ONE FOR THE BOYS – TRAINS, TRACKS AND BEER!
By Ann Evans
Photos: Rob Tysall
Whether it’s the nostalgia element or just the fascination with railways throughout the ages, there’s certainly masses of interest for all things to do with the railways whether full sized or scaled models.
If trains and model railways are your thing, then this Sunday (November 6th) the Burton Railway Society (BRS) will be holding their sixth Burton ModelRailex at the National Brewery Centre in Burton-on-Trent.
The society’s show this year has been named The Barrie Nicholls Memorial Show to commemorate BRS member Barrie Nicholls, who took ill on the morning of last year’s show and sadly passed away that night.
Around a dozen railway layouts will be exhibited in various gauges ranging from the tiny N gauge right through to the American HO gauge, covering steam, electric and diesel, passenger and freight. A Thomas layout will delight the youngsters and there will also be two superb displays of static large scale models by Peter Marshall and Adrian Ford.
Around 14 trader stands will be offering all things related to model railways; also demonstrations from David Wright (Dovedale Models) and Brendan Walsh. The Shackerstone Railway Society will be there and The Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society.
The organisers of Burton Model Railex are Chris Eaton and Jeff Howard. Chris said, “Our ModelRailEx shows usually see around 400-600 people on the day. And it’s always a good combined effort between the society and the National Brewery Centre, as they offer entrance to the museum and all the facilities here for the single price of just £4. So people who have come to the museum get into the Model Railex show too and Railex customers get to look around the museum.”
Since the 1700s Burton has been at the heart of the brewing industry and visitors will love the 18th century buildings and cobbled courtyard. They can learn about the old machinery once used in beer making as well as seeing the classic vintage vehicles and the magnificent shire horses. You can even take a ride on a horse-drawn dray.
Inside this fascinating museum, there’s interactive displays and atmospheric life-like scenes depicting the working life of the people involved in brewing in the 18th and 19th centuries. And something not to be missed for train enthusiasts is the Bass Train. This wonderful 1901 steam locomotive stands at the reconstructed Edwardian Ale dock platform along with an 1887 Directors’ Saloon Carriage and a 1926 vintage diesel shunting loco which volunteers have been working on, restoring them back to their former glory.
If all this exploring works up a thirst or an appetite here’s plenty of refreshments on hand with a choice of quality cask ales. The Brewery Tap Bar and Restaurant will be open, and you can even book for Sunday lunch.
A great family day out not to be missed.
Burton Railway Society have been established since 1985. They meet on the first Wednesday of each month at Marston’s Sports and Social Club in Burton. They welcome new members.
The BRS Model Railex Show takes place at the National Brewery Centre, Horninglow Street, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffs, DE14 1NG from 10am-4pm. Admission £4, child £1, family £9. Ticket price includes entry to the Brewery Museum, static road and rail exhibits, Robey steam engine, Shire horses.
The National Brewery Centre is open every day except Christmas and Boxing Days. Visit their website for opening times and normal admission prices. Free parking. Disabled access. The Brewery Tap Bar and Restaurant are open. Booking in advance for the Sunday Carvery is recommended 01283-532880. Www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk
Find out more about the BRS Railway Society: http://www.burtonrailwaysociety.co.uk/