Ladderedge (O:16.5)

The Story Behind The Model

Ladderedge really exists. It is a village straddling the A53 main road leading out of Leek towards the Potteries. It is surrounded by gorgeous countryside. The Ladderedge of the model borrows the name of the real place, but it is otherwise entirely fictional. It is assumed to be a fairly sizeable village to the south west of Leek and on the other side of that town from Longnor – which is the location of another model railway!

The railway is entirely fictional The model assumes that the imaginary Leek & Buxton Railway, which had built a railway between Leek and Longnor, built a short two miles long extension south-west of Leek to what looked like being an expanding and well-to-do suburb at Ladderedge. It was built and opened by 1912, which was the same year that the original route to Longnor was extended. Both extensions were very costly, but the railway company needed to create more business in order to fund the building of a line from Longnor to the railway’s original target of Buxton. However, the volume of extra business was nothing like enough to fund the Buxton extension and the entire railway attracted no extra income. Indeed, it  contributed to even larger losses. The money ran out and the railway extension from Longnor never got built. Added to that, the expected enlargement of Ladderedge never materialised. The L&B’s end came with the outbreak of the Second World War. Although the Ladderedge line itself was just about profitable on its own, it, too, closed for the war and never reopened.

The model further assumes that the Leek and Buxton Railway made use of coaches and locomotives which, in the main, were of designs used much further south on the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway.

Throughout its life, it carried passengers and conveyed general goods, coal and livestock along the two routes. It served no industries, mines or quarries and, as observed before, the tourists never came in any great numbers.

The model shows the Ladderedge terminus in around 1935.

You can download a copy of the Exhibition Manager’s details for this layout if you click here.


Owner: Hugh Williams