Warley this year was as ever, very busy and of course, I didn't really get the chance to have a look around much during the weekend, despite having two layouts that could largely look after themselves leaving me to chat to people. This is a pity as it looked to be a vintage year for layouts with loads of superb models on display.
What I did see tended to be either before the show opened or on a trip to pick up the delicious pork baps that made up my lunch each day.
One advantage of the NEC is that it can swallow up huge layouts, such as this audacious model of the Forth Bridge in T gauge. What could have been a bit of a gimmick is actually a superb model. The bridge is good, but North Queensferry at the end is brilliant. They have even modelled the restaurant that I recall enjoying a meal at Scaleforum Falkirk many years ago!
The other monster was a German model, built and exhibited by a husband and wife team. I think I'm doing well if I take out a 10ft long display with two people, not something that needs a 7.5ton truck!
Panoramas of both of these layouts are in the Flickr album so you can get a better idea of the scale.
Being nearer the foreign layouts, I saw quite a bit of the On30 American modelling and enjoyed it a lot. I tried to take a photograph of a fascinating Thai layout Mahachai where a Bud railcar travelled up and down through a street market causing all the shop canopies to swing in and out. Sadly the lighting in the hall left this too fuzzy to show, but it's worth a look if you ever see the layout at a show.
Cake was limited. Basically, I didn't get any although someone delivered a small square of millionaire shortbread for Andy York, which I generously didn't pinch!
Being on the BRM stand and in front of Andy York's photo booth did present an interesting opportunity. Over the weekend, many new exciting models find their way to us for photography before everyone froths all over them. One such model was the rather tasty Heljan L&B 009 loco, which promptly found itself doing a few circuits of Owen's Bridge. I'd expected it to look ridiculous on the Peco setrack nosing its way around the curves, but instead it looks fine. OK, larger curves would look better but the model certainly ran very nicely with nothing falling off.
One of the show highlights happened so quickly I didn't get the chance to thank the gentleman concerned. On the Saturday morning, I suddenly found a brand new tube of Beatties plastic cement pressed into my hand.
Getting in and out was pretty good this year. On the way in I discovered that my pass didn't allow me in until after 2, but at least being in the waiting area at noon meant I was third in the queue when we did set off, after lunch hot chocolate and crisps at the adjacent hotel. Out was even easier as I got into the car park next to the hall and thanks to Kyle from BRM's camera team, was on my way home an hour and a half after the show closed.
My Warley album on Flickr.