This Saturday, 25th October 2014, the Chichester Lions will once again be at Chichester High School for Boys, Kingsham Road, Chichester for their 20th Annual Model Miniature Railway Exhibition. An event which provides fun for families and railway enthusiasts alike.
This is the fourth year that Toovey’s toy specialists, Chris Gale and Gordon Gardiner, will be in attendance donating their expertise in support of this Chichester Lions event. They will be available to offer free valuations and advice on people’s toy collections and model railways. Chris Gale comments “Trevor Edwards and his team always organise a great event. Everyone who comes is such an enthusiast.” Gordon Gardiner adds “It’s always a pleasure!”
Tinplate toy trains like those made by Bing and other German makers were exclusive and expensive in the early 20th Century. Frank Hornby was behind the move to manufacture model railways for the masses. He had invented Meccano in 1901 but it was not until after the Great War that he went on to make model trains. Almost a century later Hornby trains still have the ability to capture the imagination of the enthusiast, both young and old. Frank Hornby developed a new product in the form of the O gauge train set. It was intended to rival the tinplate toys of Germany and from 1920 they carried their inventor’s name – Hornby. He quickly realized that toy train enthusiasts wanted to make their railway layouts as realistic as possible. Various accessories were added to production like the station and signalling illustrated here.
The Second World War halted production of toys at the ‘Binns Road’ factory in Liverpool with attention turning to war work. They even raised funds for a ‘Meccano’ Spitfire by creating a special pendant to purchase the aircraft. Immediately after the war, the government insisted on Meccano focusing on their export market to help pay off the war debt.
The Chichester Lions, Annual Model Miniature Railway Exhibition caters for most model railway enthusiasts with gauges N, OO and O in evidence. Additional family fun is provided by live steam exhibits with rides. Chris enthuses “There are always a diverse range of railway layouts and exhibits on display which are very popular with visitors – it’s always very busy!” Many of the train sets have realistic landscapes and accessories inspired by the earlier production of Hornby.
Childhood associations with toys and model trains often seed a lifelong interest, so I’m not surprised that the event should be so popular. It provides the opportunity for us to celebrate an enthusiasm for toys and model railways and support the wonderful work that the Chichester Lions do in our local community.
The Chichester Lions, 20th Annual Model Miniature Railway Exhibition is the perfect opportunity to indulge a love of railways. The exhibition is open from 10.00am to 4.30pm on Saturday 25th October 2014 at Chichester High School for Boys, Kingsham Road, Chichester, PO19 8AE. For ticket prices and more information go to www.chilions.org.uk.