Small is best in successful railway exhibition

Guest exhibitor Des Trollip with his South African orange estate model.''Picture by Louise Adams C130682-1 Bog May23 Railway.
Guest exhibitor Des Trollip with his South African orange estate model.''Picture by Louise Adams C130682-1 Bog May23 Railway.

A MINIATURE world was a big success at a Felpham railway exhibition.

The fifth staging of the SWING exhibition held by the South Downs 7mm Group was the largest yet.

Eleven layouts, from as far away as Cambridge, were among the 20 stands of last Saturday’s (May 18) event at St Mary’s Centre in Felpham.

Organiser Richard Rundle said: “This is not a particularly big show but it represents some of the finest layouts in the south of England. They are all about theatre.

“The layouts and the fascias are the stage set and the locomotives and the wagons are the actors.”

Some of the layouts were based on real railways, such as Wantage and Longmoor. Others were pure fantasy.

One of those who took part was theatre designer Giles Favell, 52, from Greenford, Middlesex, whose End of the Line display based on a colliery somewhere in the Midlands featured a moving lorry as well as trains for the first time.

“The level of artistry in some of the displays is extraordinarily good,” he said. “The standard gets higher every year. It’s certainly a show worth travelling to take part in.”

Other displays based on the imagination included Zebedeila Citrus, which recreated a South African estate, and Hook Basin, loosely placed in Oxfordshire.

A first for the show was a ride-on miniature railway from West Chiltington offering short journeys at the back of the hall.

The show was set to raise £500 for 4Sight. This will take the total contributions from the event to the charity to about £1,000 to help its work with blind and partially sighted people in West Sussex.