An exhibition in the life of the Gas Works

An invitation to attend the Yeovil Railway Centre exhibition with Gas Works was met with a good amount of enthusiasm by club members.  Gas Works has been there, done it, and got the tee shirt many times and is always well received whereever it goes.

Of course it is now of Railway Modeller fame where it was mentioned last Christmas and filmed earlier on in 2008 for the special Railway Modeller DVD.

Well, last Friday evening came and we had a good team to help load the van, Paul R, Dave, Paul H, Olivia, Peter C and Bob A.  The van was smaller than expected but that was no obstacle to the ‘team’ and when done you could not fit another box in the van.  We then travelled to the Yeovil Railway Centre and set up Gas Works in the Transfer Shed.  A quick test to prove we could run trains and it was home for the night.

Saturday saw another selection of members to help run the layout, Paul H, Olivia, Bob A, Bob O, Ernie, Peter C and Paul R.  Olivia was tasked with handing out leaflets and was seen at one point pursing them to the canteen to make sure they had one.  I don’t think anyone got away!  That activity combined with Gas Work’s appeal caused several genuine enquiries about the club.

Well a last minute decision to bring a laptop and show the 10 minute DVD of the first night of the Summit film met with disaster, I picked up the DVD case not realising that I had taken the DVD out!  We resorted to setting up the club web site to display and that also attracted some interest.


We all arrived at 09:30 but by 10:00 we were all in panic mode as the electrics failed for the front track and decoupler units.  Investigating a plug left us with a couple of wires off so they were soldered back into place.  We got the front track working but did not push our luck on the decoupler magnets.

The next club night will see the plug rewired to a better standard and some items that did not work investigated and fixed:

  • Electromagnets for decoupling
  • Extractor fan on side of building
  • waggon turntable
  • Gasometer rising and falling
  • Lights in main centre building

It is important to fix these as it looks like we may get a short notice request to attend another exhibition in November.


I was going to write about two club members Paul R and Ernie who were new to operating the Gas works layout at exhibitions and how well they both did but they were upstaged by a young girl about 10 years old who was fascinated by the layout and ended up being trained to work the coal train in and the coal train out process.  She was as good as gold and just to watch her concentration and ability with this task made the whole day worth double the effort.

Well the rest, as they say, is history, the layout was packed up and taken back to the club house.  There is always a special atmosphere when club members pool their help and expertises to work an exhibition.  Long may it continue.


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