Leeds Model Railway Society enjoys annual display

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It may be more than 70 years old, but Leeds Model Railway Society still believes its beloved craft can excite and inspire new people.

The group’s annual exhibition took place at the Grammar School at Leeds this weekend, with more than 1,000 people turning out to see an impressive display.

Shaun Taylor, of Howden, with his layout fictional West Street Station OO gauge with a modern image.

Shaun Taylor, of Howden, with his layout fictional West Street Station OO gauge with a modern image.

Layouts included member Ian Morris’s feature of Headingley station, a Lego track made by Craig Durham and Shaun Taylor’s fictional West Street Station.

Exhibition manager John Aldrick, who is also the society’s treasurer, said that the event aims to promote model railways as a hobby =and also raises funds for the club’s up-keep.

But he also hopes that it will provide inspiration for a new generation of enthusiasts.

Mr Aldrick, 70, of Roundhay, said: “These days an awful lot of kids probably start through seeing Thomas the Tank Engine.

John Aldrick, exhibition manager with Leeds Model Railway Society.

John Aldrick, exhibition manager with Leeds Model Railway Society.

“This year we had a layout made of Lego and model trains made of Lego running around it. Through things like that we get [children] interested.

“They might take up the hobby and start themselves.

“Rather than play with iPhone or iPad, what it’s about is actually doing something more creative and using your hands.

“It’s developing a different range of skills.”

One layout which impressed visitors during the two-day exhibition was of Shap, a summit on the West Coast Main Line between Lancaster and Carlisle, which showed it during the steam train glory years.

Mr Aldrick’s own love of trains began when he was aged around five, when he remembers being taken to ride the railways.

Then his career with the Environment Agency allowed him to travel the country by rail for meetings.

The society has around 30 members.