I have now just about recovered from three enjoyable consecutive weekends exhibiting Fisherton Sarum twice and, in between, assisting fellow High Wycombe and District MRS member Alan Paley with is exquisite pre-grouping Loughborough Road layout.
Firstly I must extend my thanks once again to my family and members of the aforementioned High Wycombe and District MRS for assiting me with the exhibiting of Fisherton Sarum as without them it would not be possible to exhibit at all!
The first show was the excellent Worthing MRC exhibition which by all accounts was a great success for the Worthing MRC with visitor numbers up on previous years, which is always good to hear, and the fact that they had taken to step to utilise more space within the venue which afforded us plenty of room. As I reported last week it was the first time that we had operated the layout following the relocation of the main control panel from the rear of the layout to the front left hand corner and it certainly, as hoped, made interaction with the audience easier and more pleasant, whilst keeping things in the shed area moving.
As I have said before each show tends to be memorable for one reason or another and this was no exception. My model of the Bulleid Leader as usual provoked much interest and discussion and one visitor in particular was notable in being only the second person I have ever spoken to that saw the actual Leader in operation, as he worked at Brighton Works during its development and initial trials, a hugely interesting conversation indeed!
The failure of the turntable mechanical drive system towards the end of Sunday afternoon was the only negative aspect from the show.
Last weekends visit of Fisherton Sarum to the Great Electric Train Show organised by the Hornby Magazine was another great weekend and once again visitor numbers have steadily increased in the three years the show has been run. This is I am certain due to the number of quality exhibits and traders on show, if you have not managed to get along to this show I can very much recommend it.
Being located pretty near to the main entrance meant we were crowded around the layout within literally seconds of the show opening. In places throughout the venue the aisles were a little narrow and I was pleased that I had been able to set the layout back from its intended location to widen the aisle by a few feet. The crowds remained for most of the weekend with only a slight thinning of onlookers very late on in the afternoons.
The Friday evening set was a bit fraught due to finding out the turntable fix deployed after Worthing had not gone totally to plan and some glue seepage had occurred locking everything up. However after some hope and brute force being applied and careful reapplication of glue, followed by waiting overnight and reprogramming the indexing on the Saturday morning all appeared to work well for the rest of the weekend, phew!
The Sunday saw as promised a guest engine make an appearance, in the form of the Bachmann N Class No.1848 that I repainted and numbered into post war SR black livery for friend and fellow post war period modeller Robin Sweet (Gwrrob on RMweb) as can be seen from the picture she looked quite at home on shed, No. 1848 having been a Salisbury allocated engine.
I did have a slight issue with one of the fiddle yard cassettes on the Sunday morning where the screws holding down the aluminum angle had come loose causing a few derailments on the exit to the fiddle, but once the cause was found it was duly fixed and more reliable operation continued for the rest of the day, I apologise if you were watching during this period of time (and also possibly to my operators at the time whom were initially getting the blame!). The use of cassettes in the fiddle yard is always a talking point at shows and will be the subject of a future post.
Three shows in three weekends whilst fun was a bit tiring and I might have to think hard about repeating such in the future. It is always a pleasure to meet and chat to readers of my little corner of the blogosphere at shows and I thank you for taking an interest and also your kind comments about this blog and Fiosherton Sarum itself.
The observant among you will notice that I currently have no confirmed future bookings for Fisherton Sarum, but have no fear I am in discussion with a number of show organisers for appearances of Fisherton Sarum in 2016 and beyond so watch this space!