The Hucclecote Model Railway Exhibition was held at Hucclecote Methodist Church, Caribrooke Road, Hucclecote, Gloucester GL3 3QP – on the Number 10 bus route from Gloucester to Cheltenham – from 1000 to 1700 on Saturday 17 June 2017.
Entry prices were £4.00, accompanied Children free.
Visitors who attended in previous years could confirm the warm welcome and the quality of the refreshmernts. And 2017 was no different! Similarly, the range of exhibits at this charity show appealed to both keen modellers and local families.
Twelve working layouts were on show, in gauges N to O, with trade support from Elite Baseboards and Keith’s Bits and Pieces.
The 2017 poster showed ex GWR pannier tank 9600 at Merthyr Vale Colliery in 1969. Despite steam having finished on the Western Region in 1965, these locomotives could be seen at a number of Welsh collieries into the 1970s – this one was here until 1973, when it went for preservation. The colliery closed in 1989, and their last recorded locomotive was another ex-BR engine – D3014, now preserved on the Dartmouth Steam Railway at Paignton and named “Samson”.
Here is a review of the layouts:
Puggie Dock by Rob Newman (7mm O Gauge)
It was assumed that the location of Puggie Dock was on a small inlet somewhere on the coast to the west of the Firth of Clyde where there was a quayside and rudimentary dock facilities used by local craft, particularly ‘Clyde Puffers’, one of which is to be seen using the dock.
The dockside tramway used a variety of rolling stock obtained from former industrial lines, whilst the BR tracks saw the types of locomotive to be found in Scotland in the 1950s/early 1960s. In Scotland, shunting locomotives were universally known as ‘Pugs’, and the very small variety used in some numbers on quaysides were ‘wee Puggies’.
Most of the locomotives and other scenic items were hand built from kits, and grateful thanks go to Keith Blake, Aidan Houlders and Peter Whyborn for building many of these, and to Andy Wilkie who assists with the operation of the layout.
The layout is used to publicise THE STANIER 8F LOCOMOTIVE SOCIETY LTD, owners of Stanier 8F locomotive No 48773 [also known as LMS 8233 and WD307] , currently awaiting overhaul and located in the Engine House at Highley on the Severn Valley Railway. In its BR days the locomotive was allocated during the late 1950s to 66A Polmadie [Glasgow] shed so may just possibly have worked a train to ‘Puggie Dock’…………
For further details about the locomotive or membership of the Stanier 8F Locomotive Society please ask one of the operators.
Wellington Street by Harry Tyndall (7mm O Gauge)
The name of “Wellington Street” was a modification of Wellington Road which was at the Eastern extremity of the Earl of Dudley’s railway system although it was out of use just after the Second World War. However, there was a short section of line from the Wallows to Old Park Engineering, so by twisting fact with more than a generous helping of fiction, (or should that read Modellers Licence), Old Park became Doolittle and Waite casters and fabricators. The Wellington Road Land Sale Wharf similarly moved to Cradley Heath where the line crossed Forge Lane – renamed Wellington Street – and connected with the GWR via Cradley Goods Yard (not modelled). So what else was moved? Well a dismantled rail bridge which carried the GWR line from Old Hill to Dudley known as the Bumble Hole line. In the history of the real world, Cradley Heath was also famous as the childhood home of the actress Josie Lawrence (Eastender’s Manda Best among many other roles) and the Cradley Heathens Motorcycle Speedway Team, operational from 1947 to 1995 and producing World Champions such as Erik Gundersen and Bruce Penhall.
Cherrington by Phillip Bird (4mm OO Gauge)
Although there exists villages named Cherington close to Tetbury and to the north west of Hook Norton, neither had railways, although branches could have been built from the Kemble to Tetbury line or the Banbury and Cheltenham line. Thus, this layout was fictitious but designed as the real ones would have been, if built, to be Great Western terminii. Phillip Bird’s splendid layout however was set in the British Railways era of the mid 1950’s to early 1960’s. Traction was provided mainly by steam locomotives of the Western Region with perhaps the occasional interloper from elsewhere. In addition some early diesels and DMU’s could be seen.
The layout was built to 4mm scale and used SMP finescale OO track for the scenic section and Peco OO for the traverser fiddle yard. The baseboards were built from 9mm plywood and were covered in cork to form the track base. The scenery was a mixture of textures using mainly either Woodland Scenics scatter or electrostatic grass. The buildings were a mixture of plastic kits for the engine shed, signal box and yard sheds. A scratch built station building, station masters house, creamery, goods shed and weighbridge also featured. The cattle dock was the Ratio kit modified to fit the location.
Hergest by Peter Cullen (4mm OO Gauge)
When the GWR extended its Leominster to Kington branch further on to New Radnor – Peter Cullen imagined – the new railway ran for a distance parallel to the old horse drawn tramway to Hergest Ridge. The tramway was upgraded to a steam powered narrow gauge line – initially using a variety of locomotives but subsequently making use of the ex Glyn Valley Tramway engines – including 0-4-2T “Sir Theodore” built by Beyer Peacock in 1888 – which were purchased from the official receiver in 1935 and regauged to 2′ 3″.
The GWR were persuaded to construct a small station at Hergest to allow a secondary interchange between the standard and narrow gauges. As well as serving facilities at Hergest, the narrow gauge railway provided the local community with a means of transporting incoming coal and outgoing stone and foodstuffs.
The layout was set in the autumn of 1947, a surfeit of ex-army road vehicles and the return to civilian life of men seeking work would lead to the closure of both the narrow gauge and standard gauge railways within the next five years. Indeed, rural branch line railways had been under threat from a similar phenomenon after the First World War and after the end of petrol rationing in the 1950s and the arrival of the motorway network the stage was set for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s “Great Car Economy” of owner/driver choice and out of town shopping centres. Only in the 21st Century with concerns about pollution, road congestion and global warming are railway branch lines returning to consideration.
A notice on the layout also declares that “The line was ignored by photographers and historians and following closure all evidence of the line has disappeared.” The Great Western Railway did in fact build a standard gauge line to New Radnor from Leominster via Titley Junction and Kington although I can find no reference to a horse tramway in the area. I was, however, impressed by the layout’s combination of an end-to-end 00 gauge high level system with an 009 oval and sidings underneath.
London Road Locomotive Sidings by Adrian Full (4mm 00 Gauge)
London Road Locomotive Sidings lay at the northern end of Westonmouth Central station, and provide a location for locomotives to stable between trips on passengers trains to and from all points on the BR Western Region. Diesel hydraulic types mingled with their diesel electric brothers providing constant interest and movement for the local spotters. Inspired by photographs of the cramped sidings at London Liverpool Street, the ready supply of information available on the internet produced plenty of data to design and build the layout. Whilst never claimed to be a scale replica of the original, it was recognisable, even if the “Western” based locos caused some confusion. Building London Road Sidings was a very interesting process. Sometimes following a prototype is restrictive, sometimes it allows a credible setting to be created without the risks of inconsistency a fictional location brings
D402 seen here was one of the fifty Class 50 Co-Cos were first leased to British Rail to cover the 1966-1974 electrification gap between Crewe and Glasgow before moving to Western Region to replace the Class 52 “Western” diesel hydraulics. After the introduction of InterCity 125 trains to Brunel’s billiard table, the Newton-le-Willows built Type 4s moved again to the former London and South Western Railway line to Exeter and finally on to engineering trains before withdrawal.
Altbahn by Gary Ball (3.5mm HO / 009 Gauge)
This layout was based loosely on an area close to the French-German border, within a National Park between Permasens and Landau, north of Strasbourg. The station midway at Hinterweild had a branch line which went up to an area called Altbahn. The branch line went over a level crossing, with working barriers. There was a chair lift that went to a higher level. All the loco stock was either French or German, with steam engines and diesel railcars. All the railcars were scratch built.
With its railways largely destroyed by both German and Allied bombing and the activities of the Resistance – and with Marshall Aid later being available to finance reconstruction – the French Government decided on widespread electrification as early as 1943 with steam locomotion continuing as a stop-gap despite its highly evolved form. This advanced state of development had in turn come about through such factors as France’s small reserves of coal ( compared to Great Britain ) and a decree made by the Emperor Napoleon III between 1852 and 1870 that no passenger train should exceed 75 mph without special permission. To also allow these trains to achieve the shortest possible journey times, French railways were often built with the most direct route – over high ground rather than around it. Such straight lines with steep gradients are also a feature of today’s Lignes a Grand Vitesse but without the limitless power of electricity and with coal at a premium, locomotive operators and designers were forced towards solutions more technologically advanced than were deemed necessary north of the English Channel. Thus while post War Britain was economically crippled by debts to the USA and operated its exhausted but still functioning railways with austere but robust steam locomotives driven by crews who had learned their trade on the job, French Mechanicien learned both in the classroom and on the footplate about more complex – often compound – engines. Indeed, it was not unusual for a French locomotive crew to be allocated to one specific locomotive for years on end and to be paid bonuses for efficient running and making up lost time on late running services.
Bridgebury Gate by Russell Hobbs (2mm N Gauge)
Bridgebury Gate was a fictional town somewhere in the south of England at a time somewhere between 1966 to 2000. The layout was 148th scale – N gauge – and consisted of a twin track mainline passing a station with twin island platforms and limited freight facilities. Passengers would change at Bridgebury Gate for trains to “Mikel End” a somewhat ancient branch line that survived closure by being reduced to single track – the remnants of the double track might still be visible. Round the back Russell Hobbs and his helpers had a 6 lane fiddle yard – each line each holding a pair of 6 or 7 coach trains or one really long one! I owe a debt of thanks to Russell for his help in repairing my failed Wrexham and Shropshire liveried Class 67 locomotive. This had marker lights that worked but no movement. Luckily the appliance of Mr Hobbs to my problematic Bo-Bo brought it back to life and it then spent the day very happily running up and down Runport St Nicola with its matching silver and grey coaches and Driving Van Trailer. Bridgebury itself also featured some beautiful “what if” liveries, including a Class 60 in Direct Rail Services blue and a Class 37 in Rail Express Systems. Similarly the secenery boasted a detailed chicken coop and even a Star Wars figure for Bobba Fetishists.
Penbooney by Harry Harper (2mm N Gauge)
Penbooney was an imaginary Cornish setting in the 1960’s steam to diesel transition era. An ex-Southern Railway branch terminated here, the most westerly reach of the Southern from Waterloo. An ex-GWR mainline ran along the clifftops across the estuary bringing trains from Plymouth, Exeter, and further afield. The model aimed to give the impression that the scenery came first and the railways later. Penbooney was featured in the Railway Modeller June 2016. This particular part of the layout shows a 204 bhp Class 03 0-6-0 arriving at an estuary quay with a typical Great Western Railway “Toad” brake van and some of the blue tarpaulin covered Clayhood china clay wagons that were a part of the Cornish railway scene for many decades. The main station at Penbooney was also host to a D800 series Warship diesel hydraulic at the head of the Atlantic Coast Express to Waterloo and a Bulleid Battle of Britain Class Light Pacific being turned. At sea was a chain ferry across the mouth of the river, a Royal National Lifeboat Institute station with a lifeboat visible on its ramp and a tourist boat offering to show visitors the dolphins. Good to the skipper’s word, some psychedelic cetaceans then appeared from the base of a cliff. Not so much the Pathetic Sharks from Viz but Harper’s Bizarre!
Runport St Nicola by Alan Drewett (2mm N Gauge)
Before the Manchester Ship Canal could be completed in 1894 the (fictional) aristocratic owner of the salt marshes between Ince and the River Mersey insisted on an aqueduct under, rather than a swing bridge over, the canal to be built to offer “free and unfettered” access between them and his oil refinery and model town of Runport St Nicola. A Midland Railway branch from there to Helsby then lined Runport St Nicola and its refinery with docks on the marshes. When the docks fell out of use in the 1990s they were filled in and the site became a regional airport for Liverpool and Cheshire – often used for diversionary landings from North America, Ireland and the Isle of Man. The variety of visible trains at the start of the 21st Century reflects this, including the highly problematic (as Nadine Coyle would say) 67 013 – as kindly repaired by Russell Hobbs – with its matching rake of Mark III carriages and Driving Van Trailer.
Also appearing at the 2017 Hucclecote Model Railway Show was Barnwood Model Railway Club’s OO Gauge Barnwood Halt upon which visiting children were allowed to drive the trains. Trade support came from Elite Baseboards and Keith’s Bits and Pieces.
The 2018 Hucclecote Model Railway Show will be held on Saturday 18 June 2018. Adults £4.00. Accompanied children free.