Chris and Barbara from The Friends of 78 Derngate were at Abington Park Museum, Northampton recently for their Collectors Day event. Chris's huge collection of Bassett-Lowke catalogues - [ surely one of the largest such collections in the world ] - was of great interest and attracted a steady stream of visitors.
The day was a great success, helped along by many Friends supporters who stopped by, the presence of a great model railway layout from a fellow collector and substantial amounts of chocolate which sadly ran out too soon.
Further images from the day - and the chance to let us know about your own collection - are on our Facebook.
A 27metre-long mural detailing the history and culture of Northampton and Northamptonshire has been installed at Northampton’s new railway station.
The mural shows a timeline of events from ancient times to the 21st century and includes a section devoted to the town’s Cultural Quarter. Photographs of 78 Derngate, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Mr and Mrs Bassett-Lowke feature alongside information about The Royal Theatre and Bassett-Lowke’s model engineering fame. Even more prominent will be Bassett-Lowke’s appearance on one of 10 new banners, each of which is dedicated to a figure who has helped shape the identity of the County of Northamptonshire. Mr Bassett-Lowke keeps company with, amongst others, Francis Crick, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Walter Tull, John Clare, Elizabeth Woodville and King John.
We were delighted, in December, to receive a generous donation from Ruth I Johns who was the daughter of Gilbert Thomas; a lifelong friend of W.J Bassett-Lowke (patron of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and former owner of 78 Derngate). Mr Thomas, fittingly, had an amazing model railway layout featuring several Bassett-Lowke items. He was also the author of a book entitled "Paddington to Seagood – The Story of a Model Railway" in which his friend W.J is featured. Pictured here are Mr and Mrs Ellison who kindly travelled, on behalf of Ms Johns, from their Derbyshire home to present a Bassett-Lowke passenger coach, guards’ van, coal shed building and track / buffer section to us. These great items are now on display at 78 Derngate and available for free public viewing.