AIMREC is pleased to announce details of Ashford180 events taking place at seven venues in Ashford Town Centre over the weekend of 19th and 20th November 2022.
Working with Ashford Museum, Ashford Library, Ashford College, The Coachworks, Tales from the Tracks and Ashford Model Railway Club a varied and interesting programme of events has been created to celebrate the 180th Anniversary of the first train to arrive in Ashford in November 1842.
Entry to the three main venues at the Elwick Club, Ashford College and the Swan Centre that are hosting Model Railway Exhibitions and Society Stands/Demonstrations will be by a souvenir wristband costing £10 for adults & over 14s . Under 14s are free. Writsbands will be on sale at each main location and provide entry for both days of the event.
As details are finalised they will be posted here and on our Facebook page. Look out for more announcements regarding some potentially very interesting and important exhibits.
If you would like to join the event as a sponsor, participant or volunteer please get in touch by e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful to Michael Hayes and Railscape ( www.railscape.co.uk), Kent Community Foundation and Lonsdale Rail for their support so far.
The venues and events take place between the Town Centre and Newtown over a distance of 1.4 miles, as follows:
Ashford Museum - Open Days, displays of local railway history and related exhibits
Ashford Gateway - Photographic Exhibition from 1st - 30th November featuring exhibits by the Railway Photographic Society from the NRM Shildon "Rail Cameramen" Exhibition alongside Railway Scenes of Ashford from the 1940s to the present day captured by local photographers.
The Elwick Club* - Two floors of model railways curated and mostly built by AIMREC's volunteer team including first time layouts built by our Saturday morning group of younger modellers, new layouts celebrating the classic years of Tri-ang and Hornby Dublo as well as a wonderful recreation of Lenham Station. Special guests are bringing layouts to inspire and entertain, including the classic narrow gauge "Dovey Valley" by Dick Kerr enjoying only its second outing in eight years, a charming Emett themed railway from the amazing talent of Chris O'Donohughe and for the very first time at exhibition together a collection of scratch- built layouts by Nik Wilson from the Railmen of Kent featuring his totally unique China Station waterfront tramway. Not to be missed.
Ashford College* - Heritage railway and preservation society stands, model railways, model engineering and displays over two floors including Mike Turner GRA premiering his specially commissioned Ashford180 artwork, Bob Pryor's superb large scale models of famous locomotives and legendary Ashford film-maker Sonny Hanson's record of a visit to the Railway Works in 1947. Confirmed attendees: 4Sub 4732 Association, 4253 Preservation Group with Kent and East Sussex Railway, Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, Southern Electric Traction Group, EPB Preservation Society, NSE Railway Society & East Kent Railway, Permanent Way Institution, Romney Marsh Model Engineering Society and Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway; Wellum Hill model railway.
The Coachworks - Beer festival featuring a range of railway-themed real ales, music and perhaps live steam action from a visiting Traction Engine.
The Alfred Arms - displays on the history of Newtown, Ashford's own model village for workers, compiled by the dedicated work of Ann Austin of tales from the Tracks, who will also be giving guided walks of the Newtown area.
The SWAN Centre* - Ashford Model Railway Club present a model railway exhibition with support from well-stocked trade stands.
Callum Laing will be using his Volvo B10M PS coach* normally based at the East Kent Railway to provide a regular service linking the venues and helping people who might otherwise have difficulty covering the 1.4 mile distance.
Venues marked * including the coach service require Wristbands for entry.