Saturday, February 14, 2015
Friday night traffic is a pain isn't it? Doncaster racecourse is just over 2 hours away from where I live. Except on Friday, with the hall closing time looming, when it can take (according to the satnav at one point) 5 1/2. This turned out to be pessimistic but crawling through the traffic still took just over 4 hours. Add to that an early panic when my van was delivered to the wrong branch of Enterprise car hire, and I wasn't in a great mood when I got there.
Some efficient set-up and the support of a few friendly co-exhibitors saw me up and running in under 40 minutes. Plenty of time before shutdown.
The trip to the hotel was slightly stymied by neither Satnav I brought along, nor the one fitted in the van (there's posh) knowing where the place was. The supplied map was also wrong, but after a couple of wrong turns and re-tracing my route, I remember where it was wrong (2 roundabouts are now junctions) that I eventually found myself at the accommodation in the shadow of a giant Amazon warehouse and stuffing my face with surprisingly good pizza.
Day one was busy. From the moment doors opened to advance ticket holders until mid afternoon, the place was thick with people. Thanks to Colin Snowdon and the DOGA team, I managed to escape for my sessions in the theatre. Those who came along seemed to enjoy them but most people hadn't found it by 11:30 in the morning so it was quiet.
For a layout that had been at the show the year before and is over a year from it's last appearance in print, Edgeworth attracts a lot of attention. Lack of stock meant operation was limited, not helped by several items having had coupling hooks removed for an article on alternatives and never replaced. Another job for the list!
At one point over the weekend, there was a queue of people waiting to crawl under the baseboards and examine the woodwork, legs and wiring. I'm quite chuffed with this as while I've not done anything special as far as I'm concerned, plywood still seems a mystery to many people. At least one chap has been saved from the horror of Sundeala tops though so some good work was done.
Looking around time was limited to before the event so there aren't many photos for you to look at - a shame as there were some cracking layouts to see. People moan that the layout to trade ratio is biased towards the trade but those that were there were excellent and you could also buy a lot of specialist stuff too. Not Railmatch paint sadly, but pretty much anything else.
Anyway, if you dropped by to say hello, thank you. I'm not much of an operator, preferring to help people build their own miniature railway systems. If I aided you a little, let me know, it make all of this worthwhile!
Photos on Flickr (now working)