Photographs by Eric Dale unless otherwise stated
Douglas’s Favourite Picture. He felt it looked so real with his Highland loco No 6 approaches Dava Station from Forres with a train of empty cattle wagons for Grantown sidings.
Operated as part of The DAVA Project
You only have to look at the faces of young children at model railway exhibitions to see how fascinated they are with trains. As they get older, the fascination wanes, and only a minority continue their love affair with the iron road. For a select few, railways become a passion, a major part of their lives, and their world revolves around the study of the lines and companies that have served us for more than two centuries. Such a man was Douglas Berry.
As a teenager, he didn’t allow the lack of proprietary models to discourage him, so he started scratchbuilding his own, creating a small empire – the Shieldarroch Railway – several vehicles of which have survived to this day.
His knowledge of railways was immense, developed by broad and deep reading. His first love was the Great North of Scotland, but the Highland and other Scottish lines followed, as well as the Welsh companies and those in the north-east of England. He was heavily involved in various Heritage Railway societies, particularly the ‘Strathspey Railway’ where he worked as a station master at Broomhill.
An ardent supporter of the renowned ‘Kennedy Collection’, becoming a trustee to ensure these valuable items were not lost to the model railway fraternity. He skilfully adapted proprietary stock to create an image of the lines of yesteryear, and it is cheering to think that, despite his death, his models live on.
The DAVA scene will continue to delight Elgin Model Railway Club members and public alike, as much of Douglas’s stock has been purchased by members with the intention of maintaining and preserving his memory. Therefore, enjoy the Berry Collection, and become again the small child fascinated by the sight of a railway train.
By Ken McKee