Exploring Excellence in Gauge '3'
Dick Allan - An Engine a Year kept our Doctor busy!
Dick Allan grew up in Portsmouth where as a boy, he watched Spitfires chasing Messerschmitts during the Battle of Britain. He later followed his Dad into medicine and was trained at Guy’s hospital. He joined a research team at the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, Farnborough, being eventually appointed Director of the Army Personnel Research Establishment. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, retiring in 1995.
Dick was a ‘late developer’ in the world of Garden Railways but a chance visit to GRS tempted him into Gauge 3. He built the ‘Parkside and Hale’ railway in 2005 in his garden at Farnham and after a brief sojourn with electric operation, turned to live steam. He bought a lathe and taught himself to use it. He then proceeded to build a series of live steam engines at a prodigious rate. They include an LBSC 4-6-0 Purley Grange, a 0-6-0 Southern Maid, a SR Schools, which was followed by an Atlantic (Ayesha) and a Beyer-Garratt 0-4-0/0-4-0.
Dick then turned to locomotive design and published a series in Model Engineer on constructing a Gauge 3 ‘D-Class’ locomotive. Next was a design for a Gauge 3 model of the Stockton and Darlington Railway’s ‘Derwent’ (which won a Bronze medal at the ME 2012 show) and which was also published as a series in ME. His ‘Chaldron’ wagon won a Bronze medal and was followed by ‘Liverpool’ a Crampton locomotive. Dick’s last locomotive build was ‘Courier’ also a Crampton but battery-electric powered.
Unfortunately, arthritis and cataracts have now brought Dicks' amazing locomotive and stock production to a halt but locomotives can still be seen running at Society Events.