16 September 2011
David Brown reports on the Train Collectors Society’s Vintage Toy Train Exhibition Summer 2011 at Sandy Upper School. ...
It was another sunny Saturday as a trail of vehicles made their way along Engayne Avenue, Sandy, to the Train Collectors Society’s Vintage Toy Train Exhibition Summer 2011 at Sandy Upper School.
Some eager visitors took advantage of the ‘early bird’ ticket facility to enable them to look for bargains as exhibitors and traders put the final touches to their displays, layouts and stands.
As always, this is not just a show to delight the eye, with colourful vintage trains and other toys going through their paces, there was plenty of noise, too! Visitors of a certain age could revel in the nostalgia and relate that ‘they once had one of those’ while the youngsters present seemed to be just as fascinated by the older models as anything the contemporary manufacturers could come up with.
Bachmann Collectors’ Club once again sponsored the event and, in the entrance foyer, it had a display layout, operated by members of the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society which featured some of the recent releases from Bachmann, including the impressive OO gauge Class 416/2EPB Electric Multiple Unit together with some firm favourites from over the years. In the display cabinets were examples of some forthcoming models. Elsewhere, providing a link with the past, Peter Berry presented a fascinating selection of Graham Farish OO gauge items from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Pat Hammond was having a busy day, selling and signing copies of the latest edition of Ramsay’s British Model Trains Catalogue, while his fascinating display of Private Owner Wagons and EWS liveried locomotives showed that even recent models and their prototypes have much to offer collectors.
Tri-ang was certainly well represented this year with Reg Harman’s splendid layout and display featuring Trans-continental items, Dave White and Steve Smith’s Tri-ang/Hornby from the 1968-1973 era, Les Martin’s extensive Super 4 Tri-ang Model Lane (including Minic Motorways, Arkitex, Minix cars and Model Land buildings), David Lyon’s Minic Motorways, plus David Coddington’s colourful TT collection. Tri-ang was also represented among Nick Gillman’s selection of different manufacturers’ models highlighting Victorian and Edwardian Trains in OO & HO.
Waving the flag for Hornby Dublo was Chiltern Hills Vintage Train Group’s action-packed 18ft x 6ft Duke Street 2-rail layout, which included a fine array of Hornby and Wrenn trains with associated accessories. Not surprisingly, this layout was very popular throughout the day.
Lesser known items were displayed by Paul Draycott with some of his ‘one hit wonders’, while Paul Brookes had a static display of Hugar train sets plus some of its basic wooden buildings and wood and aluminium track.
American Flyer O gauge was represented by Paul Williams, with S gauge shown to great effect by Mick Flye and Neil Trump. Lionel, who presently own the American Flyer name, was presented in an earlier guise with Richard Bingham’s Lionel Standard gauge layout mostly featuring items made by the company in New York in the 1930s.
Mike Green’s Bassett-Lowke Society layout featured original Bassett-Lowke, Leeds Model Company and Milbro items with a Southern Railways theme. Next door to this was a fine static display of gauge 3 items from the likes of Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Carette, Leeds, Marklin, Mills and Jubb. Peter Dunk’s selection of Japanese Export O gauge trains continues to delight and surprise.
John and Pauline Forman’s ‘The Memory Line’ certainly did revive many rattling good memories of the joys of O gauge tinplate trains, mostly representing LMS prototypes of the 1940s. By contrast, Dave Peasant’s O gauge electric trains ranged from pre-war to the present day with vintage Bassett-Lowke, Bing, Exley, Leeds and Milbro locomotives and stock running alongside contemporary ACE, Corgi and Darstead models.
Of particular interest on the latter layout was the use of current-day Lionel Fastrack 3-rail track system, purchased from Tennents Trains of Halesowen, which provides a wonderful solution for those looking to run vintage trains today. The father and son team of Phil and Bertie Goater’s Thomas Tomy Trains delighted the young and not so young enthusiasts!
Brian Arnold’s layout featured Trix Twin Railways from the 1930s onwards, while David Holt’s scenic Trix and Liliput 2-rail trains layout included railway buildings made from Trix card kits. It was good to see British Minitrix N gauge represented on a layout operated by Simon Culverhouse and Kevin Ellis, while Ashley Barton highlighted the Lima range. Few could fail to be impressed by David Collinson’s superb O gauge Northern Line Underground unit with its lights and operating doors or his scratch-built LMS trains.
The societies were well represented including the Hornby Railway Collectors Association, Locomotive Club of Great Britain, Kitmaster Club and Trix Twin Collectors Asociation. Ivor Walton had a display of Meccano models, while James Day had an impressive working layout of HO slot cars from numerous manaufacturers.
After looking at all the displays and layouts there was just enough time left to spend some pocket money at the trade stands, before one more cup of tea, then a farewell chat on the way out and make a date in the diary for the Autumn Show at Leicester on 5th November.