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.

2012 ~ Pizza layout

For the 2012 Challenge we have chosen the theme of Pizza Layouts. Such models are roughly circular and have a continuous run of track. Sidings or loops may branch off from the main track, but are optional. The maximum diameter we have chosen is the popular narrow gauge of 60 cm (1 ft 11.5 ins).

2018 ~ 50 and 35 years Anniversaries

For the 2018 Challenge, we have two important anniversaries to celebrat - 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
The Winner - Creag Dhubh Summit - model of a small station on the summit of a mountain - built Ted Polet
Runner up - model of a Welsh slate quarry railway being dismantled - The scrapman cometh by Pete Wilson
Runner up - model of a Welsh slate quarry railway being dismantled - 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.
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.
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.
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.

2011 ~ Box file layout

For the 2011 Challenge we have returned to the theme of ‘layouts in containers’ and the container we have chosen is the humble box file. These are available from high street stationers, such as W H Smith. The size chosen for the competition is ‘foolscap’, with internal dimensions of 35.6 cm by 23.5 cm.

2010 ~ Carriers

The theme of the 2010 Challenge is a model of rolling stock of one gauge being carried upon stock of a different gauge. For example, a standard gauge wagon on a narrow gauge transporter wagon. One of the vehicles must be narrow gauge, defined as less than 4 ft 81/2 ins, the other vehicle can be narrow gauge, standard gauge or broad gauge. The two gauges must be different. The scale of the models can be whatever the builder chooses, up to a maximum of G or 16 mm scale. The models can be scratch or kit built, but not ready to run. However, commercial parts can be used in constructing the models.

2009 ~ Servicing or Mintenance diorama

Model a static diorama illustrating some aspect of the servicing or maintenance of narrow gauge locos or rolling stock. It can be as simple or complex as desired in the space available, but must contain a minimum of one vehicle.

2008 ~ Anniversary Challenge

For several years now we have held a competition at Expo Narrow Gauge. 2008 will be a special year as we celebrate two anniversaries; twenty five years of Expo Narrow Gauge and forty years of the Greenwich and District Narrow Gauge Railway Society. Once again we have chosen the micro-layout concept and this time the model's dimensions reflect both anniversaries.

2006 ~ Railcar Rumble

For the 2006 Chairmans Challenge we decided on the Railcar Rumble.

2005 ~ The Cubic Challenge

The 2005 Chairmans Challenge was to create a model that would fit into a 500mm cube - height, width and depth were all a maximum of 500mm.