The weekend of 4th/5th December saw the relaunch of Manchester Model Railway Societies annual show, held in December in the city centre, less than 5 minutes walk from Picadilly station in fact!
I was helping Andy Jones exhibit ‘Herstmonceux’ all weekend, and after a good run up in the van, we arrived early afternoon to set up the layout. First impressions mean a lot, and after a 6 hour journey, there is something refreshing about seeing a group of eager helpers with trolleys waiting to assist you into the hall! Once set up, we headed off to the hotel and spent the evening chilling out at the hotel bar, despite the choice of beer being crap!
Saturday was exceptionally busy, the club seemed surprised with just how many people came in, and the layout received many favourable comments from visitors to the show. In the evening, MMRS laid on a sandwich and cake platter which was much appreciated by all, along with making a presentation, including the best layout of the show as voted for by MMRS members, which was won by Andy! After this we headed to another ‘social’ taking place in the Marble Arch pub across town…. Que an amazing building, great ales and some great socialising, before we headed back to the hotel on a bus seat equipped 142, which, worryingly, Andy seemed to enjoy!
Sunday was quieter at the show, but still busy. (That makes sense in my mind….) Closure at 16.30 gave us plenty of time to take down the layout and load the van, again assisted by club members, before we headed back to the hotel – and travelled back southwards on Monday…
Stand out layouts for me (although they were all to a high standard…) were Calderwood, a 4mm pre grouping L&Y through station, Tollesbury Quay, a portrayal of an East Anglian light railway in 7mm, Thornecliffe, a compact 1980’s South Yorkshire scene and Laramie Engine Terminal, a 7mm recreation of the Union Pacific’s main loco shed.
The Manchester club were absolutely great all weekend, and clearly showed they appreciated us attending; it’s a shame the same cannot be said for all shows, but this was one of the best – hopefully I’ll be able to attend in the future either as a visitor or when I build a layout, but for now, thanks very much for our trip up North!