I'm doing two shows this weekend. As well as appearing at Uckfield with the Hellingly Hospital Railway, I'll be taking part in the Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition around the corner from where I live.
Set up was last night and we took along a couple of puffers plus Tomsk and a tugboat. These joined the KMBC stand which is, as usual, packed with very good things for all to see.
It's funny appearing at this sort of show. I feel a bit of a fraud since the modelling I do isn't really model engineering. OK, I tinker and make things but on the opposite stand is a GWR Castle made from scratch in proper steel and brass. That's engineering - the man has used a lathe, a tool that separates (in my head anyway) the men from the boys.
Still, I suppose we do have to build the boast ourselves. There is only one ready to run boat on the stand and that has been extensively detailed so you can't tell which one it is.
The clever trick of being in two places at once is being achieved by only attending the show in person on Monday and Tuesday. Other club members will provide cover for the other days. It's still a bit odd to have a show open during the working week but there will doubtless be coaches in the car park ferrying aged engineers from all parts of the country. With a bloodstream that's significantly steam oil, these guys will arrive and scrutinise the exhibits then leave with rough castings and sharp implements planning the year aheads projects. And you know what ? They will get them done too. You don't need a computer for brain training, just a workshop with tools and the desire to make things - that's what keeps the mind active and the eyes twinkly for years to come.