Friday, 22 April 2016

Statfold Barn Miniature Steam Rally: The Set-Up...

Hi all. Well, after months and months of planning, organising, emailing, calling and begging the brand new Statfold Barn Miniature Steam Rally has finally arrived. Set-up began yesterday with narrow gauge engines being prepared, sheds being emptied ready for stands to go in, the field camping being planned and the first 6 engines arriving! Today was just total madness, beginning at 7am and not ending until well after 11pm! I arrived at the SBR site at just after 07:00 and immediately set to work marking out the floor in the various stand display sheds. The running shed in particular looked very clean & tidy with the floor having been swept and mopped. A shining "Harrogate" was now the centrepiece...
Elsewhere, the 5 SBR engines were being made ready for their weekend in service whilst the already arrived half a dozen miniatures were making themselves at home in the rally field. Despite this April's very wet weather, this week has seen some good dry and sunny spells and thus the field had managed to dry out enough to allow good access (thank goodness!). The first of todays miniatures arrived at just before 10am and then it was just none stop! Engines were piling in one after the other with barely a moment between them to get back from the rally field to the foot of the entrance ramp to greet them. Thankfully Tony was on the gate and was in constant radio contact with myself in order to make sure nobody got sent to the wrong place before bumping into me first - a great help. Whilst I was taking care of the madness in and around the field, the rest of the team were readying the railway and its rolling stock, taking care of site matters, putting up signs and laying out IBC's for water, amongst many other jobs. There was something for everyone to do! My accommodation for the weekend was also brought up from storage, in the form of the beautifully restored Fowler Ploughing Van, which stood alongside the SBR's big Ploughing Engine in the top car park near the New Road platform...
By the evening we had got around 50 miniatures on the site as well as the five full size engines all in place and of course the SBR Foden was out on display too. Stands were being set up, engines were simmering away on the shed and, during the afternoon, half a dozen or so of the miniatures had even been in steam...desperate to try out the wonders of the concrete road! The last bits and bobs came in at around 8pm and it was time to start bedding the site down for the evening whilst volunteers and exhibitors warmed themselves around our evening bonfire. The atmosphere was just great, both during the day and the evening. Tomorrow I'm expecting a further twenty or so miniatures to arrive as well as a few more stand holders and traders too. Its just none stop and everyone is already tired beyond belief but this event has now grown to such a size where this fact is simply unavoidable. We're all looking forward to tomorrow and after all these months of waiting lets see what the SBR's brand new Miniature Steam Rally can offer! All the best all, Sam...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last weekend showed that the owner of this blog is one man who if necessary most definitely could organise the proverbial in a brewery!

No, seriously, a massive "well done" and "thank you" to Sam, his helpers and Team Statfold for a superb event.

Mark

Sam Brandist said...

Many thanks for your kind words and your help, Mark. It seemed to go off really well and after all the months of planning this was, to say the least, a relief! All the best mate, Sam