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On the right track: inaugural model railway exhibition proves to be a hit with visitors

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The first Cam and Dursley Model Railway Exhibition, run by the Wings and Wheels Society Dursley in conjunction with the Gloucester O-Gauge Guild, was held at Dursley Community Centre on Sunday 26.

The show was a resounding success and saw more than 300 visitors throughout the day. All profits from the show will be donated to the Great Western Air Ambulance and the Dursley Community Centre Charitable charity trust.

The exhibition was held across three rooms and a bar area, showcasing working model railway layouts and dioramas (in N/O/OO/16mm narrow gauge), along with trade stands and an O-gauge locomotive building demonstration.

Model railway 8 | On the right track: inaugural model railway exhibition proves to be a hit with visitors
Laurence Gulliford and Carolyn Jones from the Vale of Berkeley Railway.

The Air Ambulance and Vale of Berkeley Railway also had stalls that proved popular with visitors. The show had a part emphasis on local railways and featured a 7mm ( O-gauge) fine scale model diorama of Dursley and Berkeley Station circa 1960, a working N gauge layout of Brimscombe that measured 24-feet long.

Model railway 7 | On the right track: inaugural model railway exhibition proves to be a hit with visitors
Derrick Mortimore of Shirehampton Model Railway Club with a diorama of Brimscombe Station circa 1964.

There was also a working OO-gauge layout of St Phillips Station and Yard in Bristol circa 1940s from Thornbury Model Railway Club.  Also, a stand with Dursley Branch Line photos and memorabilia was on show along with local rail historian Ian Thomas on hand answering questions about the history of the area’s railways.

Model railway 11 | On the right track: inaugural model railway exhibition proves to be a hit with visitors
Ian and Jill Thomas were on hand to tell visitors more about local rail history.

The exhibit hall upstairs featured a very large running O-gauge test track layout that filled much of the room. Another large model railway on show in the downstairs main hall named Dent attracted much attention, modelled on an actual Settle and Carlisle line station and yard.

There was a total of 15 model railway layouts and dioramas of outstanding quality operating throughout the day, made by clubs and individuals from Bristol, Thornbury, Shirehampton, Swindon, and others from further afield such as Ludlow and Tewskesbury. There was also a ‘Thomas layout’ that could be operated by children and parents on the day, proving to be much fun.

“The organisers were very happy with the high attendance figures for the show, also what was amazing was the enthusiasm and enjoyment visitors ‘young and old’ got from the exhibits and society stands, the feedback we had from the public was great, making this first model show a special day out for all exhibitors and public alike,” said Rich Kelsey of the Wings and Wheels Society.

“Wings and Wheels Society Dursley and the Gloucester O-gauge Guild would like to thank the exhibitors along with their enthusiasm for the show, including the trade and society stands and the local Community Centre, for making this groundbreaking show possible. Also, we would really like thank the families and enthusiasts that visited the show supporting us throughout the day, making this a highly enjoyable community event, for without them this show would have not been possible.”

Pictures and video by Matt Bigwood

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