Saturday was Telford, the 7mm scale show to beat them all. Well, beat them all if you want to find anything manufactured in the scale anyway. Basically if it ain't at Telford, it probably doesn't exist.
Now I'm not a modeller in the scale BUT I do build locos for other people (OK, I admit there may be a loco or three lurking in my own collection. And some wagons. And some track. And a couple of baseboards for a prospective layout that probably won't get built but you know what I mean) so it's very useful to go along, pay the £12 non-members entry fee, and have a good poke around and chat to people.
As usual the show was packed, the trade seemed to be doing brisk business. I was surprised by the number of ready to go locos there were on sale, and (in my capacity as someone who tries to make a few quid building stuff for others) disappointed at the low prices they were fetching. No chance of me raising my rates for a while I think ! Mind you there is some very rough stuff out there so my prices still look like a pretty good deal, and of course you don't get to see the stuff running...
Anyway, there were a few amusing moments - One potential customer asked if the Garratt kit regular readers of this blog will be familiar with, could be made up as one of the locomotives running on the Welsh Highland Railway. Had I been on the stand I might have suggested that yes it could. All you have to do is take the kit out of the box, throw it away and go and buy the correct one from Backwoods Miniatures. I mean, the WH version has more wheels, very different shaped ends and is narrow gauge. Apart from that it's almost identical.
Railway Modeller magazine take a stand and behind it there is a portable studio, not unlike the version I use. It is there so new releases can be shot for the news section in the magazine. I trotted over there with the Garratt and half way across the hall was accosted by a gentleman who say "Oh, a Garratt. How unusual." to which I had to reply looking at the model under his arm, "Oh, a Leader. How unusual." If we are playing Top Trumps, I think he beats me as only one of those locos were ever finished. Nice model too and totally scratchbuilt.
And I did a stupid thing. Something I laugh at other people for doing. I left my wallet on Squires stand. Fortunately when I went back for it, Roger had rescued it and was about to 'phone the shop to get my home number. Now that is customer service for you.