Report on the 2011 AGM & Show held at Biggleswade on 26th March 2011
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Dave McCarthy
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I had a relaxed start to this years AGM/Show as I was able to attend the TCS Committee meeting on Friday and set up my layout on the Friday evening and witness the hard work put in by David Ramsey and other helpers setting the show up.
The AGM is really a Vintage Train Show with one hour of business slotted in between 2pm-3pm With plenty of layouts and traders, meeting fellow members and of course the customary excellent refreshments it is a show worthwhile making the trip for.
I will describe the show as we arrive at the entrance. I think this year it could be named the Train of Nations show, you will realise what I mean as I press on with the report.
Tony Stanford and Rod Hannah were the main meeters and greeters on the door with the TCS display stand prominent for the public to see.
Malcolm Pugh and Tony Penn did sterling work all day running the bring and buy stall which generated over £400 of sales.
One set of items was particularly poignant as it was a collection of Hornby Dublo which was recently found in a house. The owners had left the layout in situ since the Second World War after their son had failed to return from overseas duty. This lot included several items of Dublo clockwork track. Other items to sell well included books and a Varney US 4-6-0 kit that sold for £40.
The theme for the club stand was private owner’s wagons, unfortunately a reminder was not in the last Collector and only a few members remembered to bring along some wagons. Most of those on display were Hornby O gauge.
As we enter the hall and turn left we have to take a second look as Chris Smith decided it was dress up Saturday and was resplendent in a suit, tie and trilby.
Chris explained he was fed up with looking ordinary and decided on a change. On his OO display were rakes of LNER and SR CCW wooden coaches, Exleys and several scratch built locos including Jamiesons. I also noticed a Scratch built M7 with a rake of detailed Graham Farish coaches.
Alongside Geoff Walker had his compact 3’ x 2‘6’’ Tri-ang TT layout that even managed to get in a working turntable. Despite its size Geoff was able to display a large percentage of the UK range including a DMU set.
The first display on the left side was Paul Brookes who has decided to follow the song and is ‘Going Underground’ He had a fantastic display of O and OO underground models.
I was really impressed with a converted Dublo 2-6-4T and a rake of Dublo tinplate coaches converted into a Metropolitan set. Paul explained how complicated it was to produce the sides and end for the coaches, the end result was worthwhile.
Also a motorised EFE set and several Model Shop kits were on show.
Next to Paul was Bob Leggett with his Hornby Railways c1978 three piece pre-formed layout. With considerable help from Paul Chapman and good quality track the layout that appears in the 1978 catalogue was set up with a few amendments.
The most notable was using the large continental Station that Hornby introduced into its range for a couple of years. It certainly shocked many who did not believe it was made for Hornby, it also looked good.
Trains ran well all day with Sir Dinadan and Duchess of Abercorn doing most of the work.
Now for our Train of nations. In the Spanish corner was Bryan Pentland with an excellent display of Paya Trains. Paya began manufacturing toys in 1906 and is still going today and faithfully revives many of the trains produced in the pre war era using original dies and similar materials. I was impressed with a superb cream and red railcar with lights when I was watching. As usual Bryan had a tip top display showing a large amount of new limited edition trains.
Opposite in the French Corner Brian Peters with help from John Hardy were running pre and post war French Hornby and Jep O gauge with French Hornby stations. A very colourful display, with an SNCF railcar running round as I passed. I also noticed the famous Etoile du Nord Loco in the sidings.
Richard Bingham was waving the American Flag with his excellent Lionel Standard gauge trains from the 30s. The trains were cleverly moving onto three circuits by operating the points automatically. While I was passing a black 2-4-2 tender loco with a rake of tan Pullman coaches was running round the three circuits.
Richard had also set the power so the loco automatically slowed nearly to a halt at the station where a large group of LGB figures populated the station forecourt.
Alongside the Draycotts (Paul and Adam) were also waving the stars and stripes with their American Lionel layout. Of interest were the several circuits using MTH, Lionel and Hornby track. I was most impressed with an eight coupled Lionel loco running round on a 2’ gauge circuit.
This layout reminded me of one described in the Modeller in the 60’s Operation not scenery. The whole area was full of trains and was a mouth watering sight.
On the right hand wall Peter Berry was running Trix and had set up a two circuit layout with a very neat crossing.
While I was there a 0-6-0 Ruston Hornby was running round pulling a few wagons and a neverwazza Diesel shunter which was a Trix style body on a Trix Express chassis of an early BR shunter. Complete with a Manyways station and as usual, an excellent display of Trix sets and accessories. Peter also wanted to thanks David Woods, Geoffrey Robinson and Keith Jones (USA Trix representative) for their help with the display.
Dave White was running Tri-ang Super 4 Battlespace and had high and low level circuits with the early bright green ‘NATO’ and later olive green Battlespace engines and wagons on display. There was even the rare clockwork set with the single rocket launcher. I also noticed an Honest John missile pad and the four missile ground launcher.
I’m not sure if it was something in the tea however Dave was later seen to be firing missiles onto the Trix layout!. Upon seeing this Mike Fowler exclaimed that the Dave should take more care as the missiles were probably worth more than the Trix stock they landed on!!!! (Sorry Trix fans)
Roger White had his scenic Marklin HO layout with the excellent gorge dissecting the layout with four girder bridges spanning the gap. The cliff edge had at least 17 climbers scaling the rocks.
Included were continental buildings by various makers however I did spy a Tri-ang Model land pub in the centre of the village. Stock running as I passed was a 2-10-0 SNCF Freight loco with a train loads of good wagons. On the outer circuit was a rare Swiss E1335 Pantograph electric.
Coming back to the front wall was Reg Harman with his colourful display of die-cast push along trains and Crescent signals. The pushalongs included Gaiety N2’s with O-6-2 and 0-4-0 chassis, Benbros Rockets and new this year was a Charbens Rocket which was individually boxed with the tender in another box labelled Trailer! A set of high tender Jintys was also on display, Reg is not sure who the manufacturer is.
The signals were set up in three sections with the early 50’s and then early and later 60’s models.
Pat Hammond had a lovely display of Private owner wagons (the club theme)
by Hornby and included several that were never released, PG Tips, Swan Electrical Goods, Raleigh, Penguin and Tizer. There was also a rare Meat van which was made by Hornby from Dapol tooling , it was never put into production as Pat believes the mould was broken.
Most of the traders were in the middle hall and as usual had a mix day with some doing well. I noticed several sets for sale including a Dublo Breakdown set on Dave Angell’s stall. Phil Goater also had Dublo and Tri-ang set for sale.
The refreshments were up to their usual excellent standards and I was able to have a delicious three course lunch and cup of tea for under £4.
Many thanks to the following ladies from the Buffet Bar. Amalia Ramsey, Janice Carpenter, Jackie Hall and Martha McCarthy and her Friend Pat Frowen who very kindly offered to help out when we lost a couple of kitchen staff at the last minute.
The AGM commenced at 2pm and with AOB and the raffle was over by 3.20pm.
Full minutes will appear in the next issue of Train Collector however a significant vote was taken and all those present voted that in view of its aging membership the club should adopt a flat rate subscription for all adults and this was agreed at £21 per annum (Still probably the best value subs for any train club in the country when you think of the quality of the Collector plus the calendar and the events set up by the club).
Due to clashes with other events the numbers through the door were slightly down however 100 club members made it to the show.
A huge thank you to David Ramsey and helpers for setting up the show. Another superb and friendly event.
More photos can be found here
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