Report on the TCS 2018 Leicester Get-Together held at Trinity Methodist Church, Leicester on 3rd November 2018

Words by Bob Leggett;  Photos Bryan Pentland & Bob Leggett

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A wonderful Autumn day for yet another excellent show organised by Paul Draycott for the TCS and public with another superb Christmas lunch cooked and served by the ladies from the Methodist Church.

As usual we were greeted by members of the church at the entrance and in the foyer was the usual mix of traders, layout and the club stand and 'Bring and Buy' table.

Rod Hannah and Paul Chapman were on hand to welcome new members and sort out subscriptions at the club stand.

Phil Goater, David Bowns and Chris Ford were selling a variety of second hand trains and spares, while Leon Mills was selling ACE Trains, on show was  one of their latest, the  'BR 'Duke of Gloucester' which was  running smoothly on a test bed showing off the clever rotating shafts and valve gear.

Club Chairman Bryan Pentland was responsible for Monorail Mania!. From low level Casdon to a high level (raised) Disney and many in-between including Lego and various Japanese tinplate examples, this was quite a sight. At least five were working at anyone time.

The Bring and Buy table was run by David Postlethwaite, Dave Parry and Peter Wright, they reported excellent sales including an ACE A4 'Sir Nigel Gresley' for £495, also selling well were Airfix kits, Books and donated stock as well as 0 Gauge wagons.

As we move into the main hall, on the right Nicholas Oddy was selling Hornby 0 and larger gauges I spotted  a clockwork Southern Passenger set  for £135.  Opposite Mark Carne was selling a quantity of very nice Bing Table Top and reported good sales.

Eric Large had a TT Gauge 3mm scale layout full of kit-built locomotives mainly made in the 1960s to fit a Tri-ang chassis. Of course Bec kits were well represented although there were some interesting scratch-built models including a 4-wheel Railbus.

In the corner Peter Gurd and Chris Bush were sharing the space. Peter as usual had a library full of books including the latest from Brian Salter on Liliput. He also had two Palitoy train sets which were made in Leicester and the attractive Tri-ang Minic Presentation set. Chris had a mix of collectables. Opposite in the middle Bob Leggett had his usual selection of second-hand stock, he was joined in the middle by Dixon Upcott and Peter Berry both with a good quantity of Trix and early British 00 Gauge, Paul Draycott with a mix of 00 and O Gauge and Bob Scott with his usual selection of Dublo and related items, Peter Corley was selling mainly books although he did sell a John Underhill Crab locomotive circa 1961 (number 12). Michael Foster was promoting his and Michael  Bowes series of British Toy Train Books,  the fifth and final book coming out on Dec 12th so make sure it's on your Christmas list.

In the far corner we had one of the oldest working displays I have seen at a TCS event. Simon Goodyear was running his enthralling collection of pre 1910 Gauge 1 clockwork.

I heard a few derailments early on however, after some levelling and sorting of the track the Bing circa 1901  0-4-0 ( almost certainly a ' Victoria' but probably early Edwardian as name was dropped after the death of Queen Victoria). Another MR 0-4-0 Bing was also running around and later a Falk/Schooner was also seen running. Complete with contemporary buildings and tunnels this was a real treat for the visitors.

Another rare layout was Marklin HO by Jeff Carpenter. I had not seen this before, produced in 1938 it was very short lived as Marklin had to cease production due to the war and changed to HO Gauge. A rare LMS Compound produced for the British was running as well as German stock with a variety of buildings. I was fascinated by the semi-detached houses which were just like the one I was brought up in South London suburbs, was it also made for the British market?

Alongside Bob Fleming was flying the flag for Lone Star, not only did he have a Treble-0-lectric running round , he had a display of many examples of Lone Star toys from the 50's and 60's, including Toy Guns, Aircraft, even a  Harry Hayseed 0 Gauge hand cart and a mixer for the females! Bob was delighted  at the amount of interested the toys generated.

On the stage David Knighton, Jonathan and Oli Ward and John Boyd were running Bassett-Lowke 0 Gauge and other stock  on a themed SR and London Underground layout. I was particularly impressed with a circa 1935 B/L 3-Car London Underground Unit (early version with brass sides) passing through a B/L Ashfield underground station. A modern Sarah Siddons and ACE SR EMU were also working hard.

We pass Mick Aylott selling a variety of 00 Gauge in the narrow passage way to the small hall.

Colin Toten was in his usual spot and had the latest Radial Tanks in SR and LSWR green on show and a prototype Brick wagon.

In the left corner was Brain Arnold with his Trix Twin layout and fellow enthusiasts including David Holt and many thanks to  David Brown who kindly set up the 'EM1 for a photo for me with the cab lights visible which caused a derailment!

Paul Brookes had an interesting display of circa 1948 Astral Trains and was running examples of these almost 'impossible to run locomotive'. Paul informed me that if you used the original early plastic wheels and accessories with the wooden bodies it was not possible to fix a working mechanism. He therefore adapted the models, one of the Coronation Class 'Princess Alice' had a Wrenn chassis and was  in coronation blue livery with original Astral Coronation coaches. An unpainted Turbomotive with more recent chassis was pulling a rake of Ratio coaches and also on show was a made up Diesel Electric No 10000 with warped early plastic body. Paul was also selling a variety of Hugar and other models.

On the left  Dave White with help from Les Martin and Neil Smith was running Hornby Acho and ran most items produced in the French factory on a double track layout with Station, Goods depot and lineside buildings and a display of sets in the middle. The USA Tank goods train seemed to acquire interesting loads on it's flat trucks as the day progressed!

On the near wall in his usual spot was Pat Hammond with a fascinating display of Rovex, Trackmaster and early Tri-ang up to 1956.

There was almost too much to take in, the display included early Rovex letters and account information and even a piece of emery paper that was placed in each set when it was realised how quickly dirt was attracted to the Princess pick ups. There were displays of Rovex and Trackmaster sets and trade boxes of  the Tri-ang Victorian station steps that showed they were produced in batches of various transfers and even a near mint 1952  Rich Uncle set from 1952.

The room off the main hall was where the excellent three course Christmas lunch was served. Again the ladies and gentlemen from the Church excelled and the lunch was up to it's normal high standards. Many thanks to Karen Clements, Ian Draycott, Janet Tilley, Diane Johnson, Daphne Sargent, Carol Ireland, Judith Saunders, Mary Starie, Brenda D'Arcy, Pav Paul, Adam Draycott and Marilyn Draycott.

Finally a big thank you to Paul Draycott and helpers for putting on such an excellent show .

The numbers through the door seemed to be higher this year and the quality of the layouts will keep them coming again in the future.