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NWAG's Day Out in Rainhill


The North West Group of the L&B had a very successful day at the 009 Society Narrow Gauge Railway Modelling Exhibition on Saturday 25th November 2017.

It was the first time we have had an L&B stand at this show, which is held in the Village Hall in Rainhill near St Helens, Lancashire. Rainhill is of course known to railway enthusiasts as the location where Stephenson’s Rocket won the locomotive trials, prior to the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. From the windows of the hall, we could see trains passing on the recently electrified Liverpool and Manchester route.

The annual event is arranged to coincide with the Christmas Exhibition of the Rainhill Model Railway Club. They use the downstairs hall, and provide the refreshments for visitors, and Santa’s Grotto for the younger visitors, whilst the 009 Society organises their show in the upstairs hall. It is a small but friendly one-day event.

Bob Barnard and Peter Ainley were on duty, arriving early to find that snow had fallen overnight in the Rainhill area! NW group volunteer Ron Dumbell visited us during the day, as did several other local L&B members. We had agreed to take a static L&B model as well as our usual display and sales stand, this time having Bob’s Barnstaple Town layout on view. We would have run engines up and down, but unfortunately were allocated a space in the centre of the room, without access to a power supply…

Peter Ainley looking serious before the crowds began to appear

We were busy most of the day until the end of the afternoon. The books ‘Lyn Returns’ and ‘Modelling the L&B’ both sold well during the day. Our copy of Tony Nicholson’s book ‘The Lynton & Barnstaple Railway – A Celebration’ was admired, but unfortunately, no-one had sufficient cash on them to purchase it – we would have sold it if we had taken credit cards! A couple of visitors we spoke to had already bought it, though. 2018 calendars and other books were sold, including our last copy of Catering Manager Judy Williams ‘Woody Bay Cookbook’.

The 009 L&B kits produced by Bristol member Paul Levy also proved popular, as did the mounted photographic prints prepared for the L&B by regular working-weekend and Gala volunteer James Bloomfield, On sale for the first time, these prints were much admired, and we sold the greater part of our stock during the day. One visitor couldn’t decide between two images, so bought both!


The next NW event will be when Bob gives a talk about the L&B to the RCTS Chester & North Wales Branch, on Monday 18 December 2017. The talk is at The Town Crier pub, City Road (opposite the railway station), Chester, CH1 3AE, starting at 19.30.

Our next meeting will be held during February 2018 (date to be confirmed) in central Manchester, when we hope to have a talk by Chris Duffell - part of the L&B’s Construction and Design team on the fascinating process of establishing - by means of historical records, maps, aerial surveys and site inspections - the precise details and state of the trackbed and structures on the proposed extension to Wistlandpound, This will be an updated version of the talk Chris gave to the Members’ Forum in Devon on 12 November 2017.


Bob Barnard

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