BBC Camera Man Smashes Buffer Stop SHOCKA !!!
A two day model railway show will normally see 2/3rds of the visitors arrived on Saturday. Sunday is for people who couldn't make the first day or families apparently. True enthusiasts prefer to fight with the crowds to see things. This means that most of my friends are not true enthusiasts as they all seemed to turn up on the second day. Good thing really as that just meant more chatting and we couldn't have done any more earlier !
Anyway, the weather was fine and many people migrated from the car boot sale to come and see us in addition to those who'd come just for the show. Everyone seemed happy and many were surprised just how much there was on show. There was lots of good stuff on offer but it was wasted on me as I didn't really escape from the back of the layout for most of the day !
Of course things weren't perfect. My campervan decided that three days of perfect running were too much for it and lost the tail light on the drivers side. Trying to fix this on Sunday morning (sadly, it wasn't as simple as a blown bulb) I managed to break the brake lights as well. With the reversing light having been duff for some time I decided to leave well alone and borrow a modern car for the day. Worryingly car we'd never put the layout in to and weren't convinced that it would fit.
During the afternoon Chris, our exhibition manager, brought round a man in a red fleece who carried a big camera. A bit of lanyard poking out from the neck identified him as from the BBC. The rest showed that ITV sends prettier reporters. Still, the layout was to be filmed and so we attempted to put on a show. Special attention was paid to the brick warehouses as these fall withing the region. I ran a train back and forth several times as it was shot from many different angles. During one of these runs the camera was placed at the end of the model to get an exciting (if badly lit in my opinion) approaching shot.
TV cameras are much lighter than they were in Raymond Baxter's day but still chunky and solid things. Nudging a buffer stop with one caused the wooden beams to separate at one end from the rail built vertical. For 21 years that beam has survived until the Beeb came along. Can I deduct the cost of a brushfull of superglue from my licence fee ?
Anyway, the crowds held up for the day and a few people needed to be shooed out at 4pm so we could knock down. We packed up and found that the layout plus 4 boats fits surprisingly well in the back of a Belingo without any rattles as you drive.
Before leaving a couple of hours lugging things around the hall were needed - it's polite to help traders and layouts move stuff to their vans. After a long weekend and travelling a significant distance it's always appreciated if the locals help with the carrying, something we in the LWMRS have always been happy to do. Squires left with a van quite a bit emptier than he arrived the result of some good sales I'm pleased to say. Last out of the door were Rural Railways who have an incredible and superbly organised system involving huge numbers of banana boxes. Considering these two carry more stock items than anyone else in the show it's not surprising packing up takes longer than most !
By the end of the weekend everyone seemed happy. The show was excellent - it looked good, featured superb layouts and the trade was some of the best at any show. Obvious I'm biased but we've worked hard to get the event this way and the move to the new venue has paid off in terms of quality. If you visited then I hope you enjoyed it. Please send your comments in (good AND bad) via the club website and we'll look at them for next year. If you didn't come then that is your loss. Try harder next year.
In the meantime, I've added more photos to the gallery.