Long-standing Te Awamutu lawyer Richard Swarbrick swapped the trappings of his job last weekend for a spin at his second love – model trains.
He joined the Greater Waikato Railway Modellers at their open day in Leamington held as part of Sunday’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic, spending several hours with the other railway modellers explaining the layouts and helping operate the model trains.
Richard, who a long-standing model railway fan with his own layout at home, is on the brink of retirement. His outing at the railway modellers’ new home in the old Leamington bowling club premises was just his second with the club – he anticipates there will be many more hours spent there in future.
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Leamington Domain was one of the final activities affiliated with the 2021 Cambridge Autumn Festival.
It incorporated performances by the Cambridge Brass Band and the Rotary-linked Bruised Brothers, and included rides on the popular 300m long miniature railway operated regularly by Cambridge Model Engineering Society volunteers.
One of their number, Allen Edwards, said the Society needed additional volunteers to help run the trains and handle some of the other jobs during the four-hour Sunday sessions, which often attract around 500 visitors each week. A shortage of active volunteers meant the group had dropped back from operating weekly to running fortnightly, and without additional volunteers that would have to remain in place.
Those keen to help should go to the Cambridge Model Engineering Society Facebook page for more details.