North West Narrow Gauge Show – There was Cake

Last Saturday was the first Narrow Gauge North West Show at Rainford near St Helens. A number of matters arose out of the day worth dealing with simply: –

  • I knew the battery on my Volvo Estate lived under the floor in back.
  • I also acknowledge that the only time access to either it or the spare wheel is required is when its fully loaded.
  • The battery is fine. Having been ill I just hadn’t driven it far enough to recover from the cold starts. It’s a diesel so the injector heaters come on every time you start it in the cold, and it has got electric everything, seats, demisting etc which it tends to assume you want on. A few hours on charge and a thrash round York ring road sorted it for the trip and Rainford and back has sorted it.
  • Storm Dennis didn’t really affect us. The drive there across the M62 had a bit of drizzle and the trip back had more rain and it was a bit breezy on the high bits of the M62.

The show itself was a splendid affair and reasonably well attended given that the news & weather forecasts were predicting the apocalypse. The only photo I have is a borrowed one of the splendid arrays of cake on offer. The bacon butties were excellent too.

I only managed a quick look round myself but I was impressed with the layouts. I did get waylaid for a fairly long gossip with Robin at Tonys Forest whilst we discussed 0-14 track, chassis and loco designs whilst watching Robins 0-14 version of our Fletcher Jennings kit running on the layout.

To get serious for a moment. Stan and his team are to be applauded for promoting a Narrow Gauge Exhibition and I will be doing what I can to support their efforts.  In the NG circle here in the UK used to have a decent number of specialist NG shows where spread around both the calendar and country. What that meant was that you could get a regular fix if you were prepared to travel, there would be one close(ish) to you if you weren’t and that there was a regular shopping opportunity for your specialist narrow gauge essentials.

In recent times we have lost narrow gauge shows at Chiltern, Telford, NG South West(Shepton), ExpoNG(Swanley), SWING (Littlehampton). Whilst these have all stopped for understandable reasons it is great to see a new one happening.  To highlight two classics from that list. We had ExpoNG in October and NG Southwest in February. Both excellent specialist narrow gauge shows roughly four months apart at which you could pretty much count on their being some excellent layouts and all the narrow gauge specialist traders. As a trader you could count on seeing the usual faces at all of them. Understandably, NG Southwest got to a landmark show, their 25th, and went out with a bang having decided it was better to end on a high as the organisers all got older. Now ExpoNG are missing this year due to their usual venue being “improved” with a bulldozer.

I suspect exhibitions might be a subject we return to but for now its time for a bit of therapeutic modelling


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