12 December 2021
At the Crich Tramway Village on the 25 November 2021, volunteers at the Museum completed the first new demonstration 51/4 inch gauge track board for the Robert Whetstone 1/8 scale model trams.
The National Tramway Museum is currently looking after a collection of model trams made during the 1960s and 1970s by the late Robert Whetstone of Bromsgrove. The models are made to a very high standard and were often exhibited by Mr Whetstone at model engineering exhibitions.
Each model took up to three years and 3500 hours to build, and he would spend five evenings a week in his garage producing the finely detailed replicas. He worked in the transport industry as a coachbuilder and draughtsman at the Austin/British Leyland plant in Longbridge and used to travel to work on the Birmingham trams. Mr Whetstone was renowned for the attention to detail on his models, which were cut from blocks of sold metal with hand-carved wheels.
On loan from Mr Whetstone’s family are models built to 1/8th and 1/16th scale which originally came to Crich in 1984 and are displayed in specially built showcases. In the early 1990s he was in failing health but was able to see his models on display at the museum and was very pleased with the showcases.
During the next few months the other six boards of the project will be assembled for a new demonstration layout some 11 metres in length.
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