Model railway enthusiasts from all over Gloucestershire travelled to the Cheltenham GWR Modellers April 2017 Exhibition in aid of the Pied Piper Appeal at St Margaret’s Hall, Coniston Road, Cheltenham, GL51 3NX on Saturday and Sunday 1 and 2 April 2017 to raise money for The Pied Piper Appeal by enjoying the following attractions. It was also a chance for us to remember artist and modeller Fredrick Lea who passed away on Boxing Day 2016. Very much a part of the railway scene in Cheltenham he is survived by his wife and sons to whom everyone extends their sympathy and best wishes.
by Chris Hopper
0 Gauge 7mm Scale
Bakewell Street was Chris Hopper’s first attempt at a standard gauge 7mm scale layout, built as an experiment with Peco track laid in an Inglenook formation. It was designed with the possibility of further extension and has been enhanced by the addition of a sector plate in the non-scenic area to provide a run-round facility. However, the layout can still function as an 8′ scenic section. Bakewell Street was loosely based on the 1960s and depending on the rolling stock run could be located on British Railways Western Region somewhere in the Gloucester area or on the London Midland Railway on Merseyside. There was also a choice of two signal boxes. The ex London and North Western Railway cabin is by Lasercraft Devon while the Midland Railway signal box is the former Churchward Models structure now made by Phoenix Models. For the April 2017 show, Chris deployed the LNWR box on Saturday and the Midland Railway equivalent on Sunday.. The layout was run with an NCE DCC system and sound chipped locomotives. MSE Sprat and Winkle couplings were operated by both fixed and electro magnets to maximise “hands off” operation. The locomotives were a mixture of kit built and ready to run while the freight stock was mainly from plastic and brass kits by Slater’s, Parkside and Connoisseur. The soft scenery was mainly from Greenscene, with an additional layer of static grass. Low relief brick buildings were mainly Skytrex, with a number scratch built.
by Alan Drewett
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Capital Works was in 1919 mode with Whippet tanks passing over the bridge from Morland and Anderson. They were to have been joined by a diorama of a Great War tank repair depot in France but this had to be left at home when space considerations meant that Capital Works ended up in a corner. They would never have dared to do that to Patrick Swayze! ( only kidding Roger and Robert – you did a fine job!) I should also thank Roger Webb for his kind loan of a Sentinel 0-4-0 and Electrotren “Black Ajax” 0-6-0 for evaluation. Obviously British Railways 1950s markings were anachronistic in the context of the other elements but both locomotives proved their worth on the layout. I may well take up Roger’s kind offer of another loan in the future!
by Philip Bird
00 Gauge Finescale 4mm Scale
Two villages named Cherington actually exist in the Cotswold area, near Tetbury and to the north west of Hook Norton. Neither had railways. Branches could have been built from the Kemble to Tetbury line or the Banbury and Cheltenham line. Philip Bird’s layout was fictitious but assumed a terminus had been constructed by the Great Western Railway and was set in the British Railways era of the mid 1950s to the early 1960s. Traction was mainly provided by Western Region Steam locomotives with perhaps the occasional interloper from elsewhere as well as early diesels and diesel multiple units. The layout was built using SMP finescale track for the scenic section and Peco 00 for the traverser fiddle yard. The baseboards were built from 9mm plywood and were covered in cork to form the track base. Scenery was a mixture of textures using mainly Woodland Scenics scatter of electrostatic grass. The buildings were a mixture of plastic kits used for the engine shed, signal box and yard sheds. The station building, station master’s house, creamery, goods shed and weighbridge were scratch built. The cattle dock was the Ratio kit modified to fit the location.
by Nigel Crow
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Melangoose was situated at the end of a single track branch that meets the Plymouth to Penzance Cornish mainline at Par. Originally opened by the Cornwall Minerals Railway in 1873, this branch line was built at the same time as the ones to Carbis and Treamble. It was a time of great expansion for the China Clay industry, with state of the art harbour loading facilities being built at Fowey and Newquay. The branch to Melangoose survives today due to china clay traffic and is portrayed in 2003-2005 when Girls Aloud were dominating the pop charts and EWS Class 66s were starting to take over from veteran St Blazey based Class 37s. During this period, passenger services were in the hands of Class 150 diesel multiple units and Class 153 railcars operated by Wessex Trains from Lostwithial via Par. Apart from modern station signage, little has changed on the branch line since the 1900s and the layout – purchased by Nigel five years ago – was originally built by Dave Smart with the intention of running anything from pre 1965 to the current scene. Melangoose comprises a 5’2″ scenic section with a hidden 3′ long sector plate and the track plan features only thre points: one in the China Clay facility and two at the end of the platform road which form the run-round loop for freight. The other end of the run-round is made up by the traverser which feeds the track into the China Clay, platform track, run-round loop, cement depot and 3 hidden sidings to the rear of the layout.
by Eddie Whitlock
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
The North Eastern Railway opened its ( real ) engine shed at Ferryhill, County Durham in 1881 to house a dozen or so goods engines, but the allocation had risen to about 20 0-6-0s at the time of the Grouping. It remained fairly constant, along with the addition of two Class G5 0-4-4s, until 1935 when it housed the allocation displaced by the closure of Shildon engine shed in that year. Ferryhill itself survived for only two more years before closure, although it enjoyed a brief claim to fame during World War II when exhibits from the National Railway Museum at York were sent there for safe keeping. There was a second ( fictitious ) engine shed at Ferryhill, called Plank Lane. This shed was built on a site originally occupied by a small depot of the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway. That railway was overtaken by the NER in 1854 and the depot was retained and enlarged to house freight locomotives used to service the coal fields of County Durham and North Yorkshire but, unlike its NER counterpart, it survived much longer – mainly due to its location in the triangle formed by the lines to Stockton and Darlington that gave better access to diverging routes. When the locomotive allocation increased at Plank Lane, it was decided to provide a turntable. Land was acquired in 1937 and by late 1938 a 70 foot vacuum tractor turntable had been installed. Plank Lane’s reasonable proximity to Darlington works to the south ensured that it could also be used by locomotives on running in turns after attention, thereby allowing a variety of locomotives to be seen visiting the depot for checking and servicing before turning on the triangle and returning to Darlington. The scene visible is sort of 1946 – ish when the LNER was embarking on its renumbering scheme. The shed has seen some refurbishment after the ravages of wartime austerity and is in reasonable condition. Some locomotives have been through the works and reappeared with the new numbering system, while others wait for such attention.
by Steve Cox
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
by Alex Raybould
00 Gauge 4mm Scale
Westbridge – a fictitious exhibition layout based on the Western Region during British Rail’s blue diesel era in the early 1970s. It included a small terminus station, sidings and a scratch built three road traction maintenance depot. The track was Peco Code 75, and control was DCC via a NCE Powercab. Locomotives were a mixture of Bachmann and Heljan and the majority of rolling stock Bachmann. Since it was last at the Cheltenham show, the layout had been extended by three feet, giving much more operational interest whilst exhibiting. Regular passenger services terminated and departed from Westbridge formed by either multiple unit or Mk1 carriage stock. There were also occasional parcel trains, which could also be either locomotive hauled or operated by units. A station pilot was always present and occasionally shunted stock sitting at the platforms. Westbridge Traction Maintenance Depot was always busy. Operations included light engine movements or oil tankers, which served the fuelling point.
WANTAGE NARROW GAUGE TRAMWAY
by Richard Holder
009 Gauge 4mm Scale
The Wantage Tramway was a standard gauge railway that linked the market town of Wantage in Oxfordshire with the GWR mainline which was two and a half miles away. The tramway had some very unusual locomotives and rolling stock for a British railway, and the train shed was also pretty unique Unusually the engine shed straddled the siding that fed the local gas works. The layout was Richard’s interpretation of what the Upper Yard at Mill Street might have looked like, had the tramway been built as a 2’3″ narrow gauge line. Richard did not claim this was an accurate model of the terminus but he hoped that it gave an impression of the area in the 1920s. The original tramway closed to passengers in 1925 but goods traffic continued until December 1945. The railway buildings were accurate models of the originals, apart from window size and style. Here Richard used plastic windows that the happened to have in stock. Some of the other buildings have also been scratch built using card and plastic. Models from the Hornby Skaledale and Bachmann Scenecraft ranges have also been used. Two main tram locomotives, Hughes tram number 4 and Matthews tram number 6, were built using Worsley Works brass etches. The models ran on Kato 9mm gauge tram chassis. The three tram vehicles numbered 3,4 and 5 had also been built using Worsley Works brass etches and each ran on a Kato N gauge bogie chassis. Wantage Tramway Manning locomotive number 7 was represented by an RT Models standard gauge kit running on an adapted Graham Farish 08 diesel N gauge chassis built by the late Peter Wallace. There were two back-up tram locomotives which could be used at exhibitions. One was built by Paul Windle and Richard himself built the other using a 3D printed body from Chris Ward. Other rolling stock was constructed from plastic kits of various prototypes from Great Britain and Ireland. Some were built as the manufacturers intended while others were modified considerably by mixing various kit parts and altering the width and length of vehicles.
by Richard Flannigan
H0 Gauge 3.5 mm Scale
American Grain was set somewhere on the great plains in the Midwest of the United States of America. It could have been anywhere between Iowa, Kansas, Missouri to Minnesota. Agriculture has always been one of the biggest drivers of the Midwest economy. The region’s fertile soil, combined with the steel plough, has made it possible for farmers to produce abundant harvests of grain and cereal crops including corn, wheat, soybeans, oats and barley. The Midwest has thus become the breadbasket of the United States. American Grain demonstrated the labour intensive movement of grain in the early 1970s before hopper freight cars became commonplace. Grain was transported in sacks carried over the shoulders of men from freight car to lorry. The period of the layout also featured varied liveries of traction and rolling stock due to the wave of railroad buyouts and takeovers in an era of deregulation. Both large companies and short lines were represented.
by John Thomas
TT Gauge 3mm Scale
Hollow Fosse was a fictitious location on the Midland & South Western Junction Railway which used to run through Cirencester from Andover to Andoversford. With connections to the LMS, Southern and GWR, all three companies were represented on the model with mixed trains hauled by both steam and diesel engines of the late 1950s/ early 1960s. The Midland & South Western Junction Railway overcame the financial problems of its formative years and established itself as a viable and reliable service before being absorbed into the Great Western Railway, along with many other independent railway systems. During its independent years the MSWJR provided a useful link between the southern railway systems and the railway network in the Midlands and the North and also built branches to feed goods and passengers into its main artery. After Nationalisation Hollow Fosse settled down into the slow rhythm of the countryside with GWR locomotives hauling mixed trains of Southern or Midland passenger and goods stock and vice versa. 3 mm scale is mid-way between OO and N gauges and was once mass-produced by Triang. These days, it is supported by a dedicated band of modellers, the Three Millimetre Society, which hold an annual convention each September. The L shaped layout measured 5′ x 3′.
by Ian Lampkin
N Gauge 2mm Scale
Banbury station is located on the busy cross country route midway between Birmingham and Didcot where the route combines with the Great Western Main Line into Reading. The Chiltern Railways mainline towards London Marylebone diverges a few miles south of Banbury at Aynho Junction. Traffic includes containers heading for the deep sea terminal at Southampton while Cross Country has two trains an hour each way. Most of the diesel multiple units however belong to Chiltern Railways, although First Great Western operated a local service that terminated at Banbury. Until January 2011 there was a locomotive hauled Wrexham and Shropshire passenger service via Banbury to London Marylebone while more recently Chiltern Railways have operated Class 68s on push pull services from Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street. The non scenic section of the layout was originally built for a different model railway, so the scenic section of Banbury had to be designed to fit within the fiddle yard. Peco fine scale Code 55 track was used in conjunction with SEEP solenoids to operate the points. All buildings were scratchbuilt from plastic sheet with research methods including scaled photographs, Google maps and Street View. Rolling stock and locomotives were detailed versions of Graham Farish and Dapol products and controlled by Digitrax DCC with stationary decoders for the turnouts. Movements were controlled by ipods and iphones via Wi Throttle apps and JMRI and Loco Buffer software.
Abbotswood – The Backroom Story” allowed visitors to talk to Phil Bullock and learn more about one of the most impressive and best loved 00 gauge layouts on the Gloucestershire model exhibition circuit. People enjoyed the opportunity to discuss Digital Command Control systems and some of the younger visitors had fun on the test track. Here, two classic Western Region diesels line up in front of some BR Mark 1 and Pullman carriages. D1669 (rear track) was delivered new to Swansea Landore depot on 20 March 1966 and was named “PYTHON” without ceremony on 31 March 1966 at Old Oak Common depot in west London although from the start of April 1966 it became a Bristol Bath Road locomotive. At least one plate was noted as missing on 5 April 1972 and both were removed in September 1973 prior to renumbering under TOPS. D7007 – characterised by the large round roof fan – meanwhile was one of the numerically much smaller and less powerful “Hymek” class of Western Region diesel hydraulics
Tracy Lippit once again travelled south from Redditch to delight us with her Mini Scenes while Peter Lee and his abnormal load transport lorries joined those St Margaret’s Hall stalwarts the Mellor Brothers and Andy Peckham who similarly delighted visitors with their heavy goods and public service passenger vehicles. In particular Paul Mellor’s rigid bodied eight wheeled Lucozade liveried Atkinson brought back some very happy childhood memories. Today we are used to buying things from supermarkets or ordering online and having them delivered but back in the 1960s milk floats plied the streets each morning and a highlight of the week was the big yellow Lucozade lorry parking outside the house. Rather than the sheeted load seen here, this would be stacked with wooden crates containing not only Lucozade (then reserved for when you were ill rather than for refreshment after sports participation) but Cydapple ( non alcoholic cider), Corona lemonade and C-Vit ( blackberry cordial which had to be watered down before drinking) Mother would bring out her own four-bottle crate and the driver would take back the empties from the previous week and take payment for whichever drink was requested at the time.
As ever at Cheltenham’s St Margaret’s Hall, the modelling demonstration – this time by Steve Harrod, Andi Dell, Mark Begley, Trevor Hale and Richard Bucknell – both delighted visitors and helped apply skilled repairs to poorly engines. Thanks once again guys for fixing my Great Western pannier tank!
Also making the show a success was Clive Reid with his pre-enjoyed models, Stewart Blencowe (railway timetables, books, photos and slides) and Cheltenham Model Centre (show sponsors) and Derails (Sunday Only)