Last weekend was the Beds and Bucks Narrow Gauge Modellers Open Day and I was invited to bring a layout.
Taking my first layout to its first exhibition was a little daunting. I’m pleased to say everything worked quite well and people liked the layout, the locos and the slow running. I was very touched by the interest and the positive comments. If you dropped by for a chat, thank you, it was a pleasure to meet you.
I discovered that exhibiting is very different to visiting an exhibition. Firstly, I spent a lot less time looking at other layouts and talking to the operators. Secondly, I hardly visited the trade stands. In fact the only thing I brought was a bacon roll. (Money well spent, the Beds and Bucks bacon rolls are delicious!). Finally, I spent a lot more time talking to the people visiting the exhibition. This was great fun, people give you their opinions and I learned so much. One gentleman said ‘Don’t put any more figures on your layout’. Thank you for that good advice.
Des Trollip kindly operated the layout so I could see the exhibition and get some lunch. There were a few layouts that I hadn’t seen before, that caught my eye.
Vale Quarry by John Bruce is a simple, well modeled and well presented preserved quarry museum. Apparently, John built the layout because he had the Ruston Bucyrus Shovel!
I really liked The Yard by Chris Pearce, a very nice factory scene built in an Ikea toy box. Compact, good buildings, a grimy industrial feel and an O-16.5 layout in 36″ x 17″ – a great combination!
Finally, Ellarose Basin by Les Coleman is a clever idea. A O9 scale, 15 inch line running around a warehouse, a canal basin and a lifting bridge. Les’s locos were very interesting, I was very taken by the Fordson Tractor petrol loco.
It was a great day. Many thanks to the Beds and Bucks team and the organiser Mark Howe.
Next years event is on Sunday 14th May 2017, put the date in your diary!