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Twenty-one-foot model railway at Walpole Water Gardens featured in Continental Modeller magazine



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A former West Norfolk councillor has hit the headlines after he built a 21-foot long model railway at the waterside attraction he owns.

Peter Cousins' work has featured in the March issue of Continental Modeller magazine.

He fashioned the model at Walpole Water Gardens to Z scale which is one of the smallest commercially available model railway scales.

Peter Cousins in Continental Modeller railway modelling magazine. Page 3 (56256005)
Peter Cousins in Continental Modeller railway modelling magazine. Page 3 (56256005)

Mr Cousins, who represented Spellowfields ward about a decade ago and used to write a gardening column for the Lynn News and its neighbouring newspaper the Fenland Citizen, explained that Z Gauge is 1:220 scale: "Hornby is 1:76 scale so everything is a third of that size."

"The model railway was built over two years and altogether took 1,000 hours. Friends in the business said: How long?"

He teaches art classes on site and also built the gardens. The model railway, "meant to be realistic but not based on a real place," measures 6400mm x 1280mm (21ft x 4ft) and was built out of many improvised materials.

In the March publication he continued: "The Z gauge layout at Walpole Water Gardens is intended to be enjoyed by the public of all ages.

"It is meant to be realistic but obviously is not based on a real place. It is rather a representation of modern urban, rural, industrial, and waterside life.

"As a professional artist, part of the reason I built Walpole Water Gardens was to display my art. My paintings are realistic and have sometimes been described as too photographic to be art.

Peter Cousins in Model Collector. Page 1 (56253942)
Peter Cousins in Model Collector. Page 1 (56253942)

"My garden has been described as looking like a tropical oasis, but it is in Norfolk. It is my DNA to mix fantasy with reality in my creations – hence my layout is a realistic looking fantasy."

Elements encompassing reality include the suspension bridge which was built from scratch and based on the design of the aborted Qatar-Bahrain causeway.

This project contained an associated ferry service intended to be established in 2017 between the two Arab states. However due to a diplomatic crisis, plans to construct the bridge stalled.

Peter added: "It never got built. Qatar got too close to Iran. I just used the design; it;s not an exact copy. Some of it come from bamboo barbecue sticks.

"I have a knack of seeing everyday objects for use. I can paint stuff that looks like photographs. Some of it looks photorealistic."

Members of the public can see the display at Walpole Water Gardens which is at Chalk Road, Walpole St Peter, near Wisbech.

Its summer opening hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 6pm.

For more details on the magazines, go to https://peco-uk.com/pages/continental-modeller and https://www.ztrack.com/

The Continental Modeller article is entitled "A realistic fantasy" and his work is also set to be featured in Ztrack magazine which is seen by readers in Japan and the United States.

In the March publication he continued: "The Z gauge layout at Walpole Water Gardens is intended to be enjoyed by the public of all ages.

"It is meant to be realistic but obviously is not based on a real place. It is rather a representation of modern urban, rural, industrial, and waterside life.

"As a professional artist, part of the reason I built Walpole Water Gardens was to display my art. My paintings are realistic and have sometimes been described as too photographic to be art.

"My garden has been described as looking like a tropical oasis, but it is in Norfolk. It is my DNA to mix fantasy with reality in my creations – hence my layout is a realistic looking fantasy."

Elements encompassing reality include the suspension bridge which was built from scratch and based on the design of the aborted Qatar-Bahrain causeway.

This project contained an associated ferry service intended to be established in 2017 between the two Arab states. However due to a diplomatic crisis, plans to construct the bridge stalled.

Peter added: "It never got built. Qatar got too close to Iran. I just used the design; it;s not an exact copy. Some of it come from bamboo barbecue sticks.

"I have a knack of seeing everyday objects for use. I can paint stuff that looks like photographs. Some of it looks photorealistic."

Members of the public can see the display at Walpole Water Gardens which is at Chalk Road, Walpole St Peter, near Wisbech.

Its summer opening hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 6pm.

For more details on the magazines, go to https://peco-uk.com/pages/continental-modeller and https://www.ztrack.com/



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