COMING UP IN THE SEPTEMBER 2018 ISSUE: Nostalgia galore at Strathspey’s big 40th Anniversary Steam Gala

Ian Lamb reports from the well-presented gala marking ‘40 Years of Highland Steam’ at Boat of Garten station in July, where model railways also played their part.

Fine summer weather helped make the 40th Anniversary Steam Gala of the Strathspey Railway over the weekend of July 21-22 a great occasion, but so did the tremendous work put in by the staff and volunteers of this preserved railway, and one can only admire in particular the tremendous ‘last-minute’ effort by Boat of Garten station master Robert Walters and his team of volunteers for the exquisite paint job on the exterior of the main building.

Once an exchange point for the Great North of Scotland Railway to Aberdeen and the Highland Railway to Inverness, the island platform boasted a model railway pool of displays in the former waiting room, and adjacent gazebos displaying community stands.

No – it’s not an illusion – just the regular Ivatt 2-6-0 favourite No 46512 performing a different role for the gala weekend. Not only were the numbers changed, but also the 62B Dundee Tay Bridge shed code, and for this occasion the nameplates in memory of the late Eric Cooper, which were removed during the locomotive’s recent repair, were not refitted, adding yet more nostalgia for the memory of 46464 in the early days of the Strathspey Railway.

The only proprietary model available in the late 1970s was the Hornby one, which took pride of place on my ‘Leven’ layout before Bachmann’s more realistic Ivatt 2-6-0 came along, and the renumbered 46464 has now been exhibited all over the country.

In the island platform waiting room were four displays, with the ‘Chawton’ layout recently featured in RMM providing continuous operation for scores of youngsters of all ages keen to know more about running model trains, and there was also a model kit demonstration.

Sharing the other part of the island platform waiting room, David Childs provided some rare historical film through the medium of DVD along with a selection of items from the internationally renowned Kennedy Collection.

Over a period of 30 years, Inverness craftsman James Kennedy created a unique collection of exact scale models of Highland railway rolling stock from the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, and these working Gauge 1 (10mm/ft) models were displayed in an extensive garden layout outside his home.

For the full article, see the September edition of Modelling – available on August 24!

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