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Andy Y

London Festival of Railway Modelling, Alexandra Palace, 25/26 March 2017

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I've been thinking this for quiet a while, why do we bother, do these people know what goes into exhibiting a layout, setting up, standing on your feet for 16 hours , getting grief from SWMBO, all to try and please some moaning bas***ds. https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_nono.gif

 

being an American HO modeller, our layouts are usually a small percentage of most exhibition (there are a few exceptions) and you do get a bit fed up with some peoples attitude, but when you get a person or persons asking question about construction, operations etc it then seem worth the while!.

 

I think in future i'll be more selective, as to which shows to attend, maybe concentrating on those that are American friendly https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_stinker.gif

 

Ray

I for one would like you to reconsider. I know there have been a lot of truly unpleasant comments on here but many RMwebbers like American outline. As for the unpleasantness, I'm astonished, quite frankly, that the moderation team haven't intervened and deleted posts and haven't written in support. Talk about being left hanging out to dry!

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"...plus a heavily discounted new loco off the Kernow stand - result!..."   :laugh:  :no:  :scratchhead:   Thud !

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Sorry, don't quite understand, unless I have misunderstood the post ( and smilies) completely. Loco in question was £20 less than differently numbered others of the same class and around £35 off rrp, and also it was one I had been looking out for, not just an impulse purchase. That, sir, is what I call a result!

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I for one would like you to reconsider. I know there have been a lot of truly unpleasant comments on here but many RMwebbers like American outline.

To be fair, the show itself is very supportive of North American modelling, over many years, as demonstrated by the layouts invited over the years. It's just the occasional small minded person coming through the door that doesn't seem to be able to cope with layouts that aren't done "their way" - whatever that may be...

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Sorry, don't quite understand, unless I have misunderstood the post ( and smilies) completely. Loco in question was £20 less than differently numbered others of the same class and around £35 off rrp, and also it was one I had been looking out for, not just an impulse purchase. That, sir, is what I call a result!

 

I've been almost thrown out of the shop for daring to ask for a discount :)

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I was there on Saturday.  Like Joseph, I concentrated on what interested me layout-wise.  This included the P4 layouts Kettlewell and Leysdown, both fine ambassadors for the scale and going some way to rectify the slight [doubtless unintentional] of ignoring P4 in its 40th anniversary year of 2016.  EM was also well represented with Hope under Dinmore [which rather schizophrenically was listed with hypens in the layouts section of the show guide but without them in the index], the charismatic Canada Street where the right angle bend looks quite at home [unlike most other layouts where more care should be taken to conceal them], Minories of course, Kirkmellington, Blackwells Brewery Co and Victoria, another minimum space creation by Dave Tailby where the platform building holding up the part-Airfix canopy was straight out of Alex Bowie. [Who he?  An inspirational writer in and sometime editor of the Model Railway Constructor in 1959-60 and possibly John the Baptist to the Messiah that is Iain Rice.]   It would have been easy to group all of these and other qualifying layouts in what has been described above as the finescale hall but this would have meant that some patrons would not stumble across them accidentally.  True, the emphasis of the stands in the West Hall was on finescale but this distinction was not rigid.  Perhaps the biggest draw of the show, Copenhagen Fields, was in the main hall, and quite right too.   One ignorant acquaintance who I am now ashamed to know described it as N gauge.  As the gentleman in question is currently hard at work setting a quiz I fear many accuracy-related arguments on the night.

 

I have every sympathy for Jamie and his team for the difficulties experienced by Lancaster Green Ayre and have already taken to task the inmate who wrote of it in such derogatory terms.  There but for the grace of God ....

 

For the future, it would be a good idea if more of the tables at which demonstrators sit were to have chairs opposite them to accommodate interested persons.  There is something psychologically adverse about towering over a craftsman while he is beavering away and if I were a demonstrator I would not like people looking down on me more than they do already.

 

I understand that there were something like 4,000 advance bookings.  In view of the grief that the webshite dispenses this is truly remarkable and I am almost encouraged to persist with it.

 

Chris 

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I went to AP with Darius43, having been a regular at Warley for about ten years.

 

the issue at AP is not "more trains" and "run faster", it is run some trains!!

 

I think we saw one layout (big American one) with activity, but nothing else.

 

My observation was that on most of the layouts, the team behind seemed to be supping their drinks and having a coffee...

 

Running to a timetable is fine, but less than an hour between movements would be helpful.

 

Apart from that, the severe overcrowding didn't help.

 

Will I be going again? No.

 

Not very optimistic then.  

 

I couldn't get close to some layouts because there were such large crowds watching the trains moving on them - so I spent more time looking at layouts with fewer viewers and more space to view.  That didn't worry me one bit because they were model railways, they were running well (although I didn't dare say so), and they were interesting - because they were model railways, because they had some modelling worth looking at, and because they were being worked as they should, and because they were interesting (and there was more to them than 'trains').

 

To be quite honest if you couldn't find a layout with something of interest to look at or watch you didn't look very hard at the considerable choice and variety which was at Ally Pally this year.  Yes it was busy and if I could actually get there through the myriad railway engineering works that litter weekends I might go on Sunday next year (although I wouldn't have got the book I bought this year had I gone on Sunday - they sold out on Saturday).

 

If I'm going to moan about anything it would be the suicidal 'bus Driver on the W3 back to Finsbury Park and the fact that the subway there is closed at the 'bus station end.  I shall expect Warners and the MRC to mount a major campaign with TfL and the Mayor to get this sorted for next year as it is clearly far more important than anything else they have to deal with such as selecting layouts or organising the effective sale of advance tickets (I bought mine on the day - quick moving queue and good service, no complaints and praises due instead).

 

Simple message - big shows like this are what you make them - and there was plenty at Ally Pally last weekend for most people interested in railway modelling and it was good to see visitors with younger children although to be honest I thought the price for family tickets was a bit steep to encourage such visitors - others might disagree.

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If I'm going to moan about anything it would be the suicidal 'bus Driver on the W3 back to Finsbury Park and the fact that the subway there is closed at the 'bus station end.  I shall expect Warners and the MRC to mount a major campaign with TfL and the Mayor to get this sorted for next year as it is clearly far more important than anything else they have to deal with such as selecting layouts or organising the effective sale of advance tickets (I bought mine on the day - quick moving queue and good service, no complaints and praises due instead).

 

 

Reports have been reaching us from some show visitors that they never made it to the event after boarding the bus only to find themselves kidnapped and taken to the SE Devon coast.

AP Bus.jpg

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I've been almost thrown out of the shop for daring to ask for a discount :)

 

Should have shown them your toilet :jester:  :jester: :jester:  

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There really does seem to be a lot of snark about; really poorly thought through plain nasty comments from, it seems, an increasing number of people about anything and everything these days. People you'd expect better from; grown men with a malicious chip on each shoulder who are seemingly not happy unless they're trying to cause upset or just give vent to rather sad little perspectives.

 

It's bloody depressing some days; I've just read some pearlers on Facebook, Youtube is just toxic. Social media of any form is a platform which could be used for so much good but the bitter and small-minded bring it down to their level; only then are they happy in the environment when they've driven away those who have a healthier outlook to life.

 

I'm getting a couple of bottles from under the stairs and popping round a mate's house to get some real-world respite from these asshats.

Don't let the sadness linger. They will have Piles or some other soreness that creates their bitterness. 

Dr. Rectum

Edited by Mallard60022
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I didn't go as I am at the opposite end of the country but from the photos and videos I have seen I think it looks to have been an excellent exhibition. Even if there's nothing running on a layout I would hope that fellow modellers are able to appreciate layouts for more than "Ooh look, it moves." 

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Reports have been reaching us from some show visitors that they never made it to the event after boarding the bus only to find themselves kidnapped and taken to the SE Devon coast.

 

I wondered where this shuttle bus had disappeared to, on the way back.

 

Going there from Wood Green in the morning, this bus and a newer ("66 plate") one with different headlights turned up together and both headed to "Ally Pally".

 

On the way back, after a very long wait, the "66 plater" turned up on its own at about 10 to 5 - and the driver announced that there'd be a long wait before it set off - and, since it might take some time to do the return trip, this journey would now become the final bus, a bit before 5 - so much for the last bus back being quarter past 5 on both days.

 

 

As for the show itself, I really enjoyed it - and (thanks to the presence of certain specialist suppliers) was able to achieve more than I planned to, within half an hour of entering the halls.

 

I'll also be able to get on with my next build project (time permitting, of course).

 

I'm certainly not complaining.

 

 

Huw.

Edited by Huw Griffiths
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well I found it quite disappointing compared to pervious shows. Whilst there were some lovely layouts (for example, Towcester, Leysdown, Fen Drove, Blackwells Brewery, North Bridge, Kirkmellington, Kettlewell and others) there were some pretty crude and wasteful ones. Some layouts needed no introduction - Copenhagen Fields and Canada Road.

 

I don't do continental stuff much but since there was so much of it, I had a look. Chelma Canyon and Prospect Point were very nicely modeled and were running well.

 

I will get shot down on here but Crewelisle isn't a premier league exhibition layout but in fariness, it was running trains which some others seemed to struggle with.

 

The Freemo American layout was a total waste of time, probably 150ft of running line and if you were lucky, you might see one train moving and a switcher dithering. Simply not good enough and the lack of spectators watching it all day tells its own story. I overhead one of the operators telling a member of the public that they had been robbed of 2ft of space by BRM/MRC and they didn't have enough operators to run it!!! Blinking Heck, it was the biggest layout in the show and to blame a missing 2ft board is ridiculous. If they can't get operators then why are they turning up to a major show where people pay a huge sum to see trains run....................................................................

 

Surprisingly, as the owner of ‘Crewlisle’ I completely agree with Geoff Winter; it is not a ‘premier league layout’.  I would be a millionaire by now if I had a pound for every time a visitor commented about how much layout I have got in a relatively small space without looking too much for a typical northern town in the 1950s to 1980s..  Many years ago at an exhibition, the late great railway modeller & editor  Cyril Freezer (Nick Freezer’s father), stopped at my layout & commented that, ‘I had a lot of railway in a small space but it did not look out of place’.  Praise indeed from the man himself!  We then spent the next 15 minutes discussing whether I could fit in a double slip just before the terminus throat, eventually deciding between us that the approach radii would have to be too tight.

 

As for saying it is not a ‘premier league layout’, it has been exhibited at the Warley NEC show five times because it entertains most levels of modellers & is a layout that can be built by the average modeller in his back bedroom, loft or garage.  I have lost count of the number of modellers who have had a similar sized space but said, ”I was going to build a terminus to fiddle yard but you have changed my way of thinking”.  ‘Crewlisle’ was started about 45 years ago, started exhibiting in the mid 1980s, continually improved over the years, converted to DCC 8 years ago but the basic design is the same as when I started.  From my 1950s/60s train spotting days, I wanted a terminus for 6 coach expresses, steam shed. turntable, diesel shed, sidings, double track continuous run representing the WCML with OLE & a reversing loop.  If you have a terminus, trains have to go & come back!

 

When talking to visitors, I point out that it is not the most detailed or prototypical layout but it entertains & impresses the paying public, judging by all the favourable comments I get..  For example, one of the visitors on Sunday was impressed with the way my high level sidings had been finished.  He was most surprised when I said the ground/track ballasting was wall paper paste sprinkled with saw dust, sprayed matt black with the odd scattering of green grass!   I endeavour to run a minimum of two & sometimes as many as four locos/trains running simultaneously.  To encourage youngsters into the hobby I have an operator on the outside talking to families & children, letting them have a drive (fingers on the emergency stop button!), operate the turntable or to run Thomas the Tank Engine normally hiding in the back of platform 2 of the high level terminus.  On Sunday afternoon a father & his young were watching the trains go by for almost 2 hours.  More typical comments about 'Crewlisle' at exhibitions came from 'Clearwater' in Comment 241 & 'Darius43' in Comment 308.

 

‘Crewlisle’ is what the average modeller can relate to & a family friendly layout which tries to encourage younger members into the hobby.  Have you noticed the high average age of the visitors (including me!) to exhibitions?  When young families & their children go to an exhibition, all they see on many layouts is ‘Do not touch’ signs or stern faced operators with their layouts forming a ‘barrier’ between them & the paying visitors.  No matter how detailed or prototypical your layout is, don’t take our hobby so seriously.  Lighten up & have an operator on the outside with Thomas lurking in an overgrown siding or platform.

 

So overall, appearing at the Warley NEC show 5 times, Great Electric Train Show & twice at Ally Pally is not bad for not being a ‘premier league layout’.

 

Peter

Edited by Crewlisle
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Thank to all those that entered the visitor survey at the show last weekend. We have a winner!
Well done to Mr Jonathan Evans from Milton Keynes  :no: 

post-15960-0-80746300-1490802593_thumb.jpg

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Moaning Gits

 

I suppose it makes a change from expensive car parks at £12 (Warley) free but muddy car parks (Stafford) No bus service to exhibition (York) and busy trains

 

I'm sure there are more!

 

Can all those that moan please let the rest of us know where you are next exhibiting, just so we can see it should be done.

 

Happy Modelling

Shenfield,  see you there.

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Thank to all those that entered the visitor survey at the show last weekend. We have a winner!Well done to Mr Jonathan Evans from Milton Keynes  :no: 

Can I be the first to register my absolute disgust that I didn't win a competition I didn't enter. Clearly the organisers have not got the first clue!

 

 

Seriously - congrats to the winner!

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Thank to all those that entered the visitor survey at the show last weekend. We have a winner!

Well done to Mr Jonathan Evans from Milton Keynes  :no: 

 

I don't do surveys. They just leave me broken down by age and sex.

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 Like Joseph, I concentrated on what interested me layout-wise.  

 

Alex Bowie. [Who he?  An inspirational writer in and sometime editor of the Model Railway Constructor in 1959-60 and possibly John the Baptist to the Messiah that is Iain Rice.]

 

For the future, it would be a good idea if more of the tables at which demonstrators sit were to have chairs opposite them to accommodate interested persons.  There is something psychologically adverse about towering over a craftsman while he is beavering away and if I were a demonstrator I would not like people looking down on me more than they do already.

 

 

 

Chris 

 

I did not actually go to Ally Pally. Was going to go on Sunday but had to stay here and make the most of the rare good weather. I was just making a general point about my visits to such shows: concentrate on the stuff that interests you the most as there is not time to look at everything properly.

 

I did not know that Alex Bowie had either written for or edited MRC.

 

Rather than have chairs in front of the demos, it would surely be better for them to be on a platform.

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Having a spectrum of all types of layouts is a good thing. Whilst layouts such as Crewlisle do not set new standards in fine scale modelling they fulfil two important functions.

1. They provide movement and entertainment, something sorely lacking on too many layouts across the exhibition circuit.

2. They are likely to encourage visitors to finally get down to building their layout, because they can see something that does not look beyond them.

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OH dear what have I started, never mind, its only a hobby.

 

What I would add to the derision aimed my way and also comments in similar vein to mine but better worded is pride and preparation.

 

I stand by my thoughts about Green Eyre, whilst can appreciate a work in progress, I would still expect a degree of pride to show through and that comes from the little details - buildings that look plonked down and haphazard and wonky catenary and stray looping contact wires together with the seemingly jaded scenery is what created the impression I first described. I do understand the effort involved but have been schooled at work and at Model clubs to build things certain ways, to test and test again and to keep on top of things so they don't get damaged and jaded. Carry a pot of paint or coal dust or ballast to touch up the bad bits, stand back and admire your own work and you will soon see any major blemishes and I would hope you would want to fix them as the layout must be your pride and joy and surely that means you want it seen in its best light. I know I do.

 

Anyway, I'm obviously a cranky old git (Donald???) and not allowed to say anything more on the subject of exhibition layouts according to some on here.

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"...plus a heavily discounted new loco off the Kernow stand - result!..."   :laugh:  :no:  :scratchhead:   Thud !

 

I hope the "Thud!" was not "SWMBO" hitting you by any chance !!!

 

RUNNING even faster.

 

Terry

Edited by Trainshed Terry

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I for one would like you to reconsider. I know there have been a lot of truly unpleasant comments on here but many RMwebbers like American outline. As for the unpleasantness, I'm astonished, quite frankly, that the moderation team haven't intervened and deleted posts and haven't written in support. Talk about being left hanging out to dry!

I agree with Jack, not in the specific sense that the show is Anti-foreign (In fact I saw the Exhibition Manager again a week before and I had to apologize as usual for not being able to accept an invite for my North American layout yet again) but because of the comment earlier on in this thread that caused me to reply in the first place. Which in itself could have been dismissed as just another inane rambling that should have been ignored, save for the fact that some responsible quarters do in fact listen to the criticisms as expressed by the over opinionated which in turn gives them credibility. Ignore them at your peril....!

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I'm going to bring a 'slap' button in soon.

Could you do a face-palm button too?

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Unfortunately I can't "do" Ally Pally any more for mobility reasons, so I'm not in a position to comment on this show specifically. A couple of points stand out:

 

The inclusion of several USA/European models. No complaints from me BUT the main sponsoring mag is BRITISH Railway Modelling and AFAIK Pempoul is the only such layout to grace its pages for years now, so perhaps not unreasonable for readers/subscribers to expect more UK outline?

 

To lose one layout (to not running) may be misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness. This should not happen. I get cross when I hear people defending this by saying how much time and effort they put in. Up and down the country are hundreds of events run entirely by amateurs. My son runs a youth club. If there are no games for the kids then they go home disappointed. No excuses. And when I hear the "let's see you do better" defence I get angry. They shouldn't have to, they are not setting themselves up for public view.

 

I have been involved in exhibiting layouts and know how hard it can be, but please try harder.

 

Ed

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And for those who dislike non-British layouts please be warned that my Chinese HO layout will be at Aly Paly soon, although probably after it's been to Warley and Bristol.

 

:offtopic:   As an antedote to the "non-british layout" haters, as somebody who spent this years Ally Pally show operating a Czech layout, can I run my H0 QJ on your layout at next years show please? :jester:

 

I'd also like to add my thanks to the MRC and BRM teams for an excellent weekend. :fan:

Likewise, I'd to commend the cheerful professionalism of the staff at AP and complements to the catering staff, given how many meals they managed to serve-up so quickly! :good:

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