Ernest Twining (1875 – 1956) was born in Bristol, and was trained as a telephone engineer. He also took art lessons at night school. After working on the Glasgow telephone system for a while, he established a commercial art studio in, London where, as a side-line, he branched out into designing and making model aircraft for sale, in due course expanding to the manufacture of full size gliders.
Twining was polymathic in his interests, and was active in the worlds of model railways, art and design, aeronautics, astronomy X- Ray technology,and photography, ships and ship models, and stained glass. He was an accomplished water colour artist, see :-
His model-making work brought him into contact with Bassett-Lowke, the Northampton model making firm, for whom he did sub-contract work. In 1920 he founded Twining models at Northampton, which manufactured glass-case models of industrial, architectural, advertising and transport themes. He did work in connection with the Trix Twin Railways system, notably designing the “Manyways” station units, in an architecturally accurate version of the “Moderne” style developed from Art Deco. He can have had nothing to do with the rather lumpen Trix locomotives, with prominent bushes sticking out of the side!
Chapter one describes the history of H0 and 00 gauges. He himself designed a locomotive based on the GNR Atlantics as early as 1906, to one eighth of an inch to the foot scale, but it was not a commercial proposition. It was 1921 before clock work and electric locomotives of such a small scale became a practical proposition in Britain. There is a chapter containing 22 drawings of historic locomotives to HO “scale”, with suggestions for fitting mechanisms, followed by one on commercial mechanisms available. The rolling stock chapter features carriages and wagons by Stewart Reidpath Ltd., which actually look like the real thing, unlike most contemporary 00 commercially available wagons which are merely open or closed boxes with a wheel at each corner. The chapters on track work are particularly detailed, because in those days nearly every thing had to be made by hand. There are conteporary adverts for Trix Twin, Bassett-Lowke, Heayberd (transformers and rectifiers), Merco, The Model Railroader, Walkers & Holtzappfel, Mills Bros. and others.
Despite being 80 years old, Twining’s book is not only full of interesting historical information about the development of our hobby, but still contains hints and tips of use today.