Last Saturday was the "SWING" narrow gauge and industrial model railway show, this year conveniently held just down the road. The Sussex Downs 009 group brought three small layouts - my Loctern Quay, my son's Slugworth & Co., and The Old Quarry by Tim Sanderson.
Here's our three layouts in a quiet moment towards the end of the day. Simon Wilson is operating The Old Quarry, Tim is sat behind it, Joshua is on the right behind his layout. The chair is my operating position for Loctern Quay.
My favourite layout was Tony's Forest in O14, by Robin Edwards. I've followed this on the NGRM forum and it was at Narrow Gauge South last month, but at that busy show I didn't have time for more than a quick look. It was nice to have a closer look, and talk to Robin. I love the forest setting which is superbly modelled, and reveals hidden details such as this waterfall.
Getting the camera to focus on the trains is tricky, and this end-shot shows why. The railway sits naturally amongst the trees. I wasn't the only one who liked it though, as it was voted best layout by the other exhibitors - well done Robin!
Robin invited me to bring some of my O14 stock to run. This hasn't been out for some time, but this Hunslet and my O&K ran sweetly with some of the wagons from Landswood Park - my couplings weren't compatible with Robin's. Tony's Forest provides a very long run compared to Landswood Park or Thakeham, my locos were probably breathless by the end!
I also liked Goathorn in 7mm scale by Peter Hollins. The railway was beautifully modelled according to the 3' 9" gauge prototype, but the scenic details like this beach scene brought it to life.
For something a bit different, Lesobeng in 009 by Paul Spray, was set in Africa.
Holmeshurst by Ian Burford is an O gauge light railway set in East Sussex. Although small by 7mm standards it is full of character, with a detailed village street at the rear making use of Petite Properties kits cleverly adapted to the local building style.
As well as a good selection of mainly narrow gauge layouts the 009 Society and 7mm NG Association had stands, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly and it was good to meet a few friends too. The venue works well (the local railway club use it too) but being one long narrow hall it is difficult to tell how busy it was, it didn't get crowded. I've uploaded photos of some of the other layouts here.
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