Finally got around to selecting and post-processing these pictures.
This train show, held in the Gardner United Methodist Church in Gardner, MA, proved much much smaller than expected, even smaller than the Dollars for Scholars one in Winooski. The humungous permanent layout was worth the trek, though!
We first inspected the collection of dealers in a common room. I took photos of scratch-built sets [not shown], as well as commercially produced, very expensive and charmingly detailed O scale [1:48 scale] buildings. My favorite building, by Woodland Scenics, had little shades in the windows, a quilt hanging off the railing in back and a knocked-over trash can to one side.
Look at this wonderful cardboard model house with diecast people and accessories.
Janna found some cheap ephemera for her collection, about which she was very pleased. Her most fascinating scores were these two mimeographed booklets, one from 1937 and one from 1938, containing minutes and actual photos from the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Model Railroaders. The lovingly reproduced and glued-on photos provide a testament to just how much the club members enjoyed their trains, especially if they were willing to go through the incredibly tedious process of creating illustrated periodicals about them. The seller acquired these booklets as a high school student when he belonged to the group. What a wonderful connection to toy train history!
We spent most of our time touring the Southern New England O Scale Club’s permanent layout, built into the basement. It was all up on benchwork with a clearance of nearly seven feet; thus the sets and trains ran around on several levels, all up near the cellar ceiling, while club members put wiring and support work underneath. Walkways with railings allowed us to get up to eye level with the trains, as did “gopher holes” where we could stick our heads out.
Obviously still in the early stages, the layout featured mostly trains and sporadic clusters of set pieces.
I most liked the riverside scene where someone with a fishing rod fell into the clear resin water.
Perhaps this panorama shot of only a section of the layout can give you an idea of its scope and scale.
We enjoyed lemon meringue and apple pies before traveling back home.