It’s Monday night, and I’m still slightly shattered after a weekend exhibiting with ESNG at the Gaugemaster show. The Gaugemaster model store holds this free exhibition every other year. The show is at Ford, near Arundel, near Ford open prison, home to such luminaries as Geoffrey Archer. It is in the middle of nowhere, but is next to Ford station on the busy south coast line.
We understood that club-member Sean was driving two trains through Ford on the Saturday of the show. Allan trotted out to see if he could wave to him (or at least make some hand signal), but unusually for Southern, the train was on time and he missed him.
Our weekend started on Friday, loading up modules and controllers and a power box and curtains and all we need for a show. Ford is a gentle 75 minutes drive from Redhill, but as we were early someone who shall remain nameless suggested lunch on the way. So we ended up having Breakfast at Tiffany’s – at least an all-day breakfast in the café of that name in West Hove. Then a simple 45 minutes drive along the coast became an hour’s crawl due to some faulty traffic lights on the A27.
Still, we got there eventually, and had the layout up and running in a couple of hours, and then returned home.
Saturday was an early start, 6:45am, but there were no traffic problems and we were in Ford in plenty of time to clean the track, put stock out, and test things. Most trains were run by the usual suspects below – Derek, Allan, Paul, Dave and, behind the camera, myself. We were grateful on the Saturday for help from Simon, Matt & Tommy, and Neil, and a cameo from Graham. Sean passed by without the train, but with the family in tow, on the Sunday.
We were wondering how to ‘theme’ the layout, and took the easy way out – a typical club night, where anything and everything goes. So here we have a Japanese bullet train in the background, and Queen Victoria’s personal train in the foreground (a piece of whimsy by Derek.) At one point her horse box derailed and she was not amused….
Paul filled Eric the Roundhouse with Japanese locos, that generated a lot of interest.
My Kato Penn Central rake ran for most of the day without any trouble.
On the Sunday, we let Paul loose with a kaleidoscope of bullet trains. They were a great crowd pleaser, and we had requests from the punters, “to run the red/blue/white one.” Our speedometer board clocked one at 294km/hour.
The Saturday was a long day, shop hours from 9-5:30. Sunday was more civilised at 10-4. We had taken everything down and had the cars packed in 45 minutes. After a gentle drive home, we unloaded what we could, and were sitting outside the Ruchita with a beer earlier than expected. The usual excellent curry followed to complete a fun weekend.
So that’s the ESNG view of things. There were plenty of other layouts at the show, and I’ll cover these in my next two posts.