The sixth annual Beckenham Vintage Show rang the changes yet again with nine layouts all different and none repeated from previous years. Plus eight well known traders, the B&WWMRC Club Shop and the much praised good quality catering.

Beckenham 2015The weather was unkind at the start of the show with a deluge and attendance was a little light at first as a consequence, but soon picked up once the rain stopped. This year it was pleasing to see more families as we had extended local advertising to the West Wickham Residents Association newsletter.

The main feature layout this year was the Chiltern Hills Group of the HRCA with a large loose lay Hornby Dublo Three Rail Layout. With four main lines, extensive sidings and engine shed his is a fascinating display and was commented on by many visitors “it is great to see long trains of Hornby Dublo running”. With Kip Bennett and Derek Smith involved there were a lot of neverwazas and conversions running which greatly add to the variety and interest.

Mark Carne’s magnificent layout featuring the trains of the late Myke Barritt and was a wonderful display of a lesser known make of vintage style 0 Gauge. It is incredible that these were all made on a kitchen table and hand painted. With Mark’s usual attention to detail and careful preparation they ran as well as they looked, although the Barritt loco mechanisms are a little fragile and Mark had some small Darstaed Terries and ETS ‘Pugs’ providing the long term haulage. The track was by Merkur which is retailed in the UK by Bruce Palmer. It is not normal for vintage 0 Gauge layouts to feature points, as with Hornby ones for example derailments seem almost inevitable (I know Terry HEaslip will disagree). But with the use of the well engineered Merkur points, reliable use of loops was possible, which made life changing over trains a lot easier. Mark was also selling off some of his very good quality Hornby 0 Gauge stock. But I still wonder how Mark and Bruce fitted everything into a Fiesta!!

David and Monica Embling brought their self-standing layout running Hornby 0 Gauge Clockwork with a farm in the centre of the layout. I always find it amusing watching David trying to explain to today’s kids how clockwork works!! By using electric track some formerly clockwork engines were fitted with electric power to relieve the onset of ‘clockers wrist’.

Andy Hyelmann brought his Continental H0n3 narrow gauge Eggerbahn display with a small running track. Somehow it would be ‘wrong’ to put on a big layout with Eggerbahn as it looked so good this way. Andy also made the point that the early production locos are far more likely to be good runners even after 40 or so years. There was a full display of Eggerbahn sets, catalogues, rarer locos and other items.

Eric Large’s Lone Star 000, TrebloLectic layout showed three generations of these forerunners of N Gauge. The earliest are push along diecast trains running on diecast track, which I had as a kid. TrebloLectric was running well, so it is a pity that the poor reliability of these rubber band drive locos when in production was so poor that they didn’t survive. Apparently rubber band quality is much now improved, hence the good running at the show. Eric’s layout has been in his train room for many years and it is good to see it a show again.

Triang TT was presented by Chris March of Sussex Vintage Model Railway Collectors supported by the SVMRC Chairman Philip Cooke. The combination of an upper level shuttle with an oval below makes for an interesting display that holds your attention and there was lots to see in a small space.

The lower cost O Gauge makes were beautifully displayed by Bryan Pentland’s ‘Cold Mountain’ complete with Cable Car and elevated oval all running streamlined multiple units. Again it’s good to see these trains running and running reliably.

French Hornby 0 Gauge makes a change from all the British prototypes and with Adam Heeley in charge you are always in for a treat. The combination of the ‘right’ accessories with the trains makes it a complete picture.

Gerry Trykhorn from Bromley Tappers stepped in at the last minute to replace a layout withdrawn for health reasons. His small O Gauge layout really shows that you don’t need a lot of space to build a simple layout. There combination trains and accessories is really effective. I also heard a rumour that it may be up for sale.

The TCS and HRCA society stands were present as usual manned by Rod Hannah and Bill and Rachel Vyse respectively. Clustered around them through the day were many interested prospective members seen in earnest discussion. Just in case you wondered the pictures were taken before the show opened to the public!!

Traders were represented by Cliff Maddock, David Wills, Elaine’s Trains, WM Collectibles, John Wilcox, Peter Berry, WJVintage and David Laine.

Nine layouts and five traders are already booked for next year’s show so reserve April 2nd 2016 in your diary.

Tony Penn