Put this here out of curiosity more than anything rather than add to the discussion on UK railway which had got to 21 contributions. Be interesting to how many of those actually do still look here or lurk . Some I would imagine are only interested in the prototype so would not pass here but many are interested in both.
I still look in each day, purely for the nostalgia because I don't expect to find any posts. I almost expected to find a mention of Warley, but I wasn't really surprised to find that nobody had posted.
Although I've been modelling in various scales (and to varying standards) for most of my life, I can still pinch ideas from other layouts and wouldn't dream of missing the show at the NEC - and I was annoyed when Mr.Hulme mentioned that he'd been at the Wigan Show, 'cos I knew that I should have been doing something on Sunday morning...
Anyway, does anybody else have a comment to make about Warley, or Wigan, or any other recent exhibition. I was in at the start of this ng, and I'd be sorry to see it die.
I went to Warley this year ,though I think I may have posted last year that I did not enjoy it and swore never to again. That was not so much the show itself but the awful traffic queue I found myself in last year. It put me in a bad mood and I never really came out of it. This year I my BIL took his son and invited me along. Living closer he seems to know the best approaches to the NEC and we sailed in. As for the actual show itself it was reasonably enjoyable . Spent less time than I usually do as nephews interest waned earlier than mine. It seemed less crowded than in previous years on the Saturday. My impression though is that a lot of the show apart from the layouts is becoming overwhelmed by Identikit retailers shifting bulk stocks of Hornby and Bachmann. The smaller more interesting suppliers of bits and bobs from which you thought and used/adapt, blimey that's a good idea etc seem to be dwindling.
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I went to Warley, and having been bitten by the traffic in the past, I arrived on Saturday lunch time. No queue to get into the car park (slight problem finding somewhere to park), no queue at the pay desk, or at the door, and as the day went on, the hall got quieter.
Perhaps no surprise that I liked some of the layouts, others less so (I suspect that it depends on your individual interest), but that is in no way meant to criticise the work that goes into them.
Trade stands were variable, I barely looked at the "big boys", I can easily see their stuff online or at my local shop (who have a stand there, and suggest going on a Sunday), some of the smaller traders had interesting offerings, but in a couple of cases the people on the stand couldn't answer my questions, and suggested that I called back later when the person that could would be there (fair enough), but in one case the person in question never seemed to appear, so that is probably a lost sale. Having worked at shows in the past, I have some sympathy for them.
We went last year and didnt really enjoy it mainly as everyone seemed hassled and grumpy. Had the choice this year of Warley or Retford. Wasnt difficult, tot said Retford straight away as theres a layout that he gets to control and that was there. Although there were a few traders that would have liked to have a chat with at Warley, knew they would be too busy so more than happy to go to Retford instead. Must say got nothing against warley mrc, seen couple of their layouts earlier this year, worth seeing and the operators very friendly.
I'm de-lurking as well :-) - been here since the very first day.
But I reckon the Railex Aylesbury show as the best I visit, with RailWells a close second. The layouts at Railex are invariably of the best quality and usually cover all the scales and gauges. Trade support is the best with no box shifters from what I remember. Railwells is probably limited in what it can do by the town hall at Wells but always turns on an excellent show. It is basically a P4/S4 exhibition, but does feature other scales on a regular basis.
Last year it took nearly as long to get from the M6 to the NEC as to get down the M6 from Cheshire, so this year we used the train: parked the car at Runcorn, 08.05 Pendolino as far as Stafford, then LM to new St, followed by another Pendoline to International (sounds awkward, but the connections were easy and the waits only a few minutes in each case). I enjoyed the show (Saturday) although some trade stalls were hard to get near to - and for the first time ever I didn't buy anything from Eileen's Emporium! Squires' absence left a large hole in the available "bits" outlets.
Knowing how to avoid the queues does help a lot. Another useful tip is for weekend events is to avoid the NEC parking entirely and park instead at the railway station - it has a huge car park used by park-and-riders on working days, which is consequently always more than half empty at a weekend. It's also cheaper than the NEC parking at the weekend, at least for most events (£5 all day, compared to typical event parking at the NEC of £8 a day). The only downside is that it usually means more walking than using the NEC parking as you don't have the benefit of a shuttle bus taking you from the car park to the main concourse.
It's nice to know that someone goes by train to a model Railway exhibition!
I rarely go to shows now, other than the occasional ones where I help operate 'Untermutten.' They are now nearly all in venues a long walk or a bus ride from railway stations; I understand why, but for the train user, finding yet another leisure centre out in the sticks takes extra time and just doesn't have the appeal of strolling down to an interesting town hall (or similar) in a town centre.
Since it was I that started this on uk.railway, I thought I'd better post something...
I always go to shows by train. We don't have a car. We will hire one under sufficient provocation but model railway shows aren't it.
I agree about the edge-of-town venues, but there are sometimes special or regular buses, and luckily I can walk and (mostly) enjoy it (remembering Aylesbury in the rain a while back).
This year I have been to Bognor (long walk from train), Tonbridge, Ally Pally (walking from home quicker than various indirect routes by bus), Amersham, Mill Hill (just buses), Burgess Hill, St Ives(Cambs), Enfield and St Albans (same day, all by bus), Folkestone, Berkhamsted, Beckenham, and Warley. OMG, so many, I didn't know! And if time and weather permit I will poke around the town centre a bit as well.
Must build exhibitable layout so I can drive to a show :)
Well dad died a year ago and once I'd brought everything for keeping back from his house to mine the garage aka my layout got covered in boxes and the like. Everything I could reach got packed up, everything else is under a considerable amount of nick-knacks and the like. Been making some L&Y and LNWR white metal wagons and they look the business but I no longer have the room to run them .. just started to properly put the garage in order and then it's Mk 7 time. Still trying to do to much at once ... narrow gauge quarry line to a minor station on a secondary route - that also has a branch running from it ... I never learn!
White metal wagons - nice. I've done a load of Ratio LNWR ones - to go with the brake van - plus got some well made 2nd hand L&Y - nicely built as well. Too much - yep, Tot has taken to n guage so we building his layout, wants to take it to exhibitions - like his sense of adventure :-)