It has been a fair few months since I have added an entry to this blog. That is not because of a lack of show visits. I have visited several over the last few months including Derby, Mickleover, Butterley, Bakewall and more. Many of my comments have been posted on the show's own pages. Sadly some of my comments have led to some criticism from some of the argumentative members of this site! As a result I would like to issue a safety warning. The views on here are my opinions only, and any criticisms are meant as constructive comments!!!
And so to today. I like the Wirksworth event - it is rather unique in having three different sites spread across the town. The short walk between them breaks up the event and there are some nice little shops to look at whilst en-route. There is also the Ecclesborne Valley Railway to ride on as well if you so wish with DMU's on the main route and steam on the short incline branch.
Back to the show and there was a good mix of layouts. I know that the organisers had had some problems with booked layouts dropping out, but they had done well to put on a decent show. The Ilkeston group had provided three layouts with the pick being "Fenby Quay" which is becoming a real show regular. Meanwhile their "Elveden Road" was a recently completed project showing a modern day servicing depot.
The third Ilkeston model was "Woodside Lane Stabling Point". This small layout has also been seen at many shows over the years and has visited this show on at least one previous occasion.
For 0 gauge enthusiasts there were two models - Catley Chemicals and Woodthorpe Shed. The latter showing some outstanding models. For someone who is a 00 gauge steam enthusiast there was very little. The only model to fit the bill was Derek Gelsthorpe's "Sutton Junction". I have seen this on many occasions and really like the model. It is a nicely sized terminus layout and there is always something happening. However one thing that, in my opinion, lets it down is how the model is operated. When shunting stock locos are allowed to change direction in an instant without any kind of pause. To me that spoils any sort of realism the model portrays. This may be a personal preference as I have seen similar practice on another of Derek's layouts - "Idle Way".
The second room had another good mix of layouts. It was good to catch up with some Mickleover Club members and see one of their layouts for the first time. There was a lot of modern image here again, diesel layouts seem to be in the majority at this year's event. There was also a trio of foreign layouts. Those who admire the continental modelling could not fail to be impressed by the sizeable "L'Etoile de Chevineaux" a lengthy HO gauge French inspired model. Sadly I do not find these kind of models of interest.
The modelling quality was varied in this room with one layout which, in my opinion, did not reach exhibition standard. Model buildings that were not well fixed together, exposed polystyrene formers, ill fitting building and tunnel fronts that exposed the constructions behind all spoilt a very busy and unique model. There was little operational interest either. I am sure some found the various cameo scenes impressive but for me the very poor workmanship spoilt it all.
The third room mainly featured trade but there was a large display of Twix Twin and two small layouts including the N gauge layout Bitsand which had lots of passing trains.
All in all an enjoyable show. Here are my light hearted awards.
3rd: Elveden Road - only completed in the week leading up to the show. A good looking modern day layout.
2nd: L'Etoile de Cehvineaux - the largest model in the show. An impressive HO gauge French layout.
1st: Fenby Quay - for the scenic and sound fitted locos it gets my vote.
Best model loco:
An 0 gauge "Crab" on Woodthorpe Shed caught my eye.
The inaccuracies of one visitor's monologue on the production "Deltic" which seemed to bore one of the operators.
The poor workmanship on one layout in the second room despite displaying some "best in show" trophies! If it was "work in progress" model I could understand its appearance, but it wasn't.