Published on : Friday, November 19, 2021
The Ashford International Model Railway Education Centre (AIMREC) studio and workshop has opened its doors to tourists and will be welcoming model railway enthusiasts at Bethersden, Kent. Prior to lockdown, the model railway centre saw hundreds of people visit its temporary exhibition in an empty unit in Elwick
Place every weekend, and the team behind the project hope success at the new home will help prove the viability of developing a larger-scale centre in Ashford town centre in the long term. The studio and workshop in Bethersden will promote the AIMREC project and allow visitors to see the winning Great Model Railway Challenge layouts in action alongside examples of other model railways in different scales and sizes and some special displays linked to railways and the hobby of modelling.
Last weekend, VIP guests were given a preview of the centre. Railway heritage enthusiast Lady Judy McAlpine performed a ribbon cutting ceremony, accompanied by Gerry Clarkson, leader of Ashford borough council, Callum Knowles, mayor of Ashford, and Matthew Forest, portfolio holder for culture, tourism and leisure.
In speeches to the invited guests and volunteers, there were congratulations to the AIMREC team on moving their ambitious project forward as well as admiration for the creativity, quality and diversity of exhibits on show. The guests then met the volunteers behind the design, build and operation of the nine model railways on display. AIMREC’s studio and workshop is open for visitors on Saturdays from November 20 until December 18. Entry is free but must be booked in advance.