Friday, November 09, 2018

York Show 1985 - The layouts

Let's head back to 1985 - 33 years ago! I happen to have found a programme for York Model Railway show and it was a very different world.

In those days, the show was held in both the Theatre Royal and Assembly rooms in the centre of town. You could walk between the two in less than 5 minutes, unless you diverted to grab some food of course, or just enjoy the buskers that fill the streets at Easter .

I always enjoyed the show in town as a punter. I like York and I liked being able to see a bit of the city and the show. Admittedly, at 15 years old, I can't be sure I visited that year, but I'm sure my first York was around this time.

Anyway, highlight of the layouts for young Phil would probably have been Dave and Shirley Rowe's Leighton Buzzard. I've always been a sucker for animations other than trains so the working sand plant, canal and road vehicles cleverly moving on grey typewriter ribbon would have caught my eye. Had I known how these worked, I'd have enjoyed them even more - I had to wait for the Wild Swan book to find this out.

Another star was Barry Norman's Petherick, a scenic masterpiece which spawned it's own Wild Swan publication, the classic Landscape Modelling. As I recall, the really notable feature was that the 4 by 2 baseboards were used narrow side to the crowd to give an expanse of scenery we'd never really seen before. The modelling was all to a consistent standard and the colours really well balanced.

Ian Futers Glen Falloch made an appearance, something rare as I recall that his attempt at a continuous run with more than the signature 3 points suffered from lack of building time. Friends at the L&WMRS went to help him and found the model set up in the hall of his school. There was, as I recall, rather less track than there should have been and some serious teamwork was required to get the model into a state to be shown. It never really took off, to the extent that we produced some "I saw Glen Fallooch" badges to wind him up. They wouldn't have been big sellers...

Finally, Keith Foster's Huntingfield Great Eastern model was in the middle of its successful exhibition programme. I came to know this layout very well - it was where I cut my public operating teeth and the first layout I went out to a show with. In fact I learnt it so well I was able to stand in on my own at one show my Dad and I happened to visit. At lunchtime, one team hadn't returned form the pub and the others wanted to get off for lunch, so young Phil sat in the operating chair with the instructions "just keep something moving" in his ears. I had the advantage that a computer was used to show people what was happening - and old Texas Instruments one - so I could press a button and see be reminded, all I had to do was remember what the prompt was telling me to do!

I think Huntingfield still exists, but the others are no more as far as I know.

The full list:

Y Tren Bach - Malcolm Clarke
Fraalsdorf - Frank Wilkinson
Leighton Buzzard - Dave & Shirley Rowe
Caerleon - North Gwent Rly Modellers
Evercreech Junction - Shipley MRS
Highworth-Hannington - Dave Peacey
Gilling Railway - Paul Cope (ARC)
Glenmore - Peter Fletcher (ARC)
Huntingfield - Keith Foster
Roseladden Wharf - Steve Howe
Dowlais Cae Harris - Cardiff 4mm Group
Glen Falloch - Ian Futers
Petherick - Barry Norman
Beverleys - Dave & Bev Lowery
Ubley - Butcombe Junct. Group
Kyle of Tongue - Steve Flint (I wonder what happened to him?)

I'm sure people are saying, "How can you not mention xxxx", but I don't remember them and I do remember these. It was a pretty classic show that year and I'd certainly like to hop in a time machine and have a look.

Next week, the trade stands.


matt scrutton said...

Berverleys, that's a personal favourite

John Bardwell said...

Ahhh, York was an annual treat for me growing up, and this was one I was at. Dave Rowe invited 18-yr old me behind the scenes to see how the canal lock water levels worked. Steve Howe and I had chatted before at shows in Hull and Beverley over his gorgeous Roseladden Wharf - still one of my favorite / most inspirational layouts ever. I wonder if I still have that program somewhere?

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

James Finister said...

I think this puts my comments about a recent show into context. Pretty much every layout listed here was more interesting than the bulk of those being shown in 2018.