Bradford, April/May 2016 - Heworth Sidings
Following on from our outing to TINGS in 2015, Heworth was invited to attend the Bradford Model Railway Exhibition in 2016 to represent our group.
Setting up was a little interesting as we had decided to transport the layout using cars and found out too late that we couldn’t get all the modules there. Note to self, even if it’s local, we still need a van. When we got to the venue, it was the usual scrum affair with everybody wanting to get their layouts in and set up, but with a fair wind we managed to get all of the layout up and connected apart from 3 modules (the ones that attach to the one that was still in my garage). Once we’d done a quick test that the electrics were working and run a loco round, it was time to call it a day.
We arrived pretty early as we knew we still had some setting up to be done. Having brought the remaining module the layout was quickly up and we made some final minor adjustments so that it was nice and level. While a couple of us attacked the layout with track rubbers, the Vinyl Curtain was put in place and we were ready to go. We had the Fiddle Yard loaded up and trains running about 10mins before the show opened.
The show was very well attended and there were always plenty of people in front of the layout. We fielded lots of questions about the layout and how we operated it with the computers, which we were more than willing to answer. In fact we were so busy either operating the layout or talking about it that the day absolutely flew by.
The day started off pretty much the same as Saturday with regards to attendance, again a steady flow of people who were stopping to watch us operate and ask questions. We’d decided that we were going to try out the Dapol Magnetic couplings today, so we changed them over on the locos and stock we were using to perform movements in the Sidings.
I was really pleased to see them working and for me they were more reliable than I could have hoped for. All attempts to uncouple the wagons from the locos were working perfectly and I think that operating this way for future shows is pretty much a given. I’ve always turned a blind eye to the ‘hand of God’ when it uncouples wagons or coaches, but I have to acknowledge that uncoupling automatically makes everything that little bit more realistic, which is after all what we’re aiming for.
At the end of the day, we managed to keep trains circling until the doors closed and then we set about breaking down the layout and packing it away. While we cleared the stock from the Fiddle Yard, the electrics and Vinyl Curtain were disconnected. We then took down the End Boards followed by the Scenic Boards and finally the Fiddle Yard. This all seemed to go very smoothly and in fact we had the layout in the cars and ready to go inside 1.5hrs which was amazing.
I really enjoyed the show, the other traders / exhibitors were fantastic and along with the public gave the show a winning atmosphere that I would gladly like to experience again. Everybody who helped out with Heworth did a fantastic job and as a result we came away with seven more show invites.
It just leaves me to say a final thank you to everybody who helped out with Heworth over the weekend.
For those of you who would like to see a little bit of the layout in action, here is some video taken from the Sunday when it was a little quieter - https://youtu.be/tWK5bKEX-Tc