Railex 2012 Review ‘The Curse of Albion Yard’
The weekend potentially started with very bad news, and nearly ended that way too! Wednesday was a day I was looking forward to finalising a few details and getting the train set fully packed. It was a brilliant plan but circumvented by not being able to find the shed keys. Normally this wouldn’t be a huge issue and a routine search of the premises ensued, to find … nothing at all. Well I turned the house inside out, doubly frustrated in knowing that I was the last person to have them on Tuesday evening. It’s the old story, only one set of keys, you always mean to get replacements cut, (still haven’t), and never get round to it. Realising that to call David and say ‘I can’t come, I can’t get in the shed’ would be even less well received than ‘The dog ate my homework’, I called a few Locksmiths. If the keys didn’t turn up by Thurday morning it was going to be an M&S expense type of entry and all down to my own efforts. I really didn’t need to be told they’d send a bloke out before giving me a rough idea on how muchthey’d stitch me up for either. I eventually told one of the more persistent sales people that I didn’t need a site survey, I knew where the chuffing shed was, it was only the keys I’d lost. Wednesday evening the keys turned up, they’d had a day at school in the youngest gingham clad mavericks school bag. At our place getting kids to school is in a similar league as cat herding,( http://norvenmunky.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/pretty-vacant/ ) and whilst loudly discussing departure timing, the keys had fallen into her schoolbag from the sideboard.
Well Thursday allowed me to change more stuff around on the train set, it’s what I do, sorry, but the change gave a significant improvement to the layouts appearance. It was then get everything packed away and attend to last minute tasks like buying water, and confirming the van was sorted and then off to work. Breaking it down allowed me a bit of time to mess around using the layout as a photo set again and get some interesting images too. Friday was a leisurely trip down and the set up went well, particularly for a train set that doesn’t leave home. Because I don’t have specific packing cases one actually had to be made to hold the trees, this worked really well and meant that on both trips the trees arrived undamaged. The Railex team were as ever very helpful (third time for me) at both ends and during the show. We were in a sort of bloggers corner where most of the layouts have an online presence and are 4mm scale. http://nevardmedia.blogspot.co.uk/ http://bronhebog.blogspot.co.uk/
Set up went well and Mr Cheeseplant dropped by and expressed surprise when he saw how high the base boards were. It’s easy telling someone how high something is, but it really falls into place when you see it first hand. I did think I’d get some flack through the show for the height of the boards, but they seemed to be appreciated by those that viewed the layout. Over the course of the weekend five people that I saw actually tape measured the height and valances, there may have been more when I wasn’t ‘front of house’.
We had plenty of positive comments and I’d like to extend my own and my teams (Al, Ian and Pete) thanks for those for exhibitors they make the show very rewarding. Even if you’re one of those who just stood and took the time to look, thank you. Operating from the front was different. It gave us plenty of opportunity to chat with the viewers with very little disruption to the flow of the layout. I met two people whom over the years have inspired me both modelling and otherwise, there’s a saying ‘Don’t meet your heroes’, but both these guys were really pleasant and spent a good amount of time talking about modelling and art. Next door we had Chris Nevard with Brewhouse Quay, and we swapped a couple of locos over the weekend with even an S&D 7F finding its way across the Severn http://www.flickr.com/photos/nevardmedia/7281633136/in/photostream/
So to end with a few thank you notes,
Al Ian and Pete for playing for the team, and the help
David Lane and RDMRC for taking a punt on the layout, it being first time out, not having seen it
Craig for the Pannier and Bernie for the decals, Phil for the loan of his Class 22, Chris N., and the other operators and traders whom all made it a show to remember for all the right reasons
The visitors for the comments and encouragement, including those that mentioned reading the blog
And the closing sting in the tail in ‘The Curse of Albion Yard’? When I got home (130 miles), and unloaded the van I felt I should make a mental note, to paraphrase Mr M. Caine (actor);
’ Next time, make sure the bloody doors are closed’.
I enjoyed seeing Albion Yard at Railex. For me the combination of the height of the baseboards and the way that the senic break was achieved resulted in a very convincing display. (mind you my younger son is now 22 years old and no longer needs lifting up).
The fact that the track layout was difficult, if not quite impossible, to see actaully added a bit of mystique. Further more the track gauge became an irelevance ( I model in EM and 12″:1ft scales).
I look forward to seeing the layout again.
Theres no immediate plans at the moment for the layout to be out again, though there are a couple of offers we are looking at. The ‘team. is geographically dispersed and work commitments mean few weekends available. We were pleased the height was well received, we weren’t sure how that would go down, and theres already plans for improving the scenic break, which may have to be done in the next few days for a photo shoot.