Visited last years show early on the Saturday, which was too crowded for comfort. This year I visited on the Sunday morning. It was much quieter with plenty of space to view the exhibits. Trade stands still had good stock levels too. Forgot to take my camera so no pictures in this posting but, I have given links to other websites showing the layouts that interested me.
The usual good mix of layouts to suit all tastes with several seen by me before on the exhibition circuit. Two that drew my attention most and not seen before were Warren Lane and Witney Euston.
Warren Lane is an expansive freighliner terminal with fully working gantry crane. Now, for operational variety modellers turn to goods and shunting yards taking pleasure from moving trucks around the yard. Here on Warren Lane it's not so much the train movement that fulfils that need but operation of the gantry crane, swinging the containers through 360 degrees with up and down, back and forth travel to move them from wagon to yard to lorries. It was quite enthralling watching the movements. To complete the operation it would have been great to see the lorries moving about too.
The layout that I enjoyed most was Witney Euston. This may come as a surprise as it was not the busiest of scenes, but when you consider the similarities in terms of modelling objectives to our own Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway then you would understand. Witney Euston is 2mm finescale and represents prototypical practice. The scene, set in 1910, shows an uncluttered open landscape with a station that sees little traffic. Unusually it depicts a winter scene at dusk with a sinking sun (or could be dawn with a rising sun!) and snow laying all about.
Trade stands served most of my requirements and the second hand stock I bought was competitively priced compared to that well known auction site. Consequently, I came away with leaflets promoting other exhibitions nearby, which I'm tempted to visit if only for the shopping.