York MRS 2013
Well from seeming to be months away, it is now over and done. We spent 6 hours setting up on the Friday, but we took our time and made sure everything was level and wired up correctly, so that when we switched it on it all worked perfectly first time. We had plenty of room and there was enough space for the public to see the layout with 2 or 3 deep at times. As always it took time for the stock to settle down on the Saturday morning, but most then ran perfectly (there is no doubt about it that Kato need a pat on the back for their brilliant locos). It showed that it is important to check stock before a show to avoid as many problems as possible. At the odd quiet time (and there weren’t many!) we were able to identify a couple of problem spots on the layout and some track needs replacing on the 2 end boards near the points; and, of course, we need the new fiddle yard! It got warm during the day and the expansion in the fiddle yard was quite obvious more like a slalom course in some places! Most of the other running problems were down to operator error you really do have to concentrate!! - but we are all allowed a few mistakes over 3 days!!.
Thanks to John, the lighting rig gave the layout a much more ‘professional’ appearance, (though we need to change to longer brackets); and the beauty of it is that it can be used by all the group layouts (just need to change the layout name board).
Six operators made a big difference, having spare bodies to run track 3 and do some shunting was a first; and there were spare bodies to answer questions from the public; and hopefully those helping out were able to see a bit of the show. We had several inquiries about taking the layout to other shows, those that I remember were an almost certain invite to Leeds in 2014; plus possibly Wigan and Jarrow, also the NMRA Convention in Birmingham! We’ll have to wait and see if definite invites arrive.
The icing on the cake arrived at Monday lunchtime when Malcolm Scrimshaw (the exhibition manager) and Steve Flint from Railway Modeller arrived to present us with the Bernard Richmond Award so handshakes and photos for the modelling press ensued. From what I can gather from Andrew and Mike, Bernard Richmond was a late member of the York group whose particular interest was in N gauge (especially continental), but he enjoyed seeing trains running and good scenery. The award is then presented annually to the layout which best fits what Bernard would have enjoyed
Seeing and this year it was us. The photos were also taken from the corner of the layout where the group name was on the lighting fascia (see picture on the front cover) so hopefully that will be in the press as well!!
My thanks go to everybody who helped out setting up, operating, talking to the public, clearing up etc. etc. I thought we made a really good impression and judging by the crowds in front of us all weekend I think the public enjoyed what they saw. I’ve passed on details of the other group layouts to the show organisers, and said that we can setup some at one of our meetings for them to see if they wish, so hopefully we have ‘our foot in the door’ and future invites are forthcoming.