Chuff along to Leverstock Green Village Hall for the Great Train Robbery and more

Ladies and gentleman, the show arriving at Leverstock Green Village Hall on Saturday is the 10.30am Hemel Hempstead Model Railway Society stopping service. It’ll be stopping until 4.30pm, and you’ll be made very welcome...

And in among the fascinating layouts will be a one marking 50 years since the infamous Great Train Robbery near Cheddington in 1963.

The society’s Geoff Latham says: “ The annual exhibition is our opportunity to showcase examples of our own work and also that of our colleagues, either individuals or members of other clubs.

“Our usual approach is to highlight different solutions to the perennial problem of how to fit a realistic model of a large railway system into a modest home and this year is no different as we have one modeller who has used a very small scale to build his railway on an ironing board.

“We also have some larger layouts to show what can be achieved by collaborative effort in more suitable surroundings, including a large scale depiction of the events affecting the Glasgow to Euston mail train near Cheddington 50 years ago that later became notorious as The Great Train Robbery.”

The Bruscon Bridges is the Society’s current N Gauge layout with scenery appropriate for running models of different nationalities in a realistic setting.

Young railway fans will be able to get hands-on experience controlling a model train, and there will also be supporting traders offering new and pre-owned trains, transport books, card kits and a demonstration of scenic materials and our popular refreshments.

Tickets are £4 for adults, accompanied children are admitted free, and more details can be found at www.hhmrs.org.

The society has been extending its collection of heritage pub signs from around the borough with railway connections.

The latest arrival is a sign that previously graced the walls of the Railway Hotel – sometime also known as the Mayflower – in Midland Road, the gift of Bob Fitzgibbon and Terry Quinlan.

Other pubs represented include:

The Railway Hotel, Hemel Hempstead which stands opposite the site of the original Hemel Hempstead Station on the branch from the Midland Railway at Harpenden known locally as The Nickey Line. This single sided wall sign depicts, with considerable artistic licence, one of the last steam locomotives to run on the line.

The Railway (Hotel), Boxmoor stood next to the present Hemel Hempstead station, originally called Boxmoor, on the London & North Western Railway. The pub was demolished in the 1980s for the development of La Mirage nightclub, now partially incorporated into the The Harvester. This is a double sided swing sign with different pictures on each face – George Stephenson’s Rocket is on one side and The Royal Scot on the other.

The Railway, Kings Langley was a local in Railway Terrace by the railway bridge since converted into a house but for a while served as staff accommodation for La Mirage. This is another traditional swing sign but with a similar picture of a streamlined Coronation Scot on each side.