A small part of Hyndburn has been re-created in miniature and will be making its public debut at the Blackburn and East Lancashire Model Railway Society’s 50th show at the Hyndburn Leisure Centre over the weekend of 5 & 6 September.
The star attraction at the event will be a 12ft-long working model of Rishton Station as it appeared in the 1950s and early 1960s with typical passenger and goods trains of the period in operation travelling between Blackburn and Accrington and beyond - when, of course, steam still reigned supreme.
The layout is the culmination of two years of hard work by four members of the society at their HQ at Oswaldtwistle Mills Business Centre and is in N Gauge - that’s half the size of OO at a model scale of 2mm to the foot.
Working from a portfolio of old black and white photographs mainly sourced from railway history books, the group have produced a scale model of the original station buildings and goods yard plus the immediate surrounding area including the Rishton Arms pub - complete with its original bowling green.
Also re-created in 2mm scale is the old coal yard next to the station with its row of garages and the nearby housing estate of Woodside Avenue - although this is shown under construction to add interest for the viewing public. Coincidentally, one member of the layout group actually lives in one of the houses - which is depicted in miniature laid out in its foundations awaiting the first bricks to be laid!
Another fascinating feature of the layout is a re-creation of the unique double storey signal box which formerly stood at the Accrington end of the station area. This 1925 structure was demolished long ago but the group felt that it was of such interest that it should be included and a miniature version was made working from old photographs.
Up to 20 other model railway layouts in N, OO and O Gauges will also be in operation at the exhibition. Also making its debut will be another N Gauge layout being constructed by a group of club members. This is Cajon Pass, a large American layout which is being displayed in part-built condition.
Other layouts featured will include another steam-era Lancashire location, Holcombe Brook and Tottington in OO, plus Hintern den Vorne, a Continental-themed layout in N Gauge, Arhtalzweibruck, a Continental layout in O Gauge, and Burnden Road, Fernbank and Livesey Lane steam and diesel layouts in OO.
Several experts will be on hand over the weekend to give demonstrations of modelling techniques and there will be a club display layout on which visitors can see models of various scales in operation. There will be a OO Thomas the Tank Engine layout for young children, and also present will be a wide selection of trade stands selling everything you need for the hobby.
The exhibition is at the Hyndburn Leisure Centre, Henry Street, Church, Accrington, BB5 4EP on 6 & 7 September and is open from 10am to 5pm both days. Admission is £7 for adults and accompanied children are free. Unaccompanied children are admitted for £4, and there is also a two-day adult ticket available at £10.
The Leisure Centre has easy access for disabled visitors and there is off-street parking. Refreshments will be available in the Leisure Centre café.
The society meets weekly at Oswaldtwistle Mills Business Centre and new members are always welcome. For further information, contact one of our members at the show or Honorary Secretary Andy Shaw on 01254-238187.