I got into 2ft gauge 1:1 scale just after I got married by a strange turn of events rather than planning.
My, then new, wife knew I was into trains as I was the joint owner/publisher and later editor of The Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review, a quarterly magazine that is still going strong some 20 years later still under the editorship of my old friend Roy Link. One sunny day I approached SWMBO and asked what she would think of me putting a railway round our (her) garden (I moved into her house when we were married!). To my delight she was quite enthusiastic and I promptly packed us off to the Garden Railway exhibition at Stoneleigh in Staffs. I took her round showing her all these nice G / 16mm scale items but noticed she was less than impressed and when questioned she told me she thought I had meant something we could ride on or in! Well, I thought my birthday and Christmas had come early! So I took her to the Maxi-Trak stand where her eyes lit up and she said that that was what she meant!
Now, we lived in Harrow, a suburb of London, at the time and 7 1/4in gauge was going to be a bit tight, also it was quite expensive too. I knew, (lots of connections in the right places due to the magazine) that for the same money as 7 1/4in I could get 2ft gauge and after not too much time we had settled on that and in 1994 we bought a complete Lister with roof and curtain sides for about 1500GBP. I began its restoration, not that it needed more than cosmetic, until we moved to just outside Buckingham in 1996 when we set about building a railway round the acre of back garden. The track was 20lb rail and sleepers 4 x 6in tanalised timber and funnily enough the cost per yard of track was, at the time, about the same as 7 1/4in track, what it is like now I don't know of course.
My method of track laying was born out of necessity as I broke my back in four places years before as so had to find other ways of doing things. The method I described caused me no strain as it was all a matter of balance and levers.
When we moved to Spain it really broke our hearts to take up and sell it all, but I was told to move to a warmer climate on health grounds so what could we do?
When we get big withdrawal symptoms we jump in the car and head off west along the coast and eventually arrive at the Rio Tinto Mines...
Cheers for now