TCS 2020 Spring Meeting

Train Collectors Society AGM, Trinity Church Hall, Leicester

Sat March 7th 2020

I arrived at the show with Neil Bowsher just after noon much later than normal and soon found myself engrossed at the wonderful layouts and items for sale.

In the foyer Paul Chapman was running the Entrance desk and Club Stand, Chris Ford was selling his usual O Gauge spares and very close by Tony Penn  'Steptoe' was selling mainly 00 Gauge, both reported good sales. Also selling was Nick Dean-Check Rail who had a collection of N Gauge, opposite was the Club Bring and Buy Stand which was manned by Malcolm Pugh with help from Eddie and Bob. (Fig 1),

Sales were good and included a freelance live steam engine (Fig 2)

and a modern Marklin HO gauge 3-Rail set that packed neatly away into a carry case (Fig 3).

Also selling was Mark Carne who had a lovely circa late 1920s  Bing 0 Gauge LNER 18volt Loco and tender for £225 (Fig 4).

The only layout in the foyer was Chairman's Bryan Pentland's French themed 0 gauge layout. Along the back was an attractive terrace of tin Cookie Shops where a Hornby BB makes a nice shot (Fig 5),

A Jep streamline engine was on the inner circuit showing off the decorative SNCF logo, also in the background can be seen an electrified Jep circa 1930 c/w train in a figure of eight (Fig 6).

Brian also had on display Hornby Coaches that were produced during the German occupation in WW11 which also had lights fitted (Fig 7).

In the middle was the attractive Ge-Ge station with lights operated by a flower bed switch, although actually HO Gauge it did not look out of place (Fig 7a).

We now walk through to the main hall and are met by Peter Wray who is selling his latest book, on Stronlite Model Railways, this is obviously a popular choice as Peter had sold 14 on the day (Fig 8).

Opposite Simon Goodyear had his usual selection of old and interesting Trains of all gauges (Fig 9).

Other traders included Stephen Knight, Peter Gurd (Fig 10),

Dixon Upcott, Michael Foster-Ets, Dave Angell, Paul Lumsden-WJ Vintage and Leon Mills-ACE Trains (Fig 11) Fig (12) and Mick French in the Dining Room.

Dave White with help from Steve Smith and Neil Smith had set us a superb triple display of Tri-ang, Tri-ang Hornby and early Hornby Primary Layout from Series 3, Series 4 (Fig 13)

and System 6, showing the Take a Ticket Train Set (Fig 14) and (Fig 15) together with an amazing displays of Primary Series sets.

I even got them to pose as the Tri-ang boys as seen on the box lids (Fig 16).

On the stage David Knighton, Jonathan Ward and Oliver Ward had set up an O gauge LNER themed layout using a variety of stock. I was very impressed with a modern Bassett-Lowke  A2 'Flying Fox' pulling a rake of Darstead Pullmans with lights (Fig 17) and (Figure 18),

also spotted several original Bassett-Lowke Locomotives in the sidings (Fig 19).

 Unfortunately one layout did not quite make it. As Bill and Rachel Vyse were setting up Bill fell ill and they had to abandon the proposed layout. I am pleased to say by the time I had arrived Bill was feeling much better. The Club stand theme was big and small and my favourite was the Rivarossi HO and 0 Gauge Wild West Locomotives (Fig 20). Opposite was past Chairman David Ramsey with a small selection of items for sale.

We now enter the smaller hall, Colin Totem of Raylo Trains was selling both Raylo (Fig 21) which included one of only four USA Tanks produced in USA Tank Corp livery for £359 (Fig 22) and WJ Vintage models.

At the end of the hall was David Rhodes with his Prisoner TV Series themed 'The Village' layouts, as I was viewing he had been joined by Dave White who it seemed was  trying to get in all my shots! (Fig23).

David had his excellent Village Railway 009 layout using mainly adapted Jouef (Fig 24) and the Minic Motorway section with the Portmerion buildings (Fig 25) where I spotted  four newcomers from Merseyside (Fig 26)

Dave Peasant and his uncle Peter were running O Gauge using Lionel Fast track. This excellent layout had an LMS theme and all the building were wood construction by either Bassett-Lowke, Hugar or Hailey, I particularly like the Bassett-Lowke Camden Station (Fig 27) and Cattle Dock  (Fig 28),

Running around were on the outer track a Bassett-Lowke Duchess with a rake of Exley Coaches. A Leeds Sir Sam Fay Class 'City of London' with Millbro coaches on the second circuit and on the inner circuit was a Leeds non-standard tank with a rake of Hornby coaches, the centre was filled with plenty of scenic accessories including Tri-ang Minic vehicles (Fig 29).

Pat Hammond had a mouthwatering display of 'Ghost Models'  Hornby 00 Gauge Models that were either made for special occasions such as the Starlight Express Spamcan and coaches presented to the Queen (Fig 30).

Models that were made but never put into production including a Channel Tunnel Services Train Set (Fig 31 ) and (Fig 32)

and a Southern Z Class (Fig 33) which I'm sure would have been a great seller.

There was even a Train that Pat believes was made for the late Richard Lines for his retirement (Fig 34)

and a Pound Puppies Train that was complimenting Hornby's disastrous move into the toy market in the 1980s (Fig 35) and (Fig 36)

Our Train Collector editor Nicholas Oddy was alongside Pat selling a selection of  vintage stock including a BUB S Gauge set (Fig 37)

Soon after I arrived I was able to enjoy a superb lunch of Shepherds Pie (Fig 38) and blackberry and apple crumble and custard, everyone agreed the food was delicious and so filling. My thanks to all those in the kitchen, Janet Tilley, Diane Johnson, Pav Pall, Brenda D'Arcy, Mary Starie, Salwa Draycott Adam Draycott, Paul Draycott and Marilyn Draycott.

The AGM commenced at 3pm and some good news is that we signed up four new members on the day, full details of the AGM will be in the Train Collector.

This show as usual  had excellent layouts and trade support, despite the Coronavirus scare the visitor numbers were on par with last year with several families coming in early on, sadly we missed several members who died last year and a few who are recovering from illness.

Finally I need to say a very big thank you to Bryan Pentland and his group of helpers for putting the show together and without the wonderful support of Paul Draycott, his family, friends and church members we would not be able to put on this event. As Bryan said in the AGM none of us are getting any younger and if anyone can help set up and clear up at any future event please get in touch with Bryan.

Bob Leggett