Anyway, Northampton club have moved to a new venue - a college on the outskirts of town which proved pretty easy to find once I stopped fighting the Satnav's desire to head on to the M1 instead of my preferred cross-country route.
At the cash desk the new venue was already causing problems as one of the organisers was busy explaining to the ticket people that several stands had had to be moved. Setting up in a new place is touch and schools are particularly problematic as all the rooms are too small really.
This did show a bit as the layout was "interesting" and there were one or two tight spots as we worked out way around. Admittedly, this was during the busiest time of the day so things probably improved once we had gone.
Layout-wise, this were pretty good. My eye was caught by a couple of models, Herrenscar Harbour in N gauge took full advantage of it's location on the dark stage. The ligthing was simple but helped with the atmosphere.
Elsewhere, the O gauge Treloar Sidings is very much the sort of layout I was aiming at with Clayhanger yard. A simple shunting set-up with a bit of atmosphere. The wagon weathering was nice and I think with some lighting (they were in a very bright bit of hall so didn't need it) the results will impress. I'd suggest a slightly higher set of supports though.
Scenic feature of the day had to be the waterfalls on ON30 layout Karolina Falls. The real thing tumbled over a waterfall powered by a garden pump. It's an effect you love of hate. Real water doesn't scale so the waterfall was a bit light on spray but it did keep going and provide movement to what could have been a very static part of the layout. The rest of the model was pretty good too.
My favorite layout though was an Underground Ernie setup. I've never seen the stuff used properly before. I own a few models as mechanism donors but putting it all together and adding a few similar features, I've never seen the programme but I'm pretty sure it's normally Dalek free, looks great. Operation was via big push buttons on the front and I enjoyed making it work even if the rest of the visitors seemed too snooty to have a go!
Tradewise, I picked up some very interesting books to review at a later date here. H&A Models replenished my supply of Track colour paint and a pack of wagon transfers.
Even the tombola added to the stash, although the bottle of shower gel would have been better aimed at the many, far more than I've encountered for a long while, smelly visitors. I know it's hot, I know the hall was warm, but some of them really needed to be kept outside...
Finally, cake. Two to chose from, a small fairy cake with a red splat on top and a small ginger cake that had been labeled chocolate cake. Both lovely and home made.
Anyway, there are more photos to enjoy on Flickr.