The early May bank holiday finally graced the UK with some much needed sunshine and warm weather.
Rising temperatures and clear blue skies has people all around the country looking forward to the summer months and one thing that is on the agenda for many is building a model railway in their garden. Research by OnTracks.co.uk found that a number of its customers were planning on constructing a track of this ilk on their property ready for the warmer times ahead.
Young and old, male and female were all thinking of bringing a railway to life in their back garden but all had a different reasons for building one. For women, the company found that entertaining the children was a major driving force behind their decision. Mums were buying big Thomas the Tank Engine sets to keep their children entertained on the hot summer days in the garden.
For men, however, there was a much more innovative reason for building a model railway. The company found that lads and dads were using the garden sets to deliver beer or wine from the house to the patio on large freight trains. Some even went as far pouring alcohol into some of the barrel wagons as a way of impressing guests at house parties.
Railways enthusiasts also turned their garden into a track to reignite their hobby. Many people enjoy creating a miniature railway complete with steam engines and trains but to have it outside and see it pass ponds and through shrubbery can give that real authentic feel of travelling by rail in the golden age of steam.
Fiona Mulhall, managing director at OnTracks.co.uk, explained: "We've always seen a huge interest in model railways in the garden each spring – these 'Garden Railway' systems are typically much larger scale models than those you would purchase and run indoors. We thought people bought them because they wanted a live steam engine with all the correct engineering and more realistic operation – but we were wrong."