Another new show for me, and this one is the longest run yet. So long, I decided a stopover at a nearby Holiday Inn would be preferable to 3 hours or more on the M5 twice in a day. I also discovered that Bridgewater services is a dump and you can't park. I'm told I'm not the first person to discover this.
Glamour continued as I arrived at the venue, a cattle market with the smell of agriculture in the air and the sounds of an unsold resident bellowing from the depths of the stalls. I understand that the sale had been the day before and when setting up commenced, the aroma was somewhat stronger. Fortunately, I don't mind the whiff and it had pretty much cleared as I waited in the car park.
As it happens, I bumped into Tag Gorton and so when we got inside, rather than hanging around the massive second-hand stall, we exchanged pleasantries with a gentleman of the trade and then headed off for a cup of tea. You can tell that they are used to serving farmer as tea is a bargain £1 a cup. Later on in the day, this was re-inforced with a cracking meal, again at a bargain price. All shows should be held at cattle markets!
Tea drunk, I made a quick trip to see the still groaning tables of pre-loved models and then needed to get a passout so I could drop my LGB coach and radio control gear back into the car...
Bargains were well in evidence. Luckily I didn't have my chequebook with me, and the nearest cash machine was a drive away, as there would have been another trip to the car from one of the other dealers.
One thing this shows has in abundance, is layouts. A quick count up shows over 20, unusual for a garden scale event, but great fun. Pump houses seem popular in this area with at least 3 on different layouts. Perhaps this is the proximity to Cornwall?
The Bowman layout was certainly a novel model. We are used to seeing vintage Hornby and Bassett-Lowke but Bowman were smaller manufacturers so the products are rarer. Not that this worried the owners who were thrashing them around the track, just like they were meant to.
As usual, there was a lot of chatting to do. With several engineering clubs present, I was doing my best to get people writing for EiM as well as Garden Rail. I met a few garden scale traders I'd not seen before too, making the trip well worthwhile.
More photos on Flickr. I shot some video, which I'll try to bring you next week.