Whew that’s over!
One of the busiest fortnights in the club’s history..possibly
On Saturday 5th September we travelled to Cranleigh Rotary’s Model Railway exhibition to help Graham Ashley with his West Bay layout. I arrived just after the show opened, but there had been some hall layout difficulties which worked out fine for our layout, now located by the entrance to the first of four halls being used.
There was a great turnout by club members and former members. It was good to see David G, David C and Graham, together with Nick and a good time was had operating to a schedule. Tony G and later Andrew and family popped in. An enjoyable day with good company.
Meanwhile over in Ford, Ben was exhibiting Vierbrucken and John with Lynnbottom, with Matt assisting. I joined them on Sunday 6th, with Nick in attendance a.m. The place was heaving with great interest in both layouts.
For the following weekend I helped Ben to load the hired van on Friday afternoon, then early on Saturday morning Ben picked up myself and Matt from our respective houses as we travelled in the van to the RE Club exhibition at Woking Leisure Centre, arriving about 7-45am.
Access route to the Wurlitzer room was long with many fire doors. Unfortunately the final section was a ramp with two tight 90 degree turns too tight for Vierbruken (unfortunately the organisers had ignored the description “In one piece”.)After a sharp intake of breath the top section was removed from the wheeled frame and with some assistance from REC members and the use of Matt’s fingers as cushions, we got the layout to its appointed location.
We thought at first we were in a poor location but instead we were in the first area of the exhibition that visitors saw and they were 3 deep in front for most of the Saturday. Many visitors-adults and children alike had a look around the back to see how trains arrived at the various bridges. Ben deservedly received many compliments on the layout and lots of kids dragged parents back time and time again to see what was undoubtedly their favourite layout. Ben was kept busy with exhibition enquiries from club’s local and far away. Tony G and Graham looked in and sat for a time in our visitors chairs.
Sunday was not so hectic, the team was down to Ben and myself. but the level of interest was still high, with what seemed a number of UK residents from around the world and more opportunity to talk to them and other exhibitors. Ben took more exhibition enquiries.
A close friend of Ben, left his son William to help with operating the layout for much of the day. Andrew and family plus Eric popped in.
Throughout stock generally performed well, particularly the Thayles set by Kato.
The packing up was delayed somewhat by an evacuation of the building due to a possible spurious alarm.
Vierbrucken still unfortunately had to be taken apart, but this time the route to the outside was somewhat shorter but involved a short set of stairs and some tight turns but with help from REC members plus our club chairman – (thanks Martin) we were on our way and unloaded and sitting down at respective homes by around 7-15pm.
Thanks to all those who helped make it such a great two weekends for the club.
The Post ran a piece on the clubs exhibition trail last week and we’ve passed a couple of photos to them for this or next week.