Cold as the morning was, the notices were up and the hall, at last entered. We had more tables than we suspected, so did not require the self assembly decking originally planned and constructed. By 9:00 most people had arrived and were tucking into Chris and Tony’s Bacon Sandwiches, quaffing copious cups of tea or coffee, depending on personal likes.
This year the show had a definite British feel. Only one of the competition entries being foreign and two German layouts in the main body of the show. Tony Adams with his Nürnburg Winkelhöf, this was placed opposite Chris Ellis’s latest show layout, also German. Thus they had the refreshment stand surrounded!
Standard gauge was represented in N by three layouts. Ian Buck’s replacement West Wittering for the Southern Region. Western Region had two Branchlines. The busy Dairy Lane by Chris White, hydraulics of several flavours rumbling through. Of a far more bucolic flavour Nigel Hill and Chris Ford showed a rural backwater branch Unneycombe. Up to 4mm scale and on an industrial front John Bruce had his new EM gauge The Works Yard. Some unusual motive power, suited to the industrial theme and acres of slightly rusting corrugated iron. Ian Buck also had some stock from the London Elevated Railway, in OO, to show. Cornwall made an appearance, courtesy of Rob Rhodes’ Pengruglan, a through halt and china clay transfer shed.
Before leaving 4mm scale mention must be made of the superb scenic modelling brought along by Roy Hickman. The “Village” keeps growing a pace and some of the views of his latest diorama could be taken for a much larger work. One will definitely make up the Desktop of my office PC.
Narrow gauge was well represented. From the small and idiosyncratic cake box inspired "The Drain" by Simon Hargraves, who ran this, chatted and stalwartly manned the group Sales stand. Up in size and scale we had another visitor to the show. Peter Marshall with his "Two Sisters Farm", a great set of sheds, clutter and tractors too. Not to mention, some very unusual motive power. Farmers have always had to rely on ingenuity! Up to a larger scale still and we come to Miles Bevan and Pynford Cross, a layout constructed to fulfil the rules of an earlier WRG competition. This was an “up-scaled” Fleischmann Magic Train.
On to the subject of competitions. This year the theme was to construct a working layout on 3xA4 sheets of paper. We had several entries. Geoff Latham, had a most original idea of looking down the long axis. A modern diesel depot, or stabling point. Being in a “hole” the scene showed off the model lights to great effect. Mr Rhodes had a couple of entries, a multi-gauge model which featured a narrow gauge to standard transhipment shed. He also entered a TT scale layout with an interesting and useful kick-back “Inglenook” design.
Andrew Knights brought along a double level US prototype layout. Upper level with a commuter service, the lower featuring the world’s smallest train ferry.
Ian Buck had a London Underground inspired model, "Roxeth", some unusual scratch built stock being the main feature of the layout. Chris Ellis entered a variant of his German layout. Shrunk to fit the rules The small Southern region Light Railway, looked a picture against a real Sussex sky when taken outside for photographs.
The winner of the prize, a year’s free subscription to the Newsletter, was Christopher Payne with his superbly presented, "Brink Valley Tramway". Modelled in O9, this depicts the junction terminus of a rural narrow gauge system. Not only did it look good, but worked and fulfilled all the rules of the competition. We should be able to read about it soon in a forthcoming edition of Railway Modeller.
All too soon, it was five o’clock and time to dismantle everything and re-load cars. Here the layout owners have the easier part than our trader friends. Terry Page of LSWR Models, who had supplied the new end of the US market, Roger Jones had many models and books for sale throughout the day.
Me? Just a case of sweeping up, putting out the lights and locking up. Further thanks must go to David Willett for manning the door, to be so near to the show, and kitchen, and not see either. Heroism! Well almost! Also thanks to all those others, not exhibiting, that came along and helped out for a while through the day.”
Andrew Knights - 8 March 2010