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More than double the number of visitors compared to last year
Enthusiasts steamed through the door for this year’s model railway show at the Calne Leisure Centre, which saw models spanning 100 years of engineering history.
Around 1,400 visitors were treated to more than 30 stands with a wide range of model railway layouts, ranging from the early years of steam to present day diesel and electric.
Exhibition manager Geoff Endacott was pleased to see a good attendance as last year’s exhibition was affected by heavy snowfall and visitor numbers fell to around 700 people.
He said: “It’s nice to be back to normal again, with normal weather and attendance. Obviously it’s more than double last year’s attendance.
“We had quite a huge range of layouts, speaking to people going round I was quite pleased that different people picked different layouts as their favourites.
“One chap actually had a working lorry. The lorry drives in as if by magic and stops, and then a crane unloads the lorry. The kids were fascinated by that.
“We have always had stories over the last decade of what’s going to kill off the model railways, but it’s still popular and you have families with young children going round buying basic train sets.”
The model railway club meets every Tuesday and Thursday evening in a club room next to Chippenham Railway Station and is looking for new members.
It was first started at the John Bentley School in Calne when youngsters at the school got together to build a railway layout for an exhibition in Swindon in 1976.
Mr Endacott said: “This is the 21st annual fair and I have helped to organise all of them.
“We started in 1975 back at the school, so the club is 39 years old. There were four of us there this weekend who were at school together back in the 1970s.
“We do it essentially to pay the rent, we have our club premises at Chippenham Railway Station and we have to pay the bills, so this is our fundraiser.”
The club’s next model railway show is at the Christie Miller Centre in Melksham on April 12 from 10am to 5.30pm and on April 13 from 10am to 5pm.
To get in touch visit www.bmrg.org.uk or call (01249) 657283.
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