PICTURES: SWING Model Railway Exhibition

Model railway enthusiasts were out in force to attend the annual SWING model railway exhibition in its tenth year.

The exhibition on Saturday was held at the Littlehampton Academy, a larger venue than had previously been used for the event in Bognor Regis.

DM1851725a.jpg. Annual Swing model railway exhibition in Littlehampton. Peter Evans and son Jake 4. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

DM1851725a.jpg. Annual Swing model railway exhibition in Littlehampton. Peter Evans and son Jake 4. Photo by Derek Martin Photography

Organisers said that despite stiff competition from the Royal Wedding and the FA Cup final, a record number of more than 450 visitors attended to see 25 model railway layouts in action.

Richard Rundle, exhibition manager, said: “We received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the show and our new venue. Our visitors were thrilled at the extra layouts and other stands we’d been able to fit in and our exhibitors loved the light and spacious exhibition space.”

There were freight trains running on a ‘OO’ layout owned by Adrian Taylor from Bognor Regis Model Railway Club. Also on display was Valencia Harbour, based on a broad gauge branch line which ran to a remote spot in the west of Ireland.

During the event visitors voted for their favourite layout to receive the John Hayward Shield, awarded in memory of founder member of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association and former mayor of Bognor Regis.

The winner this time was a 36 foot long Gn45 layout called Hambledon. It was said to captivate visitors all day long, and was also awarded the Ernie House cup after being chosen as the best layout by fellow exhibitors at the show.

The exhibition raised funds for Chestnut Tree House, the children’s hospice for Sussex.

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, community fundraiser, said: “We are so very grateful to SWING for their support. Their offer to fundraise for us is crucial in enabling us to continue providing our free services across the whole of East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.”

To find out more about the South Downs Area Group of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association, visit swing.model-railway.org.uk
Richard said: “If anyone is interested in learning more about our hobby and in particular has an interest in narrow gauge railways we would welcome them getting in touch and joining us. Come along to our open day on Saturday, June 23 at Southbourne Men’s shed, New Rd, Southbourne between 10:30am to 4pm.