Last weekend I had the pleasure of assisting talented modeller and photographer Chris Nevard at the annual Railex show, organised by the Risborough and District MRS, with his small but stunning Brewhouse Quay layout. Although apparently set somewhere to the north of Bath, for a while at the weekend it was either transported further South East or a couple of aging Southern locomotives must have been on loan to the brewery company of Marriott, Dent and Foster (can you spot the connection?).
It had to be one of the hottest Railex shows ever with the metal clad Stoke Manderville Stadium sports hall acting very much like slow cooker. However with the quality of the modelling on show, from both layouts and demonstrators alike, coupled to one of the best collection of the specialist model trade under one roof ensured that once again this was an excellent show and the heat was a mere slight inconvenience.
Apart from one switchblade needing a slight repair, Brewhouse Quay operated faultlessly all weekend and it was only the shaky hands of the operators (well mainly me in fact) when trying to couple either the 3 link couplings or the shunting chain that challenged the illusion a little.
One of the features of Brewhouse Quay is the working wagon turntable complete with capstan and wagons are shunted using the chain which in 4mm scale is no mean feat, but yes it can be done, and was a popular operation with the onlookers.
Surprisingly within the first 10 minutes of the show opening a couple of visitors plied Chris with various bottles of beer, one of the advantages of a brewery layout perhaps? I was starting to think we would be inundated if this continued at that rate but alas no.
We did of course have to open and sample the malty beverage, each day, purely to ensure the correct atmospheric environmental ambiance around the layout was created you understand…