A visit to the Alton MRG show last Saturday. I realised that I hadn’t been to this show since 2016 or 2017 – I recall that last year’s show was hit by snow! It turned out to be an expensive trip (but retail therapy was a good antidote to Brexit.) Kent Garden Railways had three large boxes of second hand British ‘N’ gauge, and I came away with too many purchases (and turned down a few more.)
There was a good selection of layouts on show, and I’ve just snapped a few favourites. It was also difficult to photograph some of the layouts due to the bright winter sun that was shining into the main hall. In the foyer, first layout on show was Aldbourne (OO9), a neat narrow gauge presentation based on the Lynton and Barnstaple.
One of the largest layouts on show was Leicester Belgrave Road (OO), a fine model of this east Midlands terminus. I liked the broad expanse of the carriage sidings and good yard.
Sidmouth (P4) is a regular on the exhibition circuit, but I always have a long look at it – it’s such a brilliant model, and despite being a branch line terminus, there’s usually a train on the move.
Gilkicker Loop (N) was running long American trains around a spiral reminiscent of some of the Rocky Mountain crossings. Good viewing, though I think they had a much larger radius in real life!
Bicsdale (OO) modelled a Western Region goods and mineral line. Again, neat modelling, and I liked the narrow gauge mineral feeder line, and the house with its vegetable garden (even if the cauliflowers were a little luminous.)
Bembridge (OO) was a late stand-in, but I’ve a soft spot for anything off the Isle of Wight, and especially this little terminus.
And finally, the Stodden Hundred Light Railway (O), with some interesting engines and stock, including a lovely ‘coffee pot’ 0-4-0T. The GER had a number of these, but with enclosed cabs, and I started one in ‘O’ gauge as a teenager, using Triang OO L1 drivers, with half the spokes filed out. I built the chassis, but it didn’t get any further!