In the North West it’s always been recognised that the “exhibition season” starts off at August Bank Holiday weekend with the Skipton show. For me it’s always been a good run out, Mrs C loves shopping in Skipton and it’s a good opportunity to leave some flyers for the Manchester show, and engage in jovial banter with certain “reprobates” without who’s synchronised tea drinking no show is ever complete , in between demonstrating some of their excellent model making skills. I missed it this year though – around the time the show opened I was some distance away – in Beijing to be exact at the end of a brilliant 3 weeks holiday in China – Qatar Airways scheduling meant we were not getting back till the show had shut!

New Hey is out 3 times over the coming months, Loughborough 28/29 September, The Peterborough BRM show 19/20 October, and Wakefield on 29/30 November, 1 December so it’s quite hectic. The next few weeks will see some maintenance work going on, predominantly around the stock. Part of he secret of good running is clean rails, and clean wheels. The next few Rochdale club nights will see the stock boxes at the club, and the polishing of wheels! Theres one or two jobs to do on the layout itself, always hard as the layout is currently stored in the garage in its constituent parts and difficult to get to, but in just over two weeks time we will be ready to roll again. We like to keep things moving on the layout, after all whilst modellers visiting the show appreciate good modelling, there are members of the public who visit who often have only a peripheral interest, who have come to see things run – especially when they have kids in tow.

Shows can be hard work to do with a layout, and quite often its the club members at the host show who can make or break it for you. In my time managing shows I was always careful to welcome each visiting layout and take them to their allotted space personally, make sure I greeted them each morning and that everything was OK, as well as wandering round and engaging with exhibitors and traders alike through the day. Feeling valued helps especially if a layouts having a hard time of it running wise. Such a simple thing to do, and it makes a difference. In the meantime even though its busy I will be visiting a few shows as a paying guest, not least Expo EM North at the George Carnell Centre in Urmston, try it, its a bloody good show and the worst thing that can happen is you get recruited into that synchronised tea drinking display!