One of the *Milland Valley Railway Modellers layouts
(Transferred from Google+ page of a similar name- April 2016 with additional content)
The railway element is pure fiction but is set in the mid 50’s to mid 60’s in the area at the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge and eastern end of Stamford Street in London SE1.
It was in this area, still containing large areas of bomb sites from the Second World War, that I started work in September 1961 in the Development Engineers Dept , Refrigeration Section, at 22 Stamford Street London SE1. The entrance to this department was through what had been the front of a terraced house. Up some stairs, out across the roof of Grocery Packing into another building, through a corridor past a small canteen and the Shop Planning section, then outside again across an alleyway called Bennett Mews, on a steel footbridge one storey up., to another building. Above us the Electrical Section, below us the Mechanical Handling Section. (You could also exit to Rennie Street via another house which housed the Transport Dept & fronted on Rennie Street North)
An area of care worn character and a great bunch of guys to work with & learn from- many happy memories. This will be my tribute to all those design engineers, architects and engineering and building tradesmen (over 250 at that time) who worked to design, build & maintain shops, distribution depots, poultry & egg packing stations, abattoirs & farms operated by the company in that era.
J Sainsbury unlike some of their rivals at this time, did not use rail transport for transporting anything to their branches throughout London, South East England and the Midlands, although in more recent times they used container trains to bring Scottish beef from its Aberdeenshire suppliers..
If the company have had such a facility this would have completed what was my dream job for nearly 40 years! Thus ended 2 generations of my family working for J Sainsbury & 3 generations who had worked for grocers!
The Blackfriars area bounded by Stamford Street, Blackfriars Road in the early 60’s contained the Head Office & Depot/Warehouse called Stamford House; Tress House in Stamford Street-Accounts, later Architects/Shop Planning Departments; Bank Chambers (over Midland Bank on corner of Stamford Street/ Blackfriars Road) housed Architects Dept;Wakefield House in Rennie St (South), housed Factory Engineers. Columbo Street – Staff canteen. Running Horses Yard, Blackfriars Road housed Factory Kitchen returns, admin and technical functions; Warehouse & food packing was located in Rennie Street(North) & partly opposite in Stamford House together with office functions & Directors floor.The Factory, between Rennie Street (south) & Paris Gardens adjacent to the grounds of Christ Church – production of meat & fruit pies, sausages, liver sausage, together with bread used as part of the sausage filling; 13/15 Blackfriars was a J. Sainsbury counter service shop, actually in Stamford Street opposite what was then the main entrance to Stamford House. Bacon curing & Cold stores were located at Union Street off Blackfriars Road; Blackfriars Road -northern end housed Laboratories, Training School & Personnel Dept; In Rennie Street (North) opposite the then side entrance to Stamford House – Transport Dept with H&V section on a mezzanine & the print room on top floor or was it the attic?
Delivery lorries (known as cars) parked in a series of bomb sites to the north of Stamford Street; Sail Street housed Motor Engineers covering the servicing, repair & cleaning of the firms transport fleet & was alongside and in arches under the south side of Waterloo station and approaches; Lambeth Mews housed Engineers stores in converted stables(?) at rear of Lambeth Walk branch ; Offices/ Labs –various addresses in the western end of Southwark Street, 115 & 119 & a rifle range near to the Eastern end of Southwark Street for the Sainsbury Staff Association Rifle club, descended from the company’s Home Guard unit!
The railway layout is based on a small layout built by British Railway Modelling magazine called Ruston Quays & featured in several editions September/October 2015 and early 2016.
The layout size as planned in British Railway Modelling was 1830 x 530 split into two sections each 915 x 530
Another consideration is to use Tim Horn baseboard kits to form a baseboard in two sections to speed up the building process.
It had been considered to be one of the layouts to be built for and followed by the Liphook U3A Building A Model Railway Layout Group 2017- subsequently renamed Milland Valley Railway Modellers- see the page on this website
Not a lot currently- I have an end of October 2019 deadline for East Hants Link so if that’s achieved this is one for consideration as the next group layout in a scale I am more conversant with.