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Model Railway Exhibition - 29th/30th June 2013

For the first time in a number of years, Honeywood Museum played host to a Model Railways exhibition over the weekend of 29th and 30th June. Featuring exhibits from Croydon Model Railway Society and Carshalton & Sutton Model Railway Club the weekend was a great success, as the two reports (with thanks to Peter Wood of the Croydon MRS) clearly illustrate!!

‘Tramlink’ at Honeywood Museum, Carshalton David Stocks

By all accounts the railway themed weekend of 29th /30th June at the Honeywood Museum was a great success. Jane Howard, the Curator, seemed well pleased at the ‘close of play’ on the Sunday evening and may well wish to hold a similar exhibition again.

The event was held in collaboration with Carshalton & Sutton Model Railway Club, who exhibited one of their layouts, and Croydon MRS who exhibited ‘Hemlock’, Avon Sidings’ and ‘Croydon Tramlink’ and Ray Butler’s private layout ‘Tarttila’.

Spread throughout a number of rooms on two floors, the museum provides a fascinating history of Carshalton and its surrounding area. On the railway theme there was an interesting display of early 20th Century photos of the railway through Waddon, Carshalton and Sutton, assembled on the snooker table in the largest room on the ground floor. In the same room was ‘Avon Sidings’ which seemed to be providing plenty of entertainment for the younger visitors attempting the ‘shunting puzzle’.

<<< Honeywood Museum overlooks the well-known ponds at Carshalton

The railway theme was continued on the back lawn under a large gazebo where a plentiful supply of paints, paint brushes and paper glue was available to ‘youngsters’ of all ages to colour outline pictures of various trains, or glue pre-cut card parts together to build their own loco. This area was well patronised throughout the event, as observed by the ‘Tramlink’ team in the room overlooking the garden.

The ‘Tramlink’ layout, not having been out for over two years, needed much TLC before being exhibited.

It ran almost faultlessly during the two days and was well received by a steady flow of visitors, with plenty of questions asked, especially regarding possible extensions to the Croydon system. These were prompted by the fact that various extensions have already been completed or are in progress on other UK systems, particularly in Manchester. Probably the only answer to that question at the moment is that our neighbouring boroughs and Boris (Mayor of London) fully support an extension to Crystal Palace provided the money is available. But when and where is that money? Answers on a postcard, please.

Hardly anybody commented on our tram remaining in the original red/white livery. I think they accepted that the diorama was a snapshot in time. One visitor proudly pointed to his office window on the fourth floor of St Anne House.

I wish to thank Ron H, Don C, Kieran H and Peter W for their support in transporting and manning the layout at various times throughout the two-day event.

A Weekend at Honeywood with ‘Hemlock’ Richard Preece

For me the weekend started just after lunch on Friday when I arrived at the club, though I wasn’t the first there. Mike and I had to pack Hemlock and then load it in the car. When Avon Sidings was loaded they went off to clear the area and we helped load Tramlink and then followed them to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic. Unfortunately this did not work as we got caught by traffic lights and then I missed Ron showing me a short cut.

We actually reached our destination first but as they had two cars we moved off to find somewhere to park which we found in a pub car park. So we took advantage of their beer festival and arrived at the museum at booked arrival time and unloaded Hemlock and were helped up the dogleg staircase to our room, where, with help, we put Hemlock up, and then headed off to a prior engagement.

I decided to go by bus Saturday morning and had cleaned the track by the time Mike arrived with the stock and a controller. We finished the set up and got things working well by the time the Museum opened its doors.

We had a lot of interest from the visitors and were kept going by frequent cups of drink and biscuits.

Unfortunately we had under estimated the available members so we had to have a short break sitting outside the French windows on the dwarf wall to have a sandwich break. We did have visitors in the afternoon from the club but didn’t manage to persuade them to have a go so that one of us could have a break and in my case rest my voice from answering lots of questions.

<<< This a glimpse of Oak Hill Depot, a fine 4mm DCC layout

Sunday I took the car to bring the layout back in the evening and was much the same as Saturday though with I thought not so many visitors.

We were grateful for Alan coming up to rather apprehensively take over operating so that we could have alternative lunch breaks and have a little longer break We eventually managed to prize the controller out of his hand in the middle of the afternoon, we tend to watch and can usually spot when someone is getting tired.

Highlights or worries over the weekend were the two boys with their parents who did not seem to understand “do not touch”, however their parents eventually managed to regain control and took them away.

With some help from Chris and Neil and the Curator we managed to get Hemlock dropped and down so that she could close up at 6:00pm.

We then drove back to the Club and managed to get the cars unloaded and we were all away by 7.00 pm. I think a good weekend was had by all.

Unless otherwise stated, all images and text on this page are
Copyright © Richard Preece, David Stocks and Peter Wood 2013 and The Friends of Honeywood Museum

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