger image.