2014 is drawing to a close and people are getting ready for Christmas and welcoming in the new year.
It is a time of year that people all over the world look forward to. The brisk, chilly nights cuddled up by the fire and then, of course, over-indulging on the food and drink. There is always the immortal question of whether we will get a white Christmas topping off a truly magical time of year.
Venturing onto the high street during December can be a take-no-prisoners kind of situation with shoppers looking to get their last minute gifts for all their loved ones. While the shops can be hectic, it might be wise to use your weekends enjoying something that is much more relaxing and indulge a hobby.
There are numerous model railway events happening over the Christmas period which provide fun for all the family. Here are our highlights for what is going in the model railway community over the coming month.
'A Classic & Colourful Journey on Irish Railways in the Early 1960s' – The Exmouth Arms, London (December 4th)
Hosted by the Irish Railway Record Society, this trip through yesteryear looks at railways in Ireland during the 1960s. IRRS Photographic Archivist, Ciaran Cooney takes visitors through the famous photo collection of Norman McAdams. Painstakingly restored to their superb original quality and digitised they provide a nostalgic look into 1960s Ireland.
This is the perfect pre-Christmas treat for any railway enthusiast, which charts Ireland's progression from steam to diesel bringing into account both CIE and GNR-built engines. Alongside the photos, Mr Cooney will be regaling stories of how they were taken and given an insight life on the railways across the Irish Sea.
Prices: Members £3, non-members £5 (refunded if join on the night)
Blyth and Tyne Model Railway Society Open Day – North Shields (December 13th)
The north-east boasts a rich railway heritage and for one special day in December one of the region's celebrated model railway societies will be opening its doors to the public. Blyth and Tyne Model Railway Society will be holding an open day in mid-December showing off a host of interesting and intricate layouts.
Among the layouts already listed for the event include depictions of Blyth itself as well as California Surfline, an American scene in N Gauge, Europa Central, a French/Italian layout in HO Gauge and a Thomas & Friends OO Gauge which is sure to be a hit with youngsters.
Gainsborough Model Railway Society Open Day (December 27 and 28th)
Looking for a bit of a pick-me-up after Christmas has subsided? Then Gainsborough Model Railway Society is just the ticket. The group has been gaining in notoriety throughout the model railway world with the group creating a replica London King's Cross Station complete with a host of model steam engines.
Based on the iconic East Coast Main Line between the English capital and Leeds, the layout spreads out over 2,500 sq ft and has over 1,200 ft of main line track. It requires ten operators to run and can be impressive sight when in full flight.
It is not just the King's Cross layout that makes Gainsborough worthy of day out as the society boasts a host of other sights and sounds on offer.
Prices: Adults £4, OAP £3, Children £3, Family £10 (2+2)