Some shows last a day. Some shows last 2. Some shows last a day but should last 2 'cos they are so good. Wycrail fills this last category.
31 high-quality layouts and loads of trade. All in a roomy and light, if a little warm, venue. Best of all, excellent quality, reasonably priced, cake.
Just off the M40 motorway, we arrived about 15 minutes before opening and despite the odd spot of drizzle, the queue was long and wide.
Inside, you find yourself in a high-roofed hall which is light an airy. Along one side there were layouts, on the other, cake. We got collared for tombola tickets very quickly. Sadly, the Toy Story train set eluded us but a bottle of orange Fruit Shoot was won and kept my Dad refreshed when we weren't drinking tea.
Heading towards the Bring & Buy stall, we found ourselves in a 1st floor sports hall. This is the first time I've gone upstairs to a sports hall, they are normally a ground level room.Still, it worked and I suppose there is no reason why you shouldn't have one in a modern building.
First stop was to abuse Chris Nevard who seemed to be hiding his micro layout behind some camera apparatus. Apparently he was taking photos, not trying to hide from rabid RMWeb members who might spot a missing rivet or two.
One more unusual thing about Wycrail - they have layouts based on johnny foreigners prototypes. And some of them are very good indeed. We had American, Italian and German(I think) prototypes. I was very taken with one of the American dockside ones which had a realistic (to my eye) jumble of clapperboard wooden buildings. Most seemed to be offering specialist entertainment and I don't mean S4 modelling!
One highlight was chatting to the owner of Corris when he pulled out a plastic box from under the layout and showed me some part-scratchbuilt 009 locos he was working on. They were tiny, included double reduction gearboxes with the motor hidden in the firebox and most unexpected of all, the con-rods were doing the job they are meant to. He admitted that like me he'd been told that in N and 009, powered axles have to be linked with gears but his rods do their job and do it well so this isn't as hard and fast a rule as it appears.
N gauge layout "Lofthole Oil" had a couple of surprises too. First, on the front was an operating digger complete with control box so the crowd could have a go. It was being monopolised by youths so I didn't get a play but it looked impressive all the same.
Around the back, a fiddle yard sticks out of the running looks (it's a roundy-roundy) allowing the yard to service both up and down lines. A much more efficient system than the traditional series of loops although at the price of increased floor space.
Trade-wise, I got most of the items on my shopping list and a few that weren't so that's all good.
Anyway, lots of pictures for you to enjoy here:
Wycrail photos on Flickr