The Trophy.

This year’s prestigious event sponsored by the Model Engineer will take place on Sunday 1St September and is kindly hosted by the North West Leicester MES at their track site in Whitwick.

The track is situated in the grounds of the Hermitage Leisure Centre with plenty of parking and additional facilities in this well kept leisure site including lakes and footpaths. Light refreshments are available on site.

The raised track is some 1270 feet long, with facilities for 2½, 3½ and 5 inch gauges and a modest 5 inch gauge ground level track of 1700 feet. The Club have their own club hut and plenty of space for traction engines and other road vehicles.

Pansy - entered by Ben Pavier.

Black 5 - entered by John Barr.

The competition

For those new to the event, this competition is open to people who build or own designed/inspired locomotives by the late LBSC. I added the word ‘inspired’ as LBSC, in his articles, often mentioned different options such as boilers or valve gear you could try. There was always, of course, scope to doubled up sizes.

Many of these options he never tried himself but occasionally they have turned up at the event and proved his thoughts right, which reinforces our respect for the man’s talent and the massive contribution he made to our hobby - right from the start and up to the present day - as many of his designs and ideas are still being put into practice and run by us today with un equalled success.

BR class 4 - entered by Nick Elliot.

Last year’s winner was David Neish with this Lion.

The aim of the competition is not to find the best show piece or the most efficient locomotive but more to find a good all round locomotive that, in the eyes of the three judges, looks the part and makes a good job of what LBSC wanted it to do; if it does all this and puts a smile on your face then it has achieved its goal and will be a contender for the prestigious Rose Bowl trophy and a first prize of £50.00 There are also 2nd and 3rd prizes of £30.00 and £20.00, all donated by the Model Engineer. The competition usually consists of between six and eight entries. The judging is split into three main parts : -

  1. Static judging of the locomotive and a talk to the owner/builder about the history of the engine etc.
  2. Seeing the locomotive raise steam and static checks of fittings, water feed and other ‘blobs and gadgets’ as LBSC would say.
  3. Then it’s onto the track for a test run; once the owner is happy the engine is ready to go, each judge will have a drive and appraise the engine on handling and performance on the move. The locomotive is then returned to the owner for him or her to have a play until the next entry is ready to be judged.

Each judge marks the locomotives independently and at the end of the competition the marks will be added up, the three places will be announced and the trophy and prize money presented to the winner.

Lots of information can be found on the dedicated LBSC Rally website including history, past events rules etc.:

A view of the track at Hermitage Leisure Centre.

Ground level track.

How to find it

Hermitage Recreation Ground in Whitwick, near Coolville. Postcode LE67 5EJ

From Leicester: Travel along the A511 from Leicester, across the first set of traffic lights. Continue on to the first roundabout (Morrison’s) then turn right on to Hermitage Road for about 1⁄2 a mile and take the second left; following the signs to the Hermitage Leisure Centre recreational ground and golf course.

From Ashby De La Zouch: From Ho Ash Island travel down the Stephenson bypass, across the next roundabout (Mc Donald’s) and at the next again roundabout turn left on to Hermitage Road, then as above.

Please come along and support this important yet relaxed event and enjoy a day out with fellow model engineers. The photographs show some of this year’s entries signed up so far.

Good luck to all the competitors.