You can never be sure these days just how successful model engineering exhibitions will be.  No such worries at the National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition (aka ‘Harrogate’) this year. Within a short time after opening, the report from the first trade hall was that it was ‘heaving’. As it does, the visitors group moves from there into the second trade hall and then into the model displays hall. As the crown processes, new arrivals fill the gaps. Within a few hours the crowd had evened out and everywhere was busy. Traders seemed to be doing a roaring trade as visitors picked up their show bargains, or just took the opportunity to select and collect what they need to keep them going for some months without having to pay for delivery.

The model display was one of the best seen there for some years. Star of the show and winner of Best in Show was a model motorcycle by Herbert Stumm. We first saw this project in its early stages at Harrogate two years ago. This year Herbert and his charming wife, Eva, made a return visit from their home in Germany with the completed model of the 1896 Hildebarand & Wolfmueller motorcycle. It is described in more detail in a separate MEWS article.

Every locomotive entered in competition received high awards, such was the standard this year. Winner of the Best Locomotive Award was the flawless 5” gauge Great Northern Atlantic No 1442 by J Richardson. It also won the Precision Paints Award for the Best Finished Model. Two other locomotives, both in 7.25” gauge also won First Awards: the mighty impressive Princess Coronation Class engine by R Knox and the Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2 tank engine by T Collyer.

Top awards for ‘stationary engines’ went to Tom Pasco’s 15cc radial two-stroke engine and an unusual model by F McCafferty, a 1:10 scale Ulstein gearbox and controllable pitch propellor which in addition to being a fine model looked as if it might find a place in a 30’ boat. Winner of the Eventex UK Shield for the Best Boat went to the Royal Victorian Paddle Steamer, Alberta, by J Hollis, and  L Jones alson won a First Award for his model of Holyhead’s first lifeboat. The winner of the Guild of Model Wheelwrights Trophy was Brian Young for his evocative 1:12 scale WW1 Army Field Kitchen. Other wheelwright First Awards went to J Castle for a fine 1:8 18th Century waggon and Brian Young won another for his model library.

Winner of the NAME Shield for Best Club Stand went to Pickering Experimental Engineering & Model Society. Models made by its members cover and extraordinary range, from John Heeley’s jet engines to a simple steam engine by, Brian Stephenson, and from a Bugatti in Meccano by K Hopper to the amazing Bentley engines of Mike Sayers.

For all the great models, Harrogate is also about clubs displaying the output from members workshops, to which the rest of us can aspire. It succeeds in that, too.

This event was the 20th to be staged. Exhibition manager, Gavin Rex, plus the Rex family and team have made this event, a national treasure.

We include some photographs from Harrogate below. Click on a photo to enlarge and again to download for greater details. Or click ‘slideshow’.