This was the eighth annual Cotswold Model Railway Show, organised by Gloucester Model Railway Club and Eastcombe Scout and Guide Group and held at Thomas Keble School, Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, GL6 7DY. It was also the fifth show to feature The Exhibitor’s Cup, in memory of Bert Hawkins, the Gloucester Club President who sadly passed away late in 2009. Bert was an active member of the Gloucester Club, joining in the mid 1960s. His larger than life charisma rubbed off on the entire membership from day one. He was the fulcrum of the GMRC, holding every committee position over the years. When the GMRC President, the Reverend Wilbert Awdry, passed way, Bert was made President, a position he valued and held with great honour and distinction.
With the full support of Bert’s son Nigel, The Exhibition Committee introduced The Exhibitor’s Cup, to be voted for solely by the exhibitors, and awarded to the layout that they consider the best in show.
The first winner of The Exhibitor’s Cup was Cheltenham South and Leckhampton and the second was Chris Hopper’s Pixash Lane.
In 2012 the third winner of The Exhibitor’s Cup was also the first foreign image layout and the first in N gauge – A Glimpse of the Algarve by John Cannons – while in 2013 this honour went to Rich Papper’s Oxford Road.
The 2014 Exhibitor’s Cup was presented to Chris Peacock’s 7mm Narrow Gauge layout Calstock’s Halton Quay, pictured above.
Pat Arnold was a long standing stalwart of Gloucester MRC and the Cotswold Show and the winning layout is voted for by the visiting public to celebrate the very best of design, operation and presentation with particular attention to layouts which display the enthusiasm in modelling that Pat promoted for many years.
In 2012 Richard Hewins’ Rowington for Shrewley became the fourth annual recipient of the Pat Arnold Cup while Barnhill MRC’s Kingsfield took the honour in 2013. The sixth name to be engraved on the cup in 2014 was John Smith’s H0 gauge Torcy SNCF, pictured below.
LAYOUT AND ATTRACTION REVIEW
GRUMBLING GOODS by Malcolm Smith GMRC
G Gauge (45mm)
The children were queuing up to play with this little slice of the Island of Sodor, presented here in the G Gauge format pioneered by LGB in 1968. The simple track plan included a tunnel, station, level crossing, locomotive and goods facilities.
CALSTOCK’S HALTON QUAY by Chris Peacock
7mm Narrow Gauge
Calstock’s Halton Quay took the Calstock theme one step further and modelled the new quays that were provided downstream from Calstock. Because of the lack of port facilities, the mines around Calstock found difficulty in expanding. These facilities were opened up primarily so that the ore could be exported to South Wales. However, due to silting, the new port was not a success and the last ore was exported via the East Cornwall Mineral Railway and Halton Quay in 1908. Halton Quay still exists today.
As in Chris Peacock’s preceding layouts, the railways themselves at Halton Quay were pure fiction. However, Calstock’s Halton Quay did set out to accurately portray what a small port of the period would have looked like. All the major buildings modelled existed in the Calstock area as did such small industries as boat building and sail making. The baseboards of Calstock’s Halton Quay were all made of composite wood with custom made track made from individual rails, chairs and sleepers. The points were operated by mechanical linkages and push rods operated directly by point levers. Rolling stock was either scratch built or extensively kit bashed and each building had at least one fully detailed, illuminated room.
SYREFORD STATION by Roger Brown
On 16.5 – 7mm Narrow Gauge
The Cheltenham & Cotswold Hills Railway Company was proposed in 1811 to carry the products of the Stone Pipe Company from Lower Guiting to a junction with the Leckhampton branch of the Gloucester and Cheltenham Tramway and via there to Gloucester Docks. The Act of Parliament for the 3′ 6″ gauge plateway failed at its third reading in May 1812 and the Stone Pipe Company also failed soon after when installed systems in London and Manchester would – literally – not hold water!
Syreford Station represented the upper terminus of the viable part of the line, had it been built and survived the Stone Pipe Company’s failure. The line was by now a 2′ 4″ gauge edge railway and was depicted in the early 1950s when tourism became a significant portion of remunerative traffic.
Track was hand built and buildings are scribed styrene sheet or textured DAS PRONTO on ply shells. Scenery was carved from polystyrene foam coated with Artex and covered with commercial scatter materials. The trees were twisted wire frames with Woodland Scenics foliage and the back scene was a view of Sandhurst Hill as seen from Sandhurst village, near Gloucester. Locomotives and rolling stock were a mixture of scratch and kit built vehicles, some with modified proprietary components.
GREAT BADTON by Gloucester Model Railway Club OO Group
Great Badton, shown in build at the 2014 Cotswold Model Railway Exhibition – represented a typical village in the southern part of Gloucestershire situated on the Great Western Railway main line between London Paddington and South Wales. The station and its approaches at Badminton, Gloucestershire, were taken as an inspiration for Great Badton’s general design and the period being modelled was the “ferret and dartboard” era of British Railways Western Region between 1956 and 1964.
Great Badton featured single storey station buildings on either side of four through roads. Stopping passenger services were sparse but the relief -platform – lines were also used as refuges for goods trains making way for passenger expresses. Great Badton also had an active marshalling yard handling a variety of seasonal traffic and the layout is set to feature many other railway and village structures. However, while principally Great Western in nature, Great Badton could also be used for BR London Midland or Southern Region operation.
Trains were stored in a five road double length concealed fiddle yard with Code 100 track being used throughout to maximise the potential use of rolling stock provided by club members, who are also building Great Badton as a skill building training exercise.
HILLTON TMD by Phil Harries
During the 1950-1960 steam period, Hillton was a thriving terminus station with a turntable and shed. Due to the Beeching cuts of the 1960′s, Hillton was closed and left to decay. In the mid 1990′s EWS and Network Rail needed a site for a new Traction and Maintenance Depot.
The land on which the old steam depot once stood was flattened and redeveloped into a modem maintenance facility and a work base for drivers. Due to public pressure and a grant from the Welsh Assembly, the old station was also re-opened as a single line terminus and was re-connected to an old branch off the main line between Newport and Gloucester. This proved very popular with people from neighbouring towns and villages.
With connections from the branch to most major cities; commuters now travel to Gloucester, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.
The new depot is in a convenient location to service and maintain the regions EWS locomotive fleet and is used by other companies from both South Wales and the West of England. The depot is very busy with locomotives arriving and departing for turns of duty and for maintenance and re-fuelling.
MING ING by Alan Drewett
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Modelling British dioramas in 4mm scale is often seen as a remembrance of a glorious industrial past, and therefore assumed to be at odds with Britain’s 21st Century reality of service industries, celebrity culture and less formally structured social groups. However, in the words of media commentator Marshall McLuhan, “We march into the future backwards” – and in so doing the past often catches up with the present in unexpected ways.
In fact I was very pleased to be invited to Eastcombe as it not only gave me a chance to show off some of the upgrades discussed in Ming Ing : Flied Nice but also to display some new coaches. J Fishwick and Sons liveried Plaxton Panorama C41F bodied Leyland Leopard – with the registration XTB 188D – and Van Hool T9 – with the licence plate YJ 06 LGA – were acquired as part of the Corgi Original Omnibus set OM49902 issued to commemorate the Leyland, Lancashire, firm’s 2007 centenary. In 1907 John Fishwick started a haulage business in Leyland with a steam lorry, later utilising a charabanc body on its flat bed for services to local markets. In 1910 John purchased his first purpose built bus from local supplier Leyland Motors and today Fishwick buses still run to Chorley, Preston and Penwortham while the coach fleet travels as far afield as Poland and The Ring of Kerry.
The design of YJ 06 LGA meanwhile dates back to the 1990s when T9s replaced the Alizee of 1978. Van Hool of Belgium manufactures approximately 1,400 buses and coaches, and as many as 4,000 commercial vehicles annually of which 80 % are exported worldwide. With a workforce of over 4,000, the company is a major bus manufacturer in Europe, offering a complete range of buses for public transport for international markets, ranging from a 9 m midi bus to a 25 m double articulated low floor PSV.
Pictured between the Fishwicks meanwhile IS one of the aforementioned Van Hoole Alizees – from the fleet of Gillingham, Kent based The Kings Ferry which spends millions of pounds each year on the latest high-specification new vehicles.
And as a number of the newly acquired coaches – along with lorry kindly loaned by the Mellor Brothers, a digger working at City Coaches’ Ming Ing depot and some of the cars at Viking Vehicles Jeremythorpe Garage – powered by Volvo engines, it only seemed right to have a Volvo powered aircraft flying overhead.
The Saab JAS39 Gripen was designed to replace the Swedish Air Force’s iconic Saab 35 Draken and 37 Viggen and first flew in 1988. Its Volvo RM12 gas turbine can take the canard configured delta winged fighter up to Mach 2 and it features relaxed stability aerodynamics controlled with fly-by-wire systems. As well as being used in Sweden, the Gripen ( “Griffin”) has been exported to South Africa, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
POOLE IN WHARFEDALE by Tom Couling GMRC
00 Finescale Gauge
The beautiful valley of the River Wharfe marked the northern boundary of the industrial region formerly known as the West Riding of Yorkshire and the railway eventually built through the dale was a joint North Eastern and Midland Railway venture, linking the Leeds to Carlisle route with the Leeds to Tyneside line but bypassing Leeds itself. In the 1950s local trains to Leeds and Harrogate would have passed excursion trains to the coast and such freight workings as ICI anhydrous ammonia tank wagons from Billingham to Heysham, where ammonia and nitric acid were combined to make ammonium nitrate fertilizer. ICI Billingham’s Haber-Bosch method of anhydrous ammonia production helped produce a 39% nitrogen fertilizer against the 21% nitrogen equivalent of fertilizer made from ammonium sulphate in turn made from bubbling coke oven gas through sulphuric acid. The robust ICI anhydrous ammonia tank wagons – seen below behind “Dub Dee” 2-10-0 90641 – had a high tare weight of 22 tons but were not through piped or vacuum braked!
Also visible was a Derby Lightweight twin car diesel multiple unit, valiantly competing against bus and road lorry traffic actually moving at realistic speeds. Although the buildings on the layout were reproductions of those found at the real Pool in Wharfedale, the addition of an “e” to the name allowed some minor track alterations to the actual location. In particular I was pleased to see ex Midland Railway “1F” 1377 Class half cab 0-6-0T 41881 in charge of a local passenger train as a full cab version has just joined my own motive power stud for future presentation
TRIANG TRADITIONAL by Nick Gillman
Vintage 00 Gauge
This layout attempted to show that an interesting and entertaining railway could be built using what are now regarded as “kid’s toys”. All the track and rolling stock were produced between 1953 and 1958, all rolling stock having the early Tri-ang couplings. The accessories – including a remotely operated working level crossing – meanwhile dated from the mid 1960s – every twelve year old boy’s dream!
I particularly liked the goods yard with its coal staithes and flat and low-sided wagons carrying a variety of early containers and sheeted loads – some rolling stock that took me right back to my childhood days! Also topical for the time were the big buff wooden bobbins in the background – hundreds of which were used by companies such as Liverpool based British Insulated Callender Cables to electrify the West Coast Main Line between London Euston, Weaver Junction, Liverpool and Manchester by the late 1960s.
WESTBRIDGE by Alex Raybould
Finescale 00 Gauge
This new exhibition layout was the first from 15 year old Alex and was based on a fictitious three road locomotive depot and small terminus station on British Railway’s Western Region during the blue period of the 1970s. The track was PECO Code 75 with mainly Bachmann sound chipped motive power and rolling stock DCC controlled via NCE Powercab.
With an eye to future expansion, Westbridge was built on an Elite Baseboard and on this occasion featured a low relief pub that had been absent a week earlier at St Margaret’s Hall, Cheltenham. Also visible in the small station yard were members of BR diesel electric Classes 25 and 37 while the English Electric Type 3 was also seen on shed in the company of Class 42 diesel hydraulic “Warship” D827 “Kelly”.
HILLSIDE WORKS by David and Susan Griffin
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
Hillside Works was a narrow gauge railway in 4mm scale, constructed using “Peco 009″ proprietary track. The location was set in the Welsh borders, and the time period modelled was late sixties to early seventies.
The concept and design of Hillside Works was purely fictional and an enormous amount of modeler’s license has been used during all design and construction phases. The idea was to create an easily portable layout which provides sustained operational and scenic interest for the viewing public.
Rolling stock was a mixture of kit built and converted ready to run items mostly from RICO and Parkside Dundas. The buildings were both kit and scratch built using Ratio and Wills materials, with various scatters from the “Woodland Scenics”, and “Greenscene” ranges.
The trees were constructed using the traditional wire frame method, which is then hand soldered and covered in a plaster mix and painted to represent the bare branches that are to be found in the late Autumn countryside of this region.
TORCY SNCF by John Smith
HO Gauge (16.6mm) 3.5 mm Scale (1:87)
Torcy was located in the department of Seine-Maritime in the Haute Normandie (Upper Normandy) Region of Northern France, at the end of a single track branch off the line from Rouen to Dieppe. Torcy is a real place but the railway was completely fictitious. The survival of the imaginary branch is due, in the main, to a distribution depot set up to transfer goods arriving by rail to road vehicles for delivery to this area of northern France: the level of freight traffic being sufficiently healthy to require several trains a day. In addition,loaded trains of open wagons containing gravel from a quarry up the line – which only has access from the Torcy direction – enter the station area to reverse before departing to Sotteville yard in Rouen for onward dispatch.
The station also survives and is served by a regular passenger service from Rouen operated by diesel powered push-pull trains and multiple units: including Bombardier TALENT units developed by the former Waggonfabrik Aaachen. There is a thrice daily through train to and from Paris and occasional steam hauled specials.
Torcy SNCF used Lenz DCC for operation and most of the locomotives had sound.
ASHBROOK by John Thomas
TT Gauge 3mm Scale
This fictitious 1950s layout was based on the concept that the Midland & South Western Junction Railway continued as a secondary route through the Cotswolds despite the Great Western Railways endeavours to rationalise it during previous years. Trains of former LMS and GWR stock could thus be seen on the 11’6″ long by 20″ scenic section between fiddle yards.
RED RIVER by Tony Comber
N Gauge 2mm Scale
Set in the coal mining region of the Appalachians, Red River represented scenes from the last decade or so on what is now the Norfolk Southern (NS) railroad. The NS was the result of a merger between the Norfolk and Western and Southern Railroads. The Southern Railroad was noted for the efficiency of its operations and the Norfolk and Western for its coal hauling.
The mine on the upper level was typical of an older type of installation during the last days of its life loading bottom-discharge hopper cars bound for the few industries that still needed this type of unloading. The cars were taken from the mine and eventually reached an interchange with the main tracks on the lower level.
On the lower level could be seen the modern unit coal trains which need rotary tipplers to empty them as they do not have bottom doors. These cars run in long block trains from the mines to the power stations or other big users. Other trains to be seen included those carrying wood chips in very large gondolas, roadrailers, manifests ( mixed trains to us Brits! ), intermodal workings and MoW ( Maintenance of Way, or engineer’s ) trains.
Red River featured in the January and February 2005 editions of Continental Modeller.
Also represented at Thomas Keble School were Barry Walding: Railway Artist, the Cotswold Canal Trust, The Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Eastcombe Women’s Institute and demonstrations of modelling skills by Ken Haines of Gloucester Model Railway Club and members of Diesel and Electric Modellers United.
Traders included Brian’s Trains, Buffer Books, Modelmania of Bristol and Keith Price.