On the 30th June we were invited by the Brookvale Community Association, to attend their Thornycroft day. A small event remembering and highlighting the importance the Thornycroft Motor Works was in the history of Basingstoke. Brookvale was the area where most of the factory workers lived, and the factory once stood. The association was also raising money to build and place a replica clock on the village hall, that once stood on top of the Thornycroft factory, something they have been trying to do for a few years.
The event had many interesting Thornycroft memorabilia on display including; unseen photos, work magazines, and registers. Also 3 vintage Thornycroft vehicles were on display parked out the front for all to see. There were also some hands on "engineering"tasks using Meccano and clock-work train emphasizing the ethos of the factory, and an interactive show put on in the afternoon by the Thornycroft Girls
We were there with our model railway, which accurately represents 1/3rd of the Thornycroft factory, to give visitors an idea of what the factory would have been like in the 1930's, which once stood on the now supermarket site. Obviously this was not your normal model railway show, but an opportunity to learn more about the company and factory and bring a bit of history to life!
|Thornycroft Sidings N gauge model railway |
It was a beautiful sunny day, and with a few other events on around the town as part of the Basingstoke Summer Festival, the attendance here was lower than we were hoping. However it did give the opportunity to reminisce with some of the ex-workers, who brought the model to life by telling us some stories about the factory, such as a fire that broke out onsite. Apprentice's sun-bathing on the roof of the factory and taking vehicles on test drives.
The local newspaper sent along a photographer to the event, and the following week there we were in the local press...
|Article in the "Basingstoke Gazette" about the event|
Thanks to the Brookvale Community Association and all those that attended, with many visitors providing nice comments about our layout.