Last year we brought you the heart-warming story of Noel McGuiness, who was realising one of his lifelong dreams to build a model train set.
It was a childhood dream and a labour of love, played out during the height of the Pandemic – and a perfect way to fill the time and keep Noel’s mind off the state of the world.
We also mentioned in our previous story that Churchill Retreat was working to have a clear Perspex cover made to contain the train set and ensure it was protected from any potential damage. Well, we are delighted to report that this has now been completed, along with a lovely plaque noting this project is a generous donation to the home from their resident, Noel.
To honour Noels time and dedication, the home held a special opening ceremony and ribbon cutting on 4 November to unveil the completed model for all at the home to enjoy for many years to come. Attending residents were presented with a railway ticket and each of them were met by the Train Conductor, who punched their tickets ready to come onboard.
The guest of honour, Noel, was notably chuffed as he cut the red ribbon, and rightly so. This project has required a lot of time and patience but he states that he is, “so delighted with the finished product and so overwhelmed with the response, interest and appreciation I have received from the guests.”
By way of history, Noel is from the UK, where model trains were a popular hobby and an industry he always had an interest in. Noel has always dreamt of building a realistic model train station but he says that like many dreams, time flies by, circumstances change and his dream seemed to, “remain in the clouds”. Noel’s interest was re-sparked when he chatted to another resident at the facility and discovered they both had a common interest in model trains. He thought he had missed his chance now he was living in an aged care facility, but he spoke with the Facility Manager and to Noel’s surprise a suitable area within the home was made available for constriction to commence.
Designing and building the train station took approximately 12 months, in which time Noel purchased the models, constructed a stand, put the models together and built the railway track. Noel stated that he has done his best to get the structure as realistic as possible.
He states that he, “hopes this railway station serves a purpose for future generations.” And that he is, “so appreciative to Churchill and Infinite Care for allowing and encouraging me to live out my dream.”
A labour of love indeed!