Before there was a Dutch Group

Ted Polet

Origin of 009

The 1960s saw the beginning of 009 modelling - 4mm scale on 9mm track. The real origin was in the 1950s, when narrow gauge layouts were built on 12mm gauge track, and only one or two modellers worked on 9mm or even 9.5mm track. Probably the first modeller in what eventually would be 009 was P.D.Hancock from Edinburgh, who built his famous Craig & Mertonford Railway in the early 1950s. He is now seen as the true founder of 009. In 1973, a handful of modellers founded the 009 Society.

I myself started the Craigcorrie & Dunalistair Railway as a young modeller in 1968, but the history of the Dutch 009 Group didn't begin until the 1990s, especially by the efforts of the late Reinier Hendriksen, who tried to get a group off the ground as long ago as 1992. Previously I myself had been working on a big double level layout from about 1980. Something had been written about that in the British and Dutch modelling press, which is why I suppose Reinier contacted me.

First contact

One day in 1991 or 1992 I was phoned by an unknown chap with a deep friendly-sounding voice. This was Reinier, who, after a few minutes talk on railway modelling, asked me whether I was a member of the 009 Society. I wasn't - I had been ploughing a lone furrow for years and I didn't really see the advantage. However, Reinier got me to sign up, which needless to say I never regretted. We visited each other's places and I met his lady friend, Loes. On the living room table he had a small layout unit with a few cottages and a big white cardboard church under construction. This was Moors End.

In May of 1992, Reinier got together a number of narrow gauge modellers at Harry Eker's place in the village of Borkel in the South of the country. It was a very diverse group modelling in all kinds of scales, and the attempt to get together a Dutch Group didn't go beyond Reinier and myself. We kept in touch and I was introduced by him to Expong, first at Greenwich House and later at Swanley.

Meanwhile, he worked at Moors End, and I was working on Dunalistair and Inverlochan. We had weekly telephone conversations and occasionally went to see each other's work. I remember him having a funny choice of words, such as 'a passenger coach carriage'... We both regularly wrote pieces in the 009 News in those days.


In October, 1994, we took Moors End to Swanley, in the back of Reinier's CitroŽn 2CV. The layout box stuck into my back through the flimsy upholstery, and on our way to the hotel at Ashford, the tiny car encountered the fearful climb up the Downs on the M20. Halfway up, we made about 35mph despite Reinier having floored the gas, and even the lorries roared past usÖ Expong to me was the first experience of exhibiting a layout, and soon afterwards I went to work to 'ruggedise' Dunalistair with the object of exhibiting myself.

In April that same year we had been at the Zutphen MRC show with Moors End, invited by Guillaume Veenhuis. There we also met R.G. 'Kit' Kittle, an English modeller living in our country. Dunalistair appeared at a show in Baarn, in 1996 I think, where we met Jan van Mourik. Both later became Dutch Group members. Reinier and Loes went to a show in Rye, held by the Racoons Group (the 'Rye & Camber 00 Nine Society').

Moors End appeared in RM July 1995 p290 - p295 as Railway of the Month, "The Ding Dong Moor Light Railway", and in the Dutch magazine Railhobby 1996/2 p28 - p33. Information from Garry Whiting.

In 1996, Reinier showed Moors End at the Rail'96 show in 's Hertogenbosch. Jan van Mourik made a short video.

Rail'96 video:

In June, 1997, Reinier and I, together with Guillaume, Marco Nuesink, Otto Schouwstra and Fried Lagerweij, did the first show at Valkenburg. I forgot who took the initiative. Later that year, Dunalistair went to Expong, together with Guillaume's 0e layout 'Watkijk' and Marco Nuesink's 'Llad-two-c-u'. And finally, Moors End was shown by Reinier and Loes at the 25th Anniversary of the Society at Sparholt in 1998. Jan van Mourik made some video of that occasion - I wasn't there.

The Dutch Group is founded

I found I wrote in the July 1998 issue of the 009 News that a Dutch Group was being set up, but not until August 1999 I wrote that Reinier, Jan van Mourik, Jaap Stuurman and myself had met a few times and the Dutch Group's existence was fact. Soon afterwards we were dealt a heavy blow as Reinier proved to be seriously ill. He would pass away in April, 2000. Still, the Dutch Group stayed put, and that same month of April, 2000, some of us met to discuss a new exhibition at Valkenburg, to be held in September. And how we did we fare afterwards? Well, you'd best have a look at the remainder of the website...

Image above: a drawing of the Hansweert-Vlake Tramway by Reinier Hendriksen.

            Reinier's photos:  

                  Ted's photos  

Reinier in the 009 News  

Photos and video of Moors End copyright © Loes van der Klei 2015