24th Romiley Model Railway Exhibition

Romiley Methodist Church held its 24th Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday, 6th September, 2014, at Romiley Methodist Church and Schoolroom, in conjunction with Romiley Methodist Railway Modellers.

Thirteen layouts were on view, ranging from Brio ‘push-along’ through to G-scale, a size that can be set up out-of-doors.  The scenes depicted were also varied: a Scottish port, a south coast village, coal-mining in the USA, and a busy Midlands town.  In addition, there were displays of miniature steam locomotives capable of pulling people, radio-controlled aircraft and helicopters, naval vessels and cars.

It is estimated there were over 900 visitors during the day.  Some were committed modellers, but many were families from the area on an interesting day out.

The Midwinter Cup (as voted for by the visiting public) and the Foxline Trophy (as decide by the exhibitors) went to Romiley Junction, presented by Romiley Methodist Railway Modellers.  The presentation was made by Rev. Will Hunter, the Church’s minister.

The Romiley Junction layout was originally constructed in N-gauge (2mm to the foot) during the 1980s, by Stanley Warrell, a former resident of Romiley village, as a reminder of his childhood haunts in the 1940s/50s.  By then a professional architect, he paid particular attention to the accuracy of the buildings on both sides of the railway fence.  The older visitors were reminded how the village used to look and spent time reminiscing.

After many years of use, Romiley Junction languished in East Anglia.  As a result of a series of fortuitous social connections, it was acquired by the Friends of Romiley Station and displayed as a static exhibit in 2013 at their celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the station’s opening.  Subsequently it was given to the Church’s railway modellers, who carried out extensive refurbishment and got trains running again.

It is a well-established tradition of the show that the public will be able to operate some of the trains.  This year was no exception, with six of the exhibits providing a hands-on experience.  This makes it a very friendly show.  All the operating teams were willing to talk to the visitors about their own layouts and more general aspects of railway modelling.  “The most helpful advice I have ever been given,” one visitor wrote on his voting slip about his conversation with an exhibitor.

Civic recognition of the Church’s charity work was provided by a visit from the Deputy Mayor of Stockport, Cllr. Linda Holt, accompanied by her husband, Cllr. Ken Holt.

Proceed from donations raised over £1,150 for Action for Children.

Next year’s event will be on Saturday, 12 September, 2015

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