Visitors from all over the country descended onto the Winterbourne House and Garden as it played host to its first steam fair on Saturday (November 16th).
The inaugural Winterbourne Steam Fair proved a huge hit and is the perfect build-up for this weekend’s (November 23rd and 24th) Warley National 2013. The good and the great of the model railway and steam toy market was brought together and visitors could gaze upon the various layouts and products that were on display. Along with personal items big names such as Meccano and Mamod were also in attendance to show off some of the items they have on sale.
Winterbourne House and Garden, which is owned by the University of Birmingham, pulled in a crowd of over 500 and the visitors were not left disappointed. Everyone from young children to grandparents were catered with a range of diverse models which appealed to a variety of age ranges. On the one hand there was steam sections and there were also the more modern electric models all being put to work in a series of demonstrations.
The steam layouts took place in the impressive gardens outside the main buildings and brought together all the very best that Mamod had to offer. The company profiled its range of engines from the new products such as the Showman’s Special while there was also an appearance from the classic Marlin. Mamod featured heavily at the event and was even honoured by Meccano to celebrate a special milestone.
Chris Instone’s brought together both Mamod and Meccano in an intriguing display which highlighted the key components of the two companies. The former is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Mamod TE1 going into manufacture and to honour this event, Mr Instone had created a display entirely out of Meccano.
In a Facebook post, Mr Instone wrote: “The Showman’s is a very efficient and powerful engine. After two burners full of meths it only required 60ml of water to get to the max fill mark!
“Driving all eight of its LEDs and the Meccano ferris wheel (which is fitted with a 3v motor, gears and belt drive) off the engines dynamo is a great feat for a small model, with lots of power to spare, and that’s just with meths! Just wait until I get the gas scuttle/burner!
“It was nice to see Joe Public enjoying the models as a whole. They were quite surprised to hear that both Mamod and Meccano are still being made and even more surprised when you tell folk that Mamods are made just down the road.”
One of the key parts to the success of the Winterbourne Steam Fair is introducing youngsters to the age of steam. The UK is particularly proud of its railway heritage and is renowned around the world for creating some of the most iconic steam trains. All exhibitors were on hand to offer a brief history lesson on how the country’s steam industry managed to pioneer rail travel all over the world.
The whole day was deemed a huge success for Winterbourne House and Garden, so much so that the venue is looking to host it again in 2014.