Well, 2014 seems to have arrived and after the usual last minute flurry of activity to get things finished, so did this weekend's St Albans show.
It was great to see some of our existing friends and to make some new ones. I think that all of the team had a good time although you might have got a different answer if you had asked those of us on our backs mending the point motor at the goods yard throat during the Saturday morning session.
The Sea Siding crossover also decided to develop a mechanical gremlin when we powered up on Sunday. This one is a real puzzle because it was fine on Saturday evening and the only thing that happened in between was a night in the hall under a dust cover. Fortunately the schedule hasn't been changed too radically by the new crossover and we could still remember how to operate without it.
I think we'll be adding some lighting behind the scenes quite soon. We were on the stage so the lighting levels were low and the walls were black. Even with a couple of extra lamps that we had with us it was pretty difficult to see when anything small needed to be worked on. Swapping locos to the other end of trains in the fiddle yard was a particular challenge and I had to resort to my keyring Maglite quite frequently to check whether the wheels really were on the track.
As has been mentioned elsewhere the hotel was very nice and the food was excellent.
As usual, a few randomly taken photos. I started off with good intentions and took photos of a couple of layouts that were near to us... then I got talking to Julia... and then Jerry... and then it was time to head back.
Hartburn. Apparently (unlike St Ruth) there really is a place called that.
La Baraque. A chunk of France... from the Netherlands.
La Baraque again
A dismembered Dapol Western bogie for anyone (like me) puzzling over how to do a 2FS conversion. Note the square plastic axles (!)
The view from St Ruth looking out. Missy is somewhere up there on the far corner of the balcony. The Association mob were out of sight down in the basement... probably for the best really.
Next up (if I've got this right) is Epsom and Ewell. I'll update the sidebar thingy when I've checked that with John.