Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Warley National Model Railway Exhibition 2013, with the LEGO...

Hi guys. Well, this was another long weekend out & about. This weekend it was our fourth invitation to the wonderful Warley National Model Railway Exhibition at the NEC. The 2013 show saw us returning with a slightly larger LEGO railway than the last time we were here. This time we brought our now-normal 12ft x 4ft arrangement and became stand D70, in Hall 5. Warley always has a massive lead-up, and this time in fact we had been invited 2 YEARS before the event! The anticipation leading up to the show is tremendous, particularly when you've done it before so you know what to expect. We have been lucky enough to attend four Warley's with our humble layout now and have enjoyed each experience immensely. We drove the car into a very cold Hall 5 at about 5:30pm on the Friday night, by which time many stands were already up & running. With tables, drapes and barriers allocated, myself & Ben could set to doing all of the building work which comes with owning a very fragile railway!...
"Here We Go Again"
About 2 hours later, the layout is looking somewhere near finished...
With our power supplies checked, tested and certified by the exhibition, the layout was given a few test laps on each of its three circuits. These proved successful and so, with hunger setting in, we headed for home...
On Saturday morning we were on site from just before 9am and the exhibition opened at 9:15am to Advanced Ticket Holders. At 9:45am the show opened to the rest of the visitors and then it got crazy! There were so many people it was unreal. The Saturday in particular was probably the busiest Warley day I have ever seen. The LEGO railway was very popular as usual and people stood 2 - 3 rows deep sometimes admiring it, which is always very pleasing for me...
After a very successful Saturday we returned home again. It doesn't seem two minutes and then you find yourself driving back into the NEC again! Sunday morning beckoned and it was another 9am start for the LEGO trains. Today seemed a lot quieter than yesterday but it was still very busy. In fact, the show reported that 17,300 people visited over the weekend: a tremendous achievement!...
"The Calm Before The Storm"
There were so many great things to see at this years show: it was probably one of the best yet. There were too many layouts to count and then countless other demonstrators, traders and societies too. Standing in the middle of it all was the impressive and much talked about new-build 4-6-0 "The Unknown Warrior": a soon to be Fowler Patriot that'll be running in about 5 years time. Other locomotives in the hall included the Corris Railway's Kerr Stuart "Tattoo" locomotive and Leighton Buzzard's 2ft Baldwin 4-6-0 tank. Below, there is a compilation of clips taken of the LEGO railway during the Sunday afternoon...

The Sunday show closed at 5pm and then the traditional 'Warley Nightmare' began. Getting out is always so much harder than getting in. Luckily we have adapted a way of getting out. We park the cars in the far car parks as we always would during the day, and then use our sturdy sack-truck to haul the majority of the LEGO and its heavy boards along the winding pathways of the NEC. Its a long way to walk with all this stuff but if you don't do it you'll be there until midnight trying to get out: its just manic. We certainly weren't the only ones doing this!...
"A Quick Solution"
We had had yet another fantastic time at the Warley show. They are always very welcoming and look after their exhibitors very well: its a real pleasure and a privilege to attend. I think though now, after a few years of fun, the LEGO Railway will probably go into hiding. I had always hoped that the little railway that has given pleasure to many over the years would see its last show, with me, at Warley and I guess now that that time has come. I certainly won't be getting rid of it but maybe this is the last show now. Its been great fun and this little layout has allowed us to exhibit at shows large and small, and we've now done 4 years at the biggest model railway exhibition in the UK. Its been a pleasure, it really has, but as they say 'all good things must come to an end'. Kind Regards, Sam...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh No! Is that the end of the famous Lego Railway?
Well I'm glad I got to see it, and that my Rack loco had it's 15 mins of fame!
Well done Sam!