Full steam ahead for a double celebration

GAINSBOROUGH Model Railway Society will be celebrating two important anniversaries during its open weekend on June 16 and 17 - the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and 150 years of the Flying Scotsman express between London and Edinburgh.

Chairman Richard Woods said: “In the days of steam the Royal Family travelled much more by train than they do today, and King’s Cross station was favoured for many royal journeys, particularly to Sandringham, as it avoided the elaborate formalities if the monarch entered the City of London.”

“Special engines were used for these trains, maintained in pristine condition with white cab roofs, and we have in our collection models of two of these locomotives, which hauled the Royal train on many occasions between the 1920s and 1950s.”

The society will also be running engines named in honour of the Silver Jubilee of King George V in 1935 and the coronation of King George VI in 1937, as well as the engine which pulled the Royal train to the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent in York Minster in 1961.

The second anniversary being celebrated is that of the Flying Scotsman express, which began to run between London and Edinburgh in June 1862.

Often confused with the engine of the same name, which did not appear until 1923, the train was officially known as the Special Scotch Express and Flying Scotsman was only its nickname and the open days will see models of many of the types of engine used to haul the train running.

The open days will be held at the clubrooms in Florence Terrace from 1.30pm to 6pm.

Admission is £4 for adults and £3 for children and senior citizens, with a family ticket for £10.