The Layout Part Two – The Setting for Hintock

DSCN3433 Setting for Hintock

3433 SR local passenger train from Yeovil runs into Hintock passing Hintock Dairies.

The setting for Hintock: The period is the 1930’s, the time a beautiful English summer’s day. All is tranquil at Hintock and in the Vale of Hintock, Dorset.

Hintock Redux, though more commonly known as Hintock, is a market town in the Vale that is bounded to the north by the Dorset Downs, to the south the English Channel, east is Dorchester and the west, Devon. (In my mind it combines the commerce of Bridport with the beauty of Beaminster.) Through the Vale runs the River Brede on its way to the sea. It is an area of pleasant rolling country interspersed with fine stands of timber. Long settled and having an equable climate, the soil is suited for crops of every description and particularly early varieties. And it is also the locality favoured by Thomas Hardy (a writer whom I admire) for his Dorset novels, hence the names employed.

Hintock Junction Map

Map showing geography of Hintock and its connection via rail to other cities.

Railways were slow to come to Dorset and there was great rivalry between the Great Western Railway (GWR)  and the London & South Western (L&SWR). This was only settled in the early 1850’s by a parliamentary decision that between Dorchester and Yeovil the railway be owned and operated  jointly, as it should between Dorchester and Weymouth. And at Dorchester the two companies would share a joint station. Through this development, Hintock was reached in 1857, and the Hintock Branch came into being as a jointly owned GWR and L&SWR branch running from Hintock Junction, off the line between Yeovil to Dorchester.  In 1884 the branch was extended to the small fishing village of Port Bredy. This extension is now open for goods traffic only.


3567. The SR passenger to Yeovil has the “right away” and following it from the loop will be the GWR pick up goods to Hintock Junction.

Prior to the Hintock Branch, travel was at the pace of a horse or on foot, but the railway brought faster means of communication. With that Hintock and the Vale further prospered as markets for its agricultural crops and produce were found, by way of the GWR and SR, in London and the manufacturing towns of the Midlands and the North.


3067. In late afternoon the GWR passenger from Weymouth is running past the entry to Sheepcroft Yard and has behind the loco “the Grimsby fish” van attached at Hintock junction. It will be unloaded at the platform by Mr Samways the fishmonger, and work back empty for return to the LNER, and more fish.

The town of Hintock itself places demands on the Hintock Branch line through the local traders and farmers. Crown Price Brewery, Hintock Dairies and the Hintock Quarry Company are all connected by rail.


3158. A tranquil scene as the Up GWR morning goods train heads to shunt Town Yard (through the bridge) and all stations to the Junction.

Operating is my principal interest, and it is this scenario that I have created that enables me to run a credible sequence of trains. And, to add to the essential sense of place, the names of the actual towns delineating the immediate area are used; I.e., Yeovil, Dorchester and Weymouth.


  1. Jack Breddy says

    Hello John:
    I have looked at your layout many times. You have built a great layout and your modelling is very well done.
    Interestingly you indicate Port Bredy on your layout. My surname is Breddy and the name is thought to originate in Southern Britain. We visited Little and Long Bredy a few years back to see if we could establish a connection with our family. We have not been able to date, but I am still trying.
    I am lucky to have a 10′ x 12′ room to build a railway. I currently am considering moving from north american HO scale, back to 00. I need to do further investigation into equipment, track, etc.

    Keep up the great work.


  1. […] about and create the back story in keeping with the scenario I had created for the Hintock Branch itself. Thus the story I adopted is that the Quay owned by Hintock Town Council, now in a neglected […]

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