going ‘loco’ for model railways

A MODEL railway event has been hailed a “runaway success” as visitors packed out a South Tyneside community centre.

Perth Green Model Railway Club has been hosting its annual exhibition for the past 27 years.

Each year the event attracts almost 1,000 people through the doors of Perth Green Community Centre in Inverness Road, Jarrow.

This year was no exception as model railway enthusiasts travelled from across the country to either showcase their creations, or to see one of the many exhibitions – which included scenes from Donegal, North Wales, Sunderland and Blackpool Illuminations, in action.

This year the event also saw Perth Green Camera Club put on a display of railway-themed images, taken throughout the years in South Tyneside.

One of the youngest exhibitors was Jack Docherty, eight, who had travelled with his dad John from Consett to show off his creation, which mixed scenes from yesteryear with more modern times.

Mr Docherty said: “This is the first time Jack has showcased his work at an exhibition.

“I’m a model railway enthusiast and Jack asked if he could get involved, so I said yes.

“We worked on his layout together. He told me what he wanted and we put it together.

“It took us just over three months and cost £200 altogether.

“He’s already planning what he wants to do for his next one.”

Exhibitor Peter Rose, originally from Sunderland, but who now lives in Birtley, was showcasing his layout depicting a typical street scene in Sunderland, during the era of the trams.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in model railways, so when I retired my wife said why don’t you build a railway.

“When I said about the space, she suggested I did trams so that’s where the idea come from – my wife, Lesley.

“Once I built it, I made it to fit into a cupboard. That was the intention, but my wife said I should show it, so that’s why I am here.”

An eye-catching 16 layouts were on display, with one exhibitor travelling all the way from Essex for the weekend show.

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham and Stella Matthewson.

Club member Paul Varey, said; “This is our annual exhibition and we have had exhibitors from across the country this year.

“It’s just great to see so many people turning out and having fun.

“It is a lot of hard work putting an event of this kind on, but it feels good when you see the amount of people year on year coming through the doors, and that people are still interested.

“We’ve had the Perth Green Camera Club this year, which has also added to the exhibition.”

The Perth Green Model Railway Club meets at Perth Green Community Centre on Wednesdays 7pm until 10pm.