Walking in a Warley Wonderland

Ian Lamb, who lent a hand on RMM’s much-visited stand at this year’s Warley Model Railway Club Exhibition at the NEC on November 24-25, brings his impressions of an event to remember.

While the main focal point of Warley Model Railway Club is its annual National Model Railway Exhibition in Birmingham, now considered the leading European event for our hobby, its members are also a vibrant group modelling railways in various scales, including the more esoteric, in its own permanent clubrooms.

All the magnificence of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway’s 15in-gauge, 1925-built Pacific locomotive Northern Chief is seen in this footplate shot by Nigel Burkin. The railway represents the largest model railway engineering project in the UK, and the display – which also included the 4-8-2 Mountain locomotive Samson in blue — was so popular with visitors that obtaining this picture was far from easy!

The massive NEC event has now reached its 26th year, although Warley MRC has a 51-year pedigree of organising such ventures.

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Before this year’s big event, Warley had been voted the UK’s top model railway show once again by the readers of British Railway Modelling magazine, and this great family day out remains a ‘must’ for all railway modellers.

Encouraged by the ‘Kids for a Quid’ opportunity for accompanied children – and essential for the hobby – many youngsters were present.

There’s always an international flavour to some of the exhibits at the Warley Exhibition, and ‘Neu Birkenfield’ on stand C44 took this year’s Continental Modeller Trophy. Photo courtesy David Moorhouse, WMRC.

In recent issues of RMM the attractions of the Warley 2018 show were previewed to entice enthusiasts from home and abroad to descend on Birmingham in the hope of finding that long sought-after accessory or bargain model in such a convenient common-interest meeting place, or simply enjoy a great day out in the wonderland of model railways, and the attendance figure is likely to be around 10% up on last year’s 17,000.

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In reporting on such a massive event, it simply isn’t possible to do justice to every layout, trade stand or exhibitor, and inevitably one is drawn to the specific stands that meet personal needs and interests for support and inspiration.

With around 90 layouts and 180 trade stands, Warley grasped the opportunity to show just how vast and wide the model railway hobby really is, without solely relying on ‘word of mouth’ or media promotions to do so.

For the full article and to view more images, see the January 2019 edition of Modelling – available now!

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For a complete list of stockists and how to get your copy, visit: www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/distribution.

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt