It all started in nineteen thirty-mumble, when the SR’s Exmouth Junction Works was turning out all manner of concrete products - platform kits, shelters, station signs, lineside huts............ One day, the Despatch Foreman at the Works, having much more in the way of finished product than he had wagons to transport it away, asked the Yard Supervisor at Exmouth to send him any flat wagons he could lay his hands on, no matter what the owning company. In due course, the shunting trip loco arrived with a motley rag-bag of flat trucks, including an ex-Midland one.
Unfortunately, the Despatch Foreman failed to notice the painted “Empty to Rowsley Sidings” inscription on the wagon and loaded the component parts of a lineside hut on it. Though he put a wagon ticket on it, this was ignored and the wagon duly ended up at Rowsley. The Yardmaster there was somewhat nonplussed when this turned up, and contacted Derby for instructions. The LMS Traffic Department contacted their counterparts at the Southern, who responded something like “We wondered where THAT had gone to - can we have it back?”
At this point, the LMS got crafty (or greedy, depending on your point of view). Despite the fact that the wagon had been safely and successfully worked all the way up to Derbyshire in the normal course of things, including passing through the Widened Lines through London, the LMS insisted that the return working would have to be as a special, out-of-gauge load, with the appropriate (inflated) tariff applied. As this was more than the hut was worth, the Southern said, in effect, “Sod that - it can stop where it is” and thus the wagon was shunted to a back siding at Rowsley, where it mouldered for a year or two.
It was at this point that the MDLR heard about this. The General Manager spoke to the Rowsley Yardmaster, discovered the whole sorry story and then contacted the Southern. The upshot was that money changed hands, the LMS got their wagon back, and after a fairly fraught journey involving a local traction engine, a couple of 4-wheel road bogies and a fair amount of muscle, the MDLR acquired a Southern Railway Concrete lineside hut.
Initially it was installed near Bagshaw Dale Works, but the Preservation Society dismantled it and moved it to its present location at Alport Junction. The original SR door and windows succumbed to a combination of rot and vandalism some years ago: the door was replaced with one made from 3 rather heavier planks of wood and the windows boarded over (not very neatly).
The model?? Oh, the model! This (on the 4mm scale MDLR) was a Roxey Mouldings cast white metal kit, but the 16mm scale example was built from scratch, using a 4mm scale Ratio kit as a “set of drawings”. The main structure is built from that plastic boarding much beloved of estate agents, who use it to make “For Sale” signs. The strengthening ribs are made from stripwood, as are the boarded-up windows and door. Once built, the whole was treated to a coat of masonry paint, the boarded-up windows and door painted in MDLR Carriage Green and a suitable site cleared.