ESNG at the Bluebell – 3

Today, we’ll have a look at some of the other models on display.  Opposite us in the locomotive works, and making an interesting contrast with ERIC the International Tramway Museum, was a 3/4″ tramway layout.  All British trams, picking up juice from the overhead, and everything scratch built.  A tempting size and prototype, but this is really model engineering, although the tram bodies are relatively simple to construct at this large scale from wood, card and plastic.

To our right was another large scale layout, in Gauge 1 (1omm to a foot in the UK), and mostly live steam.  Together with the trams, this was a constant distraction from watching our own, rather tiny trains.

A lovely Southern Railway ‘King Arthur’.  Why doesn’t someone make an ‘N’ model of one of these, rather than all those boring GWR 4-6-0’s?

Two LBSCR Marsh Atlantic 4-4-2’s, one in later LBSCR umber and the other in Southern olive green.  Two more beautiful locomotives, but difficult to model in small scales as the driving wheels are very close together.  To model one, you either have to have smaller wheels, with the correct diameter over the over-scale flanges, or ease the coupled wheelbase a tad.  The Southern version is looking a little worse for wear and needs repainting, but I was told that the model is 60 years old!  It is still running well, though there is a lot of slop in the full Stephenson valve gear between the frames.

And parked up waiting to run again are ‘Battle of Britain’ Pacific, ‘Spitfire’, a British Railways Standard 2-6-4T and a Midland Railway compound 4-4-0.

At the other end of the works, we found Darrel Birch, an ex-ESNG member and his layout ‘Berry Town.’  I quickly booked him for next year’s show!

Allan and I took a train up to Horsted Keynes, to see the exhibits there.  Pick of these was ‘Pulborough’, a lovely 4mm fine-scale layout modelling the station in the years before the grouping last century.  Lots of kit and scratch built models, and some well observed scenery.  The umber livery isn’t as exciting as Stroudley’s Improved Engine Green, but it looks very smart, and I’m sure it’s a lot, lot, easier to line out the models.

And finally, it was good to see ‘Atlantic Road’ again.  I didn’t manage to take a picture with trains on at our own show, so here’s a train on each level.  A very satisfying layout, especially as I lived a couple of miles away from here for 10 years.

Next post, the final one from the Bluebell, will be my favourite prototype engines from the weekend.

About snitchthebudgie

Secretary of the East Surrey N Gauge railway club
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