As I’ve mentioned before, I love what I do – no two days are ever quite the same as there is always something on the go whether it’s putting together a train formations article, track plans feature or researching for a new model review. In between there are layout builds to complete and cleaning of others ahead of their exhibition appearances.
The piece de resistance, though, each year is the Great Electric Train Show, our two-day model railway showcase at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon, Warwickshire and as you read this we will already be on site making preparations for arrival of the 60 plus exhibitiors which are booked to take part.
Whilst the exhibition takes place this weekend (October 8/9 2016), the organisation will have started shortly after the close of last year’s event. We’re really lucky as we come into contact with some stunning model railway layouts seemingly every day and so the thought of being able to hand pick and bring a host of them together under one roof for a weekend is, frankly, rather exciting. Also, most of the layouts which attend the Great Electric Train Show have either been featured in or are due to appear within Hornby Magazine, which means that each and every one is a standout layout in its own right.
Next, we consider the trader balance to ensure the right mix of trade stands is available offering everything from ready-to-run, kits, accessories, scenics, buildings, spares, electronics, tools, paints, books, photographs, paintings and much more. Manufacturers also attend, displaying their latest products and a good selection of demonstrators are on hand to show how to improve your modelling skills, and in some cases, have a go yourself!
As a fan of modern-era layouts I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Oulton TMD and Maxwell Colliery in the flesh. I’ve seen the former before at shows and it always commands my attention for quite some time with its DCC sound-fitted locomotives and movements on and off the large traction maintenance depot, while this year’s show will be the first time I’ve seen Maxwell Colliery close up. Since I saw it in HM105, it is one of those layouts I’ve been looking forward to watching close up.
However, there is plenty to entertain from all eras and scales this weekend including Soar Valley Model Railway Club’s giant ‘O’ gauge Charnwood Forest Branch, Peter Midwinter’s ‘OO’ Watermill Halt, Bob Farrell’s ‘OO9’ Penhalig Quay and Gary Atkinson’s stunning ‘N’ gauge Low Yard Junction, plus many more – 26 to be exact!
For me though, there is also the opportunity to catch up with familiar faces who have become firm friends thanks to this wonderful hobby of ours. Not only that, I especially enjoy meeting our regular readers and subscribers of the magazine and answering queries or questions they may have – and if I can’t help, there’ll be someone at the show who can.
Another highlight on my radar this year is Alan Buttler’s ModelU 3D scanning demonstration, where you can be laser-scanned and reproduced in miniature for your layout. Imagine a miniature 4mm scale Mark Chivers stood at a ‘OO’ gauge Oxford Diecast burger van – how exciting would that be?!
Exhibitions are also great places to pick up all those things you’ve been after all under one roof, and my list of requirements is fairly long (and diverse) – ranging from Kadee couplings to DCC sound decoders – it could be [and usually is – ED] an expensive weekend.
The final touches have been applied to Hornby Magazine’s ‘OO’ gauge St Stephens Road and ‘N’ gauge Barrenthorpe Shed. It will be a bittersweet weekend for the operating team because whilst Barrenthorpe Shed is making its exhibition debut, it also marks the final exhibition appearance for St Stephens Road. I’ll be operating both at various points over the weekend, so please do drop by and see them both if you can.
Now, not only is the exhibition a great day out, but the British Motor Museum at Gaydon also houses one of the most amazing collections of motor vehicles you will ever see and the admission ticket includes access to all this too! I still haven’t seen it all and this will be my fourth year at the venue. Plus there is the new Collections Centre building to explore where you can see more of the reserve allocation of British automotive exhibits and peek behind the scenes at the new restoration workshops too.
Finally, the Great Electric Train Show is easy to find. The British Motor Museum is located just off Junction 12 of the M40 in Warwickshire if you are coming by car. The nearest railway station is Leamington Spa and there will be a half hourly shuttle bus operating between Leamington Spa and the venue on the Saturday only. Doors open at 10am both days (9.30am if you have an advance ticket) and tickets will be available on the door. More details at www.greatelectrictrainshow.com
From all the Hornby Magazine and Great Electric Train Show team we look forward to welcoming you to the show over the weekend!
I hope you enjoy the blogs and if you have anything you would like to comment on, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new series of blogs from the Hornby Magazine Editorial team give you an insight into the people, the projects and more. Hornby Magazine Assistant Editor Mark Chivers’ next blog will be live on November 4 and you can expect more from Editor Mike Wild on October 21