Report on the 2013 AGM & Show held at Biggleswade on April 6th 2013
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Dave McCarthy
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I arrived late Friday evening to find several layouts in progress, I was able to empty my car and sort my sales table and get started on my Playcraft layout (more later).
David Ramsey and fellow TCS members did a fantastic job setting up the exhibition and as usual there was a superb variety of trains and associated items on display. I will start in the left hand corner where Bill and Rachel Vyse had a Hornby Dublo 3-Rail scenic layout
with through and terminal stations using the metal buildings incorporating contemparory scenic accessories such as Bilteezi buildings. There was one main circuit with several loops and sidings, as I was passing a converted Barnstable was pulling a rake of Southern coaches.
Richard Bingham had set up his impressive Lionel Standard Layout, a regular at the show, Richard had some new accessories including alternating Billboards and a News Agents with a moving dog!
Alongside, Roger White had a G Scale circuit with a Bachmann 2-4-2 Baldwin pulling Accucraft coaches in Lynton and Barnstable Railway Southern livery. Roger is a member of the Society which is hoping to restore more of the line that closed in 1935 and had several items of literature for visitors to read.
Next to Roger, Steve Smith with help from Les Martin, Paul Rees and earlier Dave White was running his excellent Tri-ang Big Big with two main tracks and several sidings. A Hymek was passing under one of the colourful Girder Bridge/Signal Gantry when I was passing.
In the far corner John and Pauline Foreman were selling some of John’s surplus trains and had a wonderful display of Streamline Engines by various makers. I was very impressed with the display of ten Mettoy A4’s in green, each with a different name and number.
The Chairman of the HRCA, David Embling, and his wife were running a lovely Hornby layout with clockwork and electric 0-4-0 engines with a very British Cricket scene in the middle ( I even spotted a Tri-ang Model Land Church!) David wanted to show a layout which many boys would may have had before moving on to bigger things.
Next was Bryan Pentland with his mouth watering display of 0 Gauge locomotives from around the world with pantographs ( and there were no trams!!). It’s amazing how many were made, Bryan was also running Fleischmann on his twin O gauge circuit.
Sharing the same tables was Paul Williams who had built especially for the show a 1930’s three section diorama featuring England , America and France using Marx O gauge stock. This was a delightful exhibit with posters and scenery depicting the 1930s.
Pat Hammond had a display of over 75 Children’s Train books, many of which he has acquired very cheaply on ebay. This table brought back many memories as I spotted several books I had when young. Pat had several versions of some books, this was a very much admired display.
By the entrance to the hall David and Marcus Peacock were displaying items by Leeds and were also selling the collection of the late Pat Messer which included a Nettle Sentinel for £110 and a rare James S Beeston Catalogue for £50.
Clive Gehle had a selection of ‘smaller’ die-cast toy trains including Condon, an unknown set based on the Dinky streamline set and an early pushalong Minitrix set.
Alongside Reg Harman was displaying ‘larger’ die-cast toy trains which included all three ‘River Series’ engines, a possible Dinky prototype (ex Hornby Dublo) 0-4-0 in yellow plastic with the Dinky base. I also spotted a Charbens Rocket which had individual boxes for the engine and ‘trailer’. Reg has also discovered who made the unusual Jinty type engine, Mitchell and Co of Glasgow the makers.
Opposite Reg, Andy Heyelman had a well made East German made TT display layout which featured a tunnel and working lights.
Bob Leggett with help from Dave White had the Complete Model Railway Layout, also known as The Lakeside Layout by Playcraft, using a copy basemat it had a circuit with an inner loop and two sidings with buildings and scenery most of which came with the sets.
The two sets were either issued with a goods set or passenger set and Bob had both with the Night Ferry set also on display.
Running for most of the day were the North British Diesels and a small 0-4-0 Shunter. The basemat is very colourful and is rarely seen at exhibitions.
Dave Angell also purchased a very late Jouef for Playcraft set from the bring and buy stall with the Woolworth’s ‘Winfield’ logo on the lid and a stylised ‘W’ embossed in the plastic packing tray.
(Note from Dave McCarthy: I didn’t remember that ‘Winfield’ was a name Woolworths used, until I looked it up and of course discovered that the founder F.W.Woolworth was in fact Frank Winfield Woolworth)
The majority of traders were in the middle of the hall including Michael Foster with his ETS chassis in a variety of stock. General feeling was trade was slow but steady which really reflects the current economic climate. Dave Angell sold a pre-war Dublo A4 (without a tender) for £90. Len Mills reported good trade in ACE Vans.
In the lobby Tony Stanford and Rod Hannah were manning the entrance including the TCS stand.
Malcolm Pugh and Tony Penn were running the club bring and buy stall. This did fantastic business all day, I overheard a comment from Tony that it was frantic, and that was 8.50am! Over £1000 was sold including a rare Exley 00 Gauge 4-car EMU set, other sales included a Becklin bridge set for £10, a renamed Wrenn Castle for £30, 3 Jep wagons for £36, 2 sets of Tri-ang catenary for £44, a Marx O gauge Pennsylvania bridge for £5, and a complete oval of Trackmaster track for £5. With donations, over £140 was raised for club funds.
The club display stand featured 4-wheel coaches and a great collection was on display from various members. Some of the most colourful were four by Faller
and I also notice a four wheel Chad Valley Motor Coach on a flat wagon!
Refreshments including lunch was provided by the TCS Angels namely Amalia Ramsey, Jan Carpenter, Jackie Hall, Martha McCarthy and Pat Frowen who provided superb food all day including an excellent lunch.
The AGM was held at 1.45pm and a separate report will be available.
David Ramsey with various helpers once again did a superb and a huge thank you to everyone who took part and to those who came to make it such a great show.
More photos can be found here
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