Flockburgh is due to attend the Shipley show this weekend. Previous postings have covered setting the layout up to make sure everything works. Now it’s time to get the thing packed up and ready for the journey.
Actually, that’s not true. Traditionally I manage to leave most of the packing until the night before and then wish I’d done it earlier. Not this time – because we had the photos taken at the club, which meant moving the model, packing was carried out nearly a week ago.
The last jobs to be done are usually assembling the toolbox and exhibition box.
Toolbox is easy. Open box, chuck the tools I think I might need in and close it again. Re-open, put the forgotten tools in and then close. Repeat three or four time. Ideally the box sits on the bench for a couple of days as I gradually fill it with items that make sense but hopefully will stay inside for the whole show. I don’t like fixing stuff if I can help it, but should the need arise I don’t want the tool two hundred miles away !
The exhibition box is special. For a start it is a wooden “Hatching Eggs” box I acquired from MAFF when I worked there twelve years ago. Into this I our all the leads, bolts, transformers, controllers, spare tools too big for the toolbox, cloths for cleaning, spare light bulbs and other stuff I think I will need for setting up. It’s a tight squeeze in there but I’ve packed it often enough to know roughly how to fit everything inside.
After the show the packing re-commences. One trick is to leave out the roll up extension lead. This frees enough space for a tired exhibitor to get the contents back in without making too much effort. This lead only goes in on the outward journey so I don’t forget it. I’ve not left it out of the jumble in the car on the way home – yet.
This is the end of exhibitions most model railway modellers never see. It’s not all about playing trains, you have to be a one (OK, two) man band and take everything with you. No one wants to go hunting for a four-way block in a strange town when the shop opens only an hour before the show. So next time you give a layout at a show less than thirty seconds of your time, think of the poor, bleary eyed owner who is wondering quite why he does this…