I am writing this having just returned from the pub. A return that would have been sooner had the Scottish team from Blackstone Junction not arrived just as we were walking out of the door and insisted on one more. Apologies if some of this is gibberish.
Arrived at show around 7:30am. Checked layout was OK and then waited by the roller shutter door to help people in . Worried that the hall looked a bit empty. Worried a bit more that very few members had arrived to help out and I might have to do a lot of carrying. (Later found out there had been some confusion and most people decided to go with the suggestion that the hall would open at 8am, not the 7am I had thought). Rain coming down a bit but a steady stream of arrivals, most of whom don't need my help so I stay dry.
9am - close roller shutter door. Go back to layout and start setting up stock. Test and everything still seems OK. Put up notices and souvenirs. Lots of L&WMRS members in orange tabards by now so I think I can get away with this. Barriers are going up around layouts. Door stuff is being sorted. There is even talk of a queue forming.
10am - Public let in. Run the first train which seems to work OK. Next door, Bay Street is having a few issues which seem to be being resolved by judicious use of a hammer. Mike says I can't take his photo doing this. Apparently the hall has been cold overnight and then warmed up causing the track to move in a previously unexperienced fashion. I suggest he'd be better with all PCB track which seems to work just fine. And then realise he is holding hammer and retire to the layout.
Crowds build up OK. Not breathtaking but this is due (we think) to people heading for the supermarkets to stock up after 2 weeks of enforced starvation due to snow. That's what the guy sent out to get more tea and coffee supplies thinks anyway as it's so busy out there.
There are a lot of families in today. More than I've ever seen on the first day of a model railway show. One of the kids identifies my Class 22 as "Brewster". I have no idea what this is - the parents tell me he is a character from Chuggington. I've looked. He isn't.
Lunchtime - Excellent Beef burgeon on the restaurant, which as a member I have to pay for. They have been very busy. Hardly surprising as its lovely grub. No lull in the numbers in the hall though.
Afternoon - Donate quite a lot of money to a bookseller for two softback publications. Look aghast as I realise I missed out on reasonably priced NuCast GWR steam railcar kit on the second hand stall. Suspect that evil second stall man hides these things from me.
Chat to Anthony who is a bigwig at the NRM (sorry, can't remember the job title, something like "Head of oily things"). Hatch plan to fit Princess with underfloor lighting, big rims and a bithcin' sound system. Realise he probably has the power to do this and resolve not to mention it on blog in case anyone blames me. Marvel at 2 City or Truros double heading on Bay Street. Compose strong letter to a magazine editor complaining about the lack of prototype fidelity. Then realise he probably won't publish it as it's his train set.
Meet Garry who has some questions about compensation (see here) and test his newly built vans. They run beautifully through the crossover and into the front siding - the worst Flockburgh can throw at them. Better than my stock in fact which is annoying. Punish him by dragging him around to the back of the layout and make him operate for a bit as it's late in the day and the crowd is thin.
Shut up show - go to pub. Put world to rights and leave. Get as far as doorstep and get dragged back in by men in kilts.
There are some photos here. But not of the kilts.