Report on the TCS 2016 Leicester Get-Together held at Trinity Methodist Church, Leicester on 5th November 2016

Words by Bob Leggett,  photos by Bob Leggett, Pat Hammond & Keith Bone

All photos may be enlarged by clicking or tapping on them. Best viewed full screen!

‘Oohs!’ and ‘Aahs!’ were not only reserved for the bonfire and fireworks parties taking place around the country. Paul Draycott’s Autumn event at the extensive Trinity Church halls in Leicester certainly sparked into life with a wonderful variety of layouts and displays.


Members of the Trinity Church manned the entrance and all visitors were given a coaster celebrating the 25th Leicester Show (‘Thanks Paul!’). Opposite, Rod Hannah manned the society’s promotional stand. Tony Stanford was unable to attend following a recent operation (‘Get well soon, Tony’). Rod had several past issues of Train Collector on sale and was also successfully selling magazine binders to members.

Traders in the foyer included Phil Goater who sold a nice Hornby 00 Silver Jubilee set early on. Other traders here were Dave Bowens and Elaine Trains. Elaine reported good sales all day, particularly Continental makes such as Hornby Acho. She also showed me some Lima ‘British’ 00 models unusually packaged for the Dutch market under the Hema brand and described on their boxes as HO!


Next to Elaine was Geraldine Steel who was exhibiting Hornby Dublo 3-rail on a 6’x 4’ board, made by her late husband Brian. Roger Burnish had infiltrated the layout and a Budgie 0-6-0T was running around on a Dublo chassis. Later, I spotted a Hornby Dublo Dorchester with a rake of Pullman cars. With its canopy station, this was a good example of what could be done with Dublo in a small space.


Peter Corley sold various books, vintage catalogues and maps, as well as two Kirdon 10000 diesels and a telescope!


Chris Ford was selling Hornby 0 gauge and other spares and again had very good sales. In the corner.


Bob Field had his usual stand full of Hornby Dublo and had sold a very nice converted 3-rail Cardiff Castle. I spotted a 2-car EMU for only £150.

Opposite was one of the busiest stalls at the show, the society’s Bring & Buy stand. Manned by Peter Wright, Bob Nash and David Postletwhaite, items were added to the stock as visitors arrived and all three were kept busy. I noticed a pre-war Hornby Dublo Sir Nigel Gresley and chassis (in bits) sell for £90. Some of the best sales were of donated items with all the money raised going to society funds. If any member has unwanted items, they could donate them to the society for sale at the show and AGM in March. ‘Well done!’ to those three gentlemen who kept a tight grip on the comings and goings and raised a total of £100 for the TCS.

Len Mills had a superb day selling ACE trains. No less than a dozen 9Fs were sold at the show.


Len informed me this has been a spectacular seller. They had taken delivery of 150 only last week and most have been sold!tcs-leicester-2016-general-view-of-main-hall-keith-bone

We next entered the main hall and first on the left was Mark Carne selling a variety of 0 gauge and gauge 2. By the time I had a look, most of the gauge 2 had been sold. One buyer was delighted with a Marklin LMS open truck that had been a Midland Railway model but had been over-painted as LMS in the factory after the Grouping.


Alongside, Tony Penn, aka ‘Steptoe’s Yard’, was selling low cost (mainly) 00 gauge locos, rolling stock and spares and I spotted a Trix Pennine Express coach for only £12.


Peter Berry was both exhibiting and selling. With help from David Holt, Peter had a display of unusual 1950s’ trucks and other items. Of particular note was a rare Stewart Reidpath 0-6-0 tank engine and cattle truck, I also noticed a nice K’s metal kit-built Queen Mary brake van and SR van.


Next was Michael Foster who was selling ETS chassis and locos, as well as selling his ‘British Toy Trains‘ books numbers 1 and 2 and there are only a few of No.1 left. Michael was explaining that the Brimtoy story (Book 3) has been more challenging than expected as more and more models keep turning up. Already he has 3000 photos of Brimtoy products! He is, however, hoping to launch Book 3 next Spring.


In the corner Peter Gurd was in his usual large collection of reference books and catalogues for sale, including some early 00 gauge model railway books. Peter also had some Tri-ang Minic models for sale.

Detouring briefly into the dining room, in the far corner we found Nick Gillman dressed in Victorian costume in control of a hauled train (and other tiny vintage trains) on his 00 layout.



Returning to the main haul, along the opposite wall we had the Vyse family with their 0 gauge layout of Hornby (and other makes) with the title ‘A Day at the Races’. It included horse racing related items such as a Waddingtons Totopoly set in the middle, a parade ring and Bayko racecourse style buildings. There was also a variety of Dinky, Corgi and other vehicles. Running around the track were a milk train (pulled by the Hornby L1) and an unusual 4-Car EMU. The latter comprised Exley SR green power and trailer cars, possibly with a Leeds motor bogie, and with two Darstaed Pullman cars. It did look rather splendid and I also noticed a very neat addition to their Hornby station. Between two platforms they had built a subway entrance - perhaps another item that Hornby should have produced.


Alongside, James Day and Malcolm Pugh had set up an H0 gauge Playcraft Railways and Highways layout and a later Tyco Roadways layout. This was definitely the most technical display at the show and, as usual, was to a very high standard with several trains and vehicles running at the same time, as well as Playcraft operating accessories. There was too much to describe here, but it was a wonderland, with stop/start buttons for visitors to operate. The comprehensive road system, with Highways and Tyco vehicles on duty all day, was to marvel at.


(and there is also a video thanks to Malcolm Pugh)

On the stage David Knighton, with help from John Boyd, Jonathon Ward and Adam Goodyear, had a very impressive layout of gauge 1 and gauge 2 trains. This is the first-time David had exhibited gauge 2, which is rarely shown indoors, and what a delight it was. Stock was mainly by Bassett-Lowke or produced for B/L by Winteringham, Marklin, Bing or Carette. A lovely LSWR 4-6-2T was on duty when I was admiring the exhibit.


In the middle of the hall Paul Brooks had a wonderful display of Wardie wooden buildings and accessories. I particularly liked the three white tower blocks of flats, which are very rare. It was also interesting to see the various types of supports for the girder bridges, along with stations, shops, houses, tunnels and other buildings and lineside accessories; this really was a top display. Sadly, a sour note was struck when a familiar visitor accidentally knocked a rare model off the stand and did not stop to pick up the broken pieces or offer compensation.


The rest of the centre was taken up by traders, including Steve Knight who sold a rare Tri-ang Hornby RS602A Freightliner set which contained a green 2-6-2T.


On my stand I had a variety of toys and trains and sold Bayko, Lego and Junior Lotts Brick set, as well as plenty of 00 trains. Roy Brook had plenty of ex-shop stock Lone Star Treble 0 Electric and Simon Goodyear had his usual mouth-watering collection of larger scale trains. Meanwhile, Bob Jachacz was selling Hornby 0 gauge.

tcs-leicester-2016-bob-leggett-keith-bone   tcs-leicester-2016-simon-goodyears-stand-peh-1

As we moved towards the third hall, we passed the society’s display stand. This year’s theme was Track and Maintenance Stock. Almost every inch was filled and I noticed a trio of snow ploughs, a Dublo neverwazzer replica of the Hornby 0 gauge breakdown crane and an LGB breakdown train. ‘Well done!’ to all those who made this such an interesting display. Opposite the Society’s stand, David Ramsey had a display of enamelled miniature advertisement boards.


As we move into the third hall, Pat Hammond had continued the club stand theme and had a variety of modern Hornby and Bachmann track maintenance and service stock; however, what really caught my eye was the original Hornby samples for a Channel Tunnel Services train. Hornby had even gone so far as to produce the artwork for the set box lid, but pulled out very late on and did not produce the set.


Next to Pat, Nicholas Oddy, the incoming editor of the Train Collector, was at his first Leicester show and was selling a variety of 0 gauge items; he reported good sales and purchases. On the left, Colin Toten was selling Raylo and ETS (including a new livery for their Terrier tank - plain BR black). He also had Ace Trains and Darstaed models, including a black A4 Perigrine. Colin also reported good trade.


In the corner, Brian Arnold was again flying the flag for Trix, with help from fellow TCS and TTRCA Members John Brown, David Holt and Peter Graham. A variety of stock was running on Brian’s excellent layout and I spotted a black EM1 and a Southern tank on passenger duties.


In the opposite corner Bryan Pentland and Paul Williams had set up a tram layout with stock by various makers including Van Riemsdyk of London and Bowser of the USA. This was an unusual first of its type display at Leicester and the variety of mainly tinplate stock was amazing. I was also very impressed with the display of Brimtoy Arches and Bryan now has five of these. While I was there, a fully lit 0 gauge tram by Lehnhardt of Germany was running round. In the middle of the table was a delightful N gauge tram display built by Paul. It featured Modemo Trams and had a small circular Tomix running track.


Nearby, Richard Bingham displayed his beautifully restored Meccano Blackpool Tower. Originally built in 1960/61 as a shop display model, it had been in a poor condition when Richard acquired it. The model was built in yellow and grey Meccano as, at the time, it was realised the old red and green Meccano had too much lead content. Fully lit up, with working lifts and a revolving front door, it was a much-admired exhibit.


On the left side of the room one could have been forgiven for thinking the Guy Fawkes celebrations had come indoors. A very brave Humphrey Davis was running his Meths powered ‘Stork Leg’ steamers using either vapour or wick burners. On shed were seven locomotives and Humphrey ran at least four of them, some more successfully than others. It was quite a sight to see the flames licking up the sides of the boilers!


Throughout the day the Draycott family and friends from Trinity Church provided the refreshments. Not only was there a superb three course Christmas lunch for £6.50 (served in two sittings) but there was also a huge choice of homemade cakes and other food. ‘Well done and thank you!’ to Audrey Foulds, Pav Pall, Janet Tilley, Margaret Walter, Carol Ireland, Brenda D'Arcy, Mary Starie, Simon Draycott, Adam Draycott, and Marilyn Draycott for all their hard work.

Finally, a huge well done to Paul Draycott for his 25th show; everyone I spoke to loved the show and judging by the number of times I kept bumping into people I recognised, it seemed visitors stayed most of the day.

More photos can be found here

Return to main Event Reports page