Sunday, August 24, 2014

Midland Railex 2014

Loco amid the ruins

Since I've exhibited at the last couple of Midland Railex's and thoroughly enjoyed myself, it seemed like a good idea to spend 90 minutes in the car and turn up a a proper paying punter this year.

Getting to Butterly station in plenty of time, I paid my £13.50 and was immediately offered a £2 voucher if I gift aided the fee, a simple matter of completing an tiny form. Good thinking there from someone - I'd rather that the railway received the money that George Osbourne.

The short train ride behind a Class 24 diesel dropped us at Swanwick station, the venue for the show. Exhibits are spread around the site so assuming that most people would head straight for the main shed, we pointed in the other direction and went to steam shed via a bacon buttie van.

Wartime fire engineRailex provides the novel feature of real trains and model ones. This year as a special feature there were military vehicles since it's the big anniversary of WW1.

I'd not really gone with a shopping list but the steam shed depleted my cash reserves pretty quickly as the booksellers there were all doing some very good deals. The HMRS headquarters seemed to be shedding excess stock leaving me to walk around with a years worth of Meccano magazines in my bag for a quid. I'd have brought another 6 years back with me too if I had felt strong enough...

Layouts were mostly on a military theme and while I think I'd seen them all before, the quality was (to my mind) pretty high. I'm not really a fan of wartime stuff but even so, I can appreciate the work. They weren't really gun-ho either with plenty of evidence of the grimmer side of wartime with the inured, destroyed buildings and refugees modelled.

Outside we had a line up of military vehicles. No tanks but plenty of examples that you can replicate from the Airfix Recovery and Emergency sets.

Cakes on a plateCakes from the on-site cafe were superb. Not too large but very tasty and inexpensive too. Just to be on the safe side, when offered an exhibitor tea by a friend, I checked this out and can report the people inside the barriers were also fed nearly as well.

As well as all the military stuff of course there were vintage buses, lorries and the fork lift truck collection which continues to fascinate me.

Look out for a couple of follow-up posts next week from this event. In the meantime, enjoy my photos over on Flickr.

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