Fred Aldred with Astrid Braun, Past President
Founder Fred Aldred Sr.
Miniature steam plant
Today we spoke with Fred and Jenny Aldred...
Since 2000 we've been displaying our trains at Christkindl Market, we have such an incredible loyal following. The response from our over 25,000 visitors into The Conestoga Room at Kitchener City Hall during the 4 day event ~ is always overwhelming. Each year brings new visitors that have never experienced it, and thousands that return. Jenny and I love to take the time to speak with them.
Many people remember my father Fred Sr. He was well liked by everyone. The children believed he was Santa Claus, and of course we always ran with that and told the story of how Santa took time off from his busy schedule to come to Christkindl Market to display his favorite toys (the trains). Klaus the organ grinder and my Dad, made it an annual event to compare beards!
Today, Fred Sr. continues to visit us in spirit each year during the festival, we believe he is pleased that we have continued what he started. After all what is Christmas without trains.
It is a passion with me now. The value of our investment in our own personal collection of buildings, tracks, villages, supplies, and of course trains has certainly surpassed $75,000 but it's the good times, great people and the awesome backdrop of the Christkindl Market in Kitchener City Hall that keeps us coming back year after year!
In the past, Garden Scale Model Railways have been displayed on table tops of 30 inches or more making it very difficult for the younger generations of model railroad fans to view these very impressive sized trains. Our desire was to display garden railroad at the level it was intended to be viewed. So we took it upon ourselves to bring it down to the level where everyone can enjoy them - Ground Level! Changing the display from tabletop to floor level made us even more visitor friendly no matter if you're young or old, tall or short, in a stroller or wheelchair! Everyone now has a great view of all of the trains!
The best part about "Fred & Jenny Aldred's Garden-scale Railway Display" is its ability to change from show to show, with no set track plan or building placement. Each time it is set up it it is different! It can range in size up to an impressive 24' x 60'. We have the ability to run up to 7 trains at once! We believe this is the only G-Scale Model Railway of it's kind.
We can’t wait to see all the returning visitors, and the ones we haven’t met yet. Please be sure to drop by, make memories and say "Hi Fred!"
See you soon,
p.s. I wanted to add a thank you to Jenny for being very tolerant of my addiction (Oops. I mean 'hobby' of garden model railway)
Fred & Jenny Aldred's Garden-scale Railway Display
Fred's stay is sponsored by Homewood Suites by Hilton® Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario, Canada
GardenRailway.com have listed the top holiday displays around the world, which includes our very own Fred Alfred. See page 5 of this 2011 Garden Railway Magazine PDF. Also read the 2008 Magazine article by Rene Schweitzer.
Helmut Banderob's miniature steam engine is a family favorite. We always enjoy speaking with our long-time friend Helmut.
"About 25 years ago, during a visit to Germany, I noticed a steam engine in a the window of a toy store. Memories of my own childhood in Germany awakened. As a child, I had received one for [Weihnachten] Christmas many years ago. I told my wife, "One of these day I'd like to get one again." Of course, when she convinced me to buy it right away, how could I refuse? I have been a regular at the Kitchener Christkindle Market for close to 20 years. It is a joy to see the interest from young and old, asking lots of questions about how the Steam Engine and its attachments work. One Mennonite family visits me at the market every year, and the father explains to his young boys how it used to be on the farm. And many of the Europeans from my era also remembering having a Steam Engine as a child. I am happy to be part of Christkindle Market and experience the excitement of Christmas."
And, Christkindl Market too is very happy each year when you share your joy with visitors. Please take a few minutes and get up close to discover how it all works. You'll find the steam engine display on the main floor just before you enter the Conestogo Room.
|Helmut Banderob's Steam Engine
Christkindl Market, Kitchener City Hall, Kitchener ON Canada.
Located on the main floor just before you enter the Conestoga Room. Admission is always FREE!