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Banner Railway Day (960 × 320pRailway Day

Saturday 2 July 2022

All Trains Running!

For one day only, St Andrew’s was transformed into a bustling railway hub. Layouts, railway-related displays and children’sRailway Day poster July 2022 activities proved an immense draw for all ages. At times, the place even seemed busier than King’s Cross at rush-hour!
The signs were already good before we opened our doors at 10.30am, with visitors queueing right down the path to Beckwith’s. The buzz of activity and excitement among everyone, from toddlers to seasoned railway aficionados, continued throughout most of the show’s six hours. Especially later in the afternoon, it wasn’t uncommon to see parents coaxing reluctant children OUT of the church – how about that for a turn of events?!
The idea of holding some form of railway show at St Andrew’s goes back a couple of years and we were all set to hold one in 2020 before Lockdown hit. Model railway events are often hosted by churches because they have the space for a number of keen hobbyists to lay out their boards in one place, but Hertford itself has not been home to a railway show for quite a few years. So, when local vintage model railway collector Reg Harman offered his services (and significant network of contacts) to help put our Railway Day “on track”, we welcomed the opportunity to tread uncharted territory at St Andrew’s and to make Railway Day 9 TRIPLECIRCUIT 02contact with an entirely new audience. With all the exhibitors from Hertford or nearby, their expertise and enthusiasm in this specialist area are evidently right on our doorstep.
The layouts themselves spanned the typical range of gauges; from Keith Neat’s Garden Gauge layout and Tom Oates’ impressive collection of Lego trains, to the seriously miniature N gauge layouts brought by James Toyn and Nik Wilson, with a few more exotic gauges in between. There were, of course, several layouts of the familiar OO gauge. To the uninitiated, that’s what we’d think of as the classic Hornby or Tri-Ang scale that many kids of my generation owned at some time or other. While some layouts (generally the smaller-gauge ones) came pre-assembled and ready to roll, others needed some assembly on the day: Peter Shillito’sRailway Day 16  020722 (Peter sizeable layout in the North Transept was put together from four substantial units all slotted together, and Guy Brigden hand-laid a complex triple circuit over by the kitchenette.
Model railway layouts are evidently as individual as their creators, who like to introduce distinctive touches that reflect their personal interests: to the strains of a Welsh male voice choir and video footage of Welsh railways on Keith Neat’s laptop, Thomas The Tank Engine shunted along that notorious troublesome truck S.C. Ruffey, evoking childhood memories for Keith: his schoolboy nickname was “Scruffy” - in an inversion of his surname! Reg Railway Day 5 PICASSO 020722 (Harman’s Picasso-inspired layout in a French Riviera setting featured a miniature Musée de Picasso in the foreground, complete with tiny Picassos.
“Railwayana” might be a new word to many of us, but if you visited the show you’ll now have a better idea of what that means: anything curious or collectible associated with railways, actual or miniature. Alongside loco plates and lamps, items of particular interest included an approx. 100-year-old Midland Railway button found in the collection plate at St Andrew’s and a magnificent wooden model of an engine and tender built in aroundRailway Day 4 LAMPS 020722 (Pe 1912-13 by Nick Cheall’s grandfather, beautifully restored during Lockdown.
Local author Pauline Hazlewood (“Saddletank Engines” series) did a roaring trade, especially in signed books, but also had her cute little handmade circuit trundling away on her table. Clive Barton held a first showing of a collection of rolling stock and other memorabilia built up over many years – among the exhibits were a classic train spotter’s notebook with row upon row of engine numbers!

Thomas from Sodor and his friends also turned up in the Children’s Corner, where they could be driven on a small TT scale layout by children – often with far longer trains than Rev. Awdry ever imagined. Other children’s activities included a wooden Railway Day 8cropped 020722 (Pfloor railway, building a locomotive from cardboard boxes and colouring in outlines of saddletank trains, kindly supplied by Pauline.
It was nice to be able to view first-hand the modelling skills that took Nik Wilson and his team to victory in the Great Model Railway Challenge back in 2018. Nik does what is known as scratch-building: he literally makes all components of his models from scratch. You won’t find any pre-fabs on his layouts! He most generously offered his Bolder Hill Tramway (inspired by the San Francisco tram system) as the prize in a special raffle (see below). The young winner was completely overwhelmed at being able to take home such a fantastic prize. Who knows, maybe it will inspire him to become the next generation of scratch-build modellers?
There was an opportunity for everyone to take something home, as local model dealer Joe Lock organised a trade stall selling pre-loved model trains and vehicles; this did good business throughout the day.

A huge thanks to everyone who played a part in making the event so successful – exhibitors, stewards, helpers, theRailway Day 3 DUBLO 020722 (Pe indefatigable catering team, Rosemary and Sue on the kids’ crafts, and indeed everyone involved at various points in the process. All told, the event raised a very welcome £900 for the church through refreshments, donations and contactless taps. But perhaps more importantly, around 600 people visited, reflecting the huge appeal of a community event that was free to attend and clearly ticked a box for so many people.

 Nick Hoyle

The May 1961 British Railways Eastern Region staff magazine was on display and featured the Hertford stations - this prompted memories of people who worked and travelled on the railways.
BR Eastern Region staff magazi BR Eastern Region staff magazi BR Eastern Region staff magazi



Great Model Train RaffleThere was also the fantastic opportunity to win a unique layout created by our very own Nik Wilson (one of the Railmen of Kent - winners of The Great Model Railway Challenge 2019)! The lucky winner took home a working model ready to run including trams, train & controller.

Here's the full list of layouts that were on display. 

Hello and welcome to St Andrew's. If you are new, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

A Warm Hello 

No one belongs here more than you.

We look forward to meeting you! Here's some information so that if you're planning a visit you know beforehand what to expect on a Sunday morning.  We have other pages telling you more About Us, our approach to Faith and our Online services.

Where and When

We meet at the Church Building (details below) for our main Sunday Service starting at 10.30am. For your first visit, we recommend arriving 10-15 minutes early to ensure you find a parking space and can settle in before the service begins. When you arrive, you should be greeted by someone on our Welcome Team.

Plan your journey:
While, unfortunately, St Andrew's does not have its own carpark, there is a council-run pay and display carpark a short distance along St Andrew Street, to the east of the church; there is no charge for parking in this carpark on Sundays, but please check for charges on other days.

This is a useful East Herts Council website page for full details of parking in Hertford.

There are single yellow lines outside the church with parking restrictions, but some 30-minute parking bays are situated on the opposite side of the road for short stays (longer on Sundays).

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access, and a sound loop for anyone who needs it. Please let one of the Welcome Team know on your arrival and they will help you to get set up. There is a disabled toilet towards the back of the church, behind the kitchen.

Our Service

The service will usually begin promptly at 10.30am and will last between 60 and 75 minutes. We enjoy the presence of an excellent choir who help us sing hymns (modern and traditional) as well as provide anthems and special songs through the period of communion. We have a traditional organ but also benefit from music played on the piano and by our band (eg on the Second Sunday of each month when we have an All-Age Service in which our children and young people are fully involved).

Each 10.30am service includes a sermon, prayers and eucharist.

After the service, everyone is invited for coffee and conversation - some like to stay for a quick chat while others remain in the church for a longer time.


Children and Young People

Children are never too young to come to church. You and your children are very welcome at St Andrew’s. 

We really value worshipping God together as a family, so children stay with their parent or grown-up at the start of the service before being invited to leave for the young people's activities after the first hymn. Junior Church meets in the St Andrew's Centre (our adjoining hall), accessed through the church on Sunday mornings. You will need to go with your children to their groups and register them as part of our child safety policy.

The children and young people then return to the main service in time to join the eucharist and, if confirmed, take Holy Communion or, if not, receive a blessing. We offer a grape or a little box of raisins to children being blessed at the altar.

There is a Children's Corner in church where you can go at any time. You will find books, toys and drawing materials there.

Toilet and baby-change facilities are located at the back of church, behind the kitchen.

There's lots more information here: Children and Young People at St Andrew's

Junior Church celebration

Getting Connected

Home Groups

While Sundays are a great way to meet new people, it is often in smaller gatherings that you can really get to know someone. Being part of one of our small groups allows you to make new friends, share together and support each other. We have a variety of groups that meet throughout the week. Check out Home Groups on our website and see if there’s one that you could join. Alternatively, speak to a member of the Welcome Team who will give you the information that you need.

Serving and Volunteering

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make Sundays run smoothly, you can sign up to serve on a team. Please contact Phil in the Church Office.

What we describe above reflects our normal practice on Sunday mornings. However, since March 2020 we have had to adopt new ways of organising ourselves - here you'll find the most up-to-date guidance about Worshipping inside church.
Get in touch with us
If you have any questions, please do get in touch. You'll find our contact details here.

We hope that you will feel at home at our church.