Auction of ScaleSeven 'Monks Eleigh' layout and stock

daifly

Western Thunderer
ScaleSeven modellers (and others!) may be interested to know of the auction sale of the late Michael Brooks' layout Monks Eleigh and several further lots of ScaleSeven locos, coaches and wagons. This layout was built by Martyn Welch in 1998 and was described in detail with the building process in Model Railway Journal No.106.

The auction can be found here.

The ScaleSeven lots that I can find are numbered 3387 - 3439. If you bid, don't forget that the buyer pays approx 25% commission and VAT on top of the hammer price. Unless you live in the Teesside area, there will also be a courier postage and packing charge to add. In my experience, deliveries can take up to three weeks. I've no connection except as a previous customer.

Martin Welch posted a comment about the auction
here.

Dave
 
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eastsidepilot

Western Thunderer
If anyone is interested Lot 3390 LNER F3 and 3394 LNER E4 were scratch built by myself and not kit built as the catalogue says.
Lot 3392 J68 was painted and weathered by me.

Obviously the F3 and E4 didn't go to Canada as I had been previously led to believe :)

Happy bidding,
Col.
 

Chuffer

Active Member
ScaleSeven modellers (and others!) may be interested to know of the auction sale of the late Michael Brooks' layout Monks Eleigh and several further lots of ScaleSeven locos, coaches and wagons. This layout was built by Martyn Welch in 1998 and was described in detail with the building process in Model Railway Journal No.106.

The auction can be found here.

The ScaleSeven lots that I can find are numbered 3387 - 3439. If you bid, don't forget that the buyer pays approx 25% commission and VAT on top of the hammer price. Unless you live in the Teesside area, there will also be a courier postage and packing charge to add. In my experience, deliveries can take up to three weeks. I've no connection except as a previous customer.

Martin Welch posted a comment about the auction
here.

Dave
Thanks for pointing me to the auction as the last time I looked it hadn’t been listed with itemised photos.
I confess I was quite sad to see the condition of some of the stock they show. Although I built, painted and weathered many of them or just weathered others, when I zoomed in on their images, several looked damaged with bits missing or bent and paint scraped off in places whilst most look to have a crusty coating of damp mould or extra stains in various places that I certainly didn’t apply.
I know I carried out the work many years ago but I still wouldn’t expect their condition to be quite so poor. The dust and mould would suggest everything hasn’t always been kept in a dry and damp free location. Each of the items that I constructed was originally boxed whereas they now appear to be loose or gathered in large trays. Perhaps they still have the boxes but are not showing them?
However, it’s all a bit depressing for me to see and I rather wish I hadn’t seen the photos now.

Some of the items listed as scratch built are modified kits, such as the Simplex and the little Ruston but hopefully that won’t put off potential bidders.
Someone asked me if I might bid for any of the items up for grabs as the price estimates don’t seem very high, but honestly I don’t feel I would want any of them back in such a sad state.

As to the layout, well their low sale estimate does suggest they don’t think it likely to sell, which may in part be because it’s Scaleseven, or perhaps it’s just a sign of the times. Folk may not have the room for quite a large 7mm layout or maybe ex-GE branch lines aren’t the most popular - who knows . . .
It will be interesting to see what happens on the day.
 

eastsidepilot

Western Thunderer
Thanks for pointing me to the auction as the last time I looked it hadn’t been listed with itemised photos.
I confess I was quite sad to see the condition of some of the stock they show. Although I built, painted and weathered many of them or just weathered others, when I zoomed in on their images, several looked damaged with bits missing or bent and paint scraped off in places whilst most look to have a crusty coating of damp mould or extra stains in various places that I certainly didn’t apply.
I know I carried out the work many years ago but I still wouldn’t expect their condition to be quite so poor. The dust and mould would suggest everything hasn’t always been kept in a dry and damp free location. Each of the items that I constructed was originally boxed whereas they now appear to be loose or gathered in large trays. Perhaps they still have the boxes but are not showing them?
However, it’s all a bit depressing for me to see and I rather wish I hadn’t seen the photos now.

Some of the items listed as scratch built are modified kits, such as the Simplex and the little Ruston but hopefully that won’t put off potential bidders.
Someone asked me if I might bid for any of the items up for grabs as the price estimates don’t seem very high, but honestly I don’t feel I would want any of them back in such a sad state.

As to the layout, well their low sale estimate does suggest they don’t think it likely to sell, which may in part be because it’s Scaleseven, or perhaps it’s just a sign of the times. Folk may not have the room for quite a large 7mm layout or maybe ex-GE branch lines aren’t the most popular - who knows . . .
It will be interesting to see what happens on the day.
I noticed the condition of the loco's, looks like mildew on the surfaces. Seems strange that they would be kept in damp conditions, just goes to show how people value items differently.
I remember moons ago talking to a guy at Telford who told me he had rescued some 0 gauge stock from a skip that he'd just happened to pass in his car. and noticing a piece of track sticking up, the owner had died and the family had un-ceremoniously thrown it all in the skip.

Col
 
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NHY 581

Western Thunderer
This is such a shame.

Monks Eleigh and it's stock has to be one of my all time favourite layouts of recent years.

My copies of MRJ featuring the layout and the build of the garage are much thumbed.

If only.............
 
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robertm

Member
Well I model ex GER Braintree to Bishops Stortford, so there are a few of us out there. I would love some of the items but I don’t think my skills are above FS so I cant use them on my rough track work. Pity but not for me. The obvious poor storage care issues are really heartbreaking, how long has the layout languished out of use? If I’d had a hand in building these beautiful models I would be devastated.
Bob
 

Chuffer

Active Member
I’d love the layout, just no space. Part of me wonders about getting it and breaking it up and safely storing the buildings for a future layout.
Interestingly I’d entertained similar thoughts following Michael’s sad demise and before any of us knew what was intended for the layout’s disposal. My own interests aren’t ER based, but aside from the obviously very GE station area buildings and signals, the remainder of the structures were all based on those I’d photographed at assorted rural locations around the south of England and these still have an appeal partly because they took me so long to make and I would indeed be sad to think they’d end up consigned to a skip.

Some time after I’d completed the layout (as seen and described in MRJ), the terraced houses and a couple of other items were added by other modellers and I’d also built a large green corrugated structure with ancillary brick office that was intended for an industrial project of my own but which Michael asked to purchase to add to Monks Eleigh as a military stores building of some sort that he had imagined. I think any of the non-railway specific buildings could easily be retrieved and used in new projects of any regional persuasion and not look out of place. The railway structures and peripherals could easily be repurposed for a smaller ER project if space were an issue. Food for thought.

Martyn
 

eastsidepilot

Western Thunderer
Me neither but there’s definitely a collector interest.
Yes certainly a collectors market bit like classic bikes and cars I suppose. What saddens me though are the prices some are prepared to pay for bits of crap on the likes Ebay portrayed by a dealer as a 'well built kit' etc., usually a loco, and you can tell just by the photo that who ever has made it didn't have a clue. I've seen the same at the bring and buys also.

Col.
 

eastsidepilot

Western Thunderer
Interestingly I’d entertained similar thoughts following Michael’s sad demise and before any of us knew what was intended for the layout’s disposal. My own interests aren’t ER based, but aside from the obviously very GE station area buildings and signals, the remainder of the structures were all based on those I’d photographed at assorted rural locations around the south of England and these still have an appeal partly because they took me so long to make and I would indeed be sad to think they’d end up consigned to a skip.

Some time after I’d completed the layout (as seen and described in MRJ), the terraced houses and a couple of other items were added by other modellers and I’d also built a large green corrugated structure with ancillary brick office that was intended for an industrial project of my own but which Michael asked to purchase to add to Monks Eleigh as a military stores building of some sort that he had imagined. I think any of the non-railway specific buildings could easily be retrieved and used in new projects of any regional persuasion and not look out of place. The railway structures and peripherals could easily be repurposed for a smaller ER project if space were an issue. Food for thought.

Martyn

Depending on the conditions the layout has been kept in will have had an affect on it's state. If steel rails where used and it's been in the same place as the look of the stock has then these may have started to corrode. I think any buyer without seeing it in the flesh would have to consider it a breaker and salvage anything that can be removed whole.
It would be far more than the auction price to get that collection of buildings made by a professional.
I was saddened to see the condition of the loco's as they were, they've not been stored in their boxes even gained some cobwebs ( you'd think they would have at least brushed them off for the photo's) but that can be easily remedied, if the layout has suffered it must be a bit galling Martyn.
I can't imagine the layout being skipped as a whole if it doesn't sell and I'd like to think the buildings would be saved ;)

Col.
 
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Mike W

Western Thunderer
Actually I'm quite glad the auction house hasn't tried to brush off cobwebs and clean them up. From my experience of buying at big London auction houses in the 80s and 90s they have no idea how to handle a model, so the less they touch them the better. Otherwise more will be bent, broken or knocked off. They seem to think that a handmade model will be as robust as tinplate, so dumping them all in a box together is fine!

Mike
 

Chuffer

Active Member
Depending on the conditions the layout has been kept in will have had an affect on it's state. If steel rails where used and it's been in the same place as the look of the stock has then these may have started to corrode. I think any buyer without seeing it in the flesh would have to consider it a breaker and salvage anything that can be removed whole.
It would be far more than the auction price to get that collection of buildings made by a professional.
I was saddened to see the condition of the loco's as they were, they've not been stored in their boxes even gained some cobwebs ( you'd think they would have at least brushed them off for the photo's) but that can be easily remedied, if the layout has suffered it must be a bit galling Martyn.
I can't imagine the layout being skipped as a whole if it doesn't sell and I'd like to think the buildings would be saved ;)

Col.
I never saw it in its final location in Poole, only when I first delivered and set it up at Michael’s original home In Suffolk many years ago. It subsequently moved to at least two different homes, when he moved southwards, before finally going into storage following his demise, pending the decision to send it to auction. Its latter storage locations may have been less than ideal and certainly the stock would have suffered if it wasn’t kept in its original boxes.

Difficult to judge from the auction photos how well or otherwise the layout is. I zoomed in on some of the views and it doesn’t look too bad but I think it would be wise to give it much closer inspection if anyone wanted to buy and keep it as is to run in a new home, or maybe a club. It was never designed to be exhibited but the boards I made aren’t huge so it could be with a little thought. They were quite light and easy for one person to handle and set up.
I believe Michael had either extra boards or partial sections made that tacked on at the back and there appear to be some added sidings shown to the rear of the station yard. He originally wanted me to make a timber trestle bridge running over a dried up river bed that would extend the layout at the right hand end to another fiddle yard, but I didn’t undertake any of this - maybe someone else did? As I say, I haven’t seen it since the initial delivery.
 
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