Report on the 2018 Summer Show held at the Stoke Mandeville Indoor Bowls Center on 4th of August 2018

Words by Bob Leggett;  Photos Bryan Pentland & Bob Leggett

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Another new venue resulted in a successful  summer show organised by Chairman Bryan Pentland. The large indoor bowling hall provided a perfect floor and plenty of space for over 25 layouts/displays and 50 sales tables.

Despite the wonderful summer and temperature close to 30 deg numbers were up this year and it was great to see more families than normal.

I will describe the show as a visitor. Coming into the entrance and turning right Rod Hannah was doing a grand job promoting the TCS to a new audience.

Andy Hyelman featured his Lima HO Factory layout and sets, including an early Express Set, Andy had searched high and low and had a train of rare Ruhr Kohle coal wagons on the factory layout and later on had a train running around  connected head to tail!

Next was Paul Chapman's  excellent display of plastic colourful 0 gauge trains that ran on plastic track including Lima, Tri-ang Big Big, Eitech and others.

Malcolm Pugh and Paul Chapman were busy with the Club bring and buy stand. Sales included a French Minic Motorway Road Rail set for £8.

Michael Foster and Michael Bowes were promoting their latest book  4 ‘ British Toy Trains’, this one featuring Mettoy and Brimtoy 00 Gauge and others, it will be available in a couple of weeks.

Mark Carne with friends had Mark's amazing Jep Mignon 1920's 00 gauge electric layout featuring overhead centenary which I believe was the first in 00 Gauge. Over the years Mark has sourced models and accessories and it was wonderful to see almost everything produced.

Alongside, Chairman and Show Organiser was Bryan Pentland with a superb layout of American O gauge including many working accessories, a Marx Monon Diesel with Sante Fe Coaches and American Flyer train were running round. A wonderful Sky Ranger by Unique and a City Airport by Wyanolot caught my eye .

Early post war 00 Gauge was displayed by David Holt, a fully scenic layout using materials available to modellers in the 50's,  I was impressed with a Stewart Reidpath LMS 4F and also spotted a lovely Hamblings Knat Saddle Tank in original Southern Green.

In the corner  Neil Trump was running American Flyer S Gauge  on four large circuits, Neil was able to run long trains with smoke from the larger engines and plenty of sound effects.

Alongside  Alan and Michael Parks were displaying his 'Girard Junction' two level 0 Gauge layout, running were Lionel, Marx and American Flyer, I was particularly impressed with a EP5 Pantograph locomotive in rare New Haven colours. A Lionel Transit bump and go was also doing sterling work on the high level, lots to see in this excellent compact layout.

David Knighton John Boyd, Jonathan Ward and friends had a lovely collection  of Marklin and Carette and others  vintage Gauge 1 and 2 layout. Running clockwork only I spotted a Gauge 1 Marklin 4-4-0 with four coaches on duty as I passed by.

Kip Bennet and friends had Kip's eccentric scenic  'Benton Curlieu' Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout. As it suggests hardly a straight in sight. I was very impressed with the busy town scene, Castle and small Stonehenge. There were several running tracks full of original and altered Dublo stock.

Roger and Barbara Burnish were also flying the flag for Dublo 3-Rail and as usual their lovely  layout was full of surprises. I was very impressed with the Guards Van that had a digital read out on the side giving the voltage reading very accurately. Another  compact layout with lots to spot.

A little towards the middle Robert Palmer had on display a magnificent  Bayko model of St Paul's Cathedral, a truly amazing feat, also on display was a collection of Betta Bilda buildings.

Les Martin, Dave White,  Neil Bowsher and Paul Rees built a 24' Tri-ang Super 4 layout LNER Main Line layout,  including accessories by Hornby Dublo and modern Hornby Stock  with  Model Land buildings, coaling depot and engine sheds this was an excellent layout.

Reg Harman with help from Guy Bridgen and others  were running and displaying  early Tri-ang on standard track, also featured was Rovex and  Trackmaster.

Moving onto the far corner we are hit with the aroma of live steam operation. Trevor Findley, Bill Wilson and others were running Bowman, Bassett Lowke and Bing mainly from the 1930’s. I was taken by a modified B/L Enterprise converted into a blue CR. A Bing for B/L was being fired up as I was passing. Despite the heat in the hall trains ran well all day.

Rachel and Bill Vyse were operating Southern stock on their  'St Ardle Str' 0 gauge layout using  Hornby and other makers stock, I was pleased to see an Exley 3-Car Emu on duty . Plenty to see as usual on this layout, I even spotted Tri-ang 00 Gauge signals used for platform numbers.

Next were Roger White and Don Hall with Roger’s excellent Dublo 3-Rail layout.  Including many altered pieces of stock and with a variety of accessories  by various makers this was a delight to view, as usual I was very impressed with the black Dublo Breakdown train.

Richard Wallace as well as trading was displaying his recently acquired 'Green Pond Mine' N gauge layout. This was featured in the Railway Modeller and is a fully scenic layout in a very small space. It was easy to see why it was chosen as the quality of the layout was superb.

Next were Steve Smith and Dougie running Steve’s Tri-ang Big Big, one of the most colourful 0 Gauge systems. Steve had on show all the Hymeks including the ‘Russian’ red Rockets and yellow Hymeks. A very quiet battery operated layout with at least two trains running at once with  plenty of passing loops there was always something  for the visitors.

Alongside, Neil Smith and his wife Cassie had an Australian and New Zealand  Tri-ang 00 Gauge Standard Track two level layout. Featuring  stock available to both countries this was a very colourful display with a host of rare locomotives and stock . I liked the blue NZ Double ended diesel and also noticed an Australian black Princess and short coaches topped up by a Red Rattler set on the high level.

In the corner was Eric Large's excellent display of 3mm/TT Gauge from various manufacturers  showing the difference in the various systems, Tri-ang with their plastic station, Wesa of Switzerland with their wooden station and the German Berliner Bahen with metal station. I also spotted  very rare Taifun and Lermann (later Europa) sets.

David Lyon was displaying his Tri-ang Lionel Series Scientific and Inventors Sets. I have seen this on a few occasions and I always spot something new. The shop sign is wonderfully evocative of the late 1950's early 60's advertising.

Dave Peasant and his Uncle once again 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 but I just loved admiring the every day life that is abundant on this layout.

David Coddington and his wife had come down from Scotland  to set up his extensive Tri-ang Hornby Dublo Amalgamation layout. Dave has an amazing collections and had at least six trains running  from the amalgamation period running all day long. With plenty of laminated catalogues and advertising leaflets this was a superb and informative display.

In the corner was David Rhodes with his excellent 00 Gauge  'Royal Les Eaux' 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. New visitors to this show were spellbound watching the Minic Motorway car enter the Airplane.

Most of the traders were in the middle. As usual trading was mixed with several doing very well. The attendance  although much better than last year was probably affected by the weather however most agreed the venue was excellent and worth trying again next year.

A huge well done to Bryan Pentland and his band of helpers for putting on such an excellent show, thank you also to co-sponsors Elaine's Trains and Dave Angell Trains.


Also in the middle were the majority of traders. It is fair to say they 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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