Full steam ahead at Uckfield Civic Centre

Model railway exhibition
Model railway exhibition

Wealden’s steam, diesel and even electric train buffs enjoyed their favourite weekend of the year when Uckfield Model Railway Club held its 30th exhibition at the Civic Centre.

Far from being a minority attraction, the show proves to be one of the largest events staged throughout the year at the Civic Centre, attracting 1,800 visitors from the local area as well as those coming from much further away.

The show has a reputation for providing some of Britain’s best layouts and exhibitors this year came from as far as Cornwall in the south, Dover and Cambridgeshire in the east.

Some visitors even arranged their holidays or work schedules to fit around the exhibition with return visitors from France and Portugal among those attending this year.

The mayor of Uckfield, Cllr Ian Smith was guided around the show on Saturday morning by the organising club’s president, Keith Nock. He was as impressed as everyone else and joined other visitors to comment on the extraordinary level of detail and variety of exhibits as well as a varied trade selection offering something for all modellers - not just those interested in model railways.

A Best Layout in Show contest was held and visitors had the chance to vote for their favourites. The winner was a local ‘OO’ layout built by Andy Jones from East Sussex and modelled on the town of Herstmonceux.

Second was Arigna Town by Dave Holman from Kent in the larger ‘O’ scale and for the first time in the show’s history there was a three way tie for third place between the local Plumpton Green in P4 by Barry Luck from East Sussex, Tucking Mill by Jerry Clifford from Wiltshire in the small ‘N’ gauge and Burshaw North Western by Dave Forshaw from West Sussex, also in ‘N’.

Other layouts were Portskerra, Wenfordbridge Good Depot, Felsham Lane, Ravenscroft Sidings, Bankfield Road, Balnakeil, Awngate, Bahnhof Hofen and Santa Barbara.

The next exhibition will be October 17 to 19 next year.