Model railway exhibiting & hobby etiquette

There was recently a request on Facebook from a newcomer to the model railway hobby, about advice on attending his first model railway exhibition.

The obvious first question I had was -I thought you went first to model railway exhibitions to explore what the hobby was, before embarking on it?

That aside- it was the replies the poor chap received from supposed established enthusiasts. “Look out for lack of personal hygiene of other attendees”, “rucksacks and impolite behaviour”… There were few if any encouraging, welcoming  or constructive comments.

So once again is it a few vociferous enthusiasts with attitude, who are the hobby’s main problem in attracting a wide range of the population to our hobby?

I thought we’d got past the rest of the population thinking we were all weirdos or even worse.

This seems a  British trait, similar to that inflicted on football supporters with a loud, ill behaved minority, who ruin it for the majority.

Its a wonderful hobby that has always been appreciated by people from all walks of life and long may that continue.

It has some way to go however- clubs who are less than friendly to newcomers; clubs who don’t participate in local community events; clubs who don’t publicise themselves or the hobby; enthusiasts who don’t put anything back into their club or the hobby

Exhibitors & Fellow modellers

Please encourage newcomers in every way you can and to those who exhibit layouts- please smile and communicate with the visitors rather than huddling at the back!

Have a special person at the front talking to the public-that is someone who is outgoing and enthusiastic…


Please wash regularly and leave the rucksack at home & if you can’t be complimentary about our layouts, keep your opinions to yourself or let us see your efforts!

Please ask questions when operators are not involved in major derailments or electrical failures…