Another exhibition visit last Saturday, this time to the Tolworth Showtrain exhibition, arranged by the Hampton Court MRS. I took both Derek’s – Atfield and Apps – with me and we had a pleasant morning looking at a good show. After all the rain of the previous week, there was thick freezing fog in Redhill, but that cleared to a cold by sunny morning once we got to the top of Reigate Hill.
I don’t think that I have been to this show for the last couple of years. It’s always of good quality and this year there were loads of excellent layouts, though I had seen many of them exhibited elsewhere. Perhaps the main complaint was that the recreation centre café was closed and being rented out for things, so there was no coffee or bacon roll available. But I guess that we didn’t really go for the bacon, did we?
Itchen End Goods Depot (O) shows how a micro layout can be built in ‘O’ gauge, and largely using ready to run stock. Small, but plenty of shunting is possible within the confines of the depot.
Daconby Town (3mm fine scale) seems to be everywhere at the moment!
Tansey Bank and Hobbs Row (OO9) is a good example of the genre, modelling a preserved ex-industrial narrow gauge railway. The works building is very well done, and contains the fiddle yard.
First ‘special’ layout of the day was Lee-on-the-Solent (P4). A renovated early P4 layout, this models a speculative LSWR branch, that closed in 1935. A simple design, but full of interesting detail. The shingle beach was especially realistic – though I suppose modelling this is only like ballasting the track on a larger scale!
I’d seen Tarring Neville (OO) before, and it’s a very interesting little layout. Again, shunting only, but the layout is viewable from 2 or 3 sides, and the lighting is cantilevered on an upper facia from the far end of the layout. And, of course, the modelling is of a verey high standard, with an interesting variety of goods stock and little industrial locomotives.
Scratchy Bottom Halt (1:22.5 scale, 15mm gauge) defies description, being based on the cartoons of Rowland Emett. It all goes to show that railway modelling is meant to be fun!
Palmerston Road (O) offered a large continuous run to allow the trains to stretch their legs a bit. The ‘Golden Arrow’ took me back to my childhood – I used to see the down train pass some days going back from lunch to primary school.
Sidmouth (P4) is another well-travelled layout that is always worth another look, as it perfectly captures a Devon seaside terminus in 1959.
Rolvenden (P4) is also a regular on the exhibition circuit at the moment, but it’s always worth a second (or third) look. This time I enjoyed the hops and oast house….
More next time….