Off I went on Saturday, avoiding the magic roundabout but encountering just about every other one in the world, to Swindon. I'd "volunteered" to help Trevor man the Mercian Model stand at the Swindon Railway Festival.
The show takes place inside the old locomotive works which now house an "Outlet Store", whatever that is, and a steam railway museum.*
The museum is fantastic, or at least the little I saw is. Lots of superb displays including lifelike mannequins that everyone found a bit creepy. Our stand was opposite a signal box and I kept turning round thinking someone was looking my way to realise the "someone" was made of whatever fake people are made from.
We backs on to a Dean Good locomotive which was handy as Mercian will be producing a kit of this soon(ish). New on display is a Gauge 1 Class 14 which will be appearing on this blog soon when I get to paint it. The model isn't just a blow up of the 4mm version but a new etch and obviously new castings. The result looks fabulous. It's a handsome model of a handsome locomotive.
Elsewhere in the show there were some traders and some layouts. That's about all I can say as I didn't really get to have a proper look. It's not that the show was busy, it was but not so you couldn't move around, it's just that I spent a lot of time chatting to people. Sorry if you were hoping for a full report.
Erm, if it helps, the country style burgers were very nice and I ate mine between 4 traction engines. Which I didn't photograph because I was holding food and digital cameras and ketchup aren't a good mix.
I did take a good look at the land speed record holding steam car. It's very long. And sleek. And a bit good really. You could have your photo taken sat in the cockpit if you paid them some money. Or not if you were the Mayor who I'm sure got in for free. There is the most fantastic sign on the back though. I want one !
Maybe I need to go back for this show. Much more my sort of thing !
*A more fashionable friend explains to me that an Outlet Store is something to do with selling fashionable clothes to people. You will be suprised to learnt that there appeared to be no crossover between this event and these stores.