Report on the 2008 Summer Show held at Sandy in July 2008
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Dave McCarthy
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Magic was the word one visitor described to David Ramsey as he left the Sandy Exhibition having spent hours enjoying the layouts. The Show was another excellent mix of collectible trains and Model Railways with a good variety of stock available from the various traders.
The show is effectively over 5 halls and I will briefly describe the action as we enter the entrance hall. Here Bachmann who are sponsors of the show had two layouts. The main layout built in conjunction with Milton Keynes MRC showed off their current stock and I was impressed with an Irish set resplendent in Orange, also a monorail from one of Bachmann’s US companies was rather nice. Alongside was an Underground Ernie layout by Bachmann which is based on the children’s TV series. A very colourful layout on a trackmat that children were allowed to operate.
Pat Hammond had a superb display of Rovex Early Years including Trackmaster and a very nice Rich Uncle Set. Also a very rare Gamages set in excellent condition was on view. These sets are usually advertised at the back of the Gamages catalogues in the late 50’s.
Elaine and Andy Hyelman had a very neat East German factory built (Leipzig 1985) TT layout. This was made by Stein, they were running mainly Berliner Bahn with occasional Zeuke and other makes. The layout was beautifully laid out and looked very well made.
A TCS Information stand was also in this Hall. As we move into Hall 2 we pass Steve Knight’s Kitmaster stand with a variety of made and unmade models on display plus a oo gauge items for sale. I noticed a lovely Kitmaster presentation set with three locos at £85 in a wonderful artistic box and was tempted!
Derek Smith had promised me a twelve car EMU and when I arrived at the Dublo two rail layout sure enough there was a wonderful sight of a twelve car set which as I watch converted into a 3 car and 9 car!. With a large band of helpers this group continued to run long trains with a variety of stock.
This Hall also had the majority of the Model Railway layouts which as usual were a very high standard and included Ardleigh Park an N gauge layout with plenty of operation and a super golf course in the middle. Burton Bradstock was a well made EM layout depicting a line in Dorset, unfortunately nothing was running the whole time I was there.
Soar Point was another N Gauge layout with a very realistic sea front.
Opposite was a real rarity. Paul Brookes with mechanical help from Martin Doubleday were running Hugar Southern Electrics built in 1947 on Hugar track. If you have ever seen Hugar track you will be amazed as it is mainly solid wood. There are even points. While I was there two sets were running and they did look rather good. Paul also had a variety of Hugar building plus his rare village set.
This was obviously the quirky corner as alongside, Peter Berry had a triple circuit 00 layout and as I passed was running three lesser known makes. On the outside a Graham Farish Sir Eustace Missenden with a pair of Pullman coaches was running very sweetly through the Farish (card) station. In the middle track a Formo 0-6-0 tender loco ran well and on the inside a Scalemaster American style loco and two coaches also ran very well.
Another modeller’s layout was O gauge Chasebury, a set based on an industrial railway and had a mixture of members stock.
Ashley Barton was a very happy man as his layout Three Oaks won the Best Layout prize chosen by the visitors. There is no surprise as this layout never ceases to amaze me and every visit you see something new.
We now move into Hall 3 where Robin Thorp and members of the Bayko Club had an interesting selection of buildings including the Houses of Parliament and on Sunday a Pyramid. There was also a small N gauge layout with a variety of stock.
Stevenage and District MRC had a nice OO gauge layout based on a cross country railway. Unfortunately to the disappointment of the viewing public, not a lot was moving when I was there.
Mervyn Askew had a display of Model Roads and Tramways and the Sandy Transport Society also had an information stand.
Nick Gillman with help from Ray Jones, Ken Gilbert, Adrian Jarvis and Albyn Austin had a layout titled British Trains of Tomorrow based in the sixties. Nick was as usual showing off and caused quite a stir as three photographers filmed a Tri-ang AIA pulling no less than seven Scalecraft road railers! Nick also ran an Anbrico Hymek and rake of Mark 1 coaches and a superb six car Kitmaster Pullman with two kitchen cars.
Kevin West had his part built 1970’s TT layout with track by Gem and Wrenn and rolling stock including a Q1 by several makers. Using Builteze card buildings it will be interesting to see this layout in a years time.
Reg Harman with help from Guy and Peter were flying the flag for Tri-ang TT. I was most impressed as there were three different coloured Span cams. The standard Green, a well painted Blue Clan Line from Guy’s collection and finally a Kay’s Golden train which ran beautifully and looked divine!
In Hall 3 the Draycott family had gone all North American with a fantastic display of Lionel together with a Wild West show on one side of the layout including 126 Buffalo, Wagon Trains, Fort, American Civil War skirmish and cowboys and Indians.
On the other side was a rare Lionel Rocket set on a launch pad. These Rockets are designed to fly 6-10 feet but to avoid damage I just had to believe Paul.
Peter Dunk and helpers had a Gauge One display that really was a Southern spectacle as no less than four of the hand built locos built by Peter were Southern and included a T9 and SECR D Class which were double heading as I passed. Despite their size they run on 12 volts and only drew 0.5amp. Bing and Marklin buildings helped give the layout that quality feel.
As we enter the main sports hall the remainder of the layouts are round the outside with most of the traders in the middle. First up is David Holt with a very nice display of Trix and Lilliput from the sixties. Of special note was a Flying Scotsman with superb card kit built teak coaches. David also had a very rare wooden Ratio kit built Derby DMU.
Ace Trains as well as trading at the show were on display on Steve Guest’s 3-rail layout using Atlas track. I was very impressed with the ACE 4 CEP which was running both days and had a very realistic sparking blue light under the front bogie. With an intermittent timer this was a super accessory and hopefully ACE will be building these trains next year. Also on show were two castles(BR and GWR) and both looked great.
Phil Goater and his son Bertie had a very colourful and extensive display of Tomy . As I passed there were no less than 16 trains, planes and cars moving at one time. I noticed a plane at Sodor Airport take off on transparent track. This layout was very popular with the families that visited particularly on Sunday.
Brian Pentland ands Paul Williams had a marvellous display of colourful Japanese tinplate and there was no hari-kari as the trains ran well all weekend. Near the end I accused Paul of running a Leeds 0-4-0 but was told it was Stronlite of Japan who had copied Leeds.
John and Pauline Foreman had one of my favourite layouts. Their Kempston Vintage Railway is full of accessories collected by John over the last 30+ years and represented a countryside scene in LMS territory. As well as Hornby and plenty of Britain’s items John also used the Tri-ang Spot on Cotswold buildings . With each field different and lots of farm vehicles this was a lovely set up.
Ivor Walton and friends were displaying Meccano and I was very impressed with nine sports cars and a Meccano lorry with a working winch pulling logs towards it.
In the corner Hugh Bennett was display his collection of Dublo Dinkies .Set in a village scene using Superquick and Metcalfe kits this was a very nice display. Hugh is particularly keen to complete his collection and only needs two more items, a flatbed lorry with a hook and an Artic with light grey wheels-can you help?
Dave Coddington with his daughter Jennifer were displaying a vast collection of Tri-ang Transcontinental and rare items which include a Black Hymek. Apparently this was produced for the box manufacturer although it is fully motorised, how many more black locos are there? I also noticed a boxed South African Blue Train .
Minic Motorway with Tri-ang Railways was operated by David Lyons and his son Ben. An excellent set up with several automated items this was well received by the public.
Push-a-long Lone Star trains were presented by Simon Culverhouse. Two small layouts ,one with plastic track and the other using metal with appropriate stock were set up with scenic backgrounds. A 1966-68 unopened boxed set was also on display plus loads of packets set up on hooks behind the layouts-it was just like being in Woollies in the early 70’s!
Richard Deas and his wife had their Tri-ang Hornby box fronted layout running an excellent selection of 1966-72 stock. One has to stand back to really admire this innovative design for a layout.
American Flyer by Mike Flye and Neil Trump was entertaining visitors all weekend with the sound effects given off by the new S gauge locos built by Lionel under the Flyer name. An American Penn 2-8-2 using new tooling but based on flyer was running. Also a Union Pacific FEF (4-8-4) based on a Gilbert loco with refreshed body, new motors and sound systems including brakes .Neil informed me that S Gauge is growing in the States with three companies now producing it.
Brian and Gill Arnold and friends from the Trix Society were running 1936-1959 Trix on a new layout built by Brian. With Twin running on the outside track and an excellent variety of stock- I particularly like a Southern goods train on the inner circuit-this was another excellent layout.
Most of the traders were in the sports hall although a few were spread around had good trading particularly on Saturday although Sunday did seem busier than normal.
Food and refreshments were supplied by the School caterers and they did a superb job .
Well done to Eric Large on a great show and also to David Ramsey for his assistance and to Roy who co-ordinated with the school.
More photos can be found here
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