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Blog- Show visits 2014 - Burton 2014

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Today was the day of the annual Burton Model Railex, the exhibition organised by members of the Burton Railway Society. For the third year the event was held at the National Brewery Centre (former Bass Museum) site. The show is split between the museum's event marquee and the Worthington Suite in one of the buildings. The admission price also allows visitors access to the museum which includes heavy horses, fire brigade vehicles and some full size railway exhibits. If thirsty there is also the "Brewery Tap" bar on site which sells a selection of real ales. With so much to see the £4.00 admission price is a real bargain.


The show itself is usually of a high standard and today's event did not disappoint with a good range of layouts, trade stands and other static exhibits and demonstrations. Amongst the 15 working layouts there were some real gems with very few falling below exhibition standards and others displaying some excellent modelling. In the marquee there was the atmospheric "Tom's Shed" a tiny OO gauge shed scene which crammed so much detail into such a small space. How he managed to get the Garratt model in there I do not know. Displayed at a low level it was the perfect height for children to see although it did mean the older visitors may have had some creaking bones to squat down to get a true ground level view of the scene.

Broadwater Junction is the Warley Model Railway club's N gauge model. This featured in the latest issue of the Hornby Magazine and had a good procession of passing trains. A nice touch was the stabling of a model of a Burton Brewery loco on the branch line. This layout really captures a main line scene well with gradual curves through sweeping scenery. Excellent.

Glen Uig is operated by one of RMWeb's own. I have seen this blue diesel era layout on many occasions. Although I am not a diesel fan I cannot fail to be impressed by the detail in the Distillery and the quayside. The sound fitted locos add to the scene and the layout is beautifully lit. The moving seagulls are a wonderfully different and clever touch.

I mentioned "lighting" and this seemed to be a theme throughout the marquee with some wonderful lighting effects on several of the layouts. Glen Uig and Broadwater both fall into this category for me. The third well lit layout was "Worcester South Quay". This O gauge layout represented a GWR scene. The sound fitted Pannier tank was a wonderful model and the detailed buildings would have kept some people interested for quite a while.

Remaining on the topic of "lighting" for a moment - I was pleased to see much improved lighting in the Worthington Suite compared to recent years when some layouts were difficult to see. This room featured more impressive layouts including the On30 model "Karolina Falls" which stands out due to its working real waterfall.

The 009 layout "Old Mineral Line" showed just what could be achieved in a small space whilst the largest layout in the room "Rolleston-on-Dove" was an impressive EM gauge depiction of the station in 1948. This is a beautiful model which has been built after a lot of research.


The static displays included some of John Fownes' cardboard 0 gauge locos. These detailed working models are very impressive and are often displayed on some of the Woodthorpe MRC's working layouts. I did like the model of the Great Central's red 8F although I am sure the purists would sniff at this. Just as impressive was P.R Marshall's large scale models, many also produced in cardboard. The model of Braunton in Barry Island condition was stunning.


There was a good range of trade stands to tempt visitors from their cash including my Dad who was selling his model buses and did quite well by all accounts. The railway based stands provided a good range of used and new models and I did purchase a Bachmann weathered "Small Prairie".


In the past there has been some negative comments from myself and others about the catering at some shows. The food today was very nice although the choice was a little limited. No complaints though; a generous helping of stew with stuffing and roll for £5.95 or a well crammed Pork roll for £3.00 was value for money and was better than some shows I have attended this year, although more expensive than others.


All in all the Burton show lived up to its high standards and congratulations go to the organisers for another excellent event.


Now the light-hearted awards:


Best layout:

A very tough choice this one as Glen Uig, Broadwater Junction, Tom's Shed, Rolleston on Dove and Worcester South Quay could all have a genuine claim on the title. My winner is going to be Glen Uig for its excellent scenics, sound fitted locos, perfect lighting and moving seagulls!


Best model:

Again a few contenders including the O gauge cardboard locos and the sound fitted Pannier. But my winner is the cardboard large scale model of Braunton in scrapyard condition. It really had to be seen!!


Best scenic feature:

For pure detail - Tom's Shed.


And the others:

The funniest: - My father in law lifting up a "do not touch" sign (written in comedy German) to read it more clearly and knocking it on the floor!


The not so good: I can't really pick too much wrong with this event to be honest.


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