Friday, 24 April 2015

MTEW Friday Set-Up...

Hi everyone. Well, talk about a pulling your hair out week! The weeks leading up to MTEW are always busy. People are emailing, people are calling and I am running around trying to get everything sorted. This week I've been making dining tickets, finishing seating plans, editing camping plans, preparing welcome packs and generally making the final alterations to everything that has been planned up to now. The house has been a wash with wristbands, tickets, welcome letters, boiler legislation, risk assessments and god knows what else. Yesterday I was at Market Bosworth throughout the day and, kindly aided by Ralph & Dave, we cleared the Goods Shed and put up all the bunting. The first engine arrived yesterday evening; a 6" Savage all the way from Reading...
Today I was ready for action but the entire operation was going to be nothing short of time consuming and draining. According to my book, around 40 of the miniatures would arrive today as well as a few stands, two awning displays, the miniature railway and three full size engines too! Add to that unloading coal, filling water tanks, organising tables and putting up fencing and you've got one pretty busy day on your hands! I arrived at 8:30am and immediately got underway erecting signs and putting up posters both in & around the site. The first engine today turned up at 10:30am, casually followed by many, many others. One by one they entered the site, caravans and trailers and the kitchen sink in tow. Its lovely to see everybody again, it really is. Some engines have travelled quite a distance to be with us this weekend, from destinations such as Suffolk, London, Chesterfield, Buxton, Spalding and many other places besides. I cannot stress more how much I appreciate the time & effort put in by our exhibitors to be with us for the event. Throughout the day I was running around everywhere: driving the digger, filling in paperwork, setting people up, welcoming people, unloading stuff and much more. I was literally running around everywhere. I was tired but happy in my work. My grand team of Eddie, la family Simmons, Dave and Izzy were all brilliant and really kept me going with their enthusiasm. With the help of Chris & Dave, we managed to fill most of the horrendous driveway potholes using the JCB and some old spoil; a job that I was immensely pleased that we got done. The thing is, when you've just filled potholes, what you really need is a steam roller or two. Where on earth would we get one of those? Well, cue the entry of our two Avelings!...
The two rollers were followed by the beautiful Allchin General Purpose traction engine and the three of them were soon settled in their position for the weekend. Both of the rollers kindly rumbled up & down the drive well into the evening, flattening the roadway well as they did so. The last engine came in at 10:10pm and when duly settled I went home completely drained but happy. We'd booked in well over 30 throughout the day, plus all of the other bits & bobs. One engine that wouldn't be with us though was unfortunately 3803. It doesn't matter how much you plan these things, something always goes wrong. A supplier issue with the replacement springs for the 2-8-0 meant that she would not make the weekend, instead sitting failed in Shackerstone shed. The lads did manage to get a war-wounded 25 into action though so not all was lost. Much to my amazement, when I got home there was a phonecall at gone 11pm. It started with, "Hi. We're lost...": never a good sign! It turned out they'd gone to Shackerstone and so, via phone, I directed them through the dark of the fen lanes to reach Market Bosworth some 20 minutes later. We never rest at Market Bosworth, not until everyone is in! Best Regards, Sam...

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