model - Visitors enjoy their miniature-gauge steam ride (3)

Hundreds of train fanatics enjoyed South Cheshire Model Engineering Society’s annual Open Day, writes Jonathan White.

Visitors braved wet weather to attend the event at the rear of The Peacock Inn, on Crewe Road, Willaston.

There were miniature-gauge steam and diesel train rides on the 5-inch railway track which is almost a quarter of a mile in length and miniature-gauge steam train rides on a temporary straight section of 7¼ -inch railway track.

There was a demonstration of miniature 4-inch scale steam traction engine ‘Maud’ by Les Riley, who meticulously built the engine over an eleven year period.

Les (pictured, below) is currently working on a 6-inch scale (half full size)’Burrell 5NHP Road Locomotive’, which was also on display.

‘Mike’s Shed’ with Mike Smith contained old hand-tools that a hobby model engineer from 1904 through to 1930s would use to make miniature-gauge steam locomotives and their carriages.

The clubhouse contained a display of locomotives and engines produced by society members.

Refreshments were served by society volunteers, with further refreshments available outside from the Wilson House Scouts.

Visitors enjoy their miniature-gauge steam ride (2)

Paul Vidler, chairman of South Cheshire Model Engineering Society, said: “The day started off wet, but the sun came out and we hope everyone enjoyed the rides.

“This is about the 10th year we have run our open day in September so I am most grateful people came out and supported us despite the weather.”

The society currently has 75 members and meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7.45pm in their clubhouse.

For more details visit

The track and clubhouse are available for birthday party hire on a Saturday (12-2pm) from April to mid-October.

(Pics and words by Jonathan White)

Les Riley proudly poses with his steam traction engine Maud

Visitors enjoy their miniature-gauge steam ride (4)

Visitors enjoy their miniature-gauge steam ride (1)

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