Beds and Bucks Open Day 2016

Station Detail 'First'

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!

Vale Quarry 009 John Bruce

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!

The Yard O16 Chris Pearce

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.

Ellarose Basin 09 Les Coleman

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!


  1. I travelled down from Darkest Derbyshire for the third year running (combining the show with a family visit), and again I was glad that I did. It was another very good show with a fine selection of layouts on display, including of course First!


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