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Wombat Creek Tramways

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.

Duncan & Fraser Hotel is open for business

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Mon, June 14, 2021 15:30:28

After a few days of frantic work the ground floor of the Duncan & Fraser hotel is open for business. The men from ‘Ray Knott’s Joinery’ have fitted all the doors and a staircase between the ground floor and the first floor.

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Duncan & Fraser Hotel

The sign writer finally got all the signs right. Only two brass signs near a doorway went missing.

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Duncan & Fraser Hotel

Chloé has already got an admirer, but I am not sure his girlfriend shares his excitement.

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Chloé at Duuncan & Fraser

The original hotel

The Princes Bridge Hotel opened on 1 July 1861 by John P. Toohey and his brother who later went on to found the Tooheys Beer brand. The Hotel was renamed to Young and Jackson after the Irish diggers who took it over in 1875, cousins Henry Figsby Young and Thomas Joshua Jackson.

The hotel is an amalgamation of five separate buildings of two and three storeys, with the original 1853 bluestone building designed as a three-storey residence, with a butcher’s shop on the ground floor. It was later extended in both directions, with all buildings rendered and painted to match each other by the 1920s. The red glaze tile dado and ornamental frieze was added to combat the grime at ground level. Since the 1920s the exterior hotel has been dominated by large advertising signs, even to this day.

The hotel is well known for the nude painting Chloé, painted by French artist Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875. After being hung in the National Gallery of Victoria for three weeks in 1883, it was withdrawn from exhibition because of the uproar created especially by the Presbyterian Assembly. It was bought for the Young and Jackson Hotel in 1908 for 800 pounds. (Extract from

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Duncan & Fraser Hotel

The ‘Wombat Creek’ version

The hotel has been renamed ‘Duncan and Fraser’ after the well-known coach-builders from Adelaide. Over the years their workshop constructed 120 trams for the Adelaide tramways, 39 tram for provincial Victoria and approx. 120 trams for Melbourne. Instead of ‘Princes Bridge Hotel’ the hotel in Wombat Creek sports the name ‘Golden Mile Hotel’ taken from the nearby street name.

The large advertising signs on the building will be inspired from signs seen on the hotel in the 1960s. They will a selection based on what suits Wombat Creek and me. As a dedicated non-smoker I will leave out the big advertisement for cigarettes!

The interior of the hotel will only be partly modelled and will not reflect the original hotel. One reason for this is the lack of room. One of the facades has been ‘bent’ around the corner facing Victoria Street instead of Main Street. Chloé, however, will appear inside the hotel!

Too many details?

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sat, June 12, 2021 15:45:48

Can you do too many details? I don’t think so. As long as you have the time and have fun, you can add as many details to your layout as you want.

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Bar staff and guests

Because of the rather large windows parts of the interior of the hotel is quite visible. So I have started to model the ground floor bar. The photo shows the counter with its beer pumps, bartender and a thirsty couple. A waiter is serving coffee for a couple of seated ladies. Everything and everybody will be transferred to the hotel itself. I am just waiting for around 200 guests to arrive from overseas. With the current COVID-19 restrictions and closed borders it will take a while. Meantime I will install hotel’s doors and signs.

The roof is finished

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, June 08, 2021 15:40:03

As I wrote in a previous post I have decided to do a pitched roof on the hotel. It is now finished except for a wash of diluted black paint to take the shine off.

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Duncan & Fraser still under construction

The proprietor has taken advantage of one of three access points on the roof. He seems to be in a very precarious situation with quite a free fall in front of him. Don’t worry – I will install a secure walkway along the roof.

Now with a ‘roof’

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, May 30, 2021 11:50:19

In Melbourne we are in a lock-down again. Certainly not an ideal situation but since you can only leave home two hours a day, I have more time to work on Wombat Creek. The last couple of days the focus has been on the roof of the hotel.

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Duncan and Fraser Hotel under construction

Nowadays the original hotel has a flat rood with a rooftop bar. It could be interesting to copy, but I have decided to go further back in time. An old aerial photo (probably from 1927/28) shows the hotel with a pitched roof an chimneys. For the time being the proprietor enjoys the view of the intersection.

Hotel update

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Fri, May 28, 2021 13:34:21

The work on the hotel has been partly put on hold due to time spent on the awning along the Myer department store.

Since the last ‘hotel entry’ most of the windows are now in place. Doors are still missing. Some of them have do be redrawn and printed.

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Duncan and Fraser

The windows are rather big and give you a good look inside the building. The interior of the front bar will need to be modelled. So far the walls have been covered in wall paper and the back of the bar is in place. An internal staircase (not visible in the photo) is ready to be installed but will have to wait until a doorway is in place. Working on the interior is quite ‘fiddly’ due to the limited width of the building.

The proprietor and the sign painter have moved into Victoria Street, They are still arguing over signs. This time wording of the sign is too long for the facade. Unfortunately the proprietor can’t sack the sign painter. He is the only one in town!

The roof is up

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Tue, May 11, 2021 17:45:11

A glass roof would look very good but far too hot during summer in Wombat Creek. Instead the roof has been made of corrugated iron sheets, which will still make it a quite warm wait for Mrs. Peterson. She has spending a few dollars in Myer and finally flagged down a taxi. She has been waiting for a while, whilst the taxi picked up a lucrative tour to Gum Nut Gully.

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The covered footpath along Myer department store
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Tne canopy at Myer

The framework for the canopy is finished

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Sun, May 02, 2021 17:45:04
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Along the department store

I have finally finished the framework – posts and beams – for the covered footpath along the department store. I am not an engineer so it may not be up to engineering standards anno 1963. It doesn’t matter. I have had good fun doing it, and hardly anything except the posts will be visible once the roof is on!

Lest We Forget

Text & photos from the layout Posted on Fri, April 23, 2021 18:00:05

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ANZAC Day in Wombat Creek

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