Wednesday 20 September 2023

009 Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition - Statfold Barn

Last weekend the 009 Society celebrated its 50th anniversary with an exhibition held at the Statfold Barn Railway. Actually, "exhibition" feels a rather inadequate description.  It was my first visit to Statfold, which is a privately owned narrow gauge railway and collection.

The railway is nice, but the collection of narrow gauge locos in the roundhouse is astonishing...

Not just a collection - I understand that most if not all of these locos are in full working order with boiler certificate. 

There are more locos out of use. There was even one with my name on it!

The roundhouse was the perfect venue for the anniversary dinner on the Saturday night, a real celebration. There was a great atmosphere all weekend.

Well, back to the exhibiton, which had about 50 invited layouts from most of the area groups plus a few extra layouts brought by their owners on one or both days, and trade support including Peco/Kato and Bachmann. The Saturday was only for 009 Society members, and felt like a giant member's day, although with over 900 visiting members (on top of those exhibiting) it was busier than most member's days I've been to. It was great to see old friends and meet new people, including some forum members I'd never met in person. The Sunday was open to the public, and felt slightly quieter but still busy most of the day. 

I took Loctern Quay, and my son was due to take Slugworth & Co., but unfortunately was ill and unable to come. So, I ended up with two layouts. As you'll see below the Sussex Downs group was quite stretched, so I was thankful of help from Will Booth and Harry Mantheakis on the Sunday allowing me to have a better look around (and even a ride on the train). Both layouts performed well, although I was thankful for the continuous circuit of Slugwoth and confess that most of the weekend I just left a train circulating, periodically changing the train. 

Also from the Sussex Downs group were two other layouts - one was Llandecwyn by Martin Collins. 

The other was Kurseong by John Crane, a model of the real station on the Darjeeling Himalayan railway, which was deservedly voted "most appealing layout" by the society members visiting on the Saturday. 

I have uploaded a collection of photos of many of the layouts here, although not a complete record of all the layouts at the show, partly due to limited time and I focused mainly on layouts I've not seen before or rarely see, and partly because some of my photos didn't come out wheel (possibly because I rushed). You will see that the overall standard of the layouts was very good. 

The Society had comissioned a special anniversay limited edition van from Peco. Of course I had to get one, and by the time the show opened on the Saturday morning it was out of the box and running on Slugworth, where it looked at home. In fact it ran around Slugworth pretty much all day so I estimate it must have covered around 2 real miles or so already. 

The 50th celebrations were great fun, well organised, and memorable. Roll on 60 years...?

No comments: