Saturday, January 16, 2010

Blimey - That's a big hall !

Hall 1

I have been in the hall we are holding the model railway show in, just not for a long while and certainly not when completely empty. Walking in on Friday therefore, was a bit of a shock. I mean, we have bandied the number of 30,000 square feet around to impress, but walking into the cavernous interior brought home just how big it really is.

Where to start ?

In one of the corner of a central isle seemed sensible. Thanks to the 20 metre long tape measure we established some lines from the walls and row of pillars. Then some corners. Finally using the big tape to show the long edges we divided them with a smaller one. Thanks to our precision workmanship, the stand sizes were about right. Well, near enough anyway.

Mind you, this is a big hall but not the biggest in the world. I wonder how the good people of the Warley club manage the NEC. I mean, we were operating at the edge of the technology available - or at least the length of tape measure available to us. Do they use GPS ? A theodolite ? Darts from a high vantage point ?

Anyway, after a couple of hours the floor was laid out with masking tape and chalk. We were issued with bright orange tabards with "Steward" on the back. Shortly after the first stands arrived and were moved into place. We'd brought Flockburgh in and put it up. Sadly for fans of angst, apart from a sticky point motor, it all worked first time. Result !

Next door, Chris needed a hand putting up Overlord. Here we hit a snag when one of the bolt holes wouldn't line up. It was a mystery until he spotted that had the wrong board. A bit like making up a jigsaw with 3 parts and getting two of them wrong ! It was pointed out that he might have spotted this a little earlier...

By 6pm, much of the show was in place and I slopped off home to leave the rest of the membership to deal with the final few hours. Not all the work goes on in the hall, there are e-mails to send and invites to the hastily organised Saturday social to cut out ready for the morning.

If there is one problem with the layout of the show it's that we are behind the usual huge second hand stall. I keep repeating the mantra, "I don't need any more project. I don't need any more projects..." so quite how I ended up with this:

Dinky Dustcart

I can't explain. I just looked at it and felt sorry for it, the paint is tatty, the lifting mechanism doesn't work and a headlight has broken off. One day though, I will make it better.

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