Report on the 2014 AGM & Show held at Biggleswade on April 29th 2014
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Dave McCarthy
All photos may be enlarged by clicking or tapping on them. Best viewed full screen!
This is always a show I look forward to and I was early this year to attend the Committee meeting on Friday afternoon.
I was therefore at the hall to see the David Ramsey and his family set up the show for the last time. As many of you know David is now Vice President having been Chairman for 25 years and will also be taking a rest from organising this and other events.
David was determine to go out on a high and as you will see from this report the Show was as successful and enjoyable as ever. here was also a little bit of Vive la France and Saucy School Mistress and pupils to grab our attention, (more later)
I will describe the show as visitors would enter at the main doors.
Rod Hannah and Tony Stanford did sterling work all day on the cash desk and reported over 150 visitors when I was there.
Also in the entrance Hall was Pat Hammond who had Ramsey’s new double pack Train Guide for a show special price of £30 for the pair. Not surprisingly Pat sold plenty of these. He also had some old catalogues and Bachmann catalogues for sale.
Eric Large and Malcolm Pugh ran the club bring and buy stand. This was busy all day and sales of trains from G Scale to Z Gauge and ephemera of over £600 were reported. Best sale of the day was a working Dublo 0-6-2T for a fiver, Three Tri-ang Rubber Embankments sold for £25. An ACE LNER Bogie coach sold for £40. I also spotted two 2-car Hornby Acho Railcars sets at around £120 each and a Piko Taurus G Scale electric locomotive for £135. Crescent Signals also went very quickly. Approximately £80 went to club funds so very well done Eric and Malcolm.
Opposite Paul Chapman was manning the Club Display stand. This year’s theme was Royal and Titled Trains.
A Royal Blue American Flyer streamline locomotive and an ACE maroon Coronation Pacific King George V1 caught my eye as well. Not surprisingly the quality of all the items was fit for Royalty.
We now move into the main hall. The layouts are around the perimeter and trade stands mainly in the middle.
The ACE Trains stand is first on the left and Len Mills reported very good sales, in particular the Coronation Pacific (one of which was on display on the club stand as mentioned earlier).
Alongside, Dave Pink was selling a variety of 0 Gauge.
The first layout was on the left wall, Michael Vyse with assistance from his parents Rachel and Bill had a very neat 1950s-60s Marklin stud track layout with catenary. This was a fully electrified set up and I was delighted when Michael operated the electric crane for me. Faller buildings completed this attractive layout.
Next was Reg Harman with his Tri-ang Standard Track layout. This was the first time at Biggleswade for this rebuilt layout which included two ovals side by side connected to each other, with a fiddle yard and station in the middle. It is very brave (some say foolhardy) to run on Standard track, Reg even went further and ran his Plunger Princess for me and it successfully negotiated points and caused Tony Penn to stand back and congratulate Reg on such an achievement!
John and Pauline Foreman had a two level setup in Lego. This was the first electric series (original Lego trains were battery operated) and running on a high level was a 2-car Railcar set and on the ground level a Tramcar.
John was still selling some of his collection and there were plenty of bargains. I noted an original wooden APT model which was built for BR and was to be on display in mainline stations. However as we all know the project was cancelled and John purchased this set from BR. A lucky punter purchased it for £35.
First on the back wall is Richard Bingham who with help was running Lionel Standard and had a new design this year which included a figure of eight in the middle of the outside circuits. Running on this was a 1385 2-4-2 Loco and Box Cars which very nearly hit it’s tail as it sped over the crossing.
The show now takes on the French theme mentioned earlier. Brian Peters was running French Hornby O gauge and I spotted an uncommon green SNCF 0-4-0 tender loco and trucks passing whilst I was viewing. An Etoile du Nord was seen earlier. Brian also had for sale one of the Middleton 4-Car EMU sets for £600.
Dave White with help from Les Martin also raised the Tricolour with his Hornby Acho display. He had a triple loop with various locos running all day. I particularly liked a USA tank in Worth Valley livery. Dave was also selling a few Tri-ang items and Australian issues sold very well. Dave also managed to get Steve Smith, Paul Rees and Neil Smith helping him clear up in extra quick time.
Alongside, yours truly was selling my usual mixed of items from 0 to N, I also had several items of Railwayana and a Southern Region BR enamel sign was snapped up for £75.
We now move onto the left wall where Roger White with help from Roger and Barbara Burnish had a very tidy Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout.
As well as traditional Dublo I was pleased to see Toby the Tram Engine make an appearance on this excellent layout.
Roger was also promoting the Lynton and Barnstable Railway.
The Hornby flag was also flying alongside with David and Monica Emblin with help from Geoff Brown running Hornby O Gauge and modern equivalent. As I was passing a pure Hornby LNER Flying Scotsman and three teak ‘tin’ coaches was on the inside circuit and a Seven Mill B17 ‘Royal Sovereign’ was on the outer track with three ACE ‘teak’ coaches. David’s popular Cricket team was part of the scenery.
The French theme was also on Bryan Pentland and Paul Williams display of O Gauge. A very bright and colourful display including two circuits with two superb vintage wooden Toy forts in the centre, both over 100 years old, by and possibly Brier, there was also a display of tin tunnels. Running as I passed was a blue Hachette (re-motored) PLM and a lovely JEP Streamline set, the station was a delightful JEP model.
Back on the front wall Elaine’s Trains reported good business and Lima and Dublo 3-Rail sold well.
Andrew Hyelman had his ‘in progress’ N gauge layout and was celebrating 50 years of Minitrix.
Andrew is also attracted to plastic ’complete’ Train sets and had on display a recently purchased Technofix Bim Bim twin loco set, still in working order.
Most of the traders were in the middle and had a good day, I asked a few for their comments, Steve Knight decided to sell his Playcraft collections and cleared out all his sets.
Brian Baker had a good day selling a complete mix of mainly OO items and his popular storage boxes. Phil Goater was slimming down his collection and had a Tri-ang Lyons Maid truck which was snapped up by Dave White for £35.
Peter Dunk had his usual mix of interesting stock; however I did notice a Dinky Builder building in the style of a station (the most realistic Builder item I have seen!) for £15. Andrew Kwasniewski said punters were clearly after quality rather than quantity.
Mike Delaney sold well all day, mainly smaller quality items; Michael Bowes had some lovely Built-Rite American HO card models for only £25. Sales included a Bing Gauge 1 Goods Shed for £90 and a Carette for B/L Coach for £120. Tony Penn was selling off part of his collection which included hundreds of spares and sold well all day however a Wrenn repainted Battle of Britain loco was yet to be purchased for £100.
Cliff Maddocks with a good selection of stock was neck and neck with his sales and purchases.
Colin Totem had Darstaad stock and their 6-wheel vans sold very well. He also had on display the first Raylo Horton Series 2-road Engine Shed which is absolutely amazing.
also Raylo will be launching a GWR Passenger Railcar in August and a maroon parcels version was on display. I’m sure this will be a very good seller.
We were all given a real treat when visiting the Buffet bar. To celebrate the last occasion of the Ramsey’s and friends organising the show, the catering ‘staff’ had a 'St Trainians ‘ theme with a Head Mistress, Head Girl and other St Trainians schoolgirls, whose motto for the day was “Be Prepared – Any Day, Anytime, Anywhere”
The food was excellent as usual and I wish to say a big thank you to all the helpers in the kitchen over the years for their wonderful service. Thank you this year goes to Head Girl - Amazing Amalia, Headmistress - Gorgeous Janice, Fabulous Jackie, Charming Clare, Marvellous Martha, Perfect Pat, Alluring Alyson, Dashing Duncan and Sexy Stephen.
A big well done to Dave McCarthy who was either ahead of me or behind me taking photos and hopefully snapping all the items I have mentioned.
The AGM got away at 2pm and full details will be in the next Train Collector, a quick summary, Bryan Pentland is now Chairman with David Ramsey standing down to become Vice President.
David and his wife Amalia and family were warmly thanked for all their hard work for the TCS over the last 25 years.
The Club finances are in good order however due to the increase in printing costs and forthcoming postal increase it was necessary to raise the Club Subscription from £23-£25.
Several people helped clear the building and by 6pm we were on our way home. Well done David and your family, friends and TCS Members for putting together another very enjoyable show. We look forward to next years Show and AGM which although slightly different will I’m sure be a big success.
More photos can be found here
Return to main Event Reports page