That was the Warley that was…

With a nod to David Frost et al for the title… although I am not really that old…  honest…  As regular readers of my blog will know last weekend was the last of three exhibitions in three weekends, and was the third year in a row that I have exhibited with a layout at the Warley National Model Railway Show. This time it was turn of the Layout Ashland which was built by myself, Richard Proudman and Hornby Magazine Editor Mike Wild as a challenge, which we duly completed,  to build a layout in a weekend at the Hornby Magazine Live show in Hartlepool last July.

21C102 'Salisbury' arrives at Ashland. Note her short deflectors and original style cab.

Ashland formed part of the Ian Allen / Hornby Magazine stand at the show and is based on the North Cornwall Line, the track plan being a mix of Ashwater and Dunsland Cross. We ran my own Southern 1946 to 1948 era stock on the Saturday and moved forward 10 years or so on the Sunday with Mike’s own BR Southern Region stock being used. Along with a couple of Bulleid light pacific’s, M7’s; an O2, N, N1 and a T9, my recently re-liveried Beattie Well Tank also put in a sterling performance hauling a mix of suitable stock.

Beattie Well Tank 30586 in early British Railways livery trundles into Ashland with a pick up goods
T9 721 on the morning parcels turn

Warley is a bit of a marmite show you either love it or hate it, however a number of changes made to the show this year including widened aisle widths and increased seating available for visitors to rest weary legs (due to the extremely hard concrete floor) which seemed to improve circulation around the show. There will always be discussion on the cost to visitors attending taking into account the entry fee (still half the price of the next door motorcycle show) and parking, but even all in, its still cheap when you consider the cost per layout ratio or the cost per hour of entertainment as most visitors appear to spend all day there (which is needed to see all or nearly all the 75 layouts and nearly 150 traders!)

Many of the suppliers and manufacturers now appear to time announcements and new releases for Warley, with respect to the latter also Christmas is possibly a factor, however this must put strain on the traders stocking policy and cash flow having to suddenly stock so many new items.

Bachmann released a number of new items and had on display a number of pre production tooling’s in both 2 and 4mm with the most noticeable being the 6 car Midland Blue Pullman.  The N Gauge Society’s commissioned, from Graham Farish, fine model of an SR Queen Mary brake van was also available.

Hornby had their livery sample Brighton Belle unit on display, and very nice it looks too, and their non corridor Gresley suburban coaches now released certainly look excellent despite not being Southern.

Dapol have just recently got there 4mm Class 22 into the shops. Kernow Models had the excellent looking livery samples of their commissioned weathered versions on display. Dapol also announced their intention to enter the 7mm market with a 6, 7 and 8 plank private owner wagons to start with. Hattons although not having a stand had a presence with Dapol showing off their stunning looking LMS Twin diesels 10000 / 10001 (both of which ended up onAshlandtowards the end of Sunday!).

Heljan announced their intention to add to their range of transition ear diesels with the Class 16 The prototype, not the most reliable of engines,  “worked” mainly out of Stratford so am not sure if they ever reached Southern Region metals via transfer freights.

Gary at 247 Developments showed me his new etch of Southern engine head signal discs (often incorrectly called route discs or headcode discs) that are complete with half etched handle.

This post is not intended to be a full review of the show but just a snapshot from my perspective / interests. Operating a layout at Warley does not really allow the time to fully view all on show and therefore the above are just some of those things that came to my attention. I am sure that there will be a fuller roundup in the various next magazine issues or on some of the web forums.

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