TCS 3rd Annual Show 2024

Train Collectors Society, Bassett-Lowke and Trix Society 3rd Annual Show, British Motor Museum, Gaydon

Saturday June 1st

Report and pictures by Bob Leggett

Please click on the captions to increase picture size.

The British Motor Museum proved to be yet again an excellent venue for the joint TCS, B-L and Trix Society Vintage Toy and Model Railway Show.

As we enter we are welcomed by Paul and Shirley Williams who manned the entrance all day . Paul had even set up a very comprehensive display of Hafner Trains next to their table (Fig 1).

Fig-. 1

The Trix Society took over most of the Foyer, Trix members manned a Publicity and spares stand. Steve Foxon and his son Herbie had a Bakelite track layout with pre and post-war stock, as I passed Herbie was operating the layout (Fig 2), Alongside Martin Kilford was operating his 1960's Trix 2-Rail layout complete with a pair of E3001 (Fig 3) in the yard, and a couple of Britannia's running round as I passed (Fig 4). The Many-Ways station looked excellent in the centre of the layout.

Also in the Foyer was TCS Chairman Bryan Pentland with a colourful Marx layout, I was hugely impressed with the wonderful double girder bridge which was copied from a design Bryan gave to a friend and laser cut on Verdi-gris plywood, you don't even think it is wood when you are close up. Later on Richard Atkins joined Bryan for a chat next to the layout (Fig 5).

We now move in to the main Conference Hall, the first layout is Mark Carne's Gauge 1 mostly pre-grouping layout. With help from Mark's brother Jim, Tony Penn and Steve Witt and others (Fig 6), they had a large collection of Locos and rolling stock by Bing, Marklin, Carrette and Bassett-Lowke, running on Middleton and Marklin Track. As I was passing the hottest train of the day was on Duty, a Colman's Mustard Train (Fig 7) and a very impressive SECR 4-4-0 was also running (Fig 8).

Alongside was James Day's Life-Like HO Trains and Tyco Trucking Roadway and with help from Malcolm Pugh and David Rhodes had the busiest layout at the show, At least three trains running all day and I could not even count the number of vehicles running at the same time. It was great to see the Brawa Radio Tower (Fig 9) and operating Nodding Donkey Oil well and Tunnel with a waterfall and boat in the lake (Fig 9a), every time you saw the layout you noticed something else.

In the corner Mike Green and members of the Bassett-Lowke Society had their excellent mainly pre-grouping 0 Gauge Layout (Fig 10), including two fully staffed Stations, one with a lovely Kiosk (Fig 11), whilst I was there the stalls were full enjoying an LNER blue Class A4 4485 'Kestrel' pulling a Pullman Train (Fig 12).

We now move on to Dave Lyon's excellent compact Tri-ang 00 Gauge and Minic Motorway layout where the cars stopped for the Trains (Fig 13). Dave even had cars stopping for each other on the chicane and moving on and off the Rail Car Transporter.

Fig. 13

A large area at the end of the hall was taken up by The Gauge 3 Society's superb 50' x 30' Gauge 3 Layout with four running tracks, trains were running all day. however the star of the show was a blue live steam Coronation Class Locomotive and Coaches (Fig 14), anyone within earshot  as she suddenly got a head of steam stopped what they were doing and got a closer look (Fig 15), it was a mammoth task to set up such a large layout, well done The Gauge 3 Society.

Amongst the Traders in the Hall, Mike Foster (Fig 16) was always on hand for a chat and was selling the remaining copies of his History of British Toy Trains Book 5 'Mettoy' and other items (Fig 16).

Fig. 16

Chris Sanderson and fellow members were promoting the 78 Derngate Society (Fig 17), the house where Bassett-Lowke lived and Mike Delaney as well as selling Hornby O Gauge had a display of the Bassett-Lowke plinths used to display the Locomotives in the Bassett-Lowke shops (Fig 18).

 We now move to the Gallery where the final layouts and traders were. Dave and Elsbeth Coddington had a very interesting Hornby (Margate) 00 Gauge display (Fig 19). Dave had chosen the year 1984 and had the Thomas range available 40 years ago all made in Margate (Fig 20) as well as many of the standard range. One of the excellent Hornby shop display shelf units took pride of place (Fig 21) and a good range of stock was running round all day including a Thomas Train, Flying Scotsman, APT and HST.

Going a little further back to the early-mid 1960's Dave White with help from Les Martin had a very interesting Tri-ang 00 Gauge Super 4 Layout themed on the Old Smokey Train Set (Fig 22 Dave with Neil Smith) with earlier Victorian style Station (Fig 23).  Dave had a variety of 3F Tender Locomotives, BR black weathered and unweathered and also in maroon livery and rolling stock including the green with red doors Utility Van, a set was also on display (Fig 24).

Fig. 23

Next was Neil Smith who went even further back with his lovely colourful 1950's Tri-ang 00 Gauge Standard Track Transcontinental Layout (Fig 25). Neil has an excellent range of stock running (Fig 26) as well as many of the Tri-ang Minic 00 Gauge push 'n' go models were on the layout (Fig 27).

Fig. 27

Moving round the Traders in the middle passing Nick and Maria with their test track in the centre of their stall (Fig 28), we come to the last two displays. The Chiltern group had their excellent Hornby-Dublo 2-Rail 'Oakleigh Park' Layout (Fig 29). A Wrenn Coronation had crept in when I was passing although a Barnstaple and Southern EMU were also on duty.

The final display was Reg Harman's history of early Tri-ang including Locomotives and Rolling Stock with information boards (Fig 30 and 30a). With help from his wife Gillian they had trains running all day.

Reg also had a nice surprise when Les Martin had found a book at the show written by Reg 61 years ago and was asked to sign it for Les (Fig 31), which he did, the first book he had signed!

The traders on the whole had a good day, some exceeding last year and a few having a quieter day. Two rather nice sets I noticed were a Hugar Southern EMU purchased for £150 (Fig 32 and 33)

and an unsold circa 1914 American Flyer Set up for £275 (Fig 34 and 35). The artwork on both catches the eye.

It was also good to see Derek Bond who had his 3d Printer running all day and was selling a variety of mainly Tri-ang Railways and Minic Motorways parts (Fig 36)

The attendance was much greater than last year with around 250 visitors, and Paul Chapman also signed up five new TCS members.

The main hall was very busy mid morning (Fig 37 and 38). A big thank you to Bryan Pentland who co-ordinated the show with help from Paul Chapman, Paul Williams and Dave White  from the TCS, David O'Brien from the Trix Society and Mike Green from the Bassett-Lowke Society.

A huge thank you to all the exhibitors and traders and thanks to all who made the effort to come.

It is hoped to have another show next year and information will be out as soon as possible.