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Chris M

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Chris M last won the day on August 7 2017

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  1. Maybe. I have no input to the website. All I can say is that I will post information here when it is available.
  2. I am pleased to announce that we are "all systems go" for Warley at Statfold. Over 25 layouts and 25 trade stands will attending together with some demonstrators and model railway society stands. The full details are yet to be confirmed but I can assure you that layouts will be listed here when they are confirmed. It looks like there will be a great range of layouts and some interesting trade stands. It is planned that some of the demonstrator stands will be hands on. Speaking personally I am very excited about being involved at a show at this venue. It is quite a magical place. The buildings are all pretty much clean and new and the engine shed houses the largest collection of narrow gauge locos in the country. Narrow gauge is not my favourite subject but I can't help but love seeing this collection. There will be free train rides on the narrow gauge railways for all show visitors. This really is an excellent place for families, there is also a soft play area there. There is free parking on hardstanding for 1,000 cars at the venue and there will be a free bus service to and from Tamworth station. Numbers of visitors will be much smaller than the NEC so it is planned to be a very relaxed and enjoyable show. Tickets will be on sale by tomorrow from the Stafold Barn website - https://www.statfold.com/warleymodelrailwayshow .Those of you who don't like buying tickets online can phone Statfold and speak to a real person to buy tickets, their number is 01827830389.
  3. Another option is to blag your way in for free. There are ways to do this at most exhibitions but I would never use this option. In fact the opposite tends to happen to me. I pay to go into an exhibition and then end up spending a few hours operating a layout because the owner knows me and is short of crew.
  4. Not any more! There isn’t going to be a two day ticket available for Warley at Statfold (WatS) because you will be able to see everything in one day. Tickets will be best bought in advance. Maybe Warners will be offering a two day for their National exhibition at the NEC.
  5. We have worked out the best ride for us on the NYMR. We are going to go to Goathland, have a look around the village and maybe TMC. We will then buy a return to Whitby for £25 return each. This gives us a nice day out and a nice, good value ride. Well that’s the plan. Why they can’t put this in the NYMR publicity is beyond me. Well it isn’t beyond me because I can see they want to sell you a £49.50 ticket which provides an expensive and longer than actually wanted train ride. From what I saw today the ticket office staff have been given the training to hard sell the £49.50 tickets and spout a loud of sales garbage.
  6. Yes we haven’t had apostrophes for many years in Brum; we just can’t afford them.
  7. If someone can’t afford to wait for layout expenses then how on earth did they afford to build a layout and buy stock in the first place? Hiring a van for the weekend costs about the same as buying a loco.
  8. For trade stands our club policy has always been payment in advance. If the trade stand is not paid before the exhibition then the trader isn’t allowed into the hall. This is a simple rule that avoids possible complications. We have had traders bring the cash with them on set up which is not desirable but it is acceptable. We used to pay layout expenses in cash on the Sunday using cash taken on the door. Along with many other shows we have now moved to payment by BACS in the week after the exhibition. This works well. It’s a bit of work after the show for the finance guy but nobody has complained. As an exhibitor it was always nice to be given some cash on Sunday afternoon which allowed a few purchases that didn’t get noticed by the other half but those days are gone. When I hire a van from my local van hire I have to pay the full amount when I book it so getting paid during the show or a few days later makes no difference.
  9. Could I suggest Eventbrite (or similar) for advance ticket sales? I would rather buy in advance and not have to bother with card or cash at the door.
  10. I'm having a holiday in Pickering this year. As I live over 3 hours drive away from NYMR being able to return as often as I like isn't much use. I could afford to spend £99 on a pair of tickets if I wanted but feel it is just too much. The couple we are going with feel exactly the same. That's four potential customers the NYMR has thrown away with its ticket price policy. Yes I know there are cheaper returns for shorter journeys but the headline price kind of puts me off looking further. Anyway its more interesting to see a train working through the countryside than it is to be riding in it. I'm more likely to visit a few places and have a few walks near the line than buy a freedom of the line ticket. A freedom of the line ticket for one day booked more than three days in advance on the Severn Valley Railway would cost £50 for two tickets - pretty much half the price of the NYMR. The SVR is 16 miles whereas the NYMR is 24 miles from Pickering to Whitby.
  11. The gift aid has to be claimed from HMRC. I believe that checks are made on gift aid by HMRC and if a claim is found to be fraudulent the gift aid is not given. Update. I was wrong. HMRC checks don't appear to be made in the way I thought. It does say in the HMRC rules that anyone found incorrectly claiming gift aid will be liable for the amount claimed. So the cio still gets the gift aid money but the donor will have to pay HMRC.
  12. It seems odd that there is so much discussion as to whether what the NYMR is doing is within the government rules or not. We can be certain that the NYMR will have taken professional advice on all of this and everything will be within the rules. It is very normal for charities to own limited companies, usually for trading purposes. The club I am a member of is a cio that owns a limited company. The company doesn't employ anyone and any profit is donated to the cio. All perfectly normal. The NYMR is obviously far more complicated but you will find all the other large heritage railways have similar set ups. So far as I am aware Gift Aid rules do have some idiosyncrasies but I can't see any organisation intentionally transgressing. Like I say, you can be sure NYMR and all other heritage railways will have taken professional advice.
  13. The problem that all big shows face is that taking a trade stand to a show just gets ever more expensive. Rails stopped exhibitions a few years ago and it seems Dapol have dropped shows this year. Small traders, specialists and even manufacturers have to gain sufficient extra sales (either on the day or future) to justify the cost of hotels for a weekend, fuel and maybe van hire. While at a show they can't be doing anything else such as developing new models or just keeping their home shop open. Attending a large (rather than local) exhibition has become ever more expensive while online sales have become the main way of selling. I can only see there being fewer traders at exhibitions in future. The only growth area in trade stands appears to be secondhand 00 traders. An exhibition can't force traders to attend and the cost of trade space at an exhibition may not be the main factor.
  14. I like running to a sequence at home; I find it adds to my enjoyment and time goes vey quickly. Its great to have a reason and a destination in my mind for each train. My layout is also an oval with 6 storage sidings in each direction and I run plain old DC. At exhibitions we don't run to the sequence - we tried it but it is too much like hard work especially when chatting to people. Instead we have one person for up trains and one for down. The very strict rules is only send each train round once if there is anyone watching - unless someone asks to see a train again. No shunting on this layout, just trains coming, going stopping and starting.
  15. With all this talk of re-nationalisation it should first be remembered that the land, the track, the stations etc etc are all government owned anyway. Labour are being somewhat misleading by saying they want to renationalise the railways - what they plan to do is have a central government controlled body to run passenger trains in place of private companies. I have mixed feelings about this. At one level it seems very sensible and it should make the railways more efficient. It should be simpler for travellers buying tickets. There will probably be a sensible training programme rather than a policy of poaching staff from other companies because poaching is cheaper than training in the short term. On the other hand it has to be said that passenger numbers and indeed passenger service are far better now that they ever were under British Rail. Many stations have three times the number of trains now compared to the 1960s & 1970s. How much of that is down to private companies and how much down to other factors I don't know. I do know that, in order to make a profit, private companies generally strive to increase revenue (in this case by increasing passenger numbers) whereas anything that is public sector run tends to be all about cutting costs in order to reduce losses and closing things down. That is the bit that concerns me about this plan.
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