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Again we had another successful show at the King Alfred's School, Burnham on Sea. Plenty of room, a level site, a nice café, car-parking nearby and warm sunny weather, what more could you ask for. I counted eleven layouts and seven traders. We were fortunate to be able to access the school-rooms the afternoon before the event. A lot of debugging was done, mainly electrical problems, as always.
The star layout must be Templeford, an O gauge electric layout, at least 50 years in the making. Originally conceived by the late Laurie Tandy with help from the Malvern Railway club, it had only once been fully assembled in one of his son's double garage. Even then a couple of feet were sticking outside. On Friday evening virtually the whole extended family rallied round to assemble the many sections to ensure it was operational on Saturday. The track was original Hornby solid steel with multiple points, a turntable was included operated by Meccano. Rolling stock was mainly Southern. Noted were 4 Etons each with a different tender numbers. A Bing King Arthur was running now electrified but still with the distinctive key slot in the side.
Peter Lintern was in charge of his pure Hornby O gauge layout featuring the sole Princess. His was a long duty as he brought along his caravan to sleep in, thus ensuring we had security over the Friday night. Yours truly was running a double track O gauge layout incorporating two loops using Merkur points, the loops were insulated so I had 4 trains available to run at time. The theme was Metropolitan and London Transport and as such I renamed the station next to the engine shed "Neasden".
Chris Batten was in a side room running his comprehensive O gauge clockwork layout, with a BR theme, helped by Dave Bailey and several of our younger visitors. Chris's layouts have grown so much that they are set diagonal across the room. Dave always seemed to be winding up a locomotive, often a 30, such that when one locomotive expired after a 100 feet run, the locomotive could immediately be replaced ensuring a continuous service.
Roy Sinclair, the collector of the unusual, was demonstrating his mini Chad Valley collection plus some military Lionel stock. Neil Mansfield as well as a dealer was showing for the last time his diorama of Barry scrap-yard. This has been sold and is off to a railway preservation society.
Vanessa Howells and Mike Rimes showed their impressive Dublo 2 rail layout featuring all things Wrenn. The control panel really sets high standards with automatic route setting. The sort thing that Network Rail has in its signal boxes. Steve Sands bought his module Dublo 3 rail layout. There was a most impressive fiddle yard with multiple loops, each loop could hold two trains. Barrie Taylor and colleagues had a Dublo 3 rail layout, nothing fancy, just like we used to set up on the dining room floor. Peter Carr had the other Dublo 2 rail layout, incorporating a Southdown bus garage, hence the Southern theme. The smallest layout was Tony Gray's Dublo shop layout. Don't you remember when you saw it, nose pressed against the shop window?
There were plenty of dealers present to satisfy the most discerning enthusiast. There was a small refreshment area supplying bacon butties, the staple diet for every body in train circles along with teas and coffees. Always bring your mug to get a better fill.