Inversnecky and Drambuie

This layout is one of the pioneering efforts in 2mm scale. It was begun in 1946 by Mr R.W.G. Bryant and received a good deal of publicity at the time and in the years following. It represents a fictitious Highland Railway branch somewhere on the Moray Firth coast in Scotland in about 1910. Naturally, just about everything on the layout is scratchbuilt, although some 4mm scale (British 00 gauge) items, notably stone paper, were adapted. Remember that 00 gauge at twice the size was only just becoming accepted as a workable scale at that time. Remember also that Mr Bryant had to contend with severe shortages of materials in the years immediately after World War II.

Most of the layout (two out of three musical instrument cases) is preserved at the National Railway Museum in York. The remaining section is believed to have been taken to Canada by Mr Bryant when he emigrated there.

These photographs recently came to light in the possession of a member of the 2mm Scale Association. Their age and origin is not known. At least two appear to be original contemporary prints; at least two are clearly re-photographed from other prints. The photographers are unknown, although there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that at least one was taken by a Mr Rennison of Preston. If you know who took them and when, let me know.

Additional information used in my captions came from Edward Beal'sModelling the Old-Time Railways (1955) and an article by Mr Bryant describing the layout in the February 1954 issue of Railway Modeller.


Unpacking the Layout from the guitar and mandolin cases used to transport it. R.W.G.Bryant complete with pipe. Lighthouse at Seatown Inversnecky. A similar (recent) view appeared in the April 1996 2mm Magazine.
Inversnecky Glenlivet Distillery Coy premises at Drambuie. The 0-6-4T in the picture is shown in more detail below. The Distillery Again The harbour wall is also the edge of the layout; the water is simulated by a suitably coloured sheet laid under the layout
Stroudley 0-6-0T built by Mr C.W.A.Mitchell. An article describing the construction of this loco features in the Articles Section of this web site. An embossed stamp in the lower left corner (sadly unreadable) identifies this as a newspaper photograph. Highland Railway carriages (4 and 6 wheeled varieties) and a Caledonian Railway fish truck coupled to the Stroudley 0-6-0T Dornoch. A note on the back of the photo says "Central Hall, Westminster, c.1949", presumably at the Model Railway Club show.
Dornoch in charge of a mixed train at Drambuie station. Highland Railway 0-6-4T coupled to HR 6-wheeled road van. This loco was rebuilt by Mr H.B.Whall from the 0-4-4T described below.
Dornoch again apparently on a display track coupled to a pair of wagons. 0-4-4T on the same display track. This is a North Eatern Railway O class (later LNER class G5) built by Mr J.W.Charlton. It is in the colours of the fictitious North Caledonian Railway which had connections with the Inversnecky and Drambuie line. The coach is based on a pre-1914 German tinplate model of an LNWR coach with a new chassis fitted.
Overall view of Drambuie Junction This picture appears to have been re-photographed from two photographs spliced together and has consequently suffered somewhat in quality, but shows the atmosphere of the layout to good effect. A note on the back of the photo says "the shipping doesn't really belong there".