With a background interest in light railways in general, and an almost subliminal image of a sketch of 'Jane' in an early Kidner booklet when I was about 10 years old, I was hooked when, as a young teacher, I obtained a copy of Pearce Higgins' book on the Tramway from the school library. Living in Newbury it was easy to visit the site..... I wish I'd gone more often in those early years, things changed almost every time I went, and now a giant supermarket has rendered the site unrecogniseable. Over a very long time, punctuated by the usual distractions.... family, work, other interests.... you know how it is..... I worked on various aspects of a possible model....attempts at modelling the locos, and the unusual trackwork, while gradually putting together a body of research material on the geography of the site and plans of the buildings. The station itself is so compact as to make possible accurate scaling of the site, the only question being how far outside the actual trackwork needed to be covered to capture the character of the place. Once that was established, scale became an important issue. In 4mm it's a very practical size, but these were early days.... limited choice of wheels, motors and gearboxes, and a decided lack of skill, presented difficulties for the very small steam locos, let alone the trams and their cars. I had a bit more success with a 7mm Manning Wardle, and a few Slaters wagons..... but the size of the layout was impractical at that time. I even dabbled in S Scale for a while....... a really good scale for the layout itself, but the locos are still pretty small. It wasn't till 2008 that a house move provided me with a dedicated railway annex, and even more importantly, contact with the West Mersea Group and a bunch of guys who make anything seem possible. With all the groundwork and planning done, all that is now required is to get on and do it! Since I was aiming at an accurate rendition of the site, I used OS maps as a basis for the layout plan. One for 1912 was enlarged, retraced and enlarged again to a practical grid size representing every 10 ft. This was transfered to a full size for 7mm grid and the details added. Site surveys provided a lot of detailed dimensions, and aerial photographs were used to confirm the overall arrangements. In addition, the card mock-ups allow comparison with photographs from the same viewpoint to check relationships between the units. I'll say more about the track layout later, but it is a lot more subtle than might be imagined. It has had many revisions and I'm still not absolutely happy with the Engine Shed. But in general it's as accurate as I'm ever going to get...... so no more excuses ! This is the plan of the railway...... all the buildings shown either have a mock-up or the information to produce one when I get round to it The length is 14 feet, and the greatest width is 4 ft 6 inches. There is also a 4 ft double sector plate fiddle yard.... train lengths were modest! The layout is currently viewed from the bottom of the plan, but that may be revised at some point depending on how it works out.