Last Saturday, I made the (fairly long) train journey from home village in Lincolnshire to Faversham. The trip was made more interesting due to the engineering works just outside the Cross, which meant my incoming HST was the first into the station that morning, which meant scenes like this:
Despite an empty station with no trains on the main line or suburban sides (even the 'rescue' Class 67 was missing), the concourse was still quite busy:
Anyway, onward to St Pancras to catch my South Eastern High Speed 'Javelin' to Faversham. Before entering, I couldn't resist taking this shot of the restored Great Northern Hotel and St Pancas:
After a speedy journey down HS1, followed by a more leisurely jaunt through the Medway towns, I arrived at Faversham, an attractive town I've visited a number of times previous to take advantage of both Miss Havisham's Cafe and The Model Shop. The latter is a cracking little premises - just be careful when inside if your of the larger proportion (like me) as it's small and full to bursting with stock. I digress - back to the show...
The brewery is easy to find and Faversham - it's been there a while being Britain's oldest! The venue itself was quite small and, to be honest, a little airless on such a warm day as it had no windows. It was, however, crammed with layouts.
Ore thing I definitely wanted to do was operate my friend, ray Blanchard's Hawkhurst layout. It must be about 25 years since I saw it last and probably longer since my last operating session! I well remember taking it to Colchester show in the mid-1990s and the then editor of BRM, David Brown approaching Ray for a layout article; who'd have thought where I'd be all that time later?
Despite being the best part of 28 years old, the layout is not finished yet: I suppose it's like a fine wine, takes time to fully mature - even Ray has retired during its making! Operating the layout gave me the opportunity to take some of the shots from behind the layout - which makes a change and is a little less crowded than the other side!
It also gave me the chance to photograph the control panel for toggle switch enthusiasts:
However, I musn't leave out all the other exceptional layouts that were there. I met up with my friend Chris White times two. One is the proprietor of Boxfile Dioramas who advertises here on RMweb - who had a selection of his wares as well as his Sandy Cove layout
The other Chris White is the builder of this:
The fantastic Chillingbourne, which he built for his dad. I had the pleasure of visiting them a couple of years ago to photograph it for its appearance in BRM.
There were, of course, so other great layouts there too...
Hobbs Hill (OO)
Souk El Kemis (Moroccan in 009!)
Haverhill (2mm FS)
Kerswell & Tidmeric (OO)