Sunday, January 20, 2008

Operating session

Hoath Hill Halt
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Good day today. I started with an hour spent operating Hoath Hill Halt, a marvellous 3mm 14.2 gauge railway layout some will have seen in a recent MRJ. Peter Bossom generously gave me a quick explanation of the controls before going for a wander so I could get the hang of it without feeling my every move was being watched.

This worked pretty well as after a couple of false starts (on the first move I managed to couple the loco to another on shed ‘cos I started off in the wrong direction) I think I got the hang of it. While I won’t claim to be great at spotting the B&B couplings on magnets, nor to be the most imaginative operator on the model ever. I think I managed to entertain the early morning crowd.

Hoath Hill works fantastically though. Had I brought it with me, I’d have been very tempted to swap the chassis under my Y7 for Peter’s version. When mine works it is fine, but his is always great. Shunting is a breeze with no stuttering or stalling.

A couple of sessions in the car park did nothing to convince me to like a couple of footballers fathers, who seemed to drive like they were on a rally stage rather than entering a school. By far the largest group though, were happy and seemed to have enjoyed themselves at the show. Smiling faces on the way out means that hopefully we get to see them again next year. Partly for mercenary reasons, we need the cash to keep the club running, but also because I like people to enjoy the hobby.

Of course just when you are tired after the weekend, the real work starts. Every stand has to be helped into the back of their vehicle. Every table moved from one room to the next has to go back and every chair neatly stacked. You discover that no matter what notes and photos are taken, there are some areas where the pre-show room layout remains a mystery. We’ve done out best to put things back neatly and tidily, so I hope this is OK.

One person who will sleep better tonight will be our exhibition manager, Chris Mead, The days running up to a show are never fun for the guy in charge but this was a successful event with happy punters, traders and layout owners, so we all look forward to next year.

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