Vintage Toy Train Show
Report by Bob Leggett
photos and video, Dave McCarthy
additional photos Keith Bone
Almost perfect weather, overcast with only a couple of early showers (between 11am -1 pm) ensured a record attendance at this years show. Approximately 1000 visitors were rewarded with another splendid selection of 22 working layouts, several displays and 90 sales tables.
In the assembly hall were the
John and Sue Ablett had their
fantastic Wrenn/ Hornby Dublo layout with heaps of rare accessories
from other makes such as Master Models and Minix. Rare engines were
also displayed in an original shop cabinet.
was Tri-ang Super 4 layout. Les Martin with help from Neil Bowsher
and accessories by Bob Leggett had improved on the layout from last
year. Neil had added a high level Minic Motorway to be the same
height as the high level station which was served by a shuttle and
Les had re designed the layout to incorporate more loops. A super
super 4 layout!
Chris Cheney with fellow Round Tablers had set up his Dublo 3 Rail layout for the public to operate including a working TPO. I notice a couple of collisions however it was great to see the kids big and small enjoy running the trains.
David Holmes with help from Brian Arnold and their partners ran a superb Trix layout with a Southern and early BR theme. At the time I was viewing an early Southern EMU was doing the rounds. A working conveyor belt was in operation throughout the day.
Derek Smith with help from Ron McCaskie and friends brought his Dublo 2 rail Layout for the first time to Alresford. A truly magnificent 3 rail layout with several neverwassas blending in perfectly with some long trains of super detailed Dublo.
Ashley Barton had his superb Kitmaster/ Airfix layout, running beautifully all day with a whole host of working accessories including a burning bungalow! Will he be allowed to do this after July 1st!!
Steve Knight who runs the Kitmaster Club had a display of made up models and was selling a variety of items.
Peter Gurd had a display of
Unusual 00 which included a Hugar Southern Electric Set and a Mint
Ever Ready Underground Set. Peter also had a great collection of
books etc for sale and did good business all day.
Bob Boekhout from the Netherlands brought along two layouts. He has made an excellent new Tri-ang 00 Standard track layout which ran beautifully all day and to celebrate 50 years of British TT had a neat Tri-ang TT layout.Many thanks to Malcolm Pugh who helped Bob.
Also in the hall was the
Aldershot and District Bus group who operated a vintage Double
Decker between Alresford Station, the Show and Bramdean Fete.
On the stage it was a kid’s paradise. Gary Williams and his sons had set up a 14x 9' TOMY layout. With seven trains running at any one time this was a huge attraction to our younger friends and it was a delight to see their faces as they stopped and started the trains and chased around to meet James or Thomas.
A small Brio
layout donated by Brio was also available for the younger
I’m not sure what generation Nick Gillman belongs to but with his Tri-ang Excentricita (That’s Nick’s spelling!)layout he was also able to keep the Big Boys and small boys happy with a host of Tri-ang operating items including a Giraffe car and Helicopter. Thanks also to his able assistant Ray.
Also on the stage Clive Gehle had set up his excellent original Lone Star Treble O lectric pre-formed layout with a variety of colourful stock running. His also had a full table of push along Lone Star. Clive also displayed a collection of Linda and Blue Box toys made in Hong Kong with some very interesting copies of Dublo Signal boxes, Tri-ang Signal Gantries and Lesney cars.
The stage was completed with a small Lego display of items from the sixties set up by yours truly and a fully scenic Hornby 00 gauge layout made in the Hornby factory kindly loaned by Hornby for visitors to operate. With Scaledale buildings including a farm this was much admired.
As we enter the Sports Hall we are met with the aroma of live steam from the Bowman Circle who were operating their locos on a double track. They kept going all day and fascinated visitors were given an insight into this interesting system.
Bryan Pentland had an excellent display of Marx and also had several Monorails . Two of monorail sets were made by Winfield to be sold in Woolworths in the sixties, presumably quite cheap toys in their time these have lasted remarkably well. Also Bryan was running other makes and as I passed a superb Japanese two car EMU was doing the rounds.
The Draycott family came down en masse and presented their fantastic Dublo 3 rail layout which is just awesome, This is one of the largest 3 rail layouts on the circuit and was completed with Dinky toys and other similar accessories.
John Ovenden and friends from the HRCA put on an excellent Hornby O gauge layout running Hornby , Ace and Bassett Lowke with electrically lit accessories. Several themes developed throughout the day but my favourite time was late on when I was able to run my own recently restored Eton for the first time.
Four more layouts completed the displays, Adam Heely assisted by Bruce Coleman ran a neat French Hornby O gauge layout with a lovely selection of accessories from this system that outlasted British Hornby by several years.
John and Briony Hollands had a lovely display of MO size Clockwork and Battery O gauge. A Mettoy Safety Electric Train was running when I passed by as well as Hornby MO Clockwork loco with no less than seven coaches. It amazed me how the engine stayed on the tracks when it first took off.
Mike Clarke was flying the flag for Tri-ang Big Big and had a super layout with many accessories and a wonderful back drop sign that presented the layout so well.
Alongside Peter Steyning was running Timpo from the 70’s. Peter had set up a fantastic battlefield skirmish between the Union and Confederates which of course compliments the Wild West trains.
The rest of the sports hall was dedicated to nearly 90 sales tables selling a huge variety of toy and model trains . Several dealers were delighted with the day and probably helped buck a trend of poor sales at recent toy fairs.
Outside Martin Edwards had set up a 5inch live steam railway which he was testing for a display later in the year, sadly the early rain curtailed his running but later in the afternoon was able to operate satisfactory.
Richard Precious had his LGB
set up outside, a large oval
with a passing loop, and a central running siding. The outer loop
had several trains running with Digitrax DCC controlling the LGB MTS
chips, no need for special track isolating sections. Amongst the
trains seen running on the oval was a blue LGB RhB Crocodile with
realistic sounds hauling a lengthy rake of Pullman coaches, and a
Swiss BoBo loco hauling RhB obvservation cars. The central line was
conventionally DC powered, via a radio control remote system. Locos
seen on this line we mainly US outline, a Budd railcar, and some
large US diesels, including a GP9 and SD40.
Several people gave me great support to make this show a success. My wife Fiona with friends Claire and Jo took on the catering when on Tuesday Morning I was informed the school caterer’s husband had died in the night. They did a splendid job at very short notice. Hillary and Wendy also helped in the afternoon session on behalf of the Elizabeth foundation. Alresford Rotary did and excellent job running their BBQ with probably the best quality burger you will find.
Perin’s School Rugby team sold raffle tickets to raise money for their forthcoming tour.
Matt Hepenstal ran the Real Ale bar with a lovely beer from Itchen Valley Brewery. The local branch of the Save the Children manned the doors all day and Four Marks Scout troop organised the car parking.
A record attendance ensures that I will be able to donate a £1000 to the groups mentioned above despite ever increasing costs.
Many thanks to all those who
came, to the exhibitors for their layouts and displays and the
traders with their stock. Without all of you this event would not be
possible. Sorry to go on so long my apologies if I have missed