Didn't this use to be St Albans show?
Yes, it did, but then they made the move to Stevenage to a leisure centre and theatre complex. Result - instead of the horribly cramped and difficult to navigate accommodation of past years, this time we have two large, rectangular halls.
The organisers have taken the advantage of this to fill them with lots of high-quality layouts, several of which would have been too large for the old place.
Getting in a bit odd as the ticket booth is upstairs and show on the ground floor. The last vestiges of the panto were evident with Dick Whittington themed cafe names still pinned up as the show finishes its run.
Sorry to report that this was another show with a lot of chatting which I know doesn't make for an exciting report. I did take a few photos and the excellent lighting means most of them came out OK.
Highlights had to be listening to the Gauge 3 models run. Not the sound units in the electric locos, but the rumble of heavy rolling stock over track joints - absolutely perfect. You can try in smaller scales, but never really achieve that deep thunk so redolent of old train journeys. I don't miss it on a modern train, but there is something very reassuring about the sound on a slow service.
The show attracts layouts from abroad, including this slightly mad, but apparently prototypical one with a working cableway. Not only working, but very well modelled too. It's easy to do this as a gimmick, but much harder to do a quality job.
If there has to be a "layout I'd like to built", it's going to be Sutton Wharf. I love the large scale and the atmospheric colouring and building finishes. Over the years, I've come to appreciate narrow gauge oddities and one day will build something along these lines myself I hope.
One change to show reports for a while will be the lack of cake reviews I'm afraid. A new leaf has been turned over with some healthy eating on the agenda and for the moment that means I don't get cake. I can report the tea was lovely and the chicken in a basket perfectly fine. Not pricey either. To ben honest, the cake slooked nice, but small, so I didn't miss them too much...