Anyone venturing into the world of model live steam locomotive building will soon become aware of the abbreviation LBSC, the non de plume of Curly Lawrence, a prolific designer and writer in the Model Engineer Magazine since 1924. It is a tribute to Lawrence's skill that even today locomotives to his designs are still being made and run, giving pleasure during both phases.
His designs were not necessarily true to scale, nor were they covered in detailed items to replicate the full size originals, rather they were built to be working engines capable of doing a good days work on the track. In recognition of the contribution made by Lawrence, in 1968 the Model Engineer Magazine launched an annual competition to be hosted by a different club each year and at which locomotives made to his designs are assessed for how well they adhere to Lawrence's concepts. To do this the judges; two appointed by Model Engineer and one from the host club; discuss any aspects of the design or construction with the builder, then watch him raise steam. Following this the builder takes the loco on a lap of the track, following which it is handed over to the three judges to each have a drive. With this much time involved in the judging the number of entries is never large, but the variety is enormous: tank engines, tender engines, Atlantics, Pacifics, 2 1/2", 3 1/2" and 5" gauges and so on, so the judges task is not easy.
Stockport MES volunteered to act as the host Society for 2016, and so on Sunday 21st August judges Steve Eaton and Mike Law from Model Engineer and Dave Waggett from Stockport judged 4 entries, all under the watchful eye of Ivan Law of the Society of Model and Experimental Engineers.
A very enjoyable day was had by all, competitors and spectators alike, supported by brilliant catering by the Ladies, and the eventual winner was William Powell, who received the trophy from last year's winner, Karen and Robin Howard.