All photos in this Blogspot and those accessed in Google Images via the links in each report are my Copyright and may be saved for personal use only. They may not be republished elsewhere without the written permission of the Copyright holder.

Hello and welcome to my twice reinstated and updated photo reports of visits to narrow gauge model railway layouts and events! Following the sudden and untimely cessation of Fotopic in March 2011 and with it the loss of my photo galleries, I started this blog in order to try to keep my "Roving Reports" available to those who enjoy viewing them. I have linked this blogsite to the old galleries which I originally rebuilt and posted in albums in Picasaweb. Once all the old reports had been rebuilt, I have continued to add completely new ones to cover my visits to events from April 2011 onwards.

In August 2016 Google blocked access to Picasaweb in order to force everyone to use their "much better" Google Images, so I had to do the whole exercise again. Thanks! .

Meanwhile......Because of the way this Blogspot works, the most recent postings appear first and the oldest ones last. Each report contains a link to the Google photo album plus captions for that report. The link will take you to the front page of the Google Album for this report. Left click on the first photo and it will open into a manually operated slideshow. A panel should open alongside the image on the right showing the number of the photo and the caption text. If it does not appear, click on the small white disk top right of the photo panel and it will open. Move forward or backwards by clicking the right or left arrows on your keyboard. When you have finished viewing, click the back arrow showing top left of the photo panel and this will take you back to the album opening page.

Close it in the normal way by clicking on the "X" top right or click the return arrow top left of the Windows screen to return to the blog, depending on which browser you use. Once back in the blog, any report can be accessed sequentially from the blog by scrolling downwards and if required, click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of the list, or simply go to the Blog Archive on the right of the window and select any report by simply clicking on the title.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

009 Society 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Statfold, 16-17 September 2023


That was certainly a Challenge with a capital C! Those of us who were around in 2013 may remember the Society 40th anniversary main celebration, which was a weekend convention at the Best Western Hotel in Kegworth, where some 200 members of the Society signed up for the full weekend and some 300 visitors, both members and public came on the Saturday or Sunday. A fantastic weekend, fondly remembered by all who took part and the general feeling was that it was a one-off that could not be topped.

Well, it was never intended that the 50th, golden anniversary of the Society was going have a competition or try to better that memorable weekend. Hiring a hotel for exclusive use for a weekend was out for a number of reasons and what with the Covid pandemic, lockdowns, credit crunch and all the rest, the time available to sort something memorable out for the anniversary was compressed. Whilst some planning for the anniversary had been on the committee agenda for years, it was 2022 when it gained momentum and the team of Society members that put everything together worked very hard over many long hours to firm up the host of things needed to run not only what is generally thought to be the biggest show exclusively covering the 009 "family" of scales eg 009, 00n3, HOe, HOm etc, with over 50 layouts plus trade and association attendance and to have it over 2 days in the main UK "magnet" of narrow gauge at Statfold as well as a gala Dinner for members on the Saturday night. 

Was it a success?  I met many people who thought it would not be one, and at times I have to admit that I shared concern that it was not going to be a repeat of the 40th weekend in Kegworth. However, the Society has reported that "750 members, operators and traders; and 450 members of the public enjoyed over 50 layouts, specialist trade stands and the gala dinner on the Saturday night" where 143 attended. Yes is certainly was a success, a very big success indeed! 

I was "invited to volunteer" to be the official photographer with a remit to take photos of every layout. I did manage to do that, but it came with a "downside". To get round every layout, I estimated that I would have to allow about 8 minutes for each layout. What I had not estimated was the effect on stamina (I ain't olympic standard fit any more......) or the fact that it would take 20 minutes or more of reunions and chats to get from one layout to another! The other drawback was that the size of the challenge was such that I would only be ablle to do one pass at each layout, so when I turned up with camera in hand, I had to snap what there was at that time, which has rather restrained the variety of stock on layouts and in-depth photos of parts of layouts that I would normally manage at a members open day event in a village hall with a full day to enjoy a dozen or so layouts. 

Similar compromises had to be made with captions. I am aware that captions to photos are a popular and essential requirement for any self-respecting event report, but it is a very time-consuming task to try to make every photo be accompanied by several lines of interesting text
So, what we have on offer here is photo coverage of every layout that attended, restricted to between 5 and 10 photos of each layout. Captions in the main are restricted to simply the layout name and the owner. I haven't listed scales, they are all 009 except for some HOe, HOm and 00n3 which I am confident that narrow gauge modellers who are visiting this report will be able to work out for themselves! In a few cases I have added some words to the basic captions, and over the coming months I will periodically visit and add a few more here and there, but in order to present this report sometime before the next 50th anniversary I have had to be quite firm in keeping things brief and simple in order to have it uploaded and available for all to see within a reasonable time before the exhibition becomes just a vague memory!

I do recommend that a very good supplement to viewing this photo report is to use the superb 28 page show guide that was produced by Steve Lanham. It can be downloaded from this link and every layout featured has a paragraph about it supplied by the layout exhibitor.

If you use the show guide in this way, please note that stand 56, Abberley and stand 65 Malvern did not attend.

Right, let's get on with it then! There are 7 parts to this report. In the usual way, under each photo shown below, there is a link. Click on the link and it will take you to the photo album for that part of the report. When you want to go to the next part, click on back arrows in the album to get you back to this blogsite, scroll to the next album link and so on. And most of all......Enjoy!


Part 1 covers some personalities, a photo of every trader (except 2 that I missed) that attended as well as every association or railway publicity, stand and a very brief glance at some of the Statfold locos; and the Saturday evening dinner. 

Parts 2 to 7 cover the 50 plus layouts and I will make a contents list of which layouts are featured in each part 


Part 2 features:
4          Glendale                                Chris Beadle
5          Sandy Shores                        Jamie Warne
6          Bottle Kiln Lane                     John Thorne
7          Dartmoor Modular                  Members of the Dartmoor 009 Group
8          Bruckless                               Andy Cundick
9          Shipmeadow                          Richard & Sarah Doe
10        Ilfracombe East                      Brian and Sue Key
11        Ulvaryd Strand                       Charlie Insley
12        De Niggende Saligheyd         Hugo Baart


Part 3 features:
13        Tan-y- Llyn                      Steve Flay
14        Clyre Valley                     Tim Couling
15        Ryedown Lane                Patrick Collins
17        Kurseong                        John Crane
19        Royston Wharf                Tony Clarke
20        Cattsbrook                      Geoff Harper
21        Gilderdale Mine               Peter Hogarth
22        Tan-yr-Allt/Dwffr Uchaf    Stan Williams & Alan Mountfield
23        Turtle Bay                        Rob Rossington


Part 4 features:
24A      Slugworth & Co                          Joshua Campbell
24B      Loctern                                       Michael Campbell
25        Launceston Steam Railway        Richard Holder
27        Ostravia                                      Blair Hobson
28        Sud Harz                                    Paul Steedman
30        Cefn Bryn Carreg                       Twmos Bayliss
31        Cherry Tree Halt                        John Davis
32        Lesobeng                                   Paul Spray
34        Castle Caereinion                      Martyn Harrison


Part 5 features:
37        Llandecwyn                        Martin Collins
38        Kaninchenbau                    Iain Morrison
39        Yr Ellen                              Mike Le Marie
43        Avin-A-Llyin                        Andrew & Alison Bailey
44        Tan Y Bwlch                       Brychan Watkins
46        Garreg Wen                       Matt Kean
47        Coleford                             John & Annabel Wilkes
49        Yurze Ore Mine                  Lucien Eijdems
50        Creag Dhubh Summit        Ted Polet


Part 6 features:
51        Smallbridge Junction                          Dale Gillard
52        Ashbury Wharf                                    Michael Hammond
53        St Margaret's Grange                         Chris Meaney
54        Whimsy                                               David Harrington
55        Brandgeight                                        Peter Hardy
57        Woodford                                            Trevor Street
58        Tyn-Goch/Jennings Farm Crossing    Martin Sutcliffe
59        Ravens Ravine plus Port William       David Wright
60        Newton/Goathorn                               Graham Kean


Part 7 features:
61        Llandyrau                            Jo Vincent & Paul Towers
62        Little Himalayan Railway    Giles Perkins
63        Aberglaslyn                         Andrew Holland
64        Tren Bach                           Richard Johnson
66        Cenac's Sidings                  James Hodgkiss
67        Long Sibford                       Members of the Oxfordshire Group
68        Bron                                    Stuart Bass
69        Llan Lechid                         David Johnston

Phew! I hope that if you have managed to get this far that you have enjoyed viewing my photo record of the weekend spent mainly on my feet in the big exhibition hall at Statfold!

I now await reports of gremlins amd errors encountered! 

Mick, 4 October 2023

Thursday 24 August 2023

Wiltshire Group 009 Society, 19th Biennial Members Day, Pewsey, 05 August 2023

August again, and it’s an odd numbered year, so it is time for the bi-ennial Wiltshire Group members and friends day at the Bouverie Hall in the Wiltshire village of Pewsey, which conveniently happens to be the home of the famous Marshall’s Bakery and their “extra sticky” lardy cake. So a healthy low-sugar diet for the weeks leading up to the 5th of August, satnav set to “100 miles East” along the M4 from my own direction and a couple of hours after leaving home early on the Saturday morning, safe arrival at the venue at around 9am, where it was already buzzing with activity as layouts and stands are set up, re-unions take place and the water boiler is already on its 2nd refill in the kitchen.

Bouverie Hall is quite a compact venue, but Andy Cundick and his fellow members from the Wiltshire 009 Society Group managed to fit in no less than 18 exhibitors, a couple with multiple small layouts, plus demonstrations and trade as well as a seating area for tea, coffee, committee meetings and lardy cake consumption. It was yet another great day out overall, tinged with poignancy at times in recognition of Group stalwart, the late Angus Watkins, sadly no longer with us.

This report has brought me up to date with a very long list of delayed ones that have existed one way or another for some time now. I do hope that all this effort to catch up has been worth it for the reduced number of loyal supporters that have been patient and “stayed the course” I very much appreciate the encouragement I have been given to carry on over several periods when different circumstances rather clipped my wings and my motivation. Decks now clear and ready for the really big one approaching which will indeed be a challenge – recording the forthcoming 009 Society 50th anniversary weekend event at Statfold Barn 16/17 September 2023. I hope to see lots of us there and if you can’t get there, I hope that you will be able to see my results before 2024 arrives (and departs!)

Best wishes Mick

Tuesday 22 August 2023

East Midlands 009 NG Modellers Group “Narrow Gauge Now”, Portland College, Mansfield 22 July 2023

Just in case you weren’t sure, Narrow Gauge Now means “North of Watford” and don’t complain to me, I didn’t dream it up, although I do think it is quite appropriate, as it has become a large narrow gauge specialist event and it is “north of Watford”!

So, 3 weeks after failing the sanity test and making a 300 mile round trip from home to Surrey, the prospect of a 400+ mile round trip and the cost of petrol etc would have seemed to have decided that having a day out at the Portland College just outside Mansfield was totally out of the question. However…… looking at the event preview and the online show guide (good idea guys – other exhibition managers please follow this example!) listing no less than 24 layouts, a good number of which were new to me, resulted in ignoring common sense, never mind the cost and the mileage, setting the alarm for Saturday morning 22 July to 4 am and off I went into the pre-dawn!

Good time of day to travel actually. Roads are quiet and Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of the 60’s on Radio 2 Saturdays from 0600 to 0800 is much more therapeutic than the moronic garbage that Radio 2 puts out at other times and days nowadays. The only downside was that Birmingham got in the way of a drive from South Wales to Nottinghamshire, but getting round the city and negotiating the M5 & M42 with all its roadworks and lanes “out” before the calmer stretches of the A42 and M1 was survived and I duly arrived to a warm welcome (much appreciated chaps), mug of tea and very well loaded bacon roll! Great stuff, suitably fortified, 24 layouts to get round so without further ado, off we go! By the time I got back home that evening I was truly suffering the effects of a very long day on my feet as well as the drive and it took about 3 days for the aches and pains to wear off – getting well into the 2nd half of the 7th decade of the mortal coil certainly comes with some downsides in the stamina stakes that’s for sure!

Sunday 20 August 2023

02 July 2023, Farnham & District MRC 009 Group Open Day

I hadn’t managed to attend any NG events since the “2 in one day” ones 2 months ago, previously reported in May, and 2 advertised in July that I would have liked to go to, were both outside my self-directed “100 miles or 2 hours each way” limitation. However I put myself up for a sanity test and having failed it, I had another look at Farnham, which had some good pre-publicity and was “only” 150 miles each way and 3½ hours driving including a break stop on the M4. So, I duly submitted myself to a very early Saturday morning getaway and “went for it”. Actually a good stress-free journey until I got within about 15 miles of the destination which then took me almost another hour due to two villages on the route being blocked off for street markets and a cycle race, as well as very poorly signed diversions, none of which were recognised by my ageing and out of date satnav in the car!

Got there in the end however and was immediately “homed in” by the aroma of well stocked bacon butties being prepared, permeating up Greenfield Road from the Wrecclesham Community Centre, home of the Farnham & District MRC! A small hall, with some 10 layouts present and once again, a splendid meeting place to renew acquaintances from mainly the south of the Realm. Was it worth the long journey, the expense of the journey and the very long day as a result? Of course it was! A splendid little show and another great day out! 

Tuesday 15 August 2023

13 May 2023, Merseyside & SW Lancs 009 Group Meeting, Rainford . 2 events in a Day – Part 2

I departed from Longbridge (see the previous Report) and Satnav informed me that it was a 90 minute drive up the rest of the M5 and then the M6 to my next intended stop at Rainford, near St Helens, before I completed my scheduled journey for a non-model railway commitment in Liverpool itself. 11am depart from the Bournville MRC event, should be there in time for lunch then!

Well, nearly 3 hours later after crawling 100 miles along the M6 4 lane stop-start traffic tail-back, I made it to Rainford and made my entry to the Merseyside Group meeting at Corpus Christi church hall.

This is a small hall, but Stan Williams who organises this bi-monthly meeting had managed to round up 8 layouts, a demo stand from Paul Titmuss of the Oldham NGM Group, a local model shop stand offering discounts and around 60 like-minded enthusiasts, with a constant supply of tea from David Hennessey! Having arrived late, I missed out on cake but never mind, it was a great afternoon, good to meet up with old friends and new ones, and enjoy the excellent range of layouts that attended.

Some refer to these meet-ups as NG Stan, others call it Stan’s Tea Party. Whatever it is called, it is certainly a popular Saturday afternoon and I understand that in addition to the occasional long distance guest pop-ins like myself, each meeting is attended by regulars from all over the north and north west as well as North Wales

13 May 2023, Bournville MRC NG & Industrial Exhibition, Longbridge. 2 events in a Day – Part 1

I was headed north to Liverpool from my home in South Wales and, as Longbridge is around half way to the destination and a pit stop was required, I reasoned that an hour in Longbridge compared to half an hour at Frankley Services a few miles further north on the M5, before heading into the giant slow moving car park that is the M6 was basically a no-brainer. It would also have been rude not to pop in anyway as I was passing within 5 miles or so of the venue! So, here are some snaps that I managed to fit in before rushing out into the traffic again, Sorry for the poor quality of most of them.

14 January 2023, Ilton, SWOONS 16th Members Open Day

Around 120 visitors from far and wide, plus another 30 or so, participants, organisers etc agreed that the Merryfield hall, in the small village of Ilton in Somerset, is a great way to start the year, the 009 Soc sales was present with a full table, Matt and Maria’s pasties were as good as ever and certainly from my own perspective, it was another splendidly successful day!

Slightly inaccurate for me of course as I had already started my new year events diary a week before, also in Somerset, as reported in the previous posting at Edington a few miles north west of Ilton, near Taunton, specifically to see Toby Hollins-Jones 5mm gauge 4mm scale miniature railway. So, imagine my surprise when I arrived at Ilton to find both Toby and Peter Hollins present with their 2 layouts that I had travelled 100 miles each way to see just a week before! No matter, good to see them again and add to the photo collection!

Thursday 20 July 2023

07 January 2023, Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust MRX, Edington

I wouldn’t have normally considered driving nearly 100 miles each way to visit a small village hall sized model railway exhibition, however when I learned that Toby Hollins-Jones was attending with a new “miniature-miniature” railway in 005 scale (yes – 00 scale, 5mm gauge track), then, having known Toby and his outstanding modelling skill, since first meeting him at a Wessex NGM event when he was about 11, or maybe even younger, I was determined to try to get to this little show to see what delights he has come up with this time, even if 200 mile round trips by car at the post-Covid cost of living crisis we are all in at present, and the still astronomical price of fuel acts as an ongoing restriction to how far one can afford to travel!

 I was not disappointed and an added bonus was to discover that Toby’s Gorsaf Llanbobble was one of 3 NG layouts attending: Peter Hollins with Burrow Mump in 1:24 scale (but on a unique 25mm gauge track) and what has become a regular fixture in several recent reports, Richard Holder with his Woodbury Wharf. Overall, it was an excellent day out, well worth the distance travelled and I’m glad that I made the effort! (But my next visit to Somerset, just a week later held a couple of surprises – to be revealed in the next report!)

Sunday 16 July 2023

24 September 2022, Small & Delightful Group Open Day, Compton Dundon

For the benefit of those who may not be aware, the “Small & Delightful Group” (S&D Group) is a small band of modellers who generally hail from the area around Shepton Mallet and Glastonbury in Somerset, and for 25 years between 1992 and 2017 organised and ran the great and much missed Narrow Gauge Southwest in Shepton Mallet annually in February. Whilst NGSW has been retired for similar reasons that other large specialist shows have fallen by the wayside – ageing group of organisers, health issues, growing uncertainty regarding access to the venue etc, the group members continue to enjoy and participate in the hobby, and for some years they have also put together a biennial gathering in the village of Compton Dundon, so that they can enjoy meeting up and showing their own layouts, as well as invited ones, plus of course creating an access for visitors to the famously superb cakes and refreshments provided by the Glastonbury Lions Ladies!

 Like everyone else, Covid caused long gaps between being able to put the open day on, and I was very surprised to see that for my part, I had not been able to attend for other health etc reasons that didn’t include the Covid lockdowns, since way back in 2016, so this was a “must attend” in my own diary.

Very poignant as it turned out, because two very well known figures in the narrow gauge model railway hobby, Howard Martin and Rod Allcock both attended and, although it wasn’t known then, this was to be the last time that I met either of them, as they both sadly passed away in early 2023. Both Howard and Rod are much missed by the great number of people who knew them.

LATE NEWS: 16 July 2023 edit: I have just learned that Barrie Baker, a close friend of Howard’s, has announced that it is hoped to put on a special show at Compton Dundon in February 2024 as a fitting “Bye Howard” event and he hopes that a large number of modellers will be able to take part. Within 24 hours of seeing this announcement in NGRM-Online, I read that there were already 24 layout owners committed to come to what will be a superb day out and a fitting memorial. Watch out for further announcements online and hopefully in the model railway press and I certainly have it in my own diary as a fixture not to be missed!

Barrie Baker (left) and the late Howard Martin with Howard's famous (or infamous!) NG Southwest exhibition manager's 10 inches to the foot ruler

Saturday 15 July 2023

25 June 2022, Oxfordshire 009 NGM Open Day, Steventon

Good to see things starting to return after the long Covid lockdown months and my next outing was 2 months after NG South to Steventon in Oxfordshire for the Group’s open day, just like NG South, 4 years after the last one was held in 2018.

It was also very good to find that the Oxfordshire Group had taken the trouble to produce a show guide, it makes things much easier for me and indeed for everyone who has attended, to have some layout descriptions and notes to help us remember much later on what the event was like, what a layout might be called and whose trainset it was and all that!

For the previous 2 years, the Group has been very busy creating and developing their Group Modular Layout and this event has been their first chance as far as I know, to present it to the public. Naturally the result of their endeavours will be revealed in this report, as well as a good number of invited visiting layouts. Unfortunately a late cancellation of Richard Holder’s splendid little layout Woodbury Wharf due to a positive Covid test left a big gap to be filled, but at the 11th hour, this was filled by Malcolm Harrison with his Himalaya & Darjeeling 009 layout Achalraj.

As it always is, an excellent day out was had, well worth the journey for me and many others, some of whom travelled long distances and renew acquaintances with friends and colleagues in the hobby. I hope you enjoy my photo report of the day and, as with other reports recently, apologies for the long delay after the event before I have been able to get it done. I live in hope of catching up to date – sometime!

Saturday 8 July 2023

23 April 2022, Narrow Gauge South, Barton Peverill College, Eastleigh

As Wessex NGM Exhibition Manager for NG South said in the Complimentary Show Guide: "Welcome Back"! 4 long years since the last Biennial NGS was held in 2018, and coming out of the Covid Lockdowns, it was a huge challenge to not only put on a great show and to round up top class layouts, but also to convince a nervous population that it was now safe to attend a big show like this. Although numbers were not surprisingly a bit short of target, there were still enough enthusiasts prepared to travel and come to the show to make it a very worthwhile and viable reward for the enormous amount of effort put in by Tim Couling and his small team of volunteers.

In my introduction text to the report on the last NG South, back in pre-lockdown 2018, I referred to it as the 14th biennial Narrow Gauge South so I started my first draft for this report as a welcome to the 15th NGS. A bit of a surprise therefore to find in the show guide for the next NGS, ie this one in 2022(!) that it started with a welcome to "the 20th" NGS. Not to worry, one of us is 6 shows out of sync, and I'm sure that history will determine who got it right, but it doesn't really matter, as the main thing is to celebrate that it has returned, despite the restrictions that we have all had to bear during the Covid crisis period!

NGS has been run every 2 years (except for 2020!) since 1982 and is now the largest and longest-running specialist narrow gauge model railway show in the UK. Indeed, since the retirements of Expo NG and NG Southwest it can be said that it is one of only two of these large events left - good to see that NG North is still going to continue, following the tragic loss of Andrew Kirkby.

So, on with the show as they say, and how to present the best representation that I can of this momentous occasion! As with previous large reports, and in order to cover as much of the show as possible, I have decided to split the report into no less than 4 parts. Access them in the usual way by clicking on the link text under each of the 4 photos below to open up individual albums for them.

 I hope you enjoy the report!


Well Part 1 got us about a third of the way around the main hall and took me about an hour and a half to get round, so it's time for a coffee break and on the way back from the college restaurant was a good opportunity to dive into the adjacent Nobel Hall where quite a large number of layouts that wouldn't fit into the main hall had been placed.


Moving on, still loads more to see. We're back in the main hall again and after a hearty lunch ready to resume the marathon!


We've now seen every layout that was present at this huge show except for one, which I have saved for the last section of the report. Dick Wyatt's Dovey Valley 009 layout was built in 1976, was first published in Railway Modeller magazine in 1979 and has appeared in well over 150 model railway exhibitions in the ensuing 46 years. Due to his own health reasons, Dick made the decision to retire the layout a while ago and so it was by great good fortune that exhibition manager Tim Couling managed to get Dick to agree to bring the layout out for one last time to Narrow Gauge South 2022. it seems only fitting therefore that I should allocate "star status" and provide an extended report for this superb layout that has appeared all over the country, a number of articles in modelling magazines and even an appearance in a Two Ronnies TV show. I am also very grateful to Paul Steedman who came to the rescue when I discovered that I had taken a large number of close up photos of parts of the layout and its stock, but very few of the overall layout itself. So Paul has kindly let me use a dozen or so of his own images which provide a good selection of overall views before we get down into the weeds as it were. 

I do hope that you have enjoyed this big report - only the third one of this size that I have done, and although I managed to get a 2 part report submitted to 009 News shortly after the show, I very much apologise for the fact that, because of a number of distractions in my life, including family health matters, I have not been able to get this published until 15 months after the event! I was going to just let my blog fade away actually but because a number of people in the hobby have told me that, with some 14 years worth of events visited and reported on, the blog has become quite an historical archive of illustrated reports on narrow gauge modelling events for people to visit and enjoy, I have got myself together and intend to attempt to get back up to date. Please let me know if you spot any errors or howlers and I can then get them put right, in the meantime, please carry on and visit Part 4!