The West Cork Model Railway Village in Clonakilty will reopen on Friday, April 4 after months of careful restoration and renovation work.
With the supervisory help of retired County Architect Billy Houlihan — one of the original idea men in the building of the Model Railway Village — models have been painstakingly restored to their original glory.
“Bandon was possibly the worst weather affected of the model towns, it’s situated right beside the bay,” says Manager Kim McNamara. “One hundred of its models have all been lifted, inspected, repaired, replaced and repainted.”
Each model building takes two to three days to paint and every detail is restored meticulously.
Norman Waugh, who trained under original modelmaker, the late Roy Tassell, is carrying out the work with the help of Finbarr O’Sullivan, an employee of the Model Village for the past 20 years. Michael Whelton, Donal Pender and Hazel Huggins have assisted in the repainting of the models and new staff members under JobBridge/ Tus schemes have helped in the maintenance programme.
Many of the models have also been remade using a stronger combination of resin and fiberglass in the mould. Each sleeper in the Village has been repainted, as well as the playroom and any other area that needed sprucing up.
“It’s been a huge job and is still ongoing,” says Kim “but we’ve done a great deal. We have a specialist paint adviser coming in to us before painting the train engine and carriages. The greatest care and attention is being given to all the renovation work.”
To celebrate the reopening, the weekend of April 4/5/6 is free entry to the West Cork Model Railway Village and train. All aboard!