Report on the 2011 Summer Show held at Sandy 2nd July 2011
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Bob Leggett except where indicated
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A lovely summer’s day and a wonderful show to delight the many visitors to the TCS Annual exhibition. Like last year the new one day format did not reduce the quality of the show and I will describe the variety of layouts as a visitor would see entering the show.
As usual the Bachmann Collectors Club who kindly sponsor the show was in the foyer and Dennis Lovatt explained that Bachmann UK had just had their best ever year and the other three Bachmann Companies Lilliput (Germany), Hong Kong and USA were also doing well, he also showed me the prototypes of the new models in the showcase including a 3F in engineering grey
Running on the Milton Keynes Model Railway club layout was a new Bachmann Hong Kong tram and one of the latest EMUs in Network Southeast blue/grey livery.
It looked great and yes I want one!
Helping to promote the club were two lovely ladies, Katie Hines and Jennifer Bates.
As we move to the dining hall (Hall 1) we are met by Rod Hannah and Tony Stanford who were running the TCS information stand
and just round the corner was the new ‘all ladies section’ of the HRCA! Well there were no men to be seen, Rachel Vyse, Monica Embling and Liz Kershaw were manning the stand
with a delightful O gauge M Series layout.
Pat Hammond as we come to expect had another excellent display. This year he chose EWS locomotives from Hornby, Bachmann and Lima and Blue express locomotives by Hornby and Bachmann
and rakes of carmine and cream Thompson, Mansell, Hawksworth, Stanier and Gresley Coaches.
The Chiltern Hills Vintage group had their superb Dublo 2-rail 18’ x 6’ layout and must have known I was coming for as I approached a Dublo SR Green twelve car EMU was doing the paces around the inner loop
with repainted Wrenn Blackmore Vale in Bluebell livery and Bodmin doing their bit with long rakes of Pullmans, a great sight for a Southern fan. No less than eighty points populate this superb layout.
Opposite Reg Harman with help from Guy Brigden, Peter Shillito and David Marshall were operating an excellent Tri-ang Transcontinental c1958 with standard and series 3 track. An impressive line up of early switchers took my eye
and a TC Pacific was pulling a freight train as I was watching.
A display of later Canadian models by Guy Brigden was also on view. It’s not surprising the TC range was so popular as Reg’s layout showed the colourful and attractive stock in this range. Around the corner Nick Gillman and friends were running stupendous and exhilarating Victorian and Edwardian Trains.
I was treated to a superb line up of a Piko Saxonia, Trix Adler and K’s Lion as per ‘Tichfield Thunderbolt’ with appropriate stock. I was most impressed with a heavily adapted K’s open third coach complete with passengers.
With Tri-ang Rubber buildings and other sympathetic scenery this layout had a nice Victorian feel.
In the corner Paul Brookes was displaying his Hugar collection which grows each time I see it. I was very impressed with a prototype oil installation c1933 on display
and four ‘cottage’ models which were all produced in different locations and to a much lower standard.
Several Hugar EMU sets were on display with a large ‘beer mat’ village
with my favourite building being the beautiful wooden Church.
Paul explained the aluminium used in the rails was originally intended for Spitfires. Paul is also working on his autobiography ‘Into the Darkness – 30 years on Insulin’ which should be a worthwhile read.
Alongside Paul Draycott had a mouth-watering display of lesser know oo gauge locomotives, stock and accessories. I noted a lovely Spam Can
and some Kirdon diesels.
I also spotted the Wilsons wooden commercials produced in the late 40’-early 50’s. The rare Wardie Office blocks were also on display. An eccentric but nevertheless wonderful display.
We now move back through the entrance foyer to Hall 2. Here we welcome back James Day with the original gang of four. James was operating American HO Slot cars and trains by various makers. Slot cars including Aurora on elevated track,
Life-Like with magnets and Tyco Trucks. The trains were Life-Like and as we come to appreciate, James had two crossings with cars stopping for the trains
and cars for the public to race. At any one time nine cars were operating including two independently controlled on the same track. James would like to thank John Rogers for his assistance with the electronics and Tony Penn and later Chris March with helping out during the day.
Steve Smith and Dave White had an excellent Tri-ang/Hornby c 1968-1973 layout with BR Blue diesel and tender drive locos with full scenery. I was particularly impressed with the Canopy station which I have always underrated, however when you see ten canopies together it is quite a sight.
A good layout with lots of long trains. I particularly liked the road scene with the Minix car and rare trailer with the diesel passing on the overhead track.
Opposite David Collinson was running his collection of O gauge scratch built and RTR models. Two in particular attracted my attention. A fantastic Northern line tube train superbly made remotely controlled with opening sliding doors on all coaches and not a cuddly toy to be seen!
A blue Coronation was also running while I was taking notes and again this had been made up from a scratch from a die cast body.
Hornby and Bassett Lowke as well as more scratch built models were also on display.
Paul Williams had a neat 1920’s American Flyer O gauge layout
and thought he probably had the oldest trains at the show (Peter Dunk knows better). A boxed cab loco with freight cars and a caboose was operating however Paul explained one of the other locos was built in 1921, even before Hornby Trains. Several small accessories made this a delightful layout.
Next to Paul, Ivor Walton and friends were displaying Meccano models including a set of nine Sports cars and two logging trucks.
The cars showed to changes in Meccano over the years and were much appreciated by the various visitors.
Moving onto Hall 2, we find Peter Berry with his super fully operational Graham Farish oo gauge early 1950s- 1970s layout. I am always impressed with running of this stock and the original 1950s card buildings, particularly the Station.
As I passed a Pannier tank was running around with a few trucks.
In the far corner Les Martin and Neil Bowsher had an extensive loose lay Tri-ang Super 4 c 1964 layout with Minic Motorway , Model land and Arkitex buildings.
Les had been very innovative and produced a Girder Toll bridge for trains to go over the ‘sea’
and Minic Motorway also running through a Girder bridge.
A very impressive ‘Royal Crescent’ of shops populated one corner.
This is a real treat for Tri-ang fans and shows how one can create a layout such as this with most items still easily found today.
Opposite David Lyon had his excellent Minic Motorway with Tri-ang Railways layout
This is always a popular layout showing the integration and compatibility of Minic Motorway and Tri-ang Railways.
The Sports Hall (Hall 4) is where the rest of the layouts were and also the majority of the traders.
The layouts are around the outside of the hall and start with Dave Coddington with Triang TT. He was joined by John Robertson from Australia for most of the day.
As usual Dave has his excellent display boards and lighting. His layout was in three parts and the centre part was a small figure of eight which was made using original unadapted track.
Marcus Archer was displaying his excellent collection of Kitmaster kits that have been exceptionally well made and painted.
Brian Arnold with help from John Brown and Martin Arnold were running Brian’s excellent Trix
with pre-nationalisation stock as well as operating both AC and DC stock another layout with a Southern theme so another very happy customer.
Alongside Kevin Ellis and Simon Culverhouse were running Minitrix N Gauge c 1967-1997 on a very neat Minitrix layout and two large display boards giving an indication of the various changes in ownership which unfortunately over the years led to a few production problems.
Originally built in Wrexham in 1967. All those promoting Trix were able to enroll new members for the Trix Society.
The noisy bunch (Mick Flye and Neil )are back with their impressive American Flyer S Gauge layout with new track work and a long scenic area using Plasticville buildings
and other accessories with live steam, hoots and whistles this was a top layout. As I was passing a Lionel S gauge Big Boy was creeping along. I was also impressed with a recent S gauge Station kit.
The Basset Lowke Society as usual put on an excellent display with yet again a Southern theme. Engines included a couple of rare c1908 LSWR M7s made by Bing for B/L
and a rake of Carette for B/L coaches, All the buildings were the art deco ‘ Concrete Style’ and looked very impressive, Mike Green the chairman also showed me rare B/L engine shed which is the only one he knows of.
Richard Bingham was flying the Stars and Stripes and had some new additions to his lovely Lionel Standard gauge layout.
The first thing to notice are the three pylons complete with four cables
Richard has also added a children’s press button to operate the Watchman which I was allowed to do. The bell also rang when the train went over the viaduct. This was another well received layout.
Alongside Peter Dunk was ‘ Going Japanese’ at least I really think so.
I was delighted to spot more Southern trains, this time a Stronlite 4-4-2 tank locomotive
with two coaches and later on more Southern trains. A Bing Apollo and three Stronlite coaches also had a short run.
Roger Mills had a lovely display of Gauge 3 Locos and models. I was very impressed with a blue Caledonian Railway locomotive built by Clyde Model Dockyard c 1909.
Bertie Goater with help from his Dad Phil were running various forms of Tomy trains. These are super layouts and give pleasure to all ages, one in particular was the water shute
with Stepney (I think) plunging down the shute when I was passing.
Dave and Peter Peasant had a superb scenic O gauge layout with stock from various makers including a Merchant Navy ‘Union Castle’ running round when I passed by. I also liked the Church with the Salvation Army band and Tri-ang Minic garage.
The final layout by John and Pauline Foreman is titled ‘ Memory Lane
and features O gauge Tin rolling stock complete with real loads of metal and coal
John had a LMS theme and used stock from Hornby . John showed me his secret of getting the loads perfectly in his wagons. Another excellent layout.
Outside there was a new exhibit for the show. George and Doreen Coles were displaying a Loco, a Pullman coach, some original Tri-ang track (including small radius (12ft) curves, a point and a buffer stop) a Tri-ang Transformer and on the table he had some wheels of different patterns together with a motor bogie, so people could see how it all worked.
Above photos: Doreen Coles
Most of the traders in the middle of the hall had a reasonable day.
Refreshments were provided by an outside company and included a two course meal of Shepherds pie and Sponge & custard for only three pounds.
Well done to Bryan Pentland and his main helpers David Ramsey and Eric Large and everyone else who also helped to make this such a good show.
Over 400 had visited by midday.
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