Trying something new

Ian Holloway visits two events with a difference in the North East.

Although I favour 7mm/1ft O-gauge modelling, I do enjoy other scales and gauges and I try to keep up with developments by visiting model railway shows, both small and large.

While it is interesting to read about model railway layouts, there is nothing quite like seeing them on display, admiring the skills of the builders and catching up on the social scene during these events.

I also look for news of specialist exhibitions and events. Recently the Newcastle centre of the Stephenson Locomotive Society held an exhibition of models portraying the carrying of coal and minerals and this event was held in the majestic rooms of the Mining Institute in the city; and my latest expedition was to the Workshop Wise 2017 day hosted by the North East and Borders Area Group of the EM Gauge Society in the historic village of Stannington, which lies close to the A1 road north of Newcastle and close to Morpeth.

North Holderness built by Don Annison and Paul Steen.

The village boasts a splendid inn, the Ridley Arms, and, typically of its time, a station, now closed, some two miles from the village hall.

I went along to be informed and prepared to be enthused as I am contemplating a new exercise in 4mm/1ft scale, which I shall describe later.

The EM Gauge Society was formed in 1955 and hoped to influence the thinking of the model railway industry. During the 1920s and 1930s manufacturers realised that there was potential to attract many people into the hobby but not necessarily into the somewhat expensive and sometimes space-hungry scale of O gauge.

The house-building boom of the time favoured estates of relatively small homes within commuting distance of centres of employment and as more people had an increasing, if modest, amount of disposable income there was the opportunity to attract people into railway modelling provided that a realistic model could be constructed within the restrictions imposed by the smaller houses.

For the full article, see the May edition of Modelling – available now!

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