Report on the 2017 Summer Show held at the Stantonbury Centre, Milton Keynes 15th July 2017
Words & photos by Bob Leggett
All photos may be enlarged by clicking or tapping on them. Best viewed full screen!
A new venue was mainly a success for the summer show organised by Chairman Bryan Pentland. A large hall gave plenty of space for over 23 layouts/displays and 50 sales tables. Despite the venue being in a larger town and inclement weather (ideal for a Train show in the summer) it was disappointing the number of visitors was not larger, probably due to the later time in July.
I will describe the show as a visitor. Coming into the entrance and turning right we have TCS Treasurer Paul William with the smallest display at the show. A micro 0 Gauge USA Marx circle of track on a board 30’’ x 30’’, despite the size Paul had a full scenic diorama and a selection of Marx Locos and rolling stock.
Next was Paul Chapman with help from Malcolm Pugh with an excellent double track Lima 0 Gauge layout. Featuring UK and French outline and included the rare maroon 3F converted to a Tank engine pulling a Circus train with Fluffy the Penguin in the last truck! It is not surprising Lima O gauge is sought by meddlers as many of the stock are very good models. This is Paul’s video of the layout.
Alongside, Chairman and Show Organiser was Bryan Pentland with his wonderful British Cheap and Cheerful layout. Featuring Brimtoy, Chad Valley Mettoy and others with loads of lovely bright buildings, I even spotted a converted Brimtoy Trolley Bus running on the electric roadway which passed an impressive Ubilda Tin Castle. I was also impressed with a motorised Mettoy Spamcan (converted from battery) and a Chad Valley blue 4-4-0 (converted from clockwork to electric).
Michael Foster and Michael Bowes were promoting their latest book 3 ‘ British Toy Trains’, this one featuring Brimtoy , a great buy for anyone interested in the development of O gauge, also for sale were ETS items.
In the corner it was good to see Neil Trump back with American Flyer and other manufacturers on his S Gauge layout, helped by Alan and Michael Parks the layout included AF Sante Fe 3-Car Diesel unit set and a New Haven electric loco also by AF. An American Models Northern Sante Fe 4-8-4 was also on duty with smoke (the real loco this is based on will shortly be in steam after many years of restoration). I also noticed a Circus Train which was on show but awaiting restoration.
There was an interesting ‘connection’ between Neils’s layout and that of Paul Chapman (see Lima G O above) In Paul’s words “Almost a year ago I acquired a lovely little S gauge Japanese clockwork loco in a lot of O gauge I wanted. Thoughts on the Yahoo group at the time mentioned that it might be Sakai but I have not done any more research since apart from taking it to Leicester in the Spring. I have never had S gauge so had nothing to try it out on however at Milton Keynes I was grateful to be allowed a couple of minutes on Neil Trump’s wonderful layout and here is the result” (This is Paul’s video)
On the far wall David Knighton with help from John Boyd and Jonathan Ward were running Bing and Carette for Bassett Lowke and Marklin Gauge 1. A B/L 112 Tank with a mix of Carette and Marklin rolling stock was on duty when visiting, passing the impressive wooden station, also on view was a selection of uncommon Gauge 2 locomotives and rolling stock by Bing and Carette.
Kevin Payne had his Terminus layout ‘Paltry Circus’, running mainly ACE stock. I noticed the Southern 3-car EMU. A small layout inspired by Henry Greenly with impressive scenic detail.
Moving onto the back wall we are hit with the aroma of live steam operation. Trevor Findley, Bill Wilson and Owen Roberts were running Bowman, Bassett Lowke and Bing mainly from the 1930’s A B/L Enterprise was being prepared for the next run. Despite the heat in the hall the trio kept stock running all day.
Rachel and Bill Vyse had their M & GN Fenland inspired layout ‘Foul Anchor’, two of the dIoramas included a tractor sales and service centre and a Fen Transport depot. Running was a Hornby LNER 0-4-0 with a train of Hornby wagons and an ACE Celebration Class with a rake of LNER Tourist class coaches. Plenty to see as usual on this layout.
Dave White, Les Martin and Neil Bowsher built a Tri-ang Super 4 layout loosely based on the Ford depot at Dagenham, using over 350 minix cars and Tri-ang and Hornby Acho car transporters with Arkitex (some with lights) and Model Land buildings, this was a superb layout to watch.
Next were Steve Smith and Dougie running Steve’s Tri-ang Big Big, one of the most colourful systems? Steve had on show the ‘Russian’ Rockets, including two particularly rare ones, as well as other special trains including a Circus Train. With two trains running at once and plenty of passing loops there was always something running for the visitors.
Alongside, Neil Smith and his brother Ian had a Tri-ang 00 Gauge Standard Track layout. A special feature was one circuit had catenary and for the high level circuit the bridge extension supports were used. I was particularly taken with an Electric double header with orange and green and two tone green locomotives.
Neil has also posted a video of this superb layout which you can see here.
Last on this wall was Eric Large showing the variety of 3mm/TT Gauge that was around in the early 50’s and inspired by Tri-ang’s launch of TT, many kit built Locomotives and rolling stock were on show. I also spotted an odd Auto train built by Peter Gentle. (The original ran for two years on the Great Western, powered by a small tank loco within the coach body, they proved too difficult and hot for the drivers.) I also spotted a few buses built from kits produced by the 3mm Society.
Next were Roger White and Don Hall with Rogers’s excellent Dublo 3-Rail layout. You could almost call this a Code 3 layout as there are so many altered pieces of stock with a variety of accessories produced by various makers. I was very impressed with the black Dublo Breakdown train.
David Lyon had his new smaller Tri-ang Railways 00 Gauge Layout featuring Minic Motorway, with the crossroads and rail crossings David had set up various crossings, it meant a lot of automatic stopping for the vehicles. There was also a shuttle running with two cars loading and unloading up the ramp to the waiting trains before being whisked away.
Dave Peasant once again had set up a delightful 0 Gauge layout with a huge amount of scenic accessories featuring Tri-ang Minic vehicles, various lead figures, Tri-ang Garage and Fire Station and a high level arch. Stock running was mainly Hornby.
In the corner and last on the outside walls was David Rhodes with his 00 Gauge ‘James Bond’ layout. I first saw this last year at Leicester and it is a real treat for Bond fans as David has managed to find a ‘train’ example from all the Bond films. Any Bond fans would immediately match the film and item.
Several layouts were in amongst the traders in the middle rows. First was Kip Bennet and Alan Catlin with Kips’s scenic Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout. I was very impressed with the bust town scene and small Stonehenge. There were several running tracks full of original and altered Dublo stock.
David and Amalia Ramsey had set up a mouth watering display of Trains over 100 years old. Many were by Carette including GER and GNR Locos and coaches, LNWR 4-4-0 ‘Precusror’ , GNR Atlantic and others, Buildings included Orpington and Frogmore LNWR Henry Greenly designed stations with ramps for B/L. A small circa 1905 Issmayer for Carette Loco took my eye.
Reg Harman with help from Guy Bridgen and others were running Tri-ang Transcontinental on standard track, this mainly focused on the early TC stock and I spotted the early green and maroon Switchers.
David and Julia Nevett had the second outing of their wonderful Gamages 00 Gauge ‘London’ Terminal station, road scenes around the station included various Wilson lorries and the display area above the operating sidings showed a very interesting selection of Southern EMU’S from Hamblings to Wrenn and modern Hornby. David spent many hours restoring the station and his efforts were rewarded, a much admired display.
Alongside David Holt had a 1950’s layout with lesser known kitbuilt and RTR stock and buildings, the type of layout one might have seen in Railway Modeller in the 1950’s I noticed a Farish Spamcan pulling a rake of coaches and Formo 0-6-0 tender loco. A Stewart Reidpath loco was also doing the rounds. A rare Kirdon Railcar and Ratio kitbuilt Railcar set were in the main station siding which had an impressive art Deco circular entrance. A very neat layout.
David Coddington had come with his family from Scotland to set up his extensive Tri-ang TT display. This included three separate circuits, displays of Sets , Continental TT including buildings. As usual I spotted the well known Kays Golden Plate Set on one of the new display stands which are available on the internet.
Also in the middle were the majority of traders. including our two event sponsors, Elaine’s Trains and Dave Angell, and David Peacock representing the Leeds Steadman Trust
It is fair to say the traders had a mixed day, several recorded very good sales and some had a mediocre day. It was however interesting to note that a lot of the visitors were in for several hours and did keep buying.
Catering was from a well equipped mobile van in the small concourse.
Overall a big well done to Bryan Pentland who put the show together and I’m sure if we hold next year’s show at the same venue a little earlier there will be a greater audience.
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