~ Childhood Memories ~



Since I was a 5 year old kid, I remember my dad having a separate room with a layout. 

As brothers we called it the TrainRoom. 



Through the eyes of a kid,  it must have been a huge layout. 
Even though his trains and layout didn't measure up

to today's standards, they did have a tremendous impact on me. 


Here's the house were trains began to live for me (ca. 1967).



The sound, the odour, the colours... 
Take for instance
the box of this Class 81 tank locomotive.
Aren't these the ingredients that make a lasting imprint on our memories?

Unfortunately their are no photo's made of this train room.


I do remember we had a wooden toy train. It was the first train I was playing with. 

After we moved to a larger house, my father spend many a summer's holiday in the attic, 

to make himself a large layout of 20 square meters in three layers.

There were about 120 meters of track. It took over 5 minutes before a train was back at the spot where it started.
Unfortunately only 5 pictures were taken around 1973 (with a piece of broken film stuck in the camera before the lens).



In the years that I went to secondary school and later on to university,

 I spend a lot of time in the attic, together with my twin brother, who was also fond of trains.
We literally dressed up the layout with houses,  trees, mountains, cattle, inhabitants and so on.

My brother did most of the painting, created new mountains and let nature come alive.

It should be noted that we were scenery novices, who learned as we went.

I think, one of the most important things is to have a sharp eye for real nature and domestic development.

I'm grateful that my dad's layout was in effect a perfect playground for our trial and error.


This threefold picture shows:

1. Another of the oldest pictures from 1973

2. The same spot in 1978 with my first attempt in making grass and 'housing' the village.

3. The last picture shows my increasing interest for Germany's so-called 'Fachbau' houses.



In time, the budget bound houses from Pola were replaced by the finer work of Faller, Kibri and Vollmer.

Even if it is still one part of the layout, you can imagine the ongoing development throughout the years by comparing  the pictures below. 

The small church (Pola) is now (1984) replaced by a larger and finer one (Kibri).



The houses in the background are removed.

In their stead came these fine facade houses drawing the atmosphere of the late 19th century (1987).





Here's another example of improving your skills in time.

 After I replaced my first railway station Zweinitz (Pola) by Vollmers Station Neuffen, here in it's original state (1982)...



... I gave it an upgrading two years later.  Even the platform is a little less crowded...




Then there was this mountain landscape




My Märklin 3085 running through the hills...



 The following pictures show the development over the years.

In the North (my brothers domain)...





... and in the South, which in effect was my playground: 

Around 1975...


... and 1990


As you may notice: playground became schoolground.




In between was the Western Wall of the attic, which became the backdrop with small poster (Vollmer) and to the top a hand painted sky.



Painted on February 18, 1989





After my parents passed away the house had to be sold in 2006.

More then 30 years of childhood and a grand layout had to be made history.




Frits Osterthun © 2023

Last update: 11.2.2023




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