Five of us attended the National Garden Railway Show at Peterborough. Stars of the show this year were Quarry Hunslet locomotive 'Alice' with a train of slate wagons and Ivo Peters' Bentley, as in the pictures. Of course the other star showing was Derek's Walmer Bridge portable layout, being operated by Derek and Tony. This not only provided a source of entertainment in operating terms for each of us throughout the day but also acted as a haven for the stash of the swag which our holdalls seemed to magnetically attract, all manner of goodies. Elsewhere were many fine and extensive layouts, including The Timpdon Lake Railway, which may be familiar to some as it has travelled extensively around the UK.
As ever there was an undeniably excellent range of models, all hand-crafted by members on display on the Model Of The Year stand. Particular favourites of mine were locomotive Talyllyn and class winner Chelfham Station (see pictures). Also present for the first time was local trader/16mm member Mike Lowe with Pendle Valley Workshop, who was well received, having sold out of his extensive stock by noon.
All too soon the day was over and we were helping load layouts and equipment into Derek's and Tony's cars, in record time it is believed. We rewarded ourselves in the recommended local hostelry where good ale and hearty meals were served.
The following day we visited the Foxfield Light Railway, where after a tour around the museum we rode behind locomotive Bellerophon, which had been used in the filming of TV's Cranford, starring Judy Dench. Apparently she fell in love with the loco and was so taken with it she had to be dragged away by the film crew to continue filming. I can see what she means, a beautiful engine and a ‘local lass’ built in Haydock in 1874 (no, not Judy Dench). The Foxfield Miniature Railway was also in operation and it would have been churlish of us not to have ridden. So we did. We squeezed ourselves into the narrow carriages and enjoyed a circuit around a small adjacent field. So at the end of another great railway weekend with lighter pockets but heavier holdalls we wended our way home.