Community News: Royston & District Model Railway Club…

Community News: Royston & District Model Railway Club – Back on track with a memorable exhibition… 

I recently embraced one of my favourite hobbies, railways. This particular setting, at the Bassingbourn College, was for a vast collection of operations in miniature, in fact, model layouts. It was the Royston and District Model Railway Club’s first venture for nearly three years which the dreaded Covid era put on hold. The club was inaugerated many decades ago and has been organising exhibitions since 1989. All revenue raised is ploughed back into the upkeep of the club.

A model railway can be large enough to ride on, or compact enough to fit on a tabletop. The first documented layout was built in 1859 by Emperor Napolean 111 for his three year old son and was powered by clockwork. Electric layouts began to appear in the early part of the 20th century, but they were very crude replicas by today’s immaculately finished standards, and certainly compared to the wonderful showcase of exhibits at Bassingbourn.

It is unfortunate that model trains are often dubbed “Big Boys’ Toys” because this branding they are certainly not. They represent accurate scaled down versions of the original locos and rolling stock. Much pride and precision making is exerted into the manufacture of these models as has been demonstrated by the recent excellent T.V. series made at the premises of the famous Hornby Railway in Kent.

Chairman, Tony Clark, stated that Peter Schofield, Club Secretary, had volunteered to organise the show and had created a very successful one. He explained that “There was a plethora of exciting layouts from various other Model Clubs as well as those designed by the home Club. The designs varied in scale from the miniature N Gauge to the much larger LGB size, and the most popular and one of the oldest, the 00 Gauge. All of them represented many different time zones and geographical locations. A number of the traditional traders that have historically supported us for numerous years were once again present on Saturday. We would like to thank everyone including the large numbers of the public who turned out in force that made the day one to remember.”

Photos and text by Clive Porter Photography