Festival of Toy Trains
Despite overnight rain, Saturday was
perfect weather for a Train show, cloudy with sunny
intervals which ensured a bumper crowd who enjoyed the
huge variety of layouts, displays and sales tables.
Early Birds turned up at 9am trying
to find that elusive item or bargain in the Sales Hall.
Those who waited for the
official opening at 11am were able to enjoy the outside
LGB Layout by Richard Pretious with help from Dennis
Stevens with several Swiss outline locomotives as well
as Kevin Kidneys’ remote control live steam Roundhouse
Wild West locomotive making the small incline with ease.
The Assembly Hall has the smaller
gauges and the left side exhibits were all new this
David Lyon had his 6’ x 4’ Tri-ang TT
Layout, fixed on four boards including a high level
circuit, the layout operated well all day.
Next we have today’s latest TV Star,
Peppa Pig who was on his Grandads Train on Rodney
Hodge’s ‘Hawkins Halt’ layout. Rodney had a scenic
layout full of popular items that thrilled the young and
entertained the older brigade.
Roger and Barbara Burnish are
regulars on the circuit however this was their first
trip to Alresford and they were running Hornby Dublo
3-Rail in a scenic setting. What I enjoyed most was the
busy scene around the station with Dublo Dinky vehicles
and Master Models.
Nigel Parker with his wife had a very
interesting Matchbox Motorways M2 figure of eight in the
centre of a Tri-ang Series 3 circuit. The Motorway set
ran beautifully all day and amazed many visitors who had
never seen one of these. They look great with 00 Gauge
and hopefully we may see more of these in the future. It
was mesmerising watching the vehicles move around.
In front of the stage Ian Redman and
family had 13 N Gauge layouts, in suitcases, there was
something for everyone, and one of the favourites was a
Lego layout although I quite liked the BR blue DMU.
Along side Steve Knight and Marcus
had their popular Kitmaster Display and Steve was
selling a variety of items including Playcraft.
In the middle of the hall there were
two 24’ long layouts. Les Martin, Neil Smith, Dave
White, Neil Bowsher and Paul Rees brought together their
particular interests to create a wonderful Tri-ang 00
Gauge Transcontinental layout. Neil Bowsher set up two
Minic Motorway sections, Neil Smith had replicated the
Airfix Monte Carlo Mountains to form the ‘Rockies’ and
watching the TC Trains pass through was stunning. There
was also an airport and Model Land and
Arkitex in abundance.
Ron McCaskie and Dennis Smith with
fellow members of the Chiltern Group were running their
large Hornby Dublo 2-Rail layout with Dublo and Wrenn
stock as well as neverwazzas. I love watching the trains
come through the Canopy Station and also noticed a Dublo
‘Deltic’ awaiting its next turn in the siding.
On the far side of the hall Peter
Corish and members of the Brickish Association had 36’
of Lego Wonderland. Several circuits of Lego Trains with
one leading to a large Sea Freight Terminal, also a
shunter did admirable work all day collecting and
delivering coloured balls from each end of a very
complicated conveyouring system. A real treat for the
young was a pit full of green Lego which visitors able
to play with to their hearts content.
On the stage Nick Gillman with help
from John Bruce had Nick’s now completed Tri-ang
Standard track layout which has been beautifully
scenictise. Nick had spent a considerable time on the
farm and street scenes and the standard track did not
look out of place. Nick also showed delight in running
two early Tri-ang locos for the first time and also had
a plunger Princess running round smoothly. As I passed a
black Diesel Shunter was pulling a large train of cable
yours truly had set up a quantity of Lone Star 000
push-a-long trains and accessories and a fixed Brio
layout for young visitors to enjoy. Most of the day I
spotted youngsters enjoying being able to touch and play
with the trains. Four Marks Scouts were running a Hornby
00 Gauge layout made by Hornby with first series
centre of the stage was taken over by Track Party, who
set up a huge Tomy layout on four stage blocks. This was
a popular attraction with no less than thirteen trains
running at once. The central elevated section had ten
The Larger layouts and Sales Tables
are in the Sports Hall. On the left Will Temple had
co-ordinated the Bowman group who ran Bowman and other
makers live steam locomotives all day. Expertly arranged
there were no gaps in running and I was impressed with a
Bassett Loke Mogul running at full speed with flames
clearly visible under the boiler.
Bryan Pentland was enjoying running
trains before he organises the TCS Summer Show in July. Bryan as
usual had Monorails and elevated track. I was also
impressed by his large Ubilda Tin Castle which
had Mettoy Spamcan passing as I was there, earlier a
Mickey Mouse Circus Train with Mickey stoking the fire
had been running round.
Andrew Smart and members of the Oak Lodge School Railway
Club had two layouts. Andrew had recently acquired a
clockwork layout in a box with wooden station and yard
building, adding more buildings including a neat Canopy
station, he was able to set up a very impressive layout.
Their other layout was Tri-ang Big Big with set box
displays. A neat circuit had been made and ran well all
Howard Starr-Keddle mustered the HRCA
Mortimer group to put on another excellent Hornby O
Gauge layout with lighting by Mike Allen. I was also
very impressed with the Spot On buildings and very rare
Manor House courtyard which I had not seen before. All
ages of Hornby was running with modern ACE and Darstead
also on show.
A big thank you to John and Briony
Hollnads who stepped in with their layout of Clockwork
and Battery O gauge (they were original going to help on
another layout that had to be cancelled) As I was
passing a Hatchette 4-wheel Pantograph locomotive was
running on battery power using an ETS chassis. A nice
town using collectors tin was greatly admired.
Adam Heeley with help from Bob
Boorman had Lionel and American Flyer running on 12’ x
6’ tables. This was again a very impressive layout. I
particularly liked the Lionel Budd Railcars; a Marx
Railcar was also doing sterling work.
Hidden amongst the Trix traders
(Duncan Bell, Dixon Upcox
and Peter Berry) was Clive Parker who had his neat Trix
Clive has fitted as much as possible
into a small size. As I was passing a Gaiety Pannier
Tank was pulling a pair of suburban coaches.
As usual the traders had a mixed day
however as visitors stay at the show all afternoon,
sales were still being conducted at 4pmand
most had reasonable
or good sales by the end of the day.
Thanks to all the visitors from far
and wide including John Robertson from Australia and
Marcus Leckie from New Zealand, Marcus also took half a
sales table to sell Tri-ang New Zealand made sets and
Rolling stock (not surprisingly he sold out!)
Many thanks to Four Marks Scouts who
organised the early Bacon Butties and refreshments all
day, Alresford Scouts who ran the BBQ and sold 300
Alresford Pigs for selling The
Pots Brewery Real Ale and Alresford Save the Children
Branch who manned the doors. The show helped raise
approx £2000 for these local charities.
A big thank you to Dave McCarthy for the photographs and
putting the report together on the web.
Those taking lunch in the courtyard
were also entertained by blues band ‘Watch Out’, who
played from 1pm-4pm.
We also had a Spitfire Flypast at 4pm to
celebrate the Mid Hants Railway ‘War on the Line’
Bob Leggett, Show Organiser