Last weekend I was once again assisting Mike Wild, the editor of Hornby Magazine, this time operating his Southern Region basedlayout Bay StreetShed. This was a model railway exhibition with a difference as it was held amongst full size heritage steam and diesel engines and trains at the Midland Railway Centre.
Although Mike’s layout is set in the twilight years of steam, alongside 3rd rail EMUs and the newly introduced diesels, I warped time slightly (well just by just over ten years or so) running, as promised in my post below, my model of the Bulleid Leader.
It did haul the occasional train but spent of the weekend in a prominent position on shed (not unlike the real thing in 1951/2!) which attracted a lot of attention, questions and conversation. It was good to note that a lot of visitors actually knew what the engine was.
The exhibition was spread out among the many buildings at Swanwick Junction and we were located in the Diesel workshop / shed. The meant that a natural weathering process occurred over the weekend as the dust (and sand used to fill the gaps between the floor and the running rails) was blown about and settled all over the layouts. Despite this the layout ran very well over the weekend and was probably offering visitors the most intensive train service of any of the layouts on show.
One slightly unusual aspect of exhibiting at this show was the fact that we had an aisle on both sides of the layout. The meant the fiddle yard was in full view, which the public seemed to enjoy as equally as much as watching the front of the layout!
During the weekend we had a couple of guest operators, most notably was Richard Wilson (no, not the “I don’t believe it” one’) part of the editorial team from British Railways Modelling, a rival magazine to Mike’s Hornby Magazine just to prove that everyone is quite friendly really.
A while ago now I built my own 4mm model of Bulleid’s unconventional ‘Leader’, I utilised a kit of parts from Chris Meachen at Golden Arrow Productions. He sells limited edition ready to run models of this unusual prototype and obtained from him a kit of bits so I could do my own thing when it came to the chassis arrangement etc. A review of the model and my build can be found here on the on the SeMG website.
I am sure it spark the usual questions that I get when it appears on Fisherton Sarum such as “What is it?” or “is that a diesel?” or “what’s the grey thing?” For those that are interested in finding out a bit more about what it was a rough guide can be found on Wikipedia although the usual caveats about accuracy in some places apply. For instance the initial intention was not that it “was to replace the aging fleet of M7 class tank engines” as quoted but to have the same route availability, which is not quite the same thing!
If you are able to get along to the Midland Railway Centre for the exhibition this coming weekend it should be worth it as the line up of exhibits looks a good one in an interesting venue too. Make sure you say hello to us on Bay Street Shed.
For back to back weekends, hot on the heals of last weekends Southwold show, I shall again be exhibiting with Mike Wild and the Hornby Magazine team this time at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley in Derbyshire. Mike’s Bay Street Shed layout is one I have helped operate many times and after this show it will be retired from the exhibition circuit. It is based on a Southern Region Engine shed located next to a busy junction combining the twilight years of steam and 3rd rail emus. With Mike’s wide range of stock we are able to run an intensive sequence of trains ensuring that there is always something to see for the watching public.
Midland Railex is a brand new event, being support by Bachmann, HMRS and Hornby Magazine and a large selection of model railway layouts of various scales from 2mm to 7mm will be on display, all in a railway setting. Being at a preserved line, heritage steam and diesel trains will be running during Railex, in fact the only way for the visiting public to get the main exhibition area at the Swanwick Junction site will be by train.
The Historical Model Railway Society archive and shop will be open to visitors. I have been able to visit the HMRS facility before and it contains an extensive collection of historical data along with some iconic layouts that have been kept for posterity, some of which will be running at the weekend too. The Matthew Kirtley Museum and the Princess Royal Class Locomotive Trust – West Shed Experience will also be open and their extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock will also be on display.
If you are planning on coming to the show make sure you drop by Bay Street Shed and say hello!
The model railway world and mainly Southern Railway meanderings of Graham 'Muz' Muspratt