Model Railway in the Towers Chapel (1956-1992)

Discussion in 'Talbot Street' started by Squiggs, 11th Jun 2012.

  1. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    Who remembers the Model Railway that used to lurk in the crypt of the Alton Towers Chapel?

    Who knew that for all those years the original chapel ceiling, complete with it splendid Angelic Corbels were hidden above the Model Railway's fake ceiling.

    It's amazing to think that an attraction like that once resided at Alton Towers, you could never seem them installing something like that these days.

    Just one of the many varied uses the Towers' Ruins have had over the years! :)

    Welcome to Aurora.... our future may lie in the past. ;-)
     
    Posted 11th Jun 2012
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  2. StormPSY

    StormPSY TowersStreet Member

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    I DO I DO *waves
     
    Posted 11th Jun 2012
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  3. jamesm74

    jamesm74 TowersStreet Member

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    Me too - I used to love that as a kid...
     
    Posted 11th Jun 2012
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  4. MrMutterson

    MrMutterson TowersStreet Member

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    TAMWORTH, MILTON KEYNES OR NEMESIS!
    I remember that too :)
     
    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  5. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  6. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Wow, that's different! Any idea what year it is from Dave?

    :)
     
    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  7. Ben

    Ben TS Founding Member

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    Wow Dave, thats a lovely pic - any more?
     
    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  8. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  9. CrazyTowers

    CrazyTowers TowersStreet Member

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    At the hippodrome!
    My great(step)granddad used to tell me of the times he went to Alton Towers, JUST for the railway! (Before he died a few years ago, I should add.) I used to love his stories! Now I inherit his MASSIVE trainset! :p
     
    Posted 12th Jun 2012
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  10. EuroSatch

    EuroSatch TowersStreet Member

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    I remember standing in awe at the train set for hours as a child. It was pre-Tussauds, I believe? Along with the dolls museum, vintage car showroom, pottery houses. All these things were unique to Towers, shame they were not carried forward into the Golden Age
     
  11. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

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    I wonder where a lot of this stuff has gone?
     
  12. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    The model railway wasn't owned by Alton Towers (at the time there where a number of separate concerns operating within the park).

    You can still see the size of the old model as its left its mark on the chapel floor :)
     
  13. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

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    I'll have to go and see that
     
  14. Squiggs

    Squiggs TS Site Team Team Member

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    I think it's a little earlier then that, late 20s or early 30s. Those look like part of the range of postcards that were available for souvenirs during this period.

    The altar screen seen in the picture was one of the items to be stripped from the building and sold during 1952, shortly after the house had been returned to the Bagshaws. I think we saw a picture of it in 1951 in the AT Archives actually, as part of the house survey done at that time.

    I seem to recall being told that the railway was more or less destroyed in order to remove it from the chapel, as the owner had been busy expanding it over the years it operated at the park, so when it came to removing it they had little other choice.

    If you're a fan of historic attraction floor markings, you'd enjoy looking at the floor in the house conservatory. Next time you're exiting Hex, look at the floor in the Hexagon chamber, you'll see areas of it are painted and also there's a series of grooves... these are the remains of the Planetarium that used to operated in this area.
     
  15. Wortho

    Wortho TowersStreet Member

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    I remember the model railway fondly from when I was a small boy. The way you could interact with some of the scenery as well all be it was a switch that turned on either the windmill or the ski lift. I do have an old video of Alton towers somewhere at home that has a good length of this attraction recorded on it.
     
  16. badger

    badger TowersStreet Member

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    I have a video of the model railway somewhere. We need to get all of the photos etc sorted and make up a heritage section. I know that between Squiggs, Dave W and Dave L we must have loads of wonderful things to share.
    :-*
     
  17. DaveW

    DaveW TS Contributor

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    I am gathering my resources as we speak my dear!
     
  18. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

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    I shall keep a close watch ;D
     
  19. BarryZola

    BarryZola TowersStreet Member

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  20. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    You know what? I genuinely am interested in that sort of thing, moreso than the building itself. Whenever I see a patch of wall that doesn't match the building it's part of, I always wonder what was there before. I went round Lincoln Castle recently, and found spotting all the strange little scars in the pavement more interesting than is natural or healthy! :p

    But seriously, the Planetarium was in the conservarory?? :eek: I never knew that. It must have been tiny. In fact, surely such a space could barely even fit the projector in it (as we are all familiar with the remains of the projector in it's new role).
     

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