Reviews of past Cheltenham GWR Modellers shows can be found at
and once again model railway enthusiasts from all over Gloucestershire travelled to the Cheltenham GWR Modellers April 2016 Exhibition at St Margaret’s Hall, Coniston Road, Cheltenham, GL51 3NX on Saturday and Sunday 2 and 3 April 2016 for the following attractions in aid of Winston’s Wish, the children’s charity:
SNOWDON: NORTH WALES NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY
by Peter Booth – Thornbury and South Gloucestershire MRC
16mm Gauge 8mm Scale
This layout portrayed the two foot narrow gauge railway at Rhyd Ddu, the southern terminus of the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railways’ line to Dinas. The station was called Rhyd Ddu until the late 1880’s when it took on the name Snowdon, finally in later years it was called South Snowdon. Peter modelled the site as it is thought to have been in the early part of the 20th Century, and was largely based upon photographs and information found in the Welsh Highland Heritage Magazine. The railway was eventually incorporated into the ill fated Welsh Highland Railway in 1922. However it is now the mid point of the new expanding Welsh Highland Railway, which is one of the most impressive narrow gauge railways in the British Isles.
Every attempt was made to model the station building as accurately as possible. However, it was necessary to shorten the run round loop considerably to keep the layout down to a reasonable size. It was also necessary to model the area around the station as it might have been, using a degree of modelling license, due to the lack of detailed photographic information away from the immediate station area.
As with Peter’s earlier Dinas layout, his intention was to model everything virtually from scratch, and this has largely been accomplished, the unusual scale of 8mm to one foot leaving little option. The track was spiked to wooden sleepers in the prototypical manner, the ballast being produced from crushed slate. The locomotives operated on the layout were constructed from nickel silver brass, closely following the dimensions on the manufacturers original drawings. Coaches and wagons were constructed from wood, nickel silver or plasticard on nickel silver underframes.
Stonework on the buildings was produced by building up layers of Polyfilla onto a scribed plaster base, the resulting textured finish being painted in water colours. The corrugated iron for the sheds and roofs was produced from Slaters sheet, suitably trimmed and pinned. Grass was made from individual pieces of Gaugemaster grass mat together with static grass. The major structures are now fully completed with internal lighting to show the detail. There are still some areas that are being developed and this will probably continue over the next year or so. It is hoped that it will be possible to connect Snowdon NWNGR to Dinas NWNGR at some time in the not too distant future. The combined layouts would make a total length of 34 feet.
BIRMINGHAM MOOR STREET by Scale Four Society and West Midlands Area Group
18.83 mm Gauge P4 Scale
Birmingham Moor Street was built initially as an entry into the 2007 DEMU ‘Minories Challenge’ competition. The brief was to build a terminus station with three platform faces on a 7 feet by 1 foot baseboard. The layout represented the terminus side of the station in central Birmingham opened in 1909. The Moor Street terminus handled suburban services to the south of the city, Leamington Spa and Stratford upon Avon until its replacement by the current through station when Snow Hill reopened in 1987. The station building and terminus platform were restored in 2006 and reconnected to the network on 11 December 2010 by Chiltern Railways. The layout could depict the transition period between steam and diesel traction or the British Rail corporate era of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In the former era, most suburban services are in the hands of Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) but some steam hauled trains could still be seen.
Freight and parcels trains reversed at Moor Street to use the connection to the neighbouring goods depot. Later, suburban services were entirely in the capable hands of DMUs ( including Gloucester RCW built Class 122 railcar 55012 seen here) but the operators imagined that the goods depot remained open so freight and parcels trains could also be seen. The Group extended their Moor Street layout both length and width ways for the 2008 Scale Four Society/ DEMU challenge to lengthen the platforms and include one of the three wagon hoists serving the lower level of the goods depot. The layout was simplified and shortened to fit the space available but the key features of Moor Street’s station building and the three platforms were modelled, including working signals of the traverser and wagon hoist. Control was by Lenz DCC or by conventional DC. Working signals operated by model aircraft servos were scratch built by members of the WMAG as were the structures and scenic features.
CLEVEDON: WESTON,CLEVELAND AND PORTISHEAD RAILWAY by Andrew Ullyott
EM Gauge 4mm Scale
The Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway opened from Weston to Clevedon as a tramway in 1897, converted to a ‘Light Railway’ in 1899 and extended to Portishead in 1907. It allowed local residents travel between the towns without need for lengthy inland detours via the Great Western Railway. It imported coal for merchants and gas works and exported a considerable amount of limestone from quarries in the Gordano Valley. In financial difficulties from the beginning, ‘Colonel’ Holman F Stephens was appointed General Manager in 1911 but despite returning occasional profits, the fortunes of the line steadily declined and the last train ran on 18 May 1940. The WC&PR’s rolling stock was typically run down, second hand equipment, bought cheaply from other railways, some of which were also run by Colonel Stephens. For example, it was through the WC&P that the Great Western Railway acquired its pair of Brighton Terrier 0-6-0Ts, formerly LBSCR locomotives 43 “Gypsyhill” and 53 “Ashtead”.
The layout was a virtually dead scale representation of the railway’s Clevedon headquarters as it was in the mid 1930s and included the station, sheds and offices in Lower Queens Road. There were no public goods facilities at the station, these being located at Parnell Road. Nothing now remains of this scene. Rolling stock was a mixture of kit built and scratch built items which visitors might have seen on Andrew’s previous layout of the WC&P’s Weston Ashcombe Road Terminus. Pictured left, one of the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway’s pioneering internal combustion railcars can be seen partially covered while a trio of tank engines wait by the coaling stage. To the right of the all-black Terrier was No.1. “Clevedon”, built by Alfred Dubs of Glasgow in 1879 as its works number 1222, which joined the WC&P in 1901 after service on standard gauge railways in Jersey ( where it was known as “General Don” ) and North Cornwall. Despite its number, 1222/1879 was in fact the third Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Railway locomotive to be named “Clevedon”.
COLFORD by Rob Mills
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Coleford, surprisingly for an isolated market town in the Forest of Dean had two railway stations. The Severn and Wye Railway (S&W) wound its way up from Lydney via Parkend, arriving in 1875. This was much to the annoyance of the Great Western Railway, which arrived from Monmouth some years later. It is the S&W station which forms the basis of this model railway. Both terminii, adjacent to one another, were connected by a convoluted route which required five reversals to transfer trains from one to another. Passenger traffic on the S&W ceased in 1929, but the line remained open to freight until 1967 with dispatches of free miners’ coal, daily ballast trains from Whitecliff Quarry, and receipts of general goods and household coal. The model was based closely on Coleford – with the Colford Goods Shed being very reminiscent of the one at Parkend on the Dean Forest Railway – and assumes that passenger services continued until closure of the line. Stock was a mixture of ready to run and kit build, and represented what actually did, or reasonably could have run on the branch during the final years. Operation was analogue and points were operated manually in prototype fashion.
HARBOURNE by Shaun Greet
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Harbourne ( note the spelling compared to the Birmingham suburb) was a fictitious truncated branch in the Western Region of British Rail circa 1968 to 1973: hanging on to survival against road competition. The station provided a sparse passenger facilities for a sparse train service although the freight was varied and the goods yard still reasonably profitable. Some services entered and departed only using the run round at the end of the branch to access off scene industries further down the line. Motive power included shunter Classes 03 and 08 along with mainline diesel electric locomotive Class 25, and hydraulic Classes 22 ( as built by North British Locomotive in Glasgow and 35 ( Beyer Peacock Hymek assembled in Gorton, Manchester), plus the occasional Diesel Multiple Unit. Built originally to show what can be done in a small space, Harbourne is now ten years old and still a firm favourite at exhibitions, having appeared in British Railway Modelling magazine in 2010. In particular I liked the use of the three way point in the goods yard and the presence of a military green painted bulldozer on a Lowmac wagon. How rarely do you see earth moving equipment or any sort of road vehicle on its own aboard a a wagon in a train formation nowadays?
STONEBRIDGE by Roger and Robert Webb
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
In October 1987 Stonebridge became the Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Group’s first venture into layout construction using S.M.P. Trackwork. A quantity of ready made points and flexible track were purchased secondhand, glued onto cork and then ballasted with ‘N’ gauge granite ballast. Buildings on previous layouts have been scratch-built but in order to save time, kits were used to good effect. The goods shed and loco shed were modified Heljan and Airfix respectively while the station building was put together without any modification at all. The platform mounted signal box was also Ratio and boasted a fully fitted interior. Working signals always enhance a model railway and although only two are featured here they added another dimension to the railway scene. Perhaps in the future it may be possible to have operating ground signals. Figures also bring a layout to life and the ones on Stonebridge have been painted from various sources and most of the road vehicles have been altered in some way. Locos were a mixture of steam and diesel and, together with appropriate stock, trains are portrayed running in the B.R. early 60’s period. April 2016 marked the farewell for Stonebridge as an exhibition layout but I understand it will survive chez Webb. Thank you to everyone involved for giving us so much enjoyment over nearly 30 years.
THOMAS by Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Group
OO Gauge 4mm Scale
Although the Reverend Wilbert Vere Awdry (1911-1997) is well remembered in Gloucestershire as a resident of Rodborough, Stroud, and a patron of the Dean Forest Railway, his childhood association with the Great Western Railway is less well known. However, when Wilbert was six years old, his father, also an Anglican vicar, moved the family to his new parish of Box in Wiltshire. By 1920 their house- “Journey’s End” – was only 200 yards from the western end of Box Tunnel and the nine year old Wilbert could lie awake at night and hear eastbound freight trains being banked up the two mile long 1 in 100 incline, engine crews communicating by coded whistles. Awdry related: “There was no doubt in my mind that steam engines all had definite personalities. I would hear them snorting up the grade and little imagination was needed to hear in the puffings and pantings of the two engines the conversation they were having with one another: ‘I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I can’t do it!’ ‘Yes, you can! Yes, you can! Yes, you can!’”. Here was the inspiration for the story of Edward helping Gordon’s train up the hill, a story that Wilbert first told his son Christopher some 25 years later, and which appeared in the first of the Railway Series books.
TOUCAN PARK by Alan Drewett
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
The Park Royal Guinness Brewery opened in 1937, having been built from 1933 to the design of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also designed Battersea Power Station. Toucan Park supposes that the rail connection to the Brewery was continued to meet the West Coast Main Line at Wembley as a Depression era job creation scheme, a diversionary route against future aerial bombardment and a first section of London orbital railway. A locomotive depot was added in 1938 to supplement nearby Old Oak Common and Willesden and this stayed open as usual throughout the Blitz until taking a direct hit from a V2 rocket in 1944, after which it was more open than usual. Following the introduction of Freightliner traffic, a two road diesel depot was built on the ruins of the old roundhouse with washing and refuelling plant at the rear of the workshops. In 2005 the former Guinness buildings near the depot headshunt were demolished and the Toucan Park Freightliner Depot next door extended. On this outing, Roger Daltry of The Who – originally hailing from nearby Acton – replaced glamour model Nikkala Stott of Greenford in encouraging younger visitors not to touch the layout.
PURBECK by John Thorne
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
Set in the 1950’s this layout illustrates the narrow gauge clay lines that existed on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. Originally the lines were of two different gauges; 2 feet 8 inches and 3 feet 9 inches. Eventually the lines fell into disrepair and in the 1950’s what was left was laid to a gauge of 2 feet but sadly it all eventually was closed in the early 1970’s. The model is not prototypically correct but features hand build models of some of the original locomotives and rolling stock including the unique two sided van and school wagon, plus also scratch built models of some of the original buildings. In addition to the clay trains seen on the layout, by using modeler’s license, it is assumed that the line continued west from Corfe to Kimmeridge Bay. This gives us the excuse to imagine a small station, engine house and goods shed at Norden to the north and west of Corfe and to run a selection of freight and passenger stock accordingly. All the stock is either scratch built or heavily modified kits. The layout features buildings with full interiors and two working turntables, a working crane and working steam shovel. There is full lighting on the layout and the main lights can be dimmed to represent twilight over the Purbeck Hills.
YATE ROCKS TRAMWAY by Colin James
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
In the late 19th century there was a tramway, probably horse drawn and about three foot gauge, that linked two limestone quarries just north of the east end of Tan House Lane north of Yate (now in South Gloucestershire) with some limekilns alongside the Midland Main line just south of where the existing Limekiln Lane crosses the railway line. The tramway continued to serve the limekilns until 1925 before being closed and dismantled. However the route is still easily discernible across the fields and on Google Earth. As he has yet to establish if it had a name, Colin named it the Yate Rocks Tramway. The 009 scale layout, took the former tramway as its basis and was set in circa 1950 to enable the presence of a Bedford OB Bus, perhaps bringing in a party from the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society. Yate Rocks Tramway was now a steam and diesel hauled 2 foot 3 inches gauge mineral light railway bringing limestone from the quarry to a stone processing works connected to the British Railways Bristol to Gloucester line (the former Midland Railway/LMS route) via an exchange siding with a cylindrical cage type rotary tippler to invert the narrow gauge wagons and tip the limestone into the standard gauge wagons waiting below. The works had recently been extended and featured a passing loop, a new exchange siding and a timber yard. There were also the remains of two of the old limekilns. The buildings on the layout were mainly from the area, the idea being to create an image of part of the quarrying history of the area as it might have been in circa 1950, the year the last coalmine in the Yate area closed. The Tramway had a selection of wagons some full, some empty; whilst the locomotives were mainly by Paul Windle and Minitrains.
BRIMSCOMBE by Shirehampton MRC
N Gauge 2mm Scale
Brimscombe station was located on the former Great Western Railway line between Gloucester and Swindon, deep in the Frome river valley to the east of Stroud. The layout included the station area and part of the long climb up the valley out of the village towards Chalford and Sapperton Bank. Brimscombe was 24 feet long by 3 feet wide, and track work was Peco code 55 finescale on the viewing side and code 80 in the fiddle yard. Electrical control was conventional DC cab control but could be switched to DCC operation if needed. Most of the buildings had been scratch built. Trains could operate using a timetable, and one of the highlights was looking out for heavy freight trains on the long climb south east out of Brimscombe towards St Marys Crossing. In this picture North British Locomotive built Western Region diesel hydraulic B-B D6326 passes Brimscombe signal box with a train of Conflat container wagons. Later classified as Class 22 but never allocated TOPS numbers, these locomotives were fitted with 1000 bhp NBL/MAN 12 cylinder four stroke engines. D6326 itself was introduced in May 1960 with works number 27899 to Plymouth Laira depot and withdrawn from there in October 1971.
MODEL BUS FEDERATION AND NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ROAD TRANSPORT MODELLERS
Represented by Paul and David Mellor
It is always a joy to be re-united with The Mellor Brothers and their ever expanding fleets of local buses and lorries – a sentiment now shared by many professional decision makers in Gloucestershire’s transport and logistics community. On this occasion attention focused on The Javelin Express – the North Western Road Car Company (Gloucester) equivalent of Stagecoach West’s “The Belles Express”. The route taken by these smartly decorated Scania/Caetano Levante coaches is Brocklecote/Gloucester bus station to Bristol via Waterwells Park & Ride, Aztec West, MOD Abbey Wood, University of West of England and terminating in Cabot Circus. The coaches are fitted with luxury leather seats and the service boasts that – due to a more limited number of stops – that it is faster than the equivalent train journey .
Similarly, Andy Peckham’s Travel 2000 always has something new and interesting to offer whether the spectator looks at the School Bus, Wedding Hire, local service bus or long distance executive hire fleet. Travel 2000 also trades as Provincial, Concept 2000 and Black and White and its headquarters is based on a real location – formerly used by a car rental company – on a straight flat single carriageway road in Hucclecote, Gloucester. Fuelling is undertaken at local filling stations due to residential objections to an on site fuel storage tank.. The Provincial liveried vehicle pictured is a 1986 Leyland Royal Tiger/Roe Doyen originally operated by the North Western Road Car Company (Glos) Ltd (Paul Mellor) and was kept by him along with its sister vehicle in his private heritage collection after withdrawal from service. On permanent loan to Travel 2000 Ltd for limited use as a heritage vehicle from Autumn 2015 the Doyen was subsequently restored and repainted in the old Provincial livery which would have been in use in 1986 if Provincial had still been operating. From March 1982 until September 1988 the Provincial operation became dormant. After that date it resumed operating with some school contracts using the Provincial fleetname
MARTIN NASH FAIRGROUND and PETER LEA TRANSPORTATION
It is always good to catch up with Martin Nash and his splendid 4mm scale fairground featuring such attractions as a Tin Can Alley, Jolly Tube, Wall of Death, Funhouse and Rifle Range. Set in the early 1960s, Martin’s diorama captured a golden age combining traditional fairground rides and sideshows with classic vehicles ( some ex military) including AEC Matadors and Diamond Ts and Britain’s nascent pop music, some of it produced by Gloucestershire’s own Joe Meek.
Martin’s neighbour for the weekend was Peter Lea, another old friend that I was pleased to see again. On this occasion he brought along his recently improved and extended lorry depot including some impressive giant yellow quarry dumper trucks.
In April 2016 St Margaret’s Hall also welcomed the return of Redditch based Tracey Lippett and her Mini Scenes: dioramas including rocks,cliffs, streams, bogs and other water features and also often featuring Minis and other classic British cars as well as flying saucers and aliens! Tracey is also keen to help other modellers with their tricky scenic issues and can be emailed on Reddmini@aol.com. In this picture an iconic Flame Red version of Sir Alec Issigonis’s British Motor Corporation Minis is seen parked in a picturesque terraced street near a harbour with a fishing boat. In production in its original form from 1959 to 2000, the Mini pioneered the concept of a transverse engine connected to front wheel drive allowing 80% of the floor pan to be used by passengers and luggage. In 1999 the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the Twentieth Century, just behind the Model T Ford and but ahead of both the Citroen DS and the Volkswagen Beetle. Mini production began at the then British Motor Corporation’s Longbridge and Cowley plants but later spread to Australia, Spain, Belgium, Chile, Italy, Malta, Portugal, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Yugoslavia. Within Britain, the original Mark 1 Mini was later updated to Mark II, Clubman and Mark III specifications with body types embracing estate car, van, pick up truck and the jeep like Mini Moke. The higher performance Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S found success as sports cars, winning the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967. Controvertially, a Mini was disqualified from first place in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally as it was claimed that its headlights did not conform to the rules.
by Steve Harrod, Trevor Hale, Mark Begley and Andi Dell
The April 2016 – and first – Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition in aid of Winston’s Wish also featured trade support from show sponsors Cheltenham Model Centre, Derails of Coleford, Clive Reid’s pre-enjoyed model railways and Stewart Blencowe’s Railway timetables, books, photos and slides.