I visited the Midlands Model engineering Exhibition in Warwickshire on Thursday (13th). Arrived around 10AM after a good journey along the M40 and A423. Only slight delay caused by construction work for HS2 just outside Southam. Found something that vaguely resembled coffee and then started off around the show. First thing to be said is, that to me, it appeared smaller than on previous years. Particularly noticeable in Hall 2 where about one third of the space had been set aside for tables and chairs. Outside also looked a bit sparse with only twelve of the Fosse Way Steamers in action. The usual portable rail track was absent as were any other outside displays save two catering wagons.
This was my ‘Best in Show’ a diorama of Lympsham Wharf on the River Axe with an impressive model of (1) the Severn trow Ashmead by Anthony Judd. These barges were used for local trade in coal and timber on and around the River Severn. This is a freelance model based on Bridgewater built Norah (c.1868). Ashmead was build as a radio controlled sailing model and is fully operational with servos controlling the rigging and rudder. The diorama was added later. Photo does not do the model justice due to the poor lighting and crowded background. I thought this would make an excellent museum display, when her sailing days are over of course. Gained 3rd place in competition class 10.
Practically the first exhibit you see on entry is (2) this large vertical column engine, the label unfortunately described it as a ‘vertical boiler‘, hopefully the label was altered at some point in the show. Cooch & Son were agricultural equipment makers in Nottingham but I am unable to find any mention of steam engines, their speciality was potato sorters, so not much help there. Reminiscent of the Benson vertical column engines but the column appears parallel rather than tapered. Nevertheless a fine model by John Fysh and competition winner in class 5.
For A Larger View – Click On The Image
Just so that there is no misunderstanding this is a vertical boiler!
On the Wolverhampton & District Model Engineering Society was this freelance model of a vertical steam boiler and associated plant (3). The boiler was sized to suit a section of 6.625″ copper tube from a club member. The boiler is based on an Atkinson vertical boiler but with larger fire tubes. At the front of the picture are plastic patterns used to cast the ash pan vent, chimney cap and base. The boiler can be used to steam a Stuart No.4 engine and future projects along with testing injectors. An excellent piece of kit by Dave Bickerton.
Visited the Warwickshire show on Thursday and the first thing I noticed was that the usual large Warco stand was no longer welcoming visitors by the main entrance having been replaced by a number of smaller trade stands. So this year by the door was Station Road Steam, 17D Miniatures and Keith Robinson Engineering Tools whilst RDG had taken a couple of the spaces to add to their very large sales area.
There were a few new exhibitors this year one of those being Eric’s Railway Art, he had plenty of prints available to buy and was painting a new masterpiece during the show. The image from his flyer is reproduced on the left and his website is worth a look.
Another layout change was that the “lecture theatre” had moved to a screened off area of the main hall. Apparently some attending lectures found the noise from outside a bit off-putting. This also made the show area a bit smaller than normal.
Other new trade stands included: CL9UD or Cloud Nine if you prefer selling various phone related gizmos and cables; ExGlo UK demonstrating something to do with power drills; Just the Ticket traction engine and large scale rail model engineering supplies; Large Scale Locomotives and Steam Age Nameplates, were the ones I noticed.
Hall 2, where the majority of the club stands are located, seemed slightly emptier than usual although according to the plan in the show guide the layout was similar to last year but with a small competition stand placed between Wolverhampton MES and the Gas Turbine Association stands.
Working clockwise around the hall I started at the Guild of Model Wheelwrights who had one of there usual fine displays. I am always impressed by the level of detail in these relatively small models. The combination of metalwork, woodwork and other skills is incredible. I was particularly taken with the Kessler Dumping Wagon by Brian Young but the whole display was excellent. A couple of images below to encourage your wagon building and wheelwright ambitions. (Click On An Image To Magnify)
I note from their website that, sadly, the Guild is no more. Closed from October last year due in the main to declining membership. It is to be hoped that the individual members continue to provide an excellent display at the various model engineering shows for a few more years yet. Continue reading “Midlands MEX 2019”
Sunday being St.George’s Day I set out on a quest to visit the Spalding Model Engineering and Hobby Show. Despite the best efforts of the dragon, in the form of the Highways England re-surfacing crew, I survived the considerable delay on the A16 and arrived at about 10:30. A quick cup of coffee in the restaurant and I was ready to take in the show.
Outside there was a very good turnout from the traction engine fraternity. I counted 18 engines in steam and a couple of static steam models being demonstrated. The Burrell road locomotive “Albert” pictured above was very nicely turned out, I am guessing 3″ scale, I didn’t see the owner/driver to talk to.
Click On Images For Larger View
This rather strange engine named “Aenigma” caught my eye. It certainly lives up to it’s name, looks like a cross between a portable engine and a traction engine. The cylinder block is at the wrong end with a chain drive to the rear wheels. It is vaguely reminiscent of the American Case engines but the wheels are English. The boiler seems very long and the wood cladding acentuates this. I cannot find any information on this engine as I was taking photos at lunch time and no one was about.
The display of boilers and stationary engines was interesting with plenty of signage to deter small boys, and the not so small, fingering hot bits. One of the engines was driving a selection of Mamod machine tools invoking boyhood memories of playing with a Mamod steam engine, though I never had that many workshop machines to drive. Plenty of info on the stand explaining the setup and how the boilers were made.
Went to the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition on Thursday. An uneventual and speedy journey meant I arrived just before 10:00 and the car park was already filling up. A quick cup of something that vaguely resembled coffee in the mezzanine restaurant and I was ready with the camera. It was quite busy and not always easy to get good photographs and the ropes around some of the stands kept getting in the way. (Click On An Image For A Larger View)
This would be my choice for a prize, a marine triple expansion engine to an O.B. Bolton design in 1/12 scale, owner is Brian Newbound. I think this is based on the casting set from Brunell Models. The construction series was in Model Engineer from August 1985. A very good looking engine but I don′t know who built this one.
Two 7¼” locomotives caught my eye. The first is a ⅓ full size model of Phillips and Rangeley Railroad No. 3. (George M Goodwin) This is a 2-6-0 tender engine built for the lumber trade. The original, 2 foot gauge engine, was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1891 works number 11706. This model has been professionally built by Cromar White for Bob Whitfield in 7¼” gauge. The engine is huge and will probably soon be seen on the Echills Wood Railway in Kingsbury Water Park.
A bit smaller but none the less impressive is this model of Charles an 0-4-0 saddle tank quarry locomotive, part of the City of Oxford Society of Model Engineers display. The original was built by the Hunslet Engine Company Ltd of Leeds in 1882, with a works number of 283. for the 1′ 10¾” gauge Penrhyn Railway to carry slate from the Bethesda quarry.
The Model Engineer Exhibition moved to Brooklands Museum in Surrey this year after a short break. Set inside part of the old Brooklands motor racing circuit, the Museum celebrates the motor racing and aviation history of the area. Brooklands Circuit was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, built by local landowner Hugh Locke King in 1906. The circuit is 2¾ miles long with steeply banked curves and an extra ½ mile start / finish straight in front of the clubhouse. Much of the original concrete circuit remains but you wouldn′t want to race on it now, the surface is very rough and I doubt it was exactly smooth when it was new. (Click On An Image For A Larger View)
With both the museum exhibits and the exhibition there was plenty to see. The competition and loan models together with the club stands were based in the museum whilst the trade stands were in a large marquee. On-site catering was good and there was plenty of seating both in the restaurant and close to the models. There was also plenty of outside seating available once it stopped raining and dried out.
The traders area was well supported but some of the “usual” suppliers were noticeable by their absence. A view inside the marquee (2) showing Chester Tools stand, quite a bit smaller display than I have seen before. With the increase in on-line sales and increasing costs of attending a show I think this will become the norm for future exhibitions. I had a quick look round but my wallet stayed resolutely in my pocket. Off to the model displays which were based in and around the clubhouse (3), built around 1907 it houses the members billiards room, the clerk of the course office, and you could find similar buildings on most horse racing courses of the period.
Braved Saturday′s somewhat inclement weather to drive the 110 miles to visit the Bristol Model Engineering & Model Making Exhibition. The exhibition, as in previous years, takes over most of the available space at the Thornbury Leisure Centre. Slightly different layout this year as the Centre was using one of the smaller rooms but plenty of models for visitors to enjoy and enough traders to supply all those engineering necessities and lighten your wallet. By my reckoning about 40 trade stands, 50 club stands and some 40 private exhibitors helped fill the display stands.
GWR Swindon works celebrates it′s 175th year and the BSMEE stand acknowledges this with a fine display of GWR locos. The Society also promoted a theme of “model making” for the show and this is reflected in the change of name for the event, which the observant will have noticed, I didn′t until I read the exhibition guide! Some of the GWR locos on display (1), two Saints nearest the camera 2908 and 2915 with 2286 a 0-6-0 Collet design tender loco on the left. Click On Photos For A Larger Image.
At the opposite end to the Saints are; (2) Frilsham Manor 7816 and Bradley Manor 7802. A general view of the BSMEE stand (3) and a view from the balcony (4) which shows how quiet it was, I think the weather and the Olympics conspired to keep potential visitors at home, apparently Friday was a lot busier. As last year I have selected just a few of the hundreds of exhibits on display.