Tempted by the offer of excellent cakes, we hauled Melbridge Dock out of storage for a day in sunny Daventry.
In my role as MREmag editor, I was to open the show by cutting a ribbon. That was fine - ribbon blocking the path of eager enthusiasts - but no scissors so the "special" guest had to nip back to his layout, rummage in the toolbox and run back with a (safely carried) knife to do the duty!
Our layout behaved itself perfectly all day. Once dry joint was found on setup and quickly fixed.
Biggest surprise was finding out that it was 25 years since we'd first exhibited Melbridge Dock back at the Town & Country Festival. How time flies!
Despite this, people really enjoyed the model and although the day was quiet, there was an awful lot of good chat with visitors. Several had never seen us before - not surprising as show appearances have been sporadic recently - making it all the more interesting.
Several asked how long the model is (6ft scenic + 3ft fiddleyard) thinking it's the sort of space they have at home. We might yet inspire a few more layouts!
Cakes were, as promised, excellent. Delicious cupcakes in the morning and chocolate tart or shortbread with afternoon tea. I was also given 8 slices of chocolate cake as a joke by the exhibition manager...
Layouts were mixed. Star for me was Adrian Hall's large American HO/HOn3 layout "Bear Creek Junction". Loads and loads of detail plus a precarious, by realistic, viaduct along the front. One to seek out if you get the chance.
Quite a range of scales were on offer, from N to G3 with even some 5.5mm scale.
Trade was better than the normal small show. I've come away with some excellent Skytrex pieces to review and Proops Bothers stand took a few quid off me as I've not seen them at a show for years but the range of tools is great.
Excellent day. Go and have a look at my photos on Flickr to see why.