Midlands Garden Railway Exhibition organised by Meridienne Exhibitions Ltd is an annual event and this year they presented all that’s best in larger gauge railway modelling. There were layouts and traders representing scales from 0 gauge upwards.
Surprisingly there was a good selection of 0 gauge layouts, the highlight for me being the appearance of Newchapel Junction a beautifully run layout, professionally presented, smooth running and something happening all the time. Based on joint GWR and SR operation, there is a main line station, a Junction with running to a Southern branch line Terminus. I have seen this layout develop over the years and it has never strayed from it’s original presentation it has just developed. For more information on this layout they have their own website
Another 0 gauge layout on show was Hollowbeck Shed, a refuge for the more unfashionable steam types, plus the new-age diesels all based in the Tyne and Wear area during the early 1960’s.the layout depicts a two-road sub shed south of the River Tyne that used to serve a brewery. Locos depicted are mostly kit built with some classes duplicated to add to the authenticity. The layout is also used as a publicity vehicle for the Thompson B1 Loco Trust who are custodians of an ex-LNER 4-6-0 No.61264 which is based on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
Syreford Station in 0-16.5 scale is the upper terminusof a railway that was proposed to connect to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Railway at Leckhamptonto the quarries Guiting Power. Originally planned as a horse drawn tramway, the model is shown as a 2’4” gauge narrow gauge railway. The model has some very good scenic features and runs very smoothly.
Moving up in scale there were two very fine Gauge 1 railways one from the Stanley Midland Gauge 1 Group which had a varied selection of locomotives in live steam pulling scale length trains, the island platforms and marshalling yard had a joint GWR, LMS and GCR flavour with the odd visiting Southern locomotive.
The other Gauge 1 layout was from the Withnell Junction Group which portrays a fictional Lancashire station in the 1950’s. Both live steam and diesel traction were in operation.
There were many Narrow Gauge layouts each with their own themes, all of which showed what could be achieved in a small area but in the larger scales, layouts such as Hampton End, Dirranbandi & Toowoomba Light Railway, Fidlers Green, Lewiston, Rhydypenderyn, Smoghampton & Greenhills Railway, and Tyddyn Bach.
There was also a fine display of working Vintage Gauge 1 Tinplate Trains on an extensive model layout which must take ages to erect as all the track has to be laid individually.
There were also displays by the G Scale Society and the ‘Prince George’ New Build Steam Locomotive – LNWR George the Fifth Steam Locomotive Trust which had on display a twenty foot side section of the new build Locomotive along with a 5” gauge model of a similar 1910 locomotive ‘Ptarmigan’. Joining them were the Bromsgrove Society of Model Engineers, the National 2.5″ Gauge Association, Nuneaton Society of Model Engineers and there were several G1MRA demonstations on wagon and coach building, soldering & etched brass and the use of computers in modelling.
The venue hosts one of the finest catering facilities in the exhibition circuit, a fine steak and Kidney pie was had for lunch at a reasonable cost.
Attended last year and enjoyed it so much, Great Show and one for next years calendar.