Wombat Creek is a H0 (1:87) scale model of a fictional town situated somewhere in the Victorian Goldfields, Australia.
The time is 1963. Geelong wins the VFL Championship against Hawthorn (109– 60). John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. ValentinaTeresjkova is the first woman in Space. The men behind The Great Train Robbery get £2.6 million from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London. The town consists of several buildings. The “Wombat Creek Bank and Gold Exchange” is a prominent building in the town centre. You will also find several other commercial buildings; among them the daily newspaper“W.C. Chronicle”(colloquial known as the "Toilet Paper") and “Wombat Creek Brewing Company” (Famous for the “Wombat Bitter”). “The Big Nugget Gold Mine” is situated at the Western outskirts of town near the small Chinatown. The War Memorial is in a small park along East Street. The town’s mayor Alfred Campbell together with his son David Campbell owns several businesses, including the bank, the pub and the newspaper. AC/DC basically run the town and make most decisions on behalf of the rest of Wombat Creek’s residents, who, on the other hand, are too busy with their own businesses. The mayor’s latest initiative is Wombat Creek Tramways. Wombat Creek doesn’t really need a tram system, but AC reckons tramways will improve the town’s reputation. Partly because of limited funds the tramways' construction and rolling stock depend heavily on second-hand requirements from other Australian and overseas tramways.
After days, weeks and months of drawing, measuring, cutting, glueing and painting my own designs it was rather nice and relaxing to sit down with a Metcalfe kit with just a bit of cut and glue.
The ‘Regal’ was intended to sit to the left of the photo, just opposite ‘Myer’, but I find the building to low for that position. Instead it will be the focal point at the end of Main Street. It is a low relief building so it sits perfect against the backdrop.
The building will be raised a few millimetres once the pavers at the front are laid. It will also be changed from a cinema to a theatre showing ‘Wildcat The Musical’. Not a huge success, though!
Flinders Street Station, which has been my inspiration for the Bank, supposedly has the longest facade in the Southern hemisphere. I do not have the space or time to model the entire facade, so I have skipped the middle part and gone straight to the far end. Even with this smaller part the space is not quite right, so I have had to do a bend around the corner! So in reality this part will be very loosely based on the real building. I do hope, though, the shop in the basement will be recognisable.
I team of ‘brickies’ cam around during the last couple of days. They did a great job but either forgot to consult the drawings or just working too fast. Any way they didn’t leave any openings for doors and windows! As the photo possibly reveals their mistakes should easily be rectified with a sharp knife.
It is a sunny afternoon in Wombat Creek, A couple of gentlemen are at the bank with suitcases full of gold or banknotes. An elderly Miss Jennifer are on her way up the steps to make a small withdrawal. A couple of girls sit on the steps to the right whispering about them all. A salesman are leaving City Hatters. Did he have any success selling his newest range of hats? He certainly didn’t buy one himself!
City Hatters has served old, young, titled, swaggies, footy followers, RSL, race goers, Governors General, actors, personalities and anyone requiring a hat for any occasion. City Hatters began trading as a hat shop, beneath the clocks at Flinders Street station in 1910. Originally it was the station master’s office when Flinders Street station was built and after this, the builder used the office when the master moved upstairs. It became a hat shop owned and managed by the Buzolich family and called Buzolich’s. Doug Buzolich was one of five brothers who owned 4 shops in Melbourne and one in Geelong. The one remaining was the Flinders Street shop. HB’s acquired Buzolich’s in 1927. Wallace, Buck (of Henry Bucks fame) & Goodes were major suppliers and Henry Buck himself acquired the business after a friendly exchange of assets and debts and have owned and managed the store ever since. In 1934 Bill Littlehales became the manager and buyer and worked there for over 50 years and was one of the last of the legendary great hatters, retiring finally in 1990. Major events in the City Hatters calendar are The Derby, The Melbourne Cup and Christmas.
Great news! The Bank is almost finished. With the canopy along the Golden Mile and railings around the City Hatter shop finished, only a few signs and the clock above the entrance need to be installed. I am on the look-out for a working clock but may settle for a fixed clock face.
With almost no people around the two photos could be from the 2021 lock-down, but with Wombat Creek locked in a 1963 time warp, the steps and footpaths will soon be full of people enjoying everyday life.
No, I am not thinking of the stock market! Instead there has been some progress on Wombat Creek’s own Queen Victoria Market.
Trees have been planted; a mail box is ready for important letters from stall holders; the steps have been equipped with handrails for the elderly and perhaps dizzy traders celebrating a good turn-over.
Gaps between the steps and the ground are due to the fact, the steps still has to be glued in place.
The general pace in Wombat Creek is slow. Very slow. The photo below is from August 9, 2020.
It has taken a year to get to the next photo.
In fact nothing had happened to Queen Victoria Market until a week ago. The mean reason was the lack of a back scene. The back scene had to come up before the depth of the market and curvature of the roof could be calculated. As seen from the photos the height of the building has been extended. The main entrance was too low. Still more to do. The skylight (hardly visible) needs glazing and a photo will give an impression of the interior visible through the main entrance.
Another challenge to the right of the market is to rectify the obvious/common mistake of a road leading directly into the sky! A row of shops should do the trick and also improve the perspective.