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parently, he was as enchanted by this miniature world in Bristol as Van Allsburg had been in Grand Rapids. To the good fortune of all, his offer was accepted.
Doug is a lifelong resident of Bristol. His family moved to New Hampshire from Massa- chusetts. His father and grand- father brought with them a keen knowledge of carpentry, home construction, and the lumber business. That background would be put to use as their Bris- tol lumber business grew from building ammo boxes during the Second World War to the con- struction of homes during the postwar boom. Doug was born into the Williams family in 1959. His youthful interest in model railroads was engendered by his father, whose Lionel Train was set up each Christmas in the fam- ily’s “parlor .”Doug would have liked to extend his tenure as the Tapply’s train engineer beyond high school, but it was time to go to college, and so Doug departed to pursue a degree in Industrial Technology at Keene State.
December 2022
 After college graduation, Doug Williams returned to Bristol. Eventually, he would
become part of the Williams Company management team. As providence would have it, he received a call from the Tapply Center in December of 1982. Santa’s Village was in trouble. The model train wouldn’t run. Could Doug come in and get the train running? Doug responded quickly. He was happy to be re- united with the old train but had forgotten the small size of the railroad presentation. The model train ran in one loop on that sin- gle sheet of plywood. Although disappointed with the model lay- out’s size, Doug fixed the prob- lem. The little train was running again, and Doug would check on it for the next few years. How- ever, the model railroad buff had a lingering feeling that Santa’s Village would benefit from a new model railroad, a much bigger one that would more effectively awaken a child’s imagination.
In the mid-1980s, Doug began planning for a new, larger model train layout. With the welcome support of the Tapply
Center, he and fellow model en- thusiast Al Sanderson, began designing and constructing the new “North Pole Express .”They worked throughout 1987, and the model was ready for its first
feet. They transit on two levels, passing mountains and fields. They enter and emerge from tunnels and cross bridges. The locomotives pull (or push) large colorful rolling stock, and some
destination for the “Bristol Polar Express Train” is Santa’s work- shop. All of this activity, from the fiddle track to the journey’s end, is controlled by Doug Williams. To the delight of the children, he operates the model dressed in the authentic trainman’s garb of blue overalls, work shoes, and a cap. Doug loves children. His own, Amy and Doug, are now adults, and Doug Junior still shares his dad’s enchantment with model railroads and is always will- ing to help when he can with “train work .”Since Doug Senior knows it’s important for chil- dren to interact physically with toys, parents need not be overly concerned that their child’s ex- citement might lead to an unin- tended derailment. Doug accepts these occasional episodes. Philo- sophically, he says, “It’s all part of growing up.”
The Tapply Center’s “North Pole Train” will be running Fri- day, December 9th, from 6 to 8 pm. It will run on Satur- day and Sunday, the 10th and 11th, from 2 to 5 pm. It’s well worth a visit to enrich your child’s dreams and perhaps your
 Santa Village run in 1988.
The new model trains (there are now two) speed through an elaborate landscape and city- scape on a platform of 168 square
of the cars display a Christmas motif. Santa can be seen smiling out to the enthralled youngsters from a boxcar (they inevitably return the smile). One important

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