So, what was 2013 like for me and my hobbies?
Last January, February and March saw a flurry of activity on my latest 00 gauge layout "Steam on the Cambrian" with it's first exhibition booked for September I had to move quickly to make sure it was finished and I'm happy to say I made the deadline with not much time to spare.
I don't think I will sail that close to the wind again, because some jobs had to be rushed to beat the clock, not always a good idea!
Posting pictures of the layout's progress on this blog bought a nice surprise when a message from Chris Nevard arrived asking if he could come up and do a few pictures of my train set.
Of course I was more than delighted that my humble effort was considered good enough for Model Rail magazine and the photo shoot took place in August at the Cradley Heath Model Railway club meeting rooms, it was the only place with enough room to erect the layout and leave enough room for the master to do his magic. Still not sure if or when it will appear in print but, I will certainly post the information here as soon as I know anything.
I didn't attend many exhibitions as a punter this year but one I did get to was Midland Railex at the Midland Railway centre at Butterly. Having exhibited Pen Y Bont there in 2012 it was nice to go back as a punter and have time to look at stuff and purchase some odds and ends from the many traders. Always a good show and only just an hour travel from home to.
September saw "Steam on the Cambrian" out at it's first exhibition at Telford. Just a one day event it was the ideal opportunity to "shake down" the layout and make sure everything worked ok under exhibition conditions. Apart from a few little snags that need to be sorted all went well and I think the layout was well received judging from the comments I got from punters, I even managed to get a couple of show invites for 2014 so a good day all round.
October came all too quickly, summer was over and it was exhibition time at Cradley Heath Model Railway club. As exhibition manager with little or no experience I was really bricking it to be fair, but I needn't have worried because the event was a complete success.
I was absolutely amazed at the comments I was getting from visitors, exhibitors and traders about the show, it's exhibits, catering and all sorts. Even well known exhibition managers from other clubs were complimentary on our first show so we are going to repeat the event again in 2014 (October 18th).
So much other stuff to report on and so little space to write it!
I'll post part 2 for your reading pleasure (or boredom!) in a day or two.
Cheers for now and Happy new year!