Every now and then will need to push oneself to do things that one may not necessarily think about I want to do. This Sunday just gone, I decided to go to a model railway show in York. It is a small show has been running for nine years now and which I have been to a couple of times before around about the time it first started. As exhibitions go it is probably one of the closest ones to me but certainly not the largest. The main show at York is the Easter one which is situated at the racecourse in the Easter weekend. However I have been itching to get some provisions and also some inspiration. I always find going to a show usually triggers of ideas. This was no exception and there were three layouts that gave me a lot of food for thought. Talking to the owners the highlight of the show.
Much of what gives me inspiration is not the size of the layout for the number of trains, although there are some pretty stupendous large layouts; Copenhagen fields, Gresley beat, and Apethorne Junction. It may be just a quirky idea that the owner has had, or maybe some constructional solution that I haven’t seen before. In fact there was a number of these at the show.
Not for me the main line expresses thundering by, but a lone local shunting wagons around a small yard is far more interesting to me. I know this is not everybody’s cup of (insert beverage of choice) but I have long been fascinated by these bucolic scenes. I didn’t grow at the time when this was part of the living history but with the wonders of the Internet I can easily recreate these visual memories.
When one goes to a show there will always be a number of layouts that grab you and the majority that you may not find necessarily interesting to your interests and scale or scales. However I am trying to teach myself keeping an open mind is far more beneficial in the long run. One can learn from just about any body standing behind the layout as they have achieved something that I surely haven’t, yet. Whether that be an interesting take on creating scenery or a particular method of Electricals, there is some nugget to be teased out of a conversation. For far too long I have said and thought to myself “oh I don’t like that because… “However that was limiting my learning experiences that I could’ve been picking up from.
It is really all about the story. Whether that be the layout that you see in front of you or the person behind that layout. Both have interesting stories to tell and hopefully you can hear them. This weekend was very much all about this conversation. Thinking that I would pop in and have a look round take some pictures and video and then lead to meet up with family was far from the reality. Time flew by and in what seemed like a moment my phone was buzzing in my pocket with messages asking “where was I?“
For about three hours I had three conversations that were way beyond the value of the admission which was a poultry £4. I would’ve paid 10 times that for the inspiration and advice that I received from the very knowledgeable and gracious layout owners. I’ve always found that the best conversations I’ve had at railway shows have been with small layouts. I don’t know whether it’s something to do with the physical connection to their audience or whether it is that they have more time to be able to talk to people in front of the layout.
So what did I bring away with me from the show, well apart from some Rocket glue for my card building models that I’m working at the moment, I had an affirmation that my small space, shelf layout space, was going to be more than adequate for my needs. I think that I will be able to pretty much get everything including the kitchen sink in if I so wish. I also came away with some ideas for layout operation like point and signal operation, and ideas for transporting layouts around if I was ever to be invited to a show. I was once again reminded that for myself “Playing is important“ and having a layout to be able to do this with his key. Even if I switch a couple of trucks around for an hour that is really what I’m looking for. Don’t get me wrong building things he is just as important as playing with things as after all we are just playing trains.
You can check out my visit to the show over on my YouTube channel. Unfortunately you never get the real experience of having been there but I have caught a bit of the essence of the show.
EGRM Heworth, 2020 – Full Video – MODEL RAILWAY https://youtu.be/12lciSo994A