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Model of perfection: Relive lost age with delightful recreation of Oldmeldrum to Inverurie railway line

Garioch Heritage Centre volunteers Bert Irvine, Charlie Milne  and John Jessiman are custodians of Ian Baxter Moncur's stunning Old Meldrum to Inverurie model railway. Picture by Kami Thomson.
Garioch Heritage Centre volunteers Bert Irvine, Charlie Milne and John Jessiman are custodians of Ian Baxter Moncur's stunning Old Meldrum to Inverurie model railway. Picture by Kami Thomson.

It’s a work of perfection, created with love and passion.

To view Ian Baxter Moncur’s model of the Oldmeldrum to Inverurie railway is to be transported into, and relive, a lost age.

From the smallest pebble to the tiniest blade of grass, from rust on the iron roofs and bridges to the industrial clutter and farm animals in the sidings, Ian has recreated it all in the most exquisite detail.

Ian Baxter Moncur's model of the rail line between Oldmeldrum and Inverurie on display at the Garioch Heritage Centre, Locoworks, Inverurie.  Picture by Kami Thomson
Ian Baxter Moncur’s model of the rail line between Oldmeldrum and Inverurie on display at the Garioch Heritage Centre, Locoworks, Inverurie.  Picture by Kami Thomson.

Not to mention the trains which bustle their way around the track, the other period vehicles which populate the scene and the historic buildings, the signs, benches, people — you have to see it for yourself.

Model railway was passion from early age

The late Mr Moncur’s model railway is on long-term loan to the Garioch Heritage Centre and can be viewed there until Sunday April 24.

Volunteers Bert Irvine, Charlie Milne and John Jessiman are joint guardians of the railway, keeping it in working order.

Ian grew up in Dundee with a passion for railways from a very early age, creating his own model railway in childhood.

Ian’s wife Pat is also from Dundee.

The couple met in their teens when Ian was at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, preparing to become a planner, and Pat was working at Dundee University.

They moved to Dyce for Ian’s work with Aberdeen City Council in 1969, and were there for 20 years, bringing up their three children, Jennifer, Andrew and Christopher.

‘A perfectionist about the detail’

Ian’s childhood railway moved with them, and he now had a small shed in the garden to which he’d ‘escape’ to work on it.

Ian’s model railway captures every  tiny detail. Picture by Kami Thomson.

The Moncurs then moved to Whiterashes, where Ian’s plans could really take off.

He installed his railway in a converted barn within which it grew to become the Oldmeldrum to Inverurie model railway now housed in the Garioch Centre.

With the children grown up, Ian now had much more time to devote to his project.

Pat said the decision to choose that particular line was easy, as the Garioch area was his home for many years.

“He was a perfectionist about the detail, taking photos of the buildings and background to make sure he had everything correct.

The model railway captures a bygone age.  Picture by Kami Thomson.

“He worked with kits, adapting them to be exactly right.

“A lot of the railway comes from his own skills, working with what he could find.

Masterpiece loaned to Garioch Centre

“He was always finding out more about the line and adding and revising bits.

“Much of the time he had a paintbrush in his hand, putting in every detail.”

Ian with grandson Kai enjoying the model railway. Supplied by the Moncur family.
Ian with grandson Kai enjoying the model railway. Supplied by the Moncur family.

Ian and Pat moved to Kintore for a few years and then to Northampton to be near their family nine years ago.

The railway was housed in a double garage, and Ian continued to potter away at it happily.

Sadly, he became ill and died last year.

Beautifully detailed Inverurie junction. 
Beautifully detailed Inverurie junction.

Pat and the family considered long and hard what they could do with his masterpiece before coming up with the plan of loaning it to the Garioch Centre.

Transporting it all the way north was the challenge, but luckily Pat’s cousin, Euan Headridge, from Coupar Angus, took charge by adapting his van and bringing the model up in a four-day operation.

Pat said: “Ian would be amazed and delighted to see his railway on display.

“He wouldn’t have believed it. ‘My railway!’ he would have said.

“He was a man who always wanted to do his best in every situation, professional or personal, values he instilled into his children and grandchildren.

“We’re incredibly proud of him.”

Memories of Old Meldrum  station captured in Ian Moncur's model railway. Picture by Kami Thomson.
Memories of Old Meldrum  station captured in Ian Moncur’s model railway. Picture by Kami Thomson.

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