The Southwold Model Railway exhibition at St Felix School in Reydon. Organised by the Waveney Valley Model Railway Club. Picture: James BassIt came as more than two thousand people made tracks to St Felix School near Southwold to attend one of the biggest model railways events in the country.
The Model Railway Exhibition 2012, organised by Waveney Valley Model Railway Club (WVMRC), included a variety of layouts spanning the decades, featuring miniature houses, railway stations and trains.
The highlight of the event was The Gresley Beat 1923-1939 LNER – a large exhibition layout based on the approaches to King’s Cross in London which is highly acclaimed within the model railway fraternity.
But families also enjoyed hitching a ride on the back of tiny steam engines, which ferried people backwards and forwards on the school green.
The Southwold Model Railway exhibition at St Felix School in Reydon. Organised by the Waveney Valley Model Railway Club. Picture: James BassDennis Moul, of Southwold, a member of the Waveney Valley Modern Railway Club, said: “Basically, we are one of the only club-run two-day events in the UK at this time of year. If you want to see model railways, you have to think about us.
“We try our best to provide areas which appeal to non-specialists who are interested in model railways, and those who are specialist modellers – we have layouts which are suitable for all ages. Everyone enjoys it. It is very much a happy exhibition. It is cheerful and pleasant, which people comment on every year.
He added: “The best part of this year’s event has to be The Gresley Beat 1923-1939 LNER. It is really big and an absolutely superb model railway.”
As part of the Gresley Beat layout, trains emerge from Oakley Park Tunnel from the North bringing coal, fish and mixed traffic freight trains on the upper level.
Meanwhile, its lower level features suburban services approaching King’s Cross, with some having to wait at the platform to become vacant. The trains are surrounded by the intricate work of Geoff Taylor who constructed the buildings and scenery.
Terry Stock, chairman of Waveney Valley Railway Club, said he was pleased with how many people attended over the weekend.
“It went very well on Saturday and it picked up as well on the Sunday,” he said.
“We have had many comments about the quality of the exhibits. Because we are a two-day show we are able to attract the big layouts.”
More than 36 exhibits were on show at the exhibition, which was marking its 24th year. Plans are under way to hold a special exhibition next year to mark its Jubilee anniversary.
A raffle was also held with all the proceeds going to Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
WVMRC has about 40 members who meet on a Wednesday evening, Thursday afternoons and Thursday evenings at their clubhouse at Barsham, near Beccles.
If you would like to join the club, visit www.waveneyvalleymrc.150m.com