Chelmsford Model Railway Club Exhibition 2019

On Sunday the Chelmsford and District Model Railway Club held their annual exhibition. It was an enjoyable show with a large selection of traders, great secondhand stalls, lots of layouts…. and very good cakes 🙂

It was good to get a close look at The Yard by Martin Coombs, I’ve seen it at two other exhibitions but it’s always been surrounded by huge crowds. It’s an impressive piece of modelling, or perhaps I should say model engineering. Modelled in 7mm scale, it features standard gauge and narrow gauge track, a working gantry crane and working lorries. The trains are DCC with ‘stay alive’ and the slow running is impressive. The crane and lorries are radio controlled and the operators change between operating the trains, the crane and the lorries depending on what they want to do.

This is the underside of one of the lorries. The barrery is under the flatbed and you can see the gears, motor and 3D printed steering mechanism.

Nonsuch by Derek Reeves is a 0-16.5 layout with a very unusual back story. Derek has imagined that the Tudors invented railways, instead of the Victorians. It is very well made and I was very impressed by the half timbered buildings. Derek’s previous layout was a cheese mine populated by mice and he decided they should inhabit Nonsuch too.


It’s definitely not prototypical, but it’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed looking at all of the details Derek has included.

These tank wagons are labelled OXO – I guess this is the gravy train 🙂

Very prototypical and equally enjoyable was Cromer 2008 in OO by Mike Kelly. Mike measured the real Cromer station and has included all of the main features including the Morrisons supermarket, the station building, and the disused signal box that is now a museum. I’ve only been to Cromer station once, but I recognised it immediately.

The layout includes colour light signals and SPAD lights too.

I liked the details throughout the layout. Very nice indeed.

From Cromer let’s head to the open flat lands of Lincolnshire. My fellow Beds and Buck Narrow Gauge Modellers David Gander and Stephen Sullivan were operating Stephen’s Holbeach Estate Railway. It is based on the potato railways that ran in the region between the 1920s and 50s.

The real railways used an electic mix of ex-War Department rolling stock and the layout captures this very well.

One of Stephen’s specialities is very small locomotives, powered by what he calls mice sized mechanisms. This is a working Simplex loco – in OO scale!

Obviously, there are potatoes that need to be harvested.

Many thanks to the Chelmsford MRC for organising such a large and very enjoyable exhibition.


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