So the MMRS Christmas show has come and gone and Herstmonceux is back home in Sussex packed away till March. First of all I would like to thank the MMRS for looking after us all weekend from the warm welcome on the Friday afternoon till thanking us for coming when we left on the Sunday evening. They had a army of members willing to help everyone unload on the Friday and then helping people load again on the Sunday evening.
For us the weekend started on the Thursday with the packing of the van ready for an early start on Friday. Everything was double and triple checked, if I forgot something it was a rather a long way to come back to get!
Friday morning Anastasia and I left Sussex to go pick up Chris and after a good trip we arrived in Manchester just after 1.30pm. With the help from the MMRS members we must of had the van unloaded in under 10 minutes! This left us to leisurely set up and my Dad turned up just as we’d finished!
Now I’ve not been to many shows where the view behind the layout is like this…..
Saturday morning the show opened and was very busy early on. We found out later that they’d had 700 people through the door in the first hour which was pretty good going. Everything seemed to be going smoothly up until lunch time when we had our first ever fault with the layout. I’m still not really sure what was wrong. One of the controllers failed and was quickly replaced but it had caused a short in the goods yard which I couldn’t seem to trace. At this point I was fearing that we would only be able to run stuff through the station but after about 15 minutes it decided to start working again. Strange, very strange! Lack of tea?
On the Saturday evening after the show the MMRS had a social gathering where all exhibitors and traders could have a good chin wag, drink tea, eat cake and sandwiches plus the Exhibition co-ordinator and Chairman both spoke thanking everyone for coming and how the first day had been a great success. Better than the tea and sandwiches was Herstmonceux being awarded “Best in show” as chosen by the MMRS members! This is a great honour for me and I feel rather privileged to have my layouts name along side the others on the cup that go all the way back to 1949.
After the MMRS social we had been invited to another across town in the splendid Marble Arch pub. If you’re ever in the city its well worth a visit as a part from a good pint the pub itself is full of character. Afterwards our trip back to the hotel involved a ride out of Piccadilly. As Chris has already mentioned on his blog I got rather excited about a ride on a old Class 142 Pacer which I also got some stick for admitting it at the show the next day.
Before the show opened on Sunday I managed to get a few pictures of the SR Moguls that we had running over the weekend. This includes one of my K classes, an N class, the new N1 and my Dads U and U1 classes. I’ll post more about these at a later date.
Sunday the show was still pretty busy but I had more of a chance to go and have a look around. The stand out layout for me was Tollesbury Quay. Martin Stringer’s 7mm layout is based on the Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway and really is a lovely piece of modelling. This layout has given me some ideas for a small layout before I build Herstmonceux’s replacement. Another layout I enjoyed was Calderwood based on the L&Y with some nicely built 4mm stock.
At the end of the show the help from the MMRS members getting the layout back to the van was really appreciated after a long weekend and the drive back to Sussex on the Monday wasn’t too bad either. I really enjoyed my first trip north with the layout and even picked up a few more invites. Of course none of this would happen without the help of Anastasia, Chris and my Dad and I would also like to thank Tom for his guest help. Hopefully he enjoyed it as much as we did. Thanks again to MMRS for a brilliant weekend and I look forward to coming to the show again in the future.