tbabtoy1 (2)Somewhere out there, squeezed into some garage in the middle of Bothasig, lies an impeccable world of trains, automobiles, buildings and figurines.
Eric Tucker’s love for his hobby translates into hundreds of plastic men and women who go about their business in a handmade railway town.
His scaled-down world is designed to take one’s breath away, so it’s virtually a crime to keep it hidden from the public, since this 40-plus year project should be celebrated for it’s intricacy and perfection.
Mind-blowing detail overwhelms the wide-eyed giants who sporadically enter the garage.
Upon first viewing one will see trains churning along a mountainous plane.
Then one notices the lights burning brightly inside the myriad of buildings, the cars resting on bridges, the trees lining the streets, the railway tracks criss-crossing through, around, underneath and over the amazing landscape and then…
Some will sit down for a while to take it all in – then they will see the little men and women walking along the road, working on a construction site, riding on bicycles, attending a wedding, farming land, drinking at their local pub and working on the railway lines.
Deep breaths are compulsory for giants when they enter the garage!
If they happen to pass out from sheer exhilaration then their toppling masses will surely cause catastrophic earthquakes and Eric-quakes.
The 68-year-old Eric has been building his world for years and he admits that it would never be complete.
“It has probably taken me 40-odd years,” he says nonchalantly.
He cuts the figure of an unimposing man. Every single item was handcrafted by him and then found a place where it always belonged.
Looming over his immense minuscule world are some superb pencil sketches of locomotives, which unsurprisingly, he has drawn.
Ask him about trains or his younger days and a wealth of information will inevitably steamroll the listener.
“When I was a kid my parents bought me a large o-gauge Hornby train, so my interest in trains started then.
“I remember getting on a train to Rhodesia at Johannesburg Station. We were heading out into darkest Africa was like going to the moon!
“That station had an atmosphere about it in those days… It was quite incredible.
“Sometimes you would arrive in a small town and there would be a whole brass band waiting for you at the station!
“My whole life revolved around that sort of thing, because my dad worked for the railway line.
“Trains were like five-star hotels back then!” he exclaims.
While he names all the trains in his stories, which are almost always set in Southern African railway towns, one’s eyes just keep drifting towards his amazing miniature world.
The boundary between a man and his hobby has faded over time, and now it is unclear where the real Eric ends and his fantasy world of facts and anecdotes begins.
Go to TygerBurger’s website to see more images of Eric’s World.

***DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE AND PHOTO WERE PUBLISHED IN TYGERBURGER, A CAPE TOWN BASED MEDIA24 COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER. NEITHER MAY BE DUPLICATED WITHOUT ACCREDITING THE SOURCE – TYGERBURGER, MEDIA24.***

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