Larger venue for tenth SWING exhibition

Chris Davis from Bognor Regis Model  Railway Club and Tom Baker Owens 11, with the layout at last year's SWING. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170883-2
Chris Davis from Bognor Regis Model Railway Club and Tom Baker Owens 11, with the layout at last year's SWING. Picture: Kate Shemilt ks170883-2

Modellers are preparing for their club’s tenth birthday exhibition and plan to raise money for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice to help celebrate.

The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association’s South Downs Area Group will also be marking the milestone with a move to a new, larger venue for the annual exhibition.

Affectionately known as SWING, the exhibition is now well established and thought to be the largest dedicated to the genre, having started with humble beginnings at St Wilfrid’s Church hall in Aldwick in 2009.

This year’s show will be held at The Littlehampton Academy, in Fitzalan Road, Littlehampton, on Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm.

More visitors than ever before are expected, especially as two members appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch last month, talking to Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer about the history of railway modelling and the exhibition.

The show will remain true to its founding principle of showcasing the work of some of Britain’s finest model makers, with the emphasis on those who are inspired by industrial railways, trams and light railways or narrow gauge lines.

It will bring together 25 outstanding model railway layouts in a range of scales and gauges, from N to G.

Richard Rundle, exhibition manager, said: “We hope we get a really large attendance at the show. For our tenth birthday, we’re pulling out all the stops to put on our best show ever.

“Even with the extra space at The Littlehampton Academy, it has still been a real squeeze to fit everything in. If anyone has not paid us a visit before, why not pop along and experience the superb artistry and top quality craftsmanship on display?”

The group is pleased to be supporting Chestnut Tree House as it celebrates its 15th birthday this year.

Richard added: “I know of the wonderful work of Chestnut Tree House, having visited their facilities last month to meet some of the team. By coming along, you’ll be supporting a great local charity. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the clash with the royal wedding will not keep visitors away.”

Traders will be offering a broad range of items and there will be demonstrations of scenic modelling, weathering techniques and kit building. Weather-permitting, there will also be a ride-on railway.

Tickets £6, members £5, children under-14 free with a paying adult. Visit swing.model-railway.org.uk for more information.

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PICTURES: SWING model railway exhibition 2017