Last year, I tried to visit the Gauge O Guild show at Kettering and it all went a bit wrong. This year, I hoped it would be different. With my O gauge project on the go, I really needed a scale specific event to wander around to pick up the bits'n'pieces to finish the layout.
I'd bought all the 7mm scale brick plasticard the local model shop had in stock anyway.
Following Mrs SatNav's directions we travelled along the M6 and A14 arriving in the middle of a housing estate that for a while I thought looked a bit like the one I had driven through last year. After a few minutes fruitless searching I parked up and thanks to the joys of mobile Interweb, managed to find an alternative postcode for the venue. 10 more minutes later and we were in the car park. It seems that the postcode on the front of the show guide was wrong...
Sadly, by this time, the car park was full and I was getting a dose of deja vu. This time though, we were handed a map printed with both route and surrounding streets. Better still, exiting the car park we spotted arrows on the lamp posts guiding the way. Top work from someone - a fantastic job.
Arriving in the tiny overflow car park we were lucky to be the last but one car in. A quick trip on the "courteous bus" saw us back at the hall and in the queue.
At the pay desk, I mentioned that I planned to join the Guild at the show and was directed to a new table where details and money were taken. This saved me £2 on the entry fee and since I'd planned to do it anyway, was well worth the effort.
Inside, the hall were a small selection of minimum space O gauge layouts and a text track. The rest of the room was filled with traders. Judging by the people leaving after an hour of opening, they had been doing brisk business. This was later confirmed by one trader who said he felt the recession might be improving - either that or people were going to spend all their money to deny the chancellor an opportunity to get his paws on it !
Wandering around, I managed to pick up everything I was looking for and a few bits I wasn't. It still amazes me the amount produced in what is still largely a modellers scale. If funds had been no object, I could have happily filled the back of the car with goodies.
Another pleasant surprise was the cost of refreshments. We tried too late for the sausage or bacon baps (£3 each) but at least cups of tea at a pound a go were welcome. Compared to most leisure centre catering, that's a bargain and that didn't taste to bad either.
An interesting event. If you wanted to see trains charging around then probably not for you. Me, I like little layouts and loved every one on show.
Kettering 2013 photos.