Hornby Preview visit

Over the past few weeks Hornby has been holding their annual preview event where traders can visit to place their annual order, have a tour of the (what was a) factory and see the new Visitor’s Centre.

Whilst there, we took the opportunity to scrounge a free lunch and take some photos of pre-production samples and exhibits in the Visitors’ Centre.

The demonstration layout has been shown with different control systems over the years. Now it is controlled by the easy-to-use Rail-Master system, shown here being used on an old laptop to demonstrate it’s compatibility with older Operating Systems (back to Windows 95, we’re told)>

New releases items are generally shown using the side-on photos from the catalogue, however here are a few items in (almost) ready and pre-production states…

Into the Visitor’s Centre where a good 2 or more hours is needed if given “Alan’s In-Depth Tour”! Showing the history of the brands that are now under the Hornby umbrella, there are numerous models on display to spark nostalgia in even the youngest visitor. Remember clockwork? Tinplate? Bakelite?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? James May’s Toy Story series? They’re all on display.

Due to the huge qunatity of archive material available, the Centre will change the exhibits from time to time to give return visitors something new to see.


Hornby have a pallet of Pocher kits but need to check if all the parts are present… Any volunteers?!

Airfix dioramas showing what can be done with some imagination (and some time and effort)

There is also a sizeable digital demonstration Hornby layout which was built in 2 weeks and is controlled from one Hornby “Select” digital controller. Impressive on both counts…

The Visitor Centre is to be extended in the near future to cope with the demand and to allow the display of more articles from the vast Hornby archive. For further details including opening times visit hornby.com/visitorcentre or call 01843 233525

So… our order has been placed and we will await delivery of the variety of new goodies to keep you entertained this year….

About The Hobby Shop

South East England's leading continental model railway specialist. Established in 1988 we stock leading brands' products for model railways, ready-made road vehicles, plastic and wooden kits, radio control cars and various modelling accessories View all posts by The Hobby Shop

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