Sitcom star judges model railway exhibition

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MORE than 560 people were chuffed to bits when the star of a classic TV sitcom attended a model railway exhibition.

Dad’s Army actor Ian Lavender judged the layouts at the Bury St Edmunds Model Railway Club event at Risby Village Hall last weekend.

The exhibition was the club’s first in 22 years and proved such as success that organisers have already organised another for next May.

Highlights included 17 model railway layouts, 10 traders and construction demonstrations of buildings and locomotives.

A tombola raised £295 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and a raffle brought in £51 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Mr Lavender, who played Private Frank Pike in the BBC sitcom, selected the Cambridge Club’s Hobbs Warren as the best layout.

He was invited by exhibition manager Paul Austin, who is a friend of the star.

Club chairman John Russell said: “It was brilliant and those who attended thought it was a super show. We had people there who had been to the last one and they said it was at least up to the previous standard.

“All the traders want to come back.”