Vintage-Trains (LMC) Day at Tappers, Bromley, July 13th 2019
The Vintage Trains Day on July 13th took place in the Bloomfield Road Church Hall, Bromley. 82 people signed in.
This was the much anticipated “big day”, being the last time the complete archive of the Leeds Model Company (Leeds Stedman Trust) was displayed in its entirety by David Peacock, assisted by his neighbour Peter Sapte. Attendees were able to inspect carefully displayed shelves of LMC models and other LMC material and discuss these with David.
The Bassett-Lowke gauge-0 scenic railway with level-centre-3rd track was exhibited by Adrian Capon assisted by Paul Dobson and others. They, together with Peter O’Kane, Bruce Palmer and Graham Lock, had arrived at 7 AM to start the setting up, 3.5 hours ahead of the general opening to the public. Trains ran all day round three tracks with some complex point-work and a large loco depot in the centre. The second gauge-0 railway was the so-called “garage railway” exhibited by David Davenport featuring two loops of Michael Foster track including transition curves.
Traders comprised Colin Ashford, Mark Carne, John Davies, Mike Green, Peter Holmes, Cyril Kennett, Graham Lock, Bruce Palmer, Gordon Stemp, and Tim Walker. Monica and David Embling ran the kitchen with additional washer-uppers from time to time and Graham Lock kept an overall eye on supplies. Keith Wilkin and Robert Fielding were on the door.
Some attendees came from a significant distance away. Colin Nichols came from Cork in Ireland; David Ramsbottom came from the Isle of Man, Richard Hughes came from Leeds. Many others travelled tens of miles. Such is the attraction of the all-day Tappers events.
Colin Ashworth came with help from John Davies. Colin was 100 last March but still exhibits and trades with his railway art and postcards as well as enjoying the trains and company.
A key family in the history of coarse-scale railways was present. Denis Leakey was half of the Leakey-Lee combination who, having worked for Bonds o’ Euston Road, produced the Leakey-Lee electric motor, still regarded as pre-eminent in the field. Horace G Lee died 20 years ago but his son Robert, daughter-in-law Alycia and grandson Charles were all in the Hall for the event. They brought along their Jubilee 5690 locomotive.
Possibly the oldest item for sale was a 1902 Bing gauge-1 live-steam 4-4-0 loco in stripped state from Mark Carne. This was snapped up for restoration. Other live-steam locos seen on the day were Bassett-Lowke Enterprise frame number X140, a Bassett-Lowke Crab mogul frame number 1231 (December 1931) repainted in black and heavily modified and a Spam Can on a Bassett-Lowke mogul chassis (very much “to be completed”). Live-steam is not currently run at Tappers but we have plans!
The day progressed as hoped with a continuous display of trains running and groups of people prowling the hall for sales from the highest quality to the “I-could-fix-that” type and having multifarious conversations.
Sales of the Tappers’ book show no sign of stopping and as of today (8 months and a week since publication) we have sold 369 copies and are about to order a 6th printing. If there are new readers who would like a copy of the book please email me on email@example.com. I can supply by post for £3 + £1.50 postage either in stamps or a cheque. Just before Christmas we shall produce a short supplement detailing the events of the 10th anniversary year which will be given free to Tappers and their friends.
These big events require much meticulous planning over months ahead of time, emailing and telephoning exhibitors and traders, organising the food and the kitchen, requesting volunteer help and then, on the day, setting up many hours before the event opened. Graham Lock shouldered this responsibility almost alone and to him we owe a great debt for the exciting day and the ongoing march of Tappers. Our book lists the upcoming monthly events for 2019 and the Christmas supplement will have the full timetable/diary for 2020.
Steve Webb (BLS 0686; HRCA 5575; TCS 1640)