Report on the 2016 AGM & Show held at Biggleswade on March 12th 2016
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Bob Leggett, Pat Hammond, Bryan Pentland & Keith Bone
All photos may be enlarged by clicking or tapping on them. Best viewed full screen!
This year’s show was given a tough start when it was realised, a few days before, that the Weatherley Centre staff had double booked the main hall on Friday night and, instead of setting up toy trains, some traders were jiving and ‘rocking around the clock’ to a very good Bill Haley tribute band (which Dave Angell and I thoroughly enjoyed!). As a result of the double booking, show organiser Bryan Pentland had spent many hours contacting exhibitors, traders and helpers, informing them of the changes. This sadly resulted in some last minute cancellations.
Despite everything, the TCS got themselves into gear at 6.30am the following morning, with David Ramsey adding his organising skills. With help from Weatherley Centre staff, tables were generally in place by 7am and everyone was able to commence setting up. Notwithstanding this rather chaotic start, the show proved to be one of the best and with an excellent level of attendance.
I shall as usual describe the show as one enters the main foyer.
Tony Stanford and Rod Hannah once again manned the entrance and TCS stand and welcomed all to the show. David Embling, very recent past Chairman of the HRCA, and his wife Monica were manning the HRCA stand.
The first exhibit was Paul Chapman’s excellent Lima 0 gauge display. Paul has recently found another variation of the 0-4-0 diesel and the display showed the full range of UK and Continental stock. Paul also manned the club display stand which was alongside and which this year had an industrial theme. I noticed several unusual locos and was quite taken with a recent Hornby NCB diesel displayed by Rod Hannah.
Opposite, Tony Penn (aka Steptoe’s Yard) had the best value cheap and cheerful items and spares at the show, Tony’s highest price was for a Tri-ang TC green coach at £12, however, he assures me a great quantity of items were sold at give-away prices.
Alongside was the very busy club bring-and-buy stand manned all day by Malcolm Pugh and Paul Chapman. This was one of the best ever B&B’s with total sales of over £1100, which resulted in £110 for club funds. The most expensive item was an 0 gauge Darstead pannier tank in black at £280. Other high ticket items sold included a Bowman loco and coach at £220. Some nice pre-war Trix telegraph poles went, as did Hornby Dublo platforms, bridges and signalling. There was plenty of track sold, from Peco 00 flexi through gauges 0, 1 and G. Well done Malcolm and Paul!
The dining hall was also used for displays along two sides. First up were Michael Foster and Michael Bowes who were selling the newly published British Toy Train Book No 2. I duly obtained my copy and I am looking forward to another great read.
Next was Pat Hammond who had a mouth-watering A-Z display of LNER locomotive classes produced by Hornby, Bachmann, Mainline, Airfix and Replica Railways over the last 40 years. Of particular note was a Hornby Silver Jubilee A4 and coaches. Pat was also selling a collection of Lima diesels and coaches.
In the corner, Reg Harman had a wonderful Tri-ang TT layout on a 3’6” x 2’ 6” board, it had two continuous circuits with station and sidings. We enjoyed our lunch admiring this neat layout with the Kay’s Golden Train and a BR green DMU running round. I also spotted Guy Bridgen’s blue Merchant Navy in the siding. Reg also had a nostalgic display of Crescent signals - yes many of us had Crescent signals in the ‘60s, their marketing department did a brilliant job.
At the very end of the line, Robert Palmer, Gary Birch and Andy Harris were flying the Bayko flag and had a superb display of Bayko buildings. The main attraction was an 0 gauge model of Arnos Grove Underground Station with its circular architecture. Bayko is usually found on 0 gauge layouts, so I was particularly taken with an 00 scale two-road engine shed. Other buildings included Bognor Regis Southdown bus garage.
While in the dining room, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Uppercrust who supplied the refreshments all day. They provided a first class service and the ‘Coronation Chicken’ was amazing!
We now move into the main hall where all the exhibits and layouts were around the outside and most of the traders were in the middle. Moving to the right, Andy Hyelman had a Scandinavian model display. This was very interesting and I now know of three more Danish makers: Long, Bodan and EGC. Andy had a Long catalogue and various Long diesels on display. I also spotted a trio of Swedish diesel shunters, two by Tri-ang and the other by Jeco. There was also a Finnish loco kit and even a book on Icelandic models.
Next was Bryan Pentland with his quirky transport display. Bryan, as usual, had found the most amazing working tinplate models. There was a pre-war Tipp & Co electric double track Speedway, created by Philip Ullman, who later fled Germany and formed Mettoy in Britain. An Eheim trolley bus was running around with lights. A Billerbahn diesel set, Marx bridge and Alps cable car set kept me and others fascinated for ages. Helping Bryan was Paul Williams who, after the AGM, was busy taking subscriptions and reported two new members on the day.
Roger White, with help from Roger Willis, was displaying his new Dublo 3-rail portable layout. It had been built by David Hare, who advertises these layouts in the HRCA magazine. In two folded sections this is a very comprehensive layout which the two Rogers filled with scenic accessories, including an adapted Morestone Foden and Dinky buses from the author. The full station and goods yard, with plenty of sidings, made this an enjoyable layout to watch. I even spotted a repainted Duchess of Montrose in blue and renamed Coronation.
Tri-ang 00 was represented by a fully scenic Super 4 layout with Minic Motorway. Dave White, Les Martin, Steve Smith, Neil Smith and Josh put together a great loose-lay layout. In the morning it had an industrial theme and by the afternoon New Zealand and Australian stock was seen running. I even noticed a recently purchased Lima class 37 doing sterling service late in the day. The Arkitex buildings were a delight to see and the Shell terminal with Faller oil tanks and pipes helped promote the industrial theme.
In the corner, John and Pauline Foreman had a lovely display of coal trucks by various 0 gauge makers. John titled his display ‘Tin Lane Coal Sidings’. I noticed at least 16 Hornby Meccano red coal trucks, as well as Bing, Bassett-Lowke and some by modern manufacturers . Running around the sidings was a Hornby LMS 0-4-0 with more trucks.
On the far wall, David Knighton, Jonathan Ward and John Boyd had a Bassett-Lowke inspired 0 gauge layout. I was very impressed with the hand-built and very grand Railway Hotel surrounded by plenty of Tri-ang Minic buses, taxis and other vehicles. A Milbro underground set was also running and fitted in well with the Bassett-Lowke Ashfield underground station.
In the centre of the back wall, Dave and Peter Peasant had an 0 gauge layout using Lionel fast track and scenic buildings and accessories by Tri-ang and other manufacturer’s. It has always been a popular layout and continues to be one of my favourites. A Bassett-Lowke Flying Scotsman and ACE blue Coronation were running round while I was taking notes.
On the left Richard Bingham, due to the later setting up, had a reduced Lionel Standard layout. An inverted oval was set up and one of the large impressive 2-4-2 tender locomotives was running round, at a great speed, with a rake of coaches.
Roger and Barbara Burnish, at the last minute, filled in for one of the cancellations and had their neat Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout. As usual it was full of interesting ‘neverwassa’ items. I particularly liked the quartet of TCS coal wagons and busy the goods yard. One of the diesel shunters was running well all day - until I turned up! Suddenly there was a large pile-up as a goods train came off one of the bends; as a result another crashed through the buffers in one of the sidings!
Paul Draycott was another who filled in at the last minute and had a fascinating display of CCW coach kits, including a ‘Brighton Belle’ 2-car set. I had never realised how much work went into the sides of these kits, some tapered and others squared. They really demanded a good modeller and Paul had some excellent examples of well-built kits. On the same table Paul Brooks was selling copies of his two excellent books - The Illustrated Kemlows Story and The Illustrated History of Hugar.
Back on the near-side wall, Dixon Upcott had a neat Trix layout with two of the Dealer illuminated signs on the wall. A Transpennine blue and grey 4-car unit was on the outer circuit while a Ruston Hornsby diesel was on the inside, when I was there, although I had noticed earlier in the day one of the Der Adler sets running around. With Peter Berry, they were promoting the Trix Society and both selling Trix and other manufacturers items and spares, including one of the rare Trix 1937 Southern Electric sets for £750.
Some other traders were also on the outside, however, most were in the middle of the hall. The majority reported good trade; Simon Goodyear did well selling American outline and Tim Curd sold 0 gauge spares. The Leeds Stedman Trust were promoting their organisation and selling various locomotives and rolling stock, as well as new spares. Cliff Maddock said he spent all the money from his sales on a set of French Meccano sets, while Len Mills reported good orders for the new ACE 9F locomotive.
A huge ‘well done’ to organiser Bryan Pentland and everyone else who contributed to the event. Despite the difficult start, it was a very enjoyable show. I must give a special thanks the David Ramsey who not only co-ordinated the setting up of tables at 6.30am but was also one of the last to leave after dismantling the hired-in tables.
Numbers through the door were up on last year and a reasonable profit has been generated for club funds.
As part of Pat Hammond's display for the TCS Spring Show Pat made up 4 showcases with British proprietary models produced over the last 40 years and representing all the LNER classes so far modelled by the main manufacturers.
The models are from the ranges of Hornby, Bachmann, Airfix, Mainline and Replica. The LNER coaches are by Hornby, except for the main line Thompsons which are by Bachmann. All of the locomotives are labelled and also provide the name of the manufacturer and the date the first version of the model was released.
Plus some more photos:
Plus even more photos from Tony Penn can be found here
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