The Dave Brewer Challenge at Expo Narrow Gauge exhibition

Dave Brewer was the Chairman of the Greenwich and District Narrow Gauge Railway Society for many years before his untimely death. The society members decided to rename the 'Chairman's Challenge' the 'Dave Brewer Challenge' in his memory.

The challenge is to build a model to be shown and judged at ExpoNG. Each year the Society picks a theme and sets the guidelines of the competition. Over the years the competitions with the most entries have always been small format layouts. This gives the modeller a deadline, a small project to try out ideas and perhaps new scales or gauges and enables them to, potentially, finish something and we hope this has encouraged modellers old and new into building in the many scales and gauges available to the narrow gauge modeller.

The 2019 Dave Brewer Memorial Challenge

Details of the 2019 Dave Brewer Memorial Challenge will be announced in due course.

2018 ~ 50 and 35 years Anniversaries

For the 2018 Challenge, we have two important anniversaries to celebrate: the 50th of the Greenwich and District and the 35th of Expo Narrow Gauge. So the theme this year will be a working layout with proportions 50 by 35. The only things specified are the length, width and height of the model, the track arrangement will be up to the competitor. Oh, and the model must be narrow gauge!

Toot ‘n’ Come In (1:32, 16.5 mm gauge) : Steve Pearce
Toot ‘n’ Come In (1:32, 16.5 mm gauge) : Steve Pearce
Dave Brewer Challenge Junior Award – Slugworth & Co (009) by Joshua Campbell
Dave Brewer Challenge Junior Award – Slugworth & Co (009) by Joshua Campbell

2017 ~ The Halt

For the 2017 Challenge, the theme is ‘The Halt’, a small, wayside stop alongside a single, narrow gauge track. No loop, no sidings, just a single line of rails. The model is to be a diorama and is not required to operate.

Halt at Major Road Ahead (006.5) : Steve Pearce
Halt at Major Road Ahead (006.5) : Steve Pearce

2016 ~ the fork

For the 2016 Challenge we returned to a small, working layout based this time on a point and three lengths of track, usually referred to as a ‘Fork’.

As usual the railway had to be narrow gauge. We attempted to leave the conditions as open as possible, for example, the relative lengths of the three tracks were not specified. Also, if any of the three tracks appeared to leave the model, it could be any one of them.

We had a large number of fantastic entries so we were able to awarded a second prize.

The Winner - Creag Dhubh Summit - model of a small station on the summit of a mountain: built Ted Polet
Winner - Creag Dhubh Summit : Ted Polet
Runner up - model of a Welsh slate quarry railway being dismantled - The scrapman cometh by Pete Wilson
Runner up - The scrapman cometh by Pete Wilson

2015 ~ The bridge

For the 2015 Challenge we chose that useful railway structure ‘the bridge’. It must, of course, be a narrow gauge bridge and the entrant had to indicate this in some way, by the type of track on or under the bridge, for example.

Download the 2015 Dave Brewer Challenge rules and entry form as a pdf

Expo Narrow Gauge 2015 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, The Cutting (O14) by Derek Harris, highlighted in colour.
Expo Narrow Gauge 2015 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, The Cutting (O14) by Derek Harris, highlighted in colour.

2014 ~ Critters

For the 2013 Challenge we celebrated three anniversaries: 30 years of Expo Narrow Gauge, 40 years of Meridian Models and 45 years of the Greenwich & District Narrow Gauge Railway Society. The challenge was to build a triangular layout with sides in the ratio 30:40:45.

2014 Dave Brewer Challenge rules

Expo Narrow Gauge 2014 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, Mine Loco by Stuart Brewer, highlighted in colour.
Expo Narrow Gauge 2014 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, Mine Loco by Stuart Brewer, highlighted in colour.

2013 ~ Triangular layout

For the 2013 Challenge we celebrated three anniversaries: 30 years of Expo Narrow Gauge, 40 years of Meridian Models and 45 years of the Greenwich & District Narrow Gauge Railway Society. The challenge was to build a triangular layout with sides in the ratio 30:40:45.

2013 Dave Brewer Challenge rules

Expo Narrow Gauge 2013 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, Windrush Wharf by Richard Holder, highlighted in colour.
Expo Narrow Gauge 2013 Dave Brewer Challenge montage with the winner, Windrush Wharf by Richard Holder, highlighted in colour.