Model Railways in Ideal Homes

An extract from the Model Railway News.

sent in by Fred Peskett.


            The Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition held at Olympia London, April 7th to May 2nd 1931, was a wonderfully fine display, equal to if not surpassing the magnificent exhibition of last year. A valuable characteristic of these shows is that they afford opportunity in acquiring ideas serviceable in planning a home and it’s equipment and from different points of view. A few hours spent in viewing the exhibits, the lighting effects and many items of interest give both enjoyment and education.

Sound Proof Rooms

            A full size building appropriately termed the “Hush Hush” house was planned with the idea of isolating from exterior noise, such as might obtain from motor traffic along a main road, and confining interior noise to the room in which it is produced. The idea of interior sound isolation may be worthy of consideration in connection with model railways, especially when running a midnight service. In the “Hush Hush” house the interior walls, floors and ceilings were rendered sound proof by a special wall board “Treetex” which is a sound and heat insulator and is capable of decorative treatment. Address, Treetex, 421-4 Australia House, London, W.C. Tough Kraft paper, eel glass from Nova Scotia and other materials were used and advantage taken of sound blanketing experience gained by the May Construction Co., Ltd.. in the construction of studios for the B.B.C.

Utilising a Waste Space

            An object lesson giving thought to possibilities in making use of a disregarded space for installation of a model railway system was the series of tableaux entitled “Behind the First Floor Back.” The scenes illustrated a flat roof space above the rooms outbuilt at the rear of a house.

            One showed the usual desolate flat space occupied only by a cat. The others showed utilisation of the space as a roof garden, a gymnasium and sun bath, outdoor sleeping quarters and an outdoor playroom, this latter scene contained a model railway, so our readers hobby was recognised amongst the tremendous “Ideal Home” exhibition.

Small Scale Bricks

            A firm of brick makers, Messrs, W. T. Lamb & Sons, 43 Shoe Lane. London, E.G. 4 are making actual bricks to small scale. They have found considerable sale for these amongst technical institutions for educational purposes and are considering the possibility of making smaller sizes. Readers requiring actual building materials of small scale should enquire of the firm. The size at present made, 31/4 X 15/8 X 1 thickness, might prove useful and adaptable in construction of bridges, culverts and other details of a. large model railway. The samples which we inspected are very clean, well made and flat. Smooth blue bricks to small scale are also made by this firm.


            An inspection of models, though not of actual railway character, is beneficial in giving ideas both of construction and standard in model railway work. The varied show of models of buildings gardens and estates by Partridges Models Ltd., 21 Buckingham Street, London, W.C., also realistic models of horses by Mr. Reginald C. Fly, F.R.I.B.A., 12 Clifford’s Inn, Fleet Street, London, E.G., a large model of Nelson’s ship “ Victory “ with exquisite carving on figure head and stern exhibited by South Sea Beach and Publicity Committee and Mirror Grange a large dolls house type of model were very instructive as well as interesting and pleasing.

            The latter model exhibited by the Daily Mirror Newspapers Ltd., is the supposed home of “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” portrayed in the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Pictorial, It was worth viewing by model railway engineers as an example of building construction and the wealth of model furniture and accessories contained within the rooms. These are an education in realistic detail. Examples of furniture in miniature shown on several stands would also have been of interest to model railway visitors.


            Automatic and semi-automatic house lighting plants in operation and a variety of electrical accessories were also of interest.

The Model Engineer’s Workshop

            In our opinion an ideal home should contain a workshop where mechanical work can be done in comfort and under hygienic conditions, it should be sound proof.


Note. There is not much about exhibitions in this short article about the 1931 Ideal Home Exhibition, but there is however one item I did not know, I have often come across post cards of Mirror Grange and I have never connected them with the 1931 Ideal Homes Exhibition. You live and learn.

                                                                                                                        The editor.


© Exhibition Study Group 2012