Monday, August 20, 2012
Midland Railex 2012
You don't get many toy chuffer shows in the summer. Apparently, when the sun it out, we are supposed to spend our time running around half-naked slowly turning lobster coloured. This idea overlooks the fact that most of us should not be unclothed in public and British people aren't adapted to the sunshine.
Help was at hand last weekend with the Midland Railex exhibition taking place at the Midland Railway centre. As well as real engines, some pretty good model railways would be present along with a decent selection of trade and all the magazines that matter for the hobby. Quite a draw.
We arrived on Friday and were directed to the HMRS building. Behind this is an old wagon works and our spot was to be behind a crane tank along with three other layouts, one of which was nearly ready as we moved in. Setting up was fine, even though we hadn't show Melbridge Dock for over a year. Fine until we put the legs up back to front, something not spotted until attaching the information panels, the last job. Hastily dismantling the model again sorted this but with red faces and not just from the heat.
That heat turned out to be the only downside of the entire weekend. The crowds were friendly and talkative most of the time. Only one smelly bod turned up and after his question was answered, he interrupted a conversation but I decided to help as quickly as I could anyway for the good of out noses, vanished just as quickly. I think we had one of the cooler halls too with its high roof and open doors at the far end.
Apart from one desoldered switch rail (quickly fixed) the layout ran pretty well. Our main problems seemed to be with too-free running wagons on the uncoupling magnets but that was possibly operators out of practise as much as anything.
Saturday night allowed us to enjoy a quick ride up and down the line behind a Class 47 followed by cool drinks in the pub with the lads from Hull.
You're probably asking about cake. Friday evening, I was defeated by the pub Rocky Road cake fro desert and had to be rescued by Dave when I ground to a halt half way through. Lovely, but too much. Saturday, chocolate cake which was delicious but ran out too early. Sunday, fairy cakes with jelly beans on top. Sadly, the beans escaped and I didn't fancy eating them off the floor of an engine shed...
All in all, a good show and we'll hopefully do it again. Crowds were apparently 50% up on the Saturday and good on Sunday too. Both days saw them running out of car parking. Thanks to the spread out nature of the site, I'm pretty certain not everyone found us but that will teach them to read the programme on the day - it was all clearly marked.
Highlight of the show - being asked if the full-sized Intercity 250 mock-up nose was a model of the Pullman that ran through Leicester. It makes me wonder if Bachmann needed to put so much work into their model version...
Other highlight of the show - Sunday morning, outside the shed, watching Standard 5 and Peckett engines being prepared. There's not much to beat the smell and sound of steam engine at the start of the day after a full English breakfast.
Thanks if you came by to say hello. It's always nice to put faces to blog reader statistics. Please do Get In Touch if you have questions I promised to answer.
There's some photos on Flicr for your amusement.