This coming weekend, 22nd & 23rd April, sees the annual Epsom and Ewell MRC exhibition and one of only a couple appearances of Fisherton Sarum this year. The Epsom and Ewell Model Railway Club is I think one oldest model railway clubs around having been established in 1952. The exhibition is being held at their usual venue of the North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT), Reigate Road, Ewell, Surrey KT17 3DS . It is always good to be exhibiting in the heart of the Southern Railway’s territory.
I have taken some time out from building my latest little train set Canute Road Quay (which itself is making its first ‘public’ debut the following weekend, more of which in a future post next week) to set Fisherton Sarum up at the clubrooms of the High Wycombe and District MRS, for which I am most grateful to repair a couple of things such as the turntable and ensure that everything else is working OK.I will be ably assisted during the weekend by some regular operators and friends, although unfortunately my father will miss the show as he is recovering from recent emergency heart surgery (for which offer my sincere thanks to all the amazing staff involved within the NHS). I am pleased that he is well on the mend but rightly still convalescing, so get well soon Dad! As with most layouts being exhibited some method of protection for transportation is required and this is not normally seen by the general public at shows. Although when set up the Fisherton Sarum is 20 foot long it was designed from the outset in such away that everything included the stock boxes (converted stout DJ cases designed for carrying up to 120 CDs) containing over 80 locomotives and some 20 coaches along with numerous wagons, will all fit in a Mondeo estate car! My two scenic boards, each 4′ x 3′ are bolted together by wooden end frames to form a box just small enough to fit through though the tailgate of the car. The layouts legs are bolted to the inside of baseboards ‘L’ girders and therefore fold up inside the baseboards out of the way. The whole box arrangement sits on a set of wheels for easy transportation from the car into and around the exhibition venue. As I use cassettes in the fiddle yards these boards are flat topped ‘paste table’ style and the legs fold up held in place by clips and then these slide alongside the scenic board ‘box’ in the rear of the car. Other items such as the end backscene pieces, lighting rig support struts and the control panel (whose width was designed specifically to do so) tuck between the ‘L’ girders of the upturned scenic board.
I hope this little insight into the behind the scenes aspect of exhibiting a layout has been of interest, if you are dropping by the exhibition next weekend, please make sure you say hello! Fisherton Sarum is stand 25 at the show.