An interview with Jack Wheldon

Recorded at his home, May 20, 1985

Jack Wheldon steaming Jocelyn in his garden.

--Photo: Barbara Horovitz

Jack Wheldon was hugely influential in the world of garden railroading in the late 1970s and 1980s, especially in Britain. Not only did he do extensive design and development work in the field of miniature steam locomotives, particularly with pot-boilered engines, but he wrote extensively for the British model-railway press. His influence was profound, not only on me, but upon countless other fortunate souls.

When I visited Jack in 1985, he kindly agreed to this interview. Each segment is around 10-12 minutes. In the first segment, he discusses his attraction for garden railways and the advent of his own Border Counties Railway. To hear this segment, click here.

Jack and Marc Horovitz, May, 1985. In this photo, at the main terminal on Jack's Border Counties Railway, several engines are visible, including a pair of Heclas, the unfinished Jocelyn, and, behind the LGB coach, Superbrick -- an Archangel Brick that Jack thoroughly rebuilt into an 0-6-0T. -- Photo: D.B. Pinniger
In the second clip, Jack talks about his involvement with small scale, live-steam locomotives and the development of them in the garden scales -- particularly narrow gauge engines. Click here to listen.

In the final clip, Jack discusses his ideas about garden railways -- what they are (or were in 1985) and his predictions for what they would become. These predictions have largely come true. Click here.