Report on the 2006 AGM & Show held at Biggleswade April 1st 2006

Words by Bob Leggett, photos as credited below

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The AGM, photo by Dave McCarthy

Bigger Brighter Better Biggleswade was the first words from the Chairman David Ramsey at the beginning of the AGM which commenced at 2pm.

However before that we had been experiencing the delights of the new venue 'The Weatherly Centre' at Biggleswade. Larger all round than Langford which had been our base for many years we as an organisation have now outgrown it. However the show /AGM continued in its usual format and here is my brief as possible round up of an excellent day out.

The entrance was manned by Eric Large who welcomed in members and guests.

The first table was the clubs bring and buy stall managed by Malcolm Pugh and Tony Penn. A huge variety of items were on sale, I noted a Tri‐ang Pandora for £60 and a Hornby Live steam rocket in mint condition for £175.Also there was a Bassett Lowke O gauge engine shed (offers) and Trix Flying Scotsman. Opposite was Ian Ramsey‐Connell who manages the clubs spares register selling original Tri‐ang spares as well as James Days spares. James sadly was absent due to illness. Our best wishes to James and also Pat Hammond who also could not attend as he was involved in a car accident last Thursday but thankfully not injured.

Alongside was the club display stand. The theme this year was Pullmans and what a splendid display it was. Several caught my eye, a 5 car Blue Pullman in TT converted from Tri‐ang stock exhibited by Eric Large. Bernard Ridgeley has brought along a fantastic five car Brighton Belle set converted from original scrap Hornby O gauge Pullmans, I was also entranced by a mammoth Gauge 2 Pullman coach from John Haworth which I believe was by Marklin. I added to the collection with my Leeds O gauge Brighton Belle Motor Coach. The stand was so popular this year that it was just about full by 9.05! I did notice in the corner of the display two miniature Brighton Belles sunning themselves with very little protection!

Completing the entrance hall was Peter Gurd with his usual collection of interesting catalogues books and other ephemera for sale.

The main hall is probably 50% larger than the previous one, not only was there more space for layouts and displays but room for more traders.

However I will concentrate on the displays first. Mike Fowler was promoting his latest DVD on the Rise and Fall of Hornby Dublo with an excellent trailer being shown all day. On the left side Jennifer and Paul Brookes were displaying a wonderful collection of GIVJOY Buildings. Although most were fascinating what took my eye was a lovely Gauge 1 or 2 station complete with a bookstall and papers.

Paul and Jennifer were also selling a range of Master Models and Wooden Buildings. I notice two pre‐war boxed sets of Marklin OO/HO figures(passengers and workman) for £110 each.

Alongside was another happy couple, Elaine and Andy Hyelman. Really a double display, Andrew was exhibiting two sets plus extras by HWM (Heinrich Wimmer Nurnberg). These were rectangular pre‐formed plastic bases in the style of Tecnofix, one incorporating a roadway and railway and the other with a roadway with a separate track set up around the base. The Stock runs on 00 2 rail electric track but size is more like TT ! The cars are operated by clockwork and both sets made in the late 60's have survived in almost mint condition. Elaine was displaying her collection of Z Gauge and also had a miniature garden railway with two ovals of Z gauge with real plants towering above the stock. I think Elaine had a little joke with us as one of the sets was powered by a pig! Well it was April 1st.

In the Corner Paul and Adam Draycott had set up a 10' square Lionel layout complete with Kleeware and Plasticville building with a stampede by over 100 Buffalos; this was a popular layout. Running for the first time was a Santa Fe set with two A cars and 2 B cars. I also noticed a Popemobile and JFK in a Lincoln on the main street. Next door Brian Barnes was running Marklin Gauge 1. Two tracks were digitally controlled and one was conventional. Of note was a beautiful replica tin station.

The Tri‐ang flag was flown by Dave White who had set up his Super 4 Road rail layout . This was an automated layout with the cars and trains sharing the short section of dual road/rail track, despite a few accidents this was a great display and very colourful with lots of Model Land buildings.

Peter Berry had a two track display layout. The inside was 3 Rail Formo track with an interesting selection of stock incl Formo, Dublo conversions, Scalemaster by Electric Tool Co. The outside circuit was 2 rail. Peter was also displaying a collection of Pullmans but what took my eye was a boxed set by Scalemaster.

Roger White was running a neat Hornby Dublo 3 Rail layout, In addition to standard stock was a lovely Pannier converted for 3 rail in the guise of Dublo by Martin Doubleday and a genuine Atholl with smoke deflectors. However the 'star' of the layout was a pre‐war Gresley that was used in the TV Film/Play ' Plot to kill Hitler'. Next to this was a Tri‐ang TT layout and display. The final display by Reg Harman was a lovely colourful selection of Crescent signals (which we all had on our 00 layouts in the sixties!) and a large collection of die cast push along toy trains by Dinky, Morestone, Teddy Toys, Budgie, Crescent and Gaiety.

As I mentioned earlier the size of the hall allowed more traders (too many to mention), some notable items for sale were a replica Bassett Lowke Princess Elizabeth for £750, ACE Trains were selling their latest stock which included their Pullman set, Phil Goater had a five car Triang Pullman set converted to a Brighton Belle unit for £80, John Neal had a lovely Carrette Tin Neville Junction station for £125 and a Bing for Bassett Lowke Gauge I Sydney 4‐4‐0 for £850. The items for sale from all the traders was excellent and certainly covered the TCS Motto Any Make, Any Age , Any Gauge.

The AGM started at 2pm and the full minutes will be in the next journal, however here are some of the highlights. Membership is steady at nearly 500, Subscriptions were raised by £1 (mainly to cover cost of the new venue for the AGM and the journal) David Ramsey also gave a special thanks to Mike Fowler for his contribution to the TCS exhibition for the last few years and James Day for his ongoing commitment to the club. Also Tony Stanford who has taken over the reigns from Mike gave details of this year's exhibition on 1st ‐2nd July at Sandy and Tony was thanked for his effort in getting the TCS website up and running. Dave McCarthy was thanked for taking over the web management and bringing even more goodies online. As well as welcoming all members who travelled far and wide across the UK a special welcome was made to Dirk Hertel from Boston USA who managed to fit us in during a family visit to the UK.

After the raffle was drawn a presentation of flowers and an Easter Egg to the real Brighton Belles who worked tirelessly all day producing a wonderful selection of food including bacon rolls early on and a three course lunch as well as other refreshments from 9am ‐4pm. Many thanks to Amalia Ramsey, Janice Carpenter, Shirley Bone, Claire Lahiffe and Jackie Hall.

Finally huge thanks to David Ramsey (with family and friends who helped set up) who coordinated the event. The show goes from strength to strength and we will all look forward to our 'new' venue next year. Sorry to go on so long and sincere apologies if I missed anyone out.

Bob Leggett

More photos from Keith Bone

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