Report on the TCS 2015 Leicester Get-Together held at Trinity Methodist Church, Leicester on 7th November 2015
Words by Bob Leggett, photos by Tony Penn, Pat Hammond & Keith Bone
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I just couldn’t believe the year had flown by so quickly and I again found myself driving to Paul Draycott's excellent Autumn Show at the Trinity Church Halls in Leicester.
As usual, we were greeted by members of the Trinity Methodist Church who manned the doors all day.
Several layouts and some traders had taken the opportunity to set up on Friday evening and things were already taking shape. By 10am most of the layouts and stalls were ready.
The quality of the displays was as high as ever and I shall describe the show from where we entered in the foyer. Tony Stanford and Rod Hannah were manning the TCS Club stand and registered some new interest.
Chris Ford's mainly 0 gauge spares was the first table in the foyer and alongside was Dave Bowns selling mainly Tri-ang. Sadly missing from this corner was John Ridley, who had been unwell recently. We wish him all the best.
On the left, in his usual spot, was Phil Goater with a nice eclectic mix of items for sale. During the day Phil sold a Brimtoy clockwork set and had a nice Tri-ang ‘Primary’ set for £80, as well as early French Meccano sets.
The Bring and Buy stall was a bit quieter this year, Dave Parry, Bob Nash, David Poselthwaite and Peter Wright manned the stall all day. Sales totalled around £150, although I did spot some nice unsold Hornby Acho and Tri-ang.
Opposite was Bob Field in the spot occupied by Peter Corley and Albert Chapman in previous years.
Bob had his usual table of good quality Dublo and a pre-war electric Sir Nigel Gresley was his ‘sale of the day’, selling for over £300. A nice Dorchester was up for £350 and a unboxed complete Tri-ang Hornby canopy station for £130.
Elaine Harvey, trading as Elaine's Trains, had a good selection of stock for sale including a rare blue Acho Electric BB8144 for £150, Elaine told me that takings were on par with previous years.
Alongside her, Andy Hyelman was displaying and running his collection from Italian manufacturers. Stock from Lima, Rivarossi, Ingap and Pocher was beautifully displayed. I spotted a Lima Class 33 and coaches in NI orange livery - the livery looked a bit like war-paint! Later on, a newly acquired Lima South African Blue Train was seen running. Later, a lovely Rivarossi North Milan Railways 0-4-0 with Pocher Swedish coaches was running round. I was also taken with the artwork on the Ingap Canadian Pacific Train Set.
Opposite Andy, Len Mills had two tables full of Ace Trains and in pride of place was the latest Class M7 (£435) resplendent in Southern green. This loco has proved so popular it has sold out. I was also impressed with a ‘Spamcan’ as Yeovil in SR green for £595. Len reported an excellent day’s trading.
We next entered the main hall where Richard Bingham's Meccano model of Blackpool Tower once again greeted us. With working lifts, lights and a revolving entrance door, it was fascinating to watch in action.
On the stage, Paul and Adam Draycott, with help from Mick Mobley and Dave Collinson, had set up a very extensive Lionel standard gauge layout. It filled the whole of the 8m x 4m area and I was really impressed with the Vanderbilt Streamline NYC loco with three fully lit coaches. A 2-4-0 loco, with goods trucks supplied by Richard Bingham, was on the inner circuit. Adam Draycott had been using LED lighting to show up various buildings, including the Lionel office block and triple viaduct.
Opposite the stage was Dave White who, with help from Les Martin, Neil Bowsher and Steve Smith, was running Hornby Acho on four circuits, including one at high level. With the use of Jouef buildings, supplied by Neil, and Britains trees, this proved a very popular layout. I noted a 0-6-0 USA tank pulling a goods train and CC 060 DB diesel with a passenger train. Later on in the day, with trucks (including some I had supplied), Dave managed to run a Wrenn train with topical Standard Fireworks and gunpowder vans.
Peter Gurd had the complete collection of 00 gauge Arkitex for sale for £450 and was selling a New Zealand Tri-ang 2-car EMU set for £200 and a rake of Wrenn coaches with added lights for £90.
In the far corner of the hall, James Day and Malcolm Pugh had a Christmas themed G scale layout. James has mastered the knack of getting as much G scale into as small as space as possible. He had up to six trains stopping and starting automatically on various shuttle lines. Stock included Playmobile, LGB, Bachmann and Piko, including several Thomas series locomotives. I spotted quite a few Santas, as well as a nativity scene. I particularly liked seeing Toby the Tram Engine pulling a car on a flat truck with Santa in the car! It was superb layout that naturally attracted the younger visitors to the show, as well as many adults.
Bob Fleming, with help from Malcolm Thomas and Malcolm Foster, was running American HO outline on 2-rail Hornby Dublo track. It made a nice change and was a very popular layout. Stock came from Athearn, Walters, Bachmann, Proto 1000, Tri-ang, ATT and Rivarossi. It included a ‘Big Boy’ and with several compatible lineside structures, this was a colourful layout.
Next were Roger and Barbara Burnish with their excellent Hornby Dublo layout which had a number of ‘neverwazza’ items running. I always like the busy scenes on their layouts. Roger was proud to show me his latest construction; two Dinky 0-4-0 ‘push-along’ tank engines had been fixed back to back and placed on two Tri-ang 0-4-0 chassis, creating a Welsh narrow gauge Fairlie! When finished, it will be set up for 3-rail working and I can't wait to see the finished article.
The club stand was featuring 'Southern' and there were several EMUs, including a nice conversion of Lima stock using Merco paper sides to create a 4-VEP. Of particular note was a ‘special order’ Leeds Model Company Class J 0-6-4 in Southern green.
The other traders in the hall included Steve Knight with Kitmaster and other 00 gauge items, Mark Carne with a selection of good value 0 gauge, including Hornby bogie ‘suburbans’ from £40. Simon Goodyear, as well as his usual high quality large gauge stock, had an interesting collection of Dublo style wooden buildings, including a short canopy station for curved track. Bob Jachacz was selling mainly 0 gauge rolling stock,
I had mainly 00 gauge on my stand and Tony Penn’s ‘Steptoe's Yard’ had plenty of spares at almost give-away prices. Tony also had some early Tri-ang catalogues which found a home early in the day.
We next entered the small hall where Colin Toten was selling ETS and Darstaed. Colin showed me the excellent new ETS USA 0-6-0T selling £345. A Darstaed 'Stove' coach also caught my eye, selling for £69. Colin reported good business.
Pat Hammond had provided a display with a large range of post-1970 Hornby 00 locomotives, EMUs and rolling stock, all in Southern livery. There was a terminus station with ten Dublo/Tri-ang canopies, as well as an 8-bay Dublo engine shed and a Southdown bus depot. Of particular note were three samples from the factory that never made it into production. These were a Z Class 0-8-0T, a ‘Lord Nelson’ 4-6-0 and a ‘River’ Class 4-6-2T. I was also impressed with the ‘Spamcan’ in photographic grey produced by Hornby exclusively for the model shop ‘Much Ado’ in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Brian Arnold, with help from his son Martin and David Holt, had a Trix Bakelite track layout. A rare loco, a green 0-4-0 No.5391 tender locomotive, was running. This is one of the very first Trix locos produced, with the ‘giveaway’ date of 1935 in its number. Another rare loco, the LNER 4-4-0 with scale length teak-style coaches, was also performing well.
At the end of the hall Paul Brookes was displaying products of the small and little known manufacturer Astral. Paul has found several examples of the ‘Coronation’ train kit and was running one using a Wrenn chassis. It was pulling a rake of Astral coaches made with a wooden roof and base, with early plastic sides. Also on display was a maroon ‘Coronation’, restored from a very badly damaged model. These kits were quite hard to build and consequently they did not sell well and are difficult to find. Paul believes Astral made only three types of locomotives: the ‘Coronation’ and LMS diesel 10000 (which was also on display) and a turbine locomotive, which he has only seen in an advert. Is there one out there?
The largest layout in this hall was Dave Peasant’s superb 0 gauge on which were running a mixture of Hornby and Ace Trains. The centre of the layout was adorned as usual with buildings and hedged-in fields, all detailed by lead figures and tinplate Minic cars and lorries.
While doing my notes I had a nice chat with Janet Mobley who had travelled over from Fishbourne for the show and sold nearly £80 worth of raffle tickets for the church.
This show is well known for its excellent value three-course Christmas lunch. We were not disappointed; another fantastic effort by the kitchen staff ensured over 73 lunches were sold as well as tea and other refreshments during the day. A big ‘thanks’ to Karen Clements, Daphne Sargent, Carol Ireland, Pav Paul, Mary Starie, Judith Saunders, Audrey Foulds, Marilyn Draycott, Ian Draycott and Janet Tilley who manned the kitchen.
Finally, a huge ‘well done’ to Paul Draycott and his helpers for putting on another wonderful show.
Next year will be the 25th show, so we will be looking forward to the Silver Jubilee.
More photos can be found here
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