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Uckfield exhibition retrospective


wenlock

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Well it’s been 3 days since the Uckfield show and my knees have finally recovered from standing for two days and grubbing around under baseboards during set up:)  The layout behaved it’s self and despite the fact that I can either talk to the public or operate the layout, but can’t do both at the same time everything went to plan!
 

I collected the hire van at 10.00am on the Friday  morning and with the help of my pal and master fiddleyard operator Roger the van was loaded with the layout by 11.30 am.  The new extension board fitted in the van without any problems, we’re obviously getting better at this packing lark:)

 

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We were on the road before midday and arrived in East Sussex by about 3.30pm, it was a pretty uneventful journey despite the rigours of the dreaded M25!  Set up in the exhibition hall started at 6.00pm, so with a couple of hours to kill and being so close we decided it would be rude not to pop in and visit the Bluebell Railway:)

 

The station building is delightful, with an ornate half timbered porch and tiled upper storey, I particularly liked the ornate chimney stacks.

 

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The ticket office and waiting rooms were equally lovely, all they needed was a roaring coal fire in the grate to add to the ambiance :)

 

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We were greeted in the platform by a rake of magnificent wood finished Metropolitan coaches, Sherton Abbas definitely needs an excuse for a model of one of these!

 

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Maunsell’s splendid S15 class number 847 was in steam, so we spent a happy hour or so on the platform watching it run round and depart with an excursion.

 

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The couple of hours at Sheffield Park passed all to quickly, but we left by 5.30pm to make our way to the Civic Centre at Uckfield and get the layout set up.

 

We met my other pal Al at the hall and had the layout set up in about an hour and a half.   The new extension board fitted into place without any problems, which was a relief as there’s insufficient space in my workshop to set the layout up in its entirety!
 

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After a good night’s sleep at the local Premier Inn, we arrived at the exhibition hall for 8.00am to get the stock set up and get the layout ready for the public.  An excellent breakfast was provided by the Uckfield club, as were copious amounts of tea, coffee and biscuits during the day, I  can honestly say I’ve never been to such a well organised show:)

 

10 minutes before the show opened Roger thought it might be a good plan to run a passenger train through the layout. It departed the fiddle yard and then abruptly came to a sudden halt as it entered the new scenic board!  

Although I’d tested the new board by pushing a few wagons and running some locos, I hadn’t considered that my brake third coaches have duckets and were consequently too wide to enter the layout:rolleyes:  Some frantic adjustments were made with a hacksaw and although the aperture now looks like a dogs chewed it trains passed through all weekend without any further problems!
 

We had an excellent evening meal on Saturday evening hosted by the club at the Hare & Hounds in Framfied.


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After the meal our host Adrian had organised an excellent quiz, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.  There was then a presentation of the cup for the best layout as voted for by the exhibitors and traders and I’m delighted to say that Sherton Abbas won!  There were some truly excellent other layouts at the show, so being awarded this award was a huge surprise and made the whole weekend  even more special.

 

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The show was a little quieter on Sunday which gave me chance to have a better look at the rest of the show and chat to other exhibitors. Ian Smith’s Modbury is quite exceptional, the locos are like pieces of jewellery and the despite the small size of 2mm the level of detail is remarkable!  Martin Finley’s Newton Heath Works was also fabulous and a perfect example of how to do a cameo layout properly.

 

 

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the cup on the layout, as you can see it’s a pretty magnificent trophy!
 

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The show finished at 5.00 pm on Sunday and the layout was unassembled and back in the van by ten past six, which I think is probably our best break down time ever:)  The M3 / M25  was a delightful experience as always, but we got back to Cardiff and had the layout unloaded and back in the workshop before 11.30 pm.

 

Huge thanks to both Roger and Al for all their help during the weekend and to Adrian for inviting us to such a rewarding well organised event.


Best wishes to all, particularly those that came to the exhibition and came for a chat!

 

Dave

 

 

 

Edited by wenlock
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  • RMweb Gold
9 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

Well done on the silverware!

Thanks Andy!

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Having followed your blog, it was a real treat to see the layout for the first time. It’s nice to hear that you had a good time as well, without getting stressed out.

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  • RMweb Gold
1 hour ago, Northroader said:

Having followed your blog, it was a real treat to see the layout for the first time. It’s nice to hear that you had a good time as well, without getting stressed out.

Thanks Northroader, I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the layout:)  It was a really lovely way to spend the weekend after so many months of virtual meet ups!
 

BW

 

Dave

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  • RMweb Gold

Although I'm not familiar with the other layouts at the show, I've very glad to see your fantastic layout winning the trophy, Dave, very well-deserved.

 

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Captain, I'm delighted you think so!

 

BW

 

Dave

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  • RMweb Gold

It's a very enjoyable layout to operate, too. Everything just ... works. Granted, the allure of toy trains does begin to slightly wear off at 3.30 on a Sunday but that's not Sherton's fault!

 

I'm glad you and Roger got it unloaded safely, Dave. I was back in Aberdare at 11.00, just in time for a well-earned pint. I then slept clean through to 11am the following morning.

 

Al

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  • RMweb Gold
3 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

It's a very enjoyable layout to operate, too. Everything just ... works. Granted, the allure of toy trains does begin to slightly wear off at 3.30 on a Sunday but that's not Sherton's fault!

 

Al

 

Lol! yes things definitely begin to pale around 3.30 pm on a Sunday:rolleyes:  I'm glad you enjoyed the rest of it though!

 

3 hours ago, Barry Ten said:

 I then slept clean through to 11am the following morning.

 

That's the way to do it!  My alarm went at 7.00 am followed by the delights of teaching year 3 the principles of removable partial denture design!  Early retirement maybe the only answer:D

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  • RMweb Gold

I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. A big thank you from the Uckfield Club for bringing the layout to the show - its much appreciated.

 

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Well done! a very well deserved trophy. It was a pleasure to read your report which brought back fond memories. I used to be a member of Uckfield MRC (albeit some 35 years ago)! All familiar territory though as I spent the first 18 years of my life in Newick. Thanks for the write up and best wishes for the next trophy!

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  • RMweb Gold

Congratulations Dave! That's quite a trophy. :locomotive:

 

Lovely photos of the Metropolitan coaches, looking forward to the excuse!

 

 

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1 hour ago, adrianmc said:

I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves. A big thank you from the Uckfield Club for bringing the layout to the show - its much appreciated.

 

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Thanks Adrian as you've probably gathered we all had a splendid time!:)  I wonder what Genesis will think of all this free publicity:D

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25 minutes ago, Mikkel said:

Congratulations Dave! That's quite a trophy. :locomotive:

 

Lovely photos of the Metropolitan coaches, looking forward to the excuse!

 

 

Thanks Mikkel, yes those Metropolitan Coaches are absolutely lovely, surely at least one must have strayed into Dorset!:)

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46 minutes ago, 5&9Models said:

Well done! a very well deserved trophy. It was a pleasure to read your report which brought back fond memories. I used to be a member of Uckfield MRC (albeit some 35 years ago)! All familiar territory though as I spent the first 18 years of my life in Newick. Thanks for the write up and best wishes for the next trophy!

Thanks 5&9:)  

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Dave,

It was great to see yourself and Sherton Abbas again, the award for best layout in show was justified (although I will say I was robbed :jester:).  However I will admit that my vote also went to Sherton Abbas!! :D

 

Like you, John and I called in at the Bluebell Railway (we were probably there at the same time you were), to enjoy those Metropolitan coaches being drawn into Sheffield Park - I must say the whistle on that Southern loco was a bit ear piercing, much prefer the tones of real green engines :sungum:

 

We too felt really well looked after, and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend.

 

Ian

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2 hours ago, Ian Smith said:

Dave,

It was great to see yourself and Sherton Abbas again, the award for best layout in show was justified (although I will say I was robbed :jester:).  However I will admit that my vote also went to Sherton Abbas!! :D


Hi Ian, great to see both you and Modbury too!  Funnily enough Modbury got my vote as best layout, you can never have too many Edwardian GWR layouts at a show:D

 

2 hours ago, Ian Smith said:

 

Like you, John and I called in at the Bluebell Railway (we were probably there at the same time you were), to enjoy those Metropolitan coaches being drawn into Sheffield Park - I must say the whistle on that Southern loco was a bit ear piercing, much prefer the tones of real green engines :sungum:

 

Yes that Southern beastie was rather shrill, most undignified and would never happen on “Gods Wonderful”:)

 

Best wishes

 

Dave

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To be honest I'm not surprised you won "ANOTHER" cup Dave, very well deserved ! 

 

Hope your elbows hold up polishing all the ( well deserved ) silverware mate.

 

G

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3 hours ago, bgman said:

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To be honest I'm not surprised you won "ANOTHER" cup Dave, very well deserved ! 

 

Hope your elbows hold up polishing all the ( well deserved ) silverware mate.

 

G

Thanks Grahame!

 

Fortunately I only got to keep the cup for 24 hours before it was safely given back to the Uckfield Club:)  I've got quite enough to do polishing all those lovely Dean engines domes!

 

According to Adrian, I'll be receiving something that I get to keep as memento in the post:sungum:

 

BW

 

Dave

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  • RMweb Gold

Well deserved Dave. Fun and games with the new section. I had a suprise when one loco stopped at the FY entrance on my layout. I hadn't spotted it had a taller chimney than the others. Keep meaning to check with a drawing.

 

Don

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  • RMweb Gold

I know one well-known and excellent modeller who carefully built a bridge on his layout to prototype drawings, but forgot to allow for the thickness of the underlay representing the ballast, and visiting stock frequently reminded him of this. (By pure chance, all of his models were of prototypes well within the loading gauge.)

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