The Cotswold Model Railway Exhibition was the twelfth Cotswold Model Railway Show to be organised by Gloucester Model Railway Club and Eastcombe Scout and Guide Group and held at Thomas Keble School, Eastcombe, Gloucestershire, GL6 7DY. Thomas Keble was vicar of the nearby village of Bisley from 1827 to 1873 and younger brother of John Keble, one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement which spawned Anglo Catholicism. Neither of them are thought to be related to Bolsover born John Keeble, the drummer in Spandau Ballet. Although I wouldn’t like to say this much is true.
In 2017 the Exhibitor’s Cup, in memory of Bert Hawkins, the Gloucester Club President who sadly passed away late in 2009, was presented to Mike Kelly 00 gauge layout Cromer Road.
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. An excellent modeller, his layout – Kingsgate – was popular on the exhibition circuit and appeared at the 2009 Cotswold Show.
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 Pat Arnold Cup meanwhile was awarded to Peter and Keith Matthews’ N gauge layout Llandre. 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.
LAYOUT AND ATTRACTION REVIEW
GRUMBLING GOODS by Malcolm Smith GMRC
G Gauge (45mm to the foot or about 1/30 scale)
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 Lehr Gross Bahn in 1968. The simple track plan included a tunnel, station, level crossing, locomotive and goods facilities. Also on show were some favourites from children’s television and films – the latter genre having co-opted the cast of Herge’s Tintin Comics.
In particular, the Belgian auteur’s amateur detectives Thompson and Thomson were seen getting out of the more sizeable BMW version of Sir Alec Issigonis’s Mini car, complete with Union Jack on the roof. The detectives were in part based on Hergé’s father and uncle, identical twins who wore matching bowler hats while carrying matching walking sticks. Another inspiration was a picture of two mustachioed, bowler-hatted, formally dressed detectives who were featured on the cover of the Le Miroir edition of 2 March 1919. They were shown escorting a criminal—one detective was handcuffed to the man while the other was holding both umbrellas. The two characters first appeared in the 1932 Tintin adventure “The Cigars of the Pharoah” as X33 and X33bis but have had many other names in translation to different languages around the World. In the 2011 motion capture film “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” Thompson and Thomson were played by Brockworth born Simon Pegg and his long time comedy partner Nick Frost.
Older patrons might also have recalled the Anglo-Kiwi 1980s pop group also named The Thompson Twins. But was Malcolm Smith trying to curry favour or just favour Alannah Currie? Apparently the popular beat combo behind such hits as “Hold Me Now” and “Doctor Doctor” chose the name because there were originally three of them ( although the line up became much more populous) just as The Temperance Seven were more than seven in number and liked to drink a lot.
It may be some years before Judge Dredd gets a look in, but in the meantime Grumbling Goods has proved a popular conversation piece among local care home residents.
PETER’S WOOD by Barry and Penarth MRC
0 Gauge 1/43 Scale
Peter’s Wood was a Great Western Railway style rural back water branch line, its main boast being a creamery. The station buildings were similar to the ones at Much Wenlock. The layout also had a cattle dock, signal box and goods shed. The buildings and bridges were card embossed with Das modelling clay. All point and track work were Peco Streamline while the locomotive fleet was a mixture of brass kits and scratch built. The rolling stock was mainly from Slaters and Parkside kits. Thanks are also due to Dave Woolnough for painting the back scene.
The Brighton Class “A” or “Terrier” 0-6-0T was designed by William Stroudley (1833-1889). They were built for suburban traffic in the London tunnels and were originally fitted with condensing apparatus. They were very powerful for their size and their 4 ft. driving wheels gave them excellent acceleration between stations.
GAMLE CARLSBERG by Tony and Kate Bennett
0e Gauge 1/45 scale
In 1847 JC Jacobsen established Denmark’s first industrial lager beer brewery at Valby, just outside the old ramparts of the capital, Kobenhavn on a hill was named Carlsberg (Carl’s Hill ) after his son Carl. After four years of travelling Europe and learning new ideas Carl Jacobsen started as brewer himself in 1871 and opened his own brewery, New Carlsberg, in 1881. New Carlsberg and Old Carlsberg ( Gamle Carlsberg ) merged in 1906 as Carlsberg Breweries.
Probably inspired by the Guinness brewery in Dublin, Carl Jacobsen linked his two sites with a 700mm narrow gauge railway that was able to negotiate tight curves and replace horses and cars with minimal change to infrastructure. Construction started in 1909 with imported German rolling stock and Krauss steam locomotives, although an 0-4-0T was also acquired from Britain and from France in 1912 came a Punney steam railcar to transport visiting guess and dignitaries.
The first internal combustion locomotives arrived in the 1920s and the 0e (7mm to the foot scale and 16.5mm gauge track) layout Gamle Carlsberg represented the system at its zenith in 1934. It was replaced by road transport in 1957 and the real Gamle Carlsberg is now a visitor centre. All the Fulgarex point motors and Kadee coupling fitted Fleischmann locomotives on Gamle Carlsberg were DCC operated and at least two engines needed be used to solve the shunting puzzle that the sidings presented. The scratchbuilt buildings had foam board shells and were covered in Howard Scenics embossed English Bond brick paper. This included the famous Elephant Tower. Elephants have a special position in Danish society and Elephant Beer is one of Carlsberg’s best. If not the best lager in the World…
SNOWDON by Peter Booth
16mm Gauge 8mm Scale
The layout portrayed the two foot narrow gauge railway at Rhyd Ddu, the southern terminus of the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway’s line from 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.
CHEDDAR S&DJR by Simon Challis
P4 Scale 18.83 mm Gauge
The Light Railway Act of 1896 meant that railways could be built and operated at a lower cost. The line speed was a maximum of 25 mph – not a lot slower than a normal branch line. The Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway proposed such a line to Cheddar to tap into the trade in tourists visiting the cliffs and caves of Cheddar Gorge, market garden produce including strawberries and of course Cheddar cheese. After the line opened, the quarries persuaded the S&D to rail connect them through the station so that they could transport larger quantities of stone. The scene showed Cheddar S&DJR in the 1920s with stone, coal, general merchandise and passengers arriving and departing. The Cheddar Vale Oxide and Ochre Mill was built after the line opened. The S&D did not in fact build this line, but this layout supposes that it did.
P4 railway modelling is 4mm to the foot scale with the correct track of 18.83mm – as opposed to the slightly too narrow 16.5mm of 00 Gauge – and more information about this can be found at www.scalefour.org.uk. Cheddar S&DJR was constructed as an entry in the Scalefour Society’s 18.83 Layout Challenge to build a layout to P4 standards in 18.83 square feet. The track plan was from the Wild Swan publications book Layouts for Spaces by Iain Rice. Much use had been made of standard products such as SMP phosphor bronze rail track, Ratio and Wills Kits, Slaters Plasticard for the Mill and Woodland Scenics for the grass and foliage. Most locomotives, coaches and wagons were kit built and the back scene was one piece of heavy duty paper laminated with a matt finish on the front.
CROMER ROAD by Mike Kelly
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
This layout was inspired by a visit to Cromer in 2005 – and a further mission to measure and take photographs in August 2008 – and included Morrisons’ supermarket, part of the original station building which is now a pub, a very stylistic house opposite the signalbox and and the redundant signalbox itself: the last one to be built from concrete blocks cast at the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway works at Melton Constable and now preserved as a museum of signalling. The platform length and width were reduced a little and although the cutting length was accurate as far as the crossovers, it was very much foreshortened to the bridge in order to keep the layout to a reasonable length. The track was Peco 100 with minimum radius points (rather than large radius due to space constraints) and the plain track had sleeper spacing increased to improve appearance. DCC control with sound was used for the rolling stock which in the main were various Hornby and Bachmann diesel multiple units. Also possible, now that the level crossing to the Poppy Line at Sheringham ( the town not the former Manchester United footballer,obviously) has been reinstated, might be the appearance of the odd steam special.
DENT by Phil Lovell
OO Gauge 4mm Scale
Completed in 1877 the Midland Railway’s Settle to Carlisle line is renowned for the rugged Moorland, its tunnels, viaducts, amazing scenery and snow. Along the way, Dent station serves the villages of Cowgill and Dent. Cowgill village is half a mile away while Dent itself is nearly 5 miles further to the west. The lack of passengers reflect this. The stone station building – complete with Up platform waiting room – itself is famous for being the highest on the English railway network at 1,150 feet and must also be one of the most modelled stations on the British Railways network!
The layout – with its Blea Moor style landscape of dry stone walls and snow fences – was inspired by the work of David Jenkinson and built to provide a circular layout so that Phil could sit back and watch trains run round. Construction featured Peco fine scale track and point motors and Ratio signals.
Locomotive 4074 was one of the 4F class 0-6-0 tender locomotives introduced by the Midland Railway in 1911. They were based on earlier Johnson and Deeley designs but were in fact the work of Sir Henry Fowler, later to be appointed as the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1925.
ELDERDYKE FOR CLOGGER by Eddie Whitlock
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
The Hull, Beverley and Scarborough Railway (HB&SR) was proposed to form a direct route across the flat land between Driffield and Seamer Junction without having to use the coastal route via Bridlington and Filey or the inland route via Malton.
The line from Driffield to Seamer was single track and completed in 1846 with intermediate stations at Kilham, Langtoft, Elderdyke and Foxholes before the HB&SR was absorbed into the York and North Midland Railway. The York and North Midland controlled lines in the Hull, Whitby and Scarborough areas until 1854 when it amalgamated with the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway and the Leeds Northern Railway to form the North Eastern Railway. The North Eastern Railway controlled most of the lines in the north east of England between the Humber and the Tweed and became part of the LNER at Grouping in 1923.
At Elderdyke there was a short branch to Clogger to capture the vegetable traffic. Elderdyke was not the largest village on this section of the route, so was not blessed with a passing loop, but it was the most convenient location for the Clogger branch to join the route.
There was a siding connecting the works of Moore’s printers, who had acquired the Second World War contract to print ration books for the government, and like the vegetable traffic, this generated many van movements. Coal and general goods also arrived at Elderdyke by rail although passenger services were not well patronised outside the weekly Clogger market. HB&SR passenger trains were in any case never more than four carriages long.
The 20′ x 2′ layout was set in 1946 when the LNER embarked on its renumbering scheme so some locomotives carried old and some new numbers. Similarly, both a Sentinel steam railcar and its replacement C16 4-4-2T and push-pull carriages appeared, trains being changed via a cassette system in the non-scenic rear area.
BLAENDARE ROAD by Barnhill MRC
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Blaendare Road was a small terminus high above Pontypool set in the 1950s and 60s. The branch was built in order to tap the high quality limestone and dolomite outcrops from Cwmniscoy quarry. Blaendare Road enjoyed a frequent passenger service to Pontypool Road, Ebbw Vale and Blaenavon via its triangular junction with the Vale of Neath line at Cwm Glyn. Traffic from local coal, seed and feed merchants also kept the goods yard busy. The Peco Code 100 track – ballasted with Woodland Scenics medium ballast in the manner of Mystic Meg’s layout – featured points operated by Seep motors. All the buildings were made from kits – either straight out of the box or modified and the rolling stock was ready to run with a few kit built locomotives and wagons. Uncoupling ramps were a mixture of Seep and home made.In particular I enjoyed seeing this Rolls Royce engined Sentinel shunter: in the original Tarmac markings as supplied ready to run by Hornby.
LINDON ROAD by John Long
OO Gauge 4mm Scale
Representing British Railways during the period 1950 to 1964, Lindon Road represented a fictional Southern Region branch line through station located in the River Medway area. The branch left the main Paddock Wood to Maidstone line near Yalding and ran close to the villages of Coxheath and Hunton to terminate at Chainhurst. The line was in its final few years of operation with the passenger service being run down to one and two coach trains, some of them being push-pull operated. Freight services however were still quite busy, with coal and grain terminals at Chainhurst ensuring the survival of the branch until the late 1960s. Coupled next to a cattle wagon here is ex London & South Western Railway Adams B4 Class 0-4-0T 30089, two classmates of which have been preserved.
The layout itself consisted of three conventional chipboard and timber baseboards with self contained turntable fiddle yards at each end. The track was SMP Scaleway, with points being made from the same company’s copper-clad kits. Pointwork was operated by the old Hammant and Morgan solenoid motors, with the few signals being worked in the same way. The station building was based on East Farleigh on the Paddock Wood to Maidstone line (still standing in 2015) with other railway buildings on the layout being made from modified commercial kits. The low relief structures at the back of the layout were scratch built from Wills building sheets. The scenery was based on polystyrene foam, carved to shape and covered with plaster bandage, painted and then overlaid with Woodland scenic ground cover. Motive power consisted of small tank engines and diesels, mostly kit built, of Southern and BR Standard origin, with passenger and goods stock from most of the kit manufacturers.
UNIVERSAL WORKS IN CLARKSON’S END by Alan Drewett
OO Gauge 4mm Scale
In 2017 the Governments of both France and Britain announced that sales of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2040. As such I felt that a look back at the past century of liquid hydrocarbon fuelled transport was in order. And what better name for petrolhead heaven than Clarkson’s End ? Not least as the most famous motoring journalist … in the World .. lives in the Cotswolds at Chipping Norton. The layout has been written up extensively in its own article on this website, but a last minute addition was the Interfrigo wagon from the Dapol (formerly Airfix) kit. Interfrigo was in fact founded in 1949 as a not for profit co-operative partnership and specialised in the timely refrigerated rail transport of high volume goods, notably bananas from the port of Rotterdam to Germany and Switzerland. In 1993 Interfrigo merged with the similarly organised Basel based intermodal operator Intercontainer although in 2010 Intercontainer-Interfrigo SA handed control of their 145 weekly trains back to the various rail operators of Europe. The Airfix Interfrigo wagon first appeared in the 1963 catalogue and represented one of a number of design variations operated by the company. Some travelled to Britain via train ferries and used dynamos attached to the axles to power the refrigeration plant. The press advert that launched the Airfix kit in July 1962 also mentioned the new British Railways Meat Van and Avro Anson. Priced at 2/- and 3/- old money respectively
LLANDRE by Peter and Keith Matthews
N Gauge 2mm Scale
Llandre, loosely based on the Welsh town of the same name, depicted the Cambrian Railway line between Borth and Aberystwyth from the late 1970s to the end of the 1980s. Features included a timber built viaduct, park full of 3D printed caravans and a host of bilingual signs. Very educational in fact!
One hundred and fifty one Class 24 Bo-Bo diesel electric locomotives were built from 1958 to 1961 at Derby, Crewe and Darlington. The first twenty of them formed part of the Pilot Scheme of British Railway’s 1955 Modernisation Plan. Powered by a six cylinder Sulzer diesel engine built under licence by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow in Furness, the 1160 bhp Class 24s became the basis for the more advanced Class 25s. The final Class 24, 24 081, was withdrawn from Crewe depot in 1980. During the 1970s, Class 24s were used to haul an overnight passenger and newspaper van train from Aberystwyth to York.
After the delivery of the first few Class 24 Bo-Bos it became apparent that their speed ceiling of 75 mph (121 km/h) was unduly restrictive and the provision of additional power would be advantageous. In the course of normal development the power output of the Sulzer six-cylinder engine had been increased by 90 hp (67 kW) to give a continuous traction output of 1,250 bhp (930 kW) at 750 rpm by the introduction of charge air cooling and the first locomotives to use this became known as Class 25. These Bo-Bos were primarily designed for freight work but a significant number were fitted with boilers for heating passenger trains. Throughout the 1970s they could be found at work across the whole of the British Rail network although the Eastern and Southern Regions never had an allocation. Though regular performers into the early 1980s on Crewe-Cardiff passenger trains, they are best known in that respect for their use on the summer Saturday trains to Aberystwyth, a task they relinquished in 1984. The final Class 25 locomotive was withdrawn from service in March 1987.
DRIE SPUR HONE by Gloucester MRC
H0 Gauge 3.5mm (1/87) Fine Scale
The Cotswold Model Railway Show always features a layout in the process of being built and in 2017 the spotlight fell on the Gloucester Model Railway Club’s own 20′ long East German prototype – the working title very roughly translating as Home of Three Gauges. At the heart of the concept is a goods hub being fed by a narrow gauge railway to either a standard gauge line or to road freight by the use of specialist equipment. Passengers are served on the layout by the main line, narrow gauge and metre gauge tramway, which will snake its way through multiple levels.
Also adding to the thrill of the 2017 Cotswold Model Railway Show was the presence of The Vale of Berkeley Railway, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, Cotswold Canal Trust, Diesel and Electric Modellers United, Julie West – Railway Artist, the Second Hand Stall of Olive Turner, the Gloucester MRC Second Hand Stall, traders Brian’s Trains, Modelmania of Bristol, Penduke Models and Stewart Blencowe.