Buxton Pavilion Gardens to host first model railway show in decades

A group of railway modellers from across the High Peak and beyond are laying down the tracks for the first major exhibition staged in Buxton for many years.

By Ed Dingwall
Wednesday, 29th June 2022, 4:35 pm

Railex Buxton will bring together modellers from all over the country in a spectacular display of life in miniature at the Pavilion Gardens’ Octagon over the weekend of July 2-3.

Spokesman Mark Henshaw, 54, said: “It’s the first show in Buxton for about 20 years, and we’ll have at least 20 working railway models, from tabletop layouts to others with the footprint of a house.

“It’s not a jumble sale show. As modellers ourselves, we want to put on good stuff and a full show without any gaps. As well as the layouts we’ll have trade supporters from model shops, specialist suppliers and national associations and clubs demonstrating particular skills and techniques.”

The show will feature more than 20 stunning model rail layouts.

Railex has grown out of a group with members in Buxton, Whaley Bridge, Chapel, Tideswell and Cheshire which previously staged events in Poynton. During the pandemic, they decided to scale up their ambitions.

Mark said: “The earlier generations of modellers are smaller now and we’re hoping we can encourage more people to get into the hobby. As local exhibitions grew in popularity, they moved to larger premises like schools and leisure centres but that took them away from the general public, and a large audience of people who might have been interested.

“We’ll have no problem attracting modellers but what we want is for Joe Public to be out on a Sunday morning and discover the event. The Pavilion Gardens is a magnificent venue these days, with the advantage that passers-by can walk along the Promenade and see everything inside before they part with their money.”

He added: “We want it to be as open and educational as possible. Anyone thinking of getting into it can come and talk to the modellers for advice on products, methods, and common mistakes.

Ray Slack will be one of the stars of the show with his celebrated recreation of 1930s Bodmin.

“Like any hobby it can be enthralling, annoying, fascinating but personally I always advocate it because it teaches a huge number of skills. Depending on how far you want to go into it, you can practice metalwork, woodwork, technical drawing, social history – anything that encompassed in life can be put into a model railway.”

Among the star attractions will be layouts recreating Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset & Dorset, and the Cornish town of Bodmin in 1930s, built by Ray Slack from Hazel Grove.

Mark said: “Ray has kindly agreed to bring the layout and himself to the show with the assistance of modelling friends– now being in his late 80s. Such is the regard for both this model and his skills, it being one of, if not the best running examples of N Gauge railway modelling in the UK. It’s exceptional in its field.”

“There’s been a huge amount of work involved by about 50 volunteers over the past 18 months, but we’re already planning for next year and the year after. This is not a one-off. We’re looking to make this a sustainable event that will become part of Buxton’s calendar.”

The show will be open from 9.30am until 5.30pm on the Saturday, and 5pm on the Sunday. Standard adult admission is £9, or £7 after 3pm, and accompanied children can get in for free.

For more information, see www.railexbuxton.co.uk.

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