Model railway enthusiasts from all over Gloucestershire travelled to the Cheltenham GWR Modellers October 2016 Exhibition in aid of CLIC Sargent at St Margaret’s Hall, Coniston Road, Cheltenham, GL51 3NX on Saturday and Sunday 29 and 30 October 2016 to raise money for Sue Ryder Hospice and Neurological Care by enjoying the following attractions:
PROJECT IRAQ 2003
by Tony and Kate Bennett
16.5 mm Gauge 1/35 Scale
Probably the most bold, innovative and well executed layouts that I have ever seen, Tony and Kate Bennett’s Project Iraq 2003 used 16.5 mm track (00 Gauge) to represent a 2′ gauge railway in the context of 1/35 scale vehicles and figures.
On 1 May 2003 somewhere near to Basra in Southern Iraq. The main fighting in this area of the Invasion of Iraq is over.
The model, as displayed at the October 2016 GWR Modeller’s Exhibition, depicted a section of the British Army on Operation Telic taking stock of the situation before moving on to their next objectives. Telic from the Greek telos means a purposeful or defined action. With 46000 full time and reserve British troops being deployed the term became known amongst personnel as a backronym Tell Everyone Leave Is Cancelled.
Amazingly they have come across the working remnant of a railway constructed by their forefathers about 80 years ago, the Maquil Railway.
The local Iraqis are celebrating their freedom from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein’s regime by returning to normal life as soon as possible and so the run down battered railway has returned quickly to its main role of moving water and agricultural produce.
Project Iraq 2003 – supporting Help For Heroes – was very highly detailed with over 17 vehicle and 120 figures in cameo scenes.
FROGPOOL by Andover MRC
O Gauge 7mm Scale
A welcome return after almost a decade was Andover MRC’s 7mm scale Frogpool, now with optional DCC sound operation. A highly fictitious and improbably small Great Western Railway terminus somewhere between Falmouth and Truro. The village of Frogpool actually exists but in reality was never served by the railway. The layout was built by club member Tony Collins as an exercise in minimum space and is featured in the first Gauge 0 Guild book of small layouts published a few years ago.
The buildings were based on the following prototypes:
Signal Cabin: Burghclere from a photograph in “Didcot Newbury and Southampton Railway” by Kevin Robertson and Roger Simmonds
Large Lamp Room and Store: Tetbury, from plans
Lamp Hut: Lambourn, from plans
Goods Shed: Hemyock, from photographs
Bridge: Fairford, from photographs
Tetbury, Lambourn, Hemyock and Fairford plans and photographs found in the book “Great Western Branch Line Terminii” by Paul Korau.
Station: Adlestrop plans from the “GWR Country Stations” book by Chris Leigh
Or as the poet Edward Thomas put it:
Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.
The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop – only the name
And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire
ALSTONE SERVICING DEPOT by Robert Webb
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Robert and his dad Roger have been stalwart helpers in the organisation of the Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition for as long as I can remember and the debut of this 6′ x 2′ two-board 4mm scale layout was much anticipated. Alstone Servicing Depot was inspired, as Robert explained, on many Western Region and other depots that he visited with his father and friends in the early 1980s. The very impressive scratchbuilt water tower was based on the one visible from Bristol Temple Meads station at Bath Road while other scenic items – including magpies, woodpeckers, wood pigeons and a cat – were from Woodland Scenics, Busch and Penduke models. Track was Peco Streamline, and I also liked the way that Robert incorporated preserved steam in the form of Robert Riddles’ three cylinder Caprotti valve gear fitted British Standard 8P 71000 “Duke of Gloucester” as well as his keen interest in fairground rides.
BOW LOCKS by Andi Dell
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Pioneering Punk Rockers The Sex Pistols famously said never mind the Bow Locks (I never could spell!) but they might have changed their minds had they been together to see Andi Dell’s highly portable 00 gauge contribution to the October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition. It was set in a fictional part of the east end of North London Line near the Regent’s Canal. Although Bow Locks is a real place name there is no railway there now. Funnily enough however, Bow Locks is not a million miles from Finsbury Park which was the childhood home of John Lydon – also known as Sex Pistol’s lead singer Johnny Rotten. The 4mm scale layout – set in the Network Southeast era of British Rail – offered diesel and third rail electrified passenger services running to a single platform terminus above a three road freight yard. Although the trains were DCC operated, points and signals were traditionally controlled from a switch box. In this picture, an English Electric Class 20 Bo-Bo diesel shunts a rake of wagons in the yard. Otherwise the platform looks Pretty Vacant!
BRISTOL ST PHILIPS by Thornbury MRC
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Thornbury MRC certainly brought their A Game to the October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition with the 00 Gauge Bristol St Philips. In 1870, the Midland Railway opened a small single platform passenger terminus in a corner of its extensive St Philips goods yard in order to relieve pressure on the facilities it shared with the GWR at Temple Meads. For the next 80 years, Bristol (St Philips) was used almost exclusively for local passenger services via Mangotsfield to Bath (Queens Square) – or Green Park as it later became. Passenger traffic survived until 1953, the station becoming – like many others – increasingly dilapidated after bomb damage during the war. The goods yards meanwhile remained open until 1967, and in 1957 featured in the British Transport Film “Fully Fitted Freight”
The DCC controlled 4mm scale layout represented St Philips passenger station and the first few sidings of the goods yard with Barrow Road bridge – now long since gone and half a mile further away further – providing the scenic break. It also assumed that passenger services survived into the early diesel era.
FOREST GATE PARKWAY by Graham Mann
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
The October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition also treated visitors to Graham Mann’s 00 Gauge Forest Park Gateway. Not to be confused with Forest Gate in London but a fictional town around the Gloucester and Worcester area with old and new buildings. Not all of these were occupied but new structures were still being squeezed into every available inch of land. The station and associated buildings were constructed on a disused railway yard which used to feed a factory.
Constructed in the early Eighties when traffic was relatively light, the car park is now too small and the station building too cramped and inefficient, especially during rush hour. In my many visits to this layout, I did not see a Royal Train arrive but if it did while my back was turned, I don’t think Prince Charles would have been impressed by the station building’s architectural style! Although firmly set in England, Forest Gate Parkway station was maintained by Arriva Trains Wales. Despite this however, many freight and passenger Train Operating Company liveries were visible on the DCC operated layout. South of the station alongside the inclined main line was a factory loosely based on the Forgemasters Limited plant in Taff Wells, just north of Cardiff.
The scenic section of Forest Gate Parkway measured 11′ x 2′ with the whole U shaped layout covering 13′ x 6′. A further 6′ extension is also planned.
HOUNSLOW SIDINGS by Graham Mann
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Mention Hounslow to many people and they will think of Maria Whittaker putting forward its finer points or Phil Collins drumming up interest but at the October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modellers Exhibition Ray Norwood presented his splendid, atmospheric vision of Hounslow Sidings in winter between 1950 and 1960. Like Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan and Charles Hawtrey of Carry On fame, Roy was born in Hounslow but unlike them became a fireman at Feltham Motive Power Depot. Hounslow itself first suffered from the coming of the railways, the Great Western main line usurping its place as a horse exchange point for stagecoaches plying the Great West Road to Bath. By the Second World War however, Hounslow was on the Southern Railway’s Twickenham and Brentford loop from Waterloo. During World War 2 a nearby barracks meant that the station was used to load military vehicles The 5’6″ x 2’layout operated on MERG DCC and featured a fiddle yard traverser working on inverted drawer runners. Q1 and M7 locomotives were built from PDK kits.
LLWYDD TOWN by Richard Webb
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Built by George Woodcock, Llwydd is presumed to be a new town in north-east Wales at the end of a spur from the Shrewsbury to Chester line. It is now growing rapidly and this has led to a big revival in rail travel. The original Cambrian Railway station has been demolished and the yard has been cleared and sold. A new modern station, built to a heritage theme, has been funded by the supermarket which occupies most of the site. Royal Mail has concentrated its bulk operations here. These use a concrete loading pad on a short siding and, at quieter times, the one remaining platform. The only freight traffic serves a small oil terminal belonging to Cambrian Fuels.
There are Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) operated passenger services to and from Birmingham, Chester, Manchester, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton. There is also a Regional Railways locomotive-hauled service to Cardiff and an Inter-City service to London. Royal Mail operates services to Cardiff, Preston and Crewe, as well as making use of some of the passenger workings. The Shrewsbury to London Euston TPO now also starts from Llwydd. This runs to Rugby where it combines with another service, the stock stables at Shrewsbury during the daytime. The oil terminal is supplied by an as-required service from Stanlow which can run on any day. DMU’s are a mixture of First Generation and Sprinter units. Locomotives comprise classes 31, 37 and 47. Services represent those seen on the Marches lines in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
I was particularly impressed by the second generation dmu converted to a track recording unit and the appearance of 47 484 “Isambard Kingdom Brunel” in its post 1985 GWR 150 livery.
THOMAS by Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Group
OO Gauge 4mm Scale
Features on the ever popular interactive Thomas layout in October 2016 included Tarmac liveried PGA wagon 14007. Originally introduced in 1972, this type of air braked two axle hopper could carry a load of 50 tons – over three times its unladen weight. A number of modern construction techniques enabled it to accept this much limestone. The mild steel body was welded rather than riveted and the hopper itself was integrated with the underframe with hollow U-section solebars kinked over to meet the lower portion of the hopper and form a closed tube. In this way, two strips of the angled hopper wall both retained the limestone and formed part of a stressed skin structure. The lightweight tubes withstood buffing compression on the wagon as well as direct vertical forces, while various struts and stiffeners ensured that all other stresses were spread evenly throughout the vehicle.
JOURNEY’S END by Nicholas Wheatley
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
A spooky addition to the October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition for nearly Hallowe’en (and organiser Mike Walker’s birthday!) Nicholas Wheatley’s Journey’s End’ features an 009 gauge (4mm scale) narrow gauge railway serving a cemetery. It is entirely fictional, set “somewhere in England”, though inspired by the London Necropolis Railway that ran from Waterloo to Brookwood, Surrey, from 1854 until 1941. The narrow gauge dimension was inspired by the Golden Valley Light Railway in Derbyshire, which runs from the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley towards a natural burial ground. The setting is almost timeless, but can be dated by use of different vehicles anytime from the present back to the 1950s.
A particular, and probably unique, feature of the layout is its ghost train, comprising several ghost figures (made by Aidan Campbell) hauled by a diesel loco with a ghost headboard. There are also several Ffestiniog Railway hearse vans, in different liveries, and a model of the LSWR hearse van, as used on the London Necropolis Railway, is under construction for use on the layout. Other rolling stock, including steam and diesel locos, is mainly by Roco or Liliput, with some kit or scratch-built items, including a double ended railbus.
The basic structure – baseboard, track laying, wiring and controls – was professionally constructed in 2011 by Model Masters of Weston-Super-Mare. It has two tracks, independently operated, one a continuous loop, and several working features by Viessmann, including level crossing lights, a gravedigger (if he’s not too tired) and a man with a scythe (the Grim Reaper). A cemetery lodge and chapel are the main buildings on the layout, with several scratch-built mausoleum structures and platform waiting building also present.
The gravestones and monuments are from a variety of sources, including Hornby, Harburn Hamlet, Dornaplas, Langley, Woodland Scenics, Busch, etc and the angel statues and other figures are mainly by Preiser and Noch. The mausoleums are mostly scratch-built, though two are adapted Hornby Skaledale structures. The vehicles are also from a variety of sources, the hearses and limousines being from Oxford Diecast, and there are some horse drawn hearses and carriages by Preiser
ISLAND FARM by Michelle Sandwell
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
The October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition really brought the past and future together in the present as it boasted not one but two layouts for children to operate. Thomas, in 00 gauge and operated by members of the Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Group, returned with new rolling stock and road vehicles while new to the scene was Michelle Sandwell’s Island Farm. Built to 009 (4mm scale) format, Island Farm perhaps evoked the spirit of Eastern European Park Railways ,formerly known as Young Pioneer Railways under Communism where they were used to train children to be railway workers. More specifically Island Farm featured a station platform festooned with aluminium milk churns and represented a field somewhere in the World with a children’s play area, tea room, animals to pet and a donkey sanctuary.
Personally I think donkeys have had a raw deal over the years. Apart from their traditional starring role in Nativity and Passion Plays within Christian culture, they have often been overloaded, overworked, underfed and neglected. One highlight however was the construction of the tower of the church of St Mary Magdalene in Taunton in 1508. The 163′ (50m) tall tower was built from sandstone blocks raised to the top by a rope and pulley arrangement powered by a donkey. Apparently when work was completed the builders then hauled the donkey to the top so that he could see the perspective he had made possible. As Michael Portillo commented when visiting St Mary Magdalene’s as part of his Great Railway Journeys “The view must have been eyore-some!”
On the other hand Robin Thicke’s 2013 song and video “Blurred Lines”, featured TI (real name Clifford Joseph Harris Junior) rapping:
“One thing I ask of you
Lemme be the one you back that ass up to
From Malibu to Paris boo
Had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So, hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”
Making a donkey walk backwards from Malibu in California to Paris – and presumably having the equine quadruped swim the Bering Straits backwards as well – before dissecting it is to my way of thinking the height of cruelty!
ASHBROOK by John Thomas
12 mm Gauge 3mm Scale
John Thomas continued to fly the flag for 12mm gauge (3mm scale) with Ashbrook, a fictitious layout based on the concept that the Midland & South Western Junction Railway continued as a secondary route through the Cotswolds. Despite the Great Western Railway’s endeavours to rationalise the line during previous years, it remains open in the 1950s. Through trains were run from the Midlands as well as Southern Region and ex GWR and British Standard rolling stock also appeared – including the 16 ton mineral wagon pictured. The layout measured 3 500 mm x 500mm with fiddle yards at either end of the scenic section. Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company official photograph 4976 of October 1935 shows wagon 40 of the George Mills and Sons of Cirencester fleet as a seven plank 12 ton coal wagon painted black with white lettering, a tare weight of 7-1-0 and internal dimensions of 16′ 1 1/4″ x 7′ 71/4″ x 4′ 41/2″.
THE GLOUCESTER RAILWAY CARRIAGE AND WAGON MUSEUM
00 Gauge 4mm Scale and N Gauge 2mm Scale
Only formed in March 2016, the GRCWM has been represented at events in Tewkesbury, Gloucester and Eastcombe before all the members gathered for their first collective model railway show at St Margaret’s Hall. Unfortunately 3/5 of the membership were suffering from heavy colds but they still manfully made the best of a very generous 8 foot space near the stage to display a range of G plates, thoughtfully researched information boards and dioramas based on Gloucester RCW’s contributions to both World Wars of the 20th Century as well as thirty years of change on British railways between the 1930s and 1960s. I would like to thank everyone at the show who made the GRCWM members welcome and helped them on this auspicious occasion. Equally, the Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition once again proved its worth as a platform for promoting railway and industrial heritage to a wider audience.
TO THE MANOR BURNT by Martin Nash SOUTHDOWN BUS GARAGE by Vincent Tweed and TANKS by Tony Ingram
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Vincent brought his Southdown Bus Garage diorama which was packed with incidental detail including the Langley Models white metal tricycle in the livery of Wall’s Ice Cream’s “Stop Me and Buy One” – never a marketing strategy adopted by the London Rubber Company. The pedal powered vehicle is seen here passing one of Oxford Diecast’s new Hillman Imps while going back to its “Rootes” in the land was “To The Manor Burnt” presented by Martin Nash. Although more rural and minimalist with its backscene of open fields and rolling hills this diorama did break new ground in spotlighting the enduring work of Britain’s Fire and Rescue Services and their heroic portrayal in a range of commercially available die cast vehicles. I also enjoyed seeing Tony Ingram’s extensive collection of tracked armoured fighting vehicles in a number of scales including the 4mm scale British built Centurion in the service of Israel’s eastern Hashemite neighbour. Or as I like to think of it, the Peter Andre tank.
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, the line up included one of the North West Road Car Company (Gloucestershire) Limited’s new inter-city coaches passing Jen’s Hot Food Bus located on the Drewitt’s Lane Layby diorama. Although seen here being overtaken by an X series Jaguar car, the Javelin Express service purports to be faster than the equivalent train journey between Gloucester’s (fictional) Brocklecote Bus Station, Waterwells Park, Aztec West, MoD Abbey Wood, the University of the West of England and Bristol Cabot Circus: a return journey it makes five times a day from Monday to Saturday. The service branding pays homage to the Gloster Javelin twin jet delta winged fighter, in RAF service from 1956 to 1968 and built on the site now occupied by Brocklecote Bus Station.
by Andy Peckham
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. In this picture the yellow school buses and longer distance Black and White public service vehicles have been joined by some other automotive icons in the form of two Land Rovers and a Ford Transit van. The origins of the Land Rover can be traced back to the end of World War II when the British government decided to ration steel to those motor manufacturers who could obtain the most exports. The Rover company in Solihull had been a manufacturer of expensive cars but decided to build a vehicle as rugged as the wartime American Willy’s Jeep but powered by the same 50 bhp 1.6 litre engine as the P3 road saloon to attract agricultural customers from around the World. In fact the idea came from Rover Chief Engineer Maurice Wilks who used a Willys Overland Jeep on his farm. Similarly, the Ford Transit, which began production in 1965, has evolved through four basic platform variations to be the third best selling van of all time.
In October 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 the view above London & North Eastern Railway B1 Class 4-6-0 1234 is seen hauling what might be considered an out of gauge saucer load on a flat wagon between two tankers. A total of 410 B1 4-6-0s were built between 1942 and 1952, construction being divided between the LNER’s Gorton and Darlington works and North British Locomotive in Glasgow and Vulcan Foundry in Newton Le Willows Lancashire. Designed by Edward Thompson, the mixed traffic engines with two outside cylinders were the equivalent of the Great Western Railway’s Halls and the Stanier Black Fives of the London Midland and Scottish Railway. The first example was named “Springbok” in honour of a visit from General Jan Smuts and the next 39 locomotives were also named after African animals.
by Richard Bucknall, Steve Harrod and Mark Begley
The October 2016 Cheltenham GWR Modeller’s Exhibition in aid of Sue Ryder Hospice and Neurological Care also featured trade support from Cheltenham Model Centre, Clive Reid’s pre-enjoyed model railways, Derails,Iron Horse DVDs and Stewart Blencowe’s Railway timetables, books, photos and slides.