Fame at Last ! Thanks to Kurt Jackson (who set it up) and Al Zagofsky (the journalist) we were on the front cover of the Times News - the local Jim Thorpe newspaper. We have already been sent some extra material as a result of this.
This Article appeared in the TIMES NEWS - SERVING THE PEOPLE OF CARBON, SCHUYKILL, LEHIGH, MONROE & NORTHAMPTON COUNTIES on Saturday, March 1st, 2003
Left to right, relaxing in an English pub are modellers:
They're rebuilding 1940s Mauch Chunk and need period photos of Susquehanna Street
There's an alliance between Britain and the US to build a model of the Lehigh Riverfront area in Jim Thorpe/Mauch Chunk. The Merseyside Model Railway Society club in Birkenhead, UK is building an "HO scale" model to depict the Susquehanna Street area of Mauch Chunk in the 1940s.
The Merseyside club began the project in 2002. They have been exchanging information with this side of the pond via their web site: http://www.homauchchunk.co.uk. The web site, the idea of Steve Hales, was created to share information about the project and help the Merseyside club get photographs and dimensions of period buildings. A parallel project is taking place at the Anthracite Model Railroad Society in Hazleton.
The "homauchchunk" web site references contributions and provides regular updates on the progress of the project. They estimate that they have 80-90 percent of the material that they need to do an accurate model. Mr. Hales wrote, "I hope that once the model is finished we will be able to use it to publicize Jim Thorpe at shows and induce the odd Brit to visit you. We would also hope to get articles into both British and US Model Railroad magazines."
Why Mauch Chunk?
"I'm also keen on modelling trees," Steve continued, "The natural combination of trees and US railroads resulted in east coast subjects."
Last year, Steve's modeling friends were looking for a new and novel modelling subject in the steam era. "I mentioned the possibility of Mauch Chunk," Steve noted. "After looking at the photos, noting the river and the mountains (and lots of trees) and lots of beautiful, unusual and varied buildings, the rest agreed. The presence of a station in a US model is also a bit unusual! The modelers who had previously only modelled British scenes tell me they were attracted because it was very different and a challenge for them."
Steve says the quality of US model rolling stock is "legendary" and was an eye-opener to the ex-British scene modelers. "The style of modelling that we are following - trying to make detailed models of prototypes, is not common in the US," he explained, "So, we felt we could bring the best of American and British modelling together."
Steve suggested creating a web site. "Initially, it was just so that we had up-to-date access to all the material," he said. "However, combined with e-mails into US based e groups, it has proved invaluable in helping us to get photos, plans etc. They are named and thanked on the site - we couldn't have got so far without them."
The Merseyside Model Railway Society club estimates the project will take 3-5 years to get the buildings done.
For more information, see the web page or e-mail Steve at: contact us