The Manchester Model Railway Society was formed at a public meeting on March 24, 1925 at The Clarion Café in Market Street. At first, the Society staged half-yearly exhibitions of members’ work at their regular meetings, and it was not until 14th November 1931 that the first public exhibition was staged. This was a one day event at a Sunday school in the centre of Manchester with an admission charge of 3d (1¼p). The event was successful, and by 1933 it had evolved into a three day exhibition at the Albert Hall (just opposite Manchester’s Free Trade Hall) where it continued until 1938.
Click for a Pathe newsreel clip of our 1937 show.
In September 1936, in addition to the regular Society exhibition at Christmastide, the Society put on a display at the Manchester Central Library. This display was open all month and municipal records show that an astonishing 61,500 people attended. The main attraction was a large O gauge layout owned and mostly operated by Mr E Antwis, the Society treasurer and exhibition manager. According to the Society newsletter, the models ran a total of 98 ACTUAL miles, the equivalent of over 11 return journeys from Manchester to London in O gauge! (Photo, right, courtesy Manchester Public Library)