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The Museum

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Fawley Museum has one of the largest collections of small railway artefacts in the country, displayed so as to enable visitors to appreciate the beauty and historic interest of each piece.

Railways made huge changes to the daily lives of working people. This is reflected in the wide variety of objects on display, such as enamel signs advertising products that could be sold across the country instead of just locally, posters advertising alluring holiday locations across Britain and maps of where the railway traveller could go.


There is a display of objects associated with the British Empire Exhibition 1924-1925, many of which look remarkably modern nearly 100 years later.  Another section is dedicated to the locomotive Flying Scotsman, saved for the nation by Sir William McAlpine, the Museum’s founder.  

An 0-4-2T tank engine and autocoach pulls away from Wainshill Halt on the impressive 40m long gallery layout in a scene from the late 1950s

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For the young at heart there are models of all sizes, from the huge to the tiny, from the brilliantly accurate to paperweight lumps. ``


Above all, the Museum brings out the nostalgia of a lost age.  A cry often heard inside the Museum is “I remember those!”

We have limited the photographs of the Museum contents on this site and we have to impose a strict "No Photography" rule on visitors inside the Museum. Do come and enjoy the huge variety of artefacts, but please take home memories, not surreptitious photographs. 

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The Museum is the permanent home of two working 0 Gauge model railway layouts.

Laira was built by John Dornam and has been featured in several model railway magazines. Taking more than five years to build, Laira was exhibited at the Gauge 0 Guild's annual Guildex exhibition in 1996 and 1998, following which it was acquired by Sir William McAlpine for permanent exhibition in the Museum. The layout depicts the Motive Power Depot near Devonport as it was in the 1950s and is complete with smoke and sound effects


The Wallingford and Watlington Line is approximately 120ft (40m) long and runs along the balcony of the Museum. This highly detailed, 0 Gauge model railway has been built by members of the Fawley Museum Society and depicts the two GWR stations as they would have appeared around the time of their closure in the 1980s. The stations are connected by a single track connection which was planned in real life but never constructed.


Started more than 20 years ago, construction of the station layouts has been based on photographic records of the sites and work is still ongoing to complete various items of background detail.


On Invitation Days, these model layouts are normally supplemented by William Street, a six-line, 0 Gauge oval track together with temporary exhibits. These include Wharton Road, an impressive Gauge 3 (1:22.6 scale) layout and Fawley Flyers, a 1:76 scale competition entry for The Great Model Railway Challenge. Other visiting exhibition layouts of various gauges, belonging to museum members, put in regular appearances.


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