Church chuffed at railway show success

Chris Hill operates his father John’s fictionalised ‘Sneyd Sidings’ layout, full little local touches and names redolent of old Bloxwich (Pix: S.Williams)

This year’s Bloxwich Model Railway Show took place last Saturday 14 May, and was a great success, judging both by the crowds attending and the substantial number of remarkably detailed working layouts on show.

Owner/operator Malcolm Davies and his fictionalised ‘Birchills Junction’ layout

Organised by St John’s Methodist Church, the church institute (hall) is usually the venue for the popular annual show, and this year the event also overflowed into the church itself.

Layouts scheduled to attend included Tremore (00), Upton (EM), Conyer Dewit (00), Ashburton (00), Birchills Junction (00), Peters Street (00), Rowley St. Giles (00), Kingshill (009), Bryngwern (5.5mm), Bewdley (N), Larkrise (N), Eyning Broad MPD (00), Tinker’s Green Halt (00), Hawthorn Mill (009), and many were photographed by The Bloxidge Tallygraph for this news story.

Robin Daley (10, right) joined forces with fellow West Bromwich Railway Model Club member John Brown-Rigg to operate ‘Meadley’, a layout built by Ian Miles

Most of the layouts were large, intricated and beautifully detailed in a variety of gauges (scales), from ‘N’ being the smallest locomotives and rolling stock, with scenery scaled down accordingly, up to the popular Hornby-originated standard gauge ‘OO’ which many of will have owned as children, but which are definitely not toys at today’s prices!

Two unusual standouts were HO (an American gauge slightly smaller than the British OO) and 09, a narrow gauge scale.  Both were unusual subjects compared to the rest of the displays as can be seen below.

New England in the fall? An atmospheric close-up of Chris Gilbert’s compact HO gauge layout based on ‘Haston, Vermont’, USA. See Flickr set (link below) for a view of the whole thing

‘Kingshill’, a fictionalised narrow-gauge layout ioperated by owner/builder Ben Powell (right) and Julien Webb, members of The 009 Society which specialises in narrow-gauge railway modelling

Many layouts were long but not so deep, and most had to be transported in sections before reassembly on tables.  This was taken to extremes in the extensive N-gauge ‘Bewdley’ layout, for example, which packed an enormous amount of track into a long but relatively narrow space.

L to R: Nick Simons, Olley Reading and young Harry Brazier (6), members of the Telford Railway Modellers Group, operate the massive n-gauge ‘Bewdley’ layout based on the Severn Valley Railway

Some layouts were smaller, one or two being short but very creatively designed to show just a small section of a line, with exceptional 3D-layering when viewed at eye-level with the potential to be wall-mounted, such as the ‘Haston, Vermont’ layout above and the ‘Tremore’ layout below.

Owner/operator Nick Palette shows off his compact yet detailed ‘Tremore’ layout in the church hall

There were also a number of interesting model-making demonstrations plus trade model and book sales stands as well as a tombola and fundraising stalls.

Proceeds from the event were in aid of St John’s Church funds, and judging by the amount of enthusiasm both for participating in and viewing the shows, it seems its future as an annual event in the model railway calendar is ensured, putting Bloxwich on the modelling map, whatever the  scale!

FLICKR PHOTO ALBUM

A Flickr set of photographs of this event may be viewed and downloaded via this link.

NEW MODEL RAILWAY CLUB

The exhibition was so enthusiastically received that the formation of a new Bloxwich (St John’s) Model Railway Club will also now go ahead, and will meet at the church in Victoria Avenue every Thursday between 2pm-4.30pm.

Contact: John Hill, Tel: 01922 475557 or 07970 390258, and by email to:  john@hill5706.freeserve.co.uk

For more about St. John’s Methodist Church, see their website.

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