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Anthony Coulls – “Brass, Steel and Fire”

A Century of Model Locomotives


Thu 08 Apr 21


7:30pm - 9:30pm

About this event

We are delighted to welcome Anthony Coulls, Senior Curator of Rail Transport and Technology at the National Railway Museum to The MRC on Thursday 8th April 2021, as he talks about the exhibition that is on it’s way to London’s Science Museum.

Please register using the form below, and we’ll email Zoom details a day or two before. If you’d like to support The MRC, buy us a coffee here

Previously at the National Railway Museum in York and heading to the Science Museum in London after Lockdown, “Brass, Steel and Fire” celebrates model making in the age of the railways in a unique exhibition which explores the skills, endeavour and pride of pioneering makers and their elaborate homemade machines.

At this award-winning exhibition, you will meet the ordinary people – from lacemakers to locomotive drivers and engineers – who built the modern world from their kitchen tables. Made with curiosity and experimentation in mind, these models hissed, smoked and steamed their way through a century of rapid technological change.

Brass, Steel and Fire features several of the oldest model locomotives in the world, lovingly handmade from scratch in the nineteenth century. Brought together for the first time in this exhibition, these intricate and inventive models provide visitors with a glimpse of the skill, passion and joy found in making the world in miniature.

Among the nineteen models on display is the world’s oldest model locomotive, Salamanca, on loan from Leeds Museums and Galleries, and Topsy, on loan from Ffestiniog Railway in Wales, which helped spread narrow-gauge railways around the world. A model of Fire King, made in the 1840s by apprentice Josiah Evans who used his experience to later build full size locomotives, is one of three rare models on loan from the Rahmi M. Koç Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

A spectacular artistic display of almost 200 tools used to make model locomotives welcomes visitors into the exhibition. The tools were used for many years by model maker Keith Dodgson, who donated the tools for the display shortly before he died.

Brass, Steel and Fire explores the stories behind many unique locomotive models, revealing who made them and why.

Please note – this replaces the previous advertised event “Gordon’s Alive”. The Minions of Strawberry Hill will join us in the autumn, and we’d like to thank Ant for bringing his visit forward.

Thursday Track Nights

We are open on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm at our Keen House clubrooms. Visitors are welcome, please come along and introduce yourself.


Keen House, 4 Calshot Street, London, N1 9DA

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