We had a really good weekend in Doncaster with many positive comments about the layout, and many questions asked, which is one of the things I like about exhibiting. Frequently I get asked how we get the layout to shows so this last weekend I recorded the process on I Phone hoping this sheds a little light on the process involved in exhibiting a layout. First of all the layout is broken doen into 9 component boards all of which live in the garage, not being Pete Waterman, I have not got the room to put it up in the house!

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Add to that all of the gear which lives in the warmth of the house – Stock, power equipment and controls, tools, bullshit boards, bolt boxes and personal overnight gear

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requires one of these to shift it:

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Loading it is a work of art but over the years between myself and Martin Edmondson we know exactly where everything goes in the van and in what order its loaded

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And after about a half hour or so we are ready for the off

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Of course before we leave the house, the hound needs compensating for my absence over the weekend

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Hour and a half later our destination at Doncaster, the home to the horse race of which the winners have provided many a name for LNER locos.

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Unloading the van is an exact reverse process of loading, except that we have a bit of a walk between the doors in the middleground of the photo and the actual pitch for the layout in the middle of the exhibition hall. Its then time to erect the layout

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Putting the boards up,and levelling them off is first task. I use adjustable legs to make this easier, and no matter what surface its on it doesn’t take long, thats the benefit of thinking out the design of your baseboards first. The wiring umbilical cords between the baseboards are all plugged in, the lighting rigs erected and track cleaned – this all takes around a hour or so, and then we are ready for stocking up – which inevitably takes a lot longer!

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Everything up and stocked we test run, and have a last look over.

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Once satisfied, its down tools, off to the hotel and check in, then bugger off to the pub. Cheers!

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The operating crew on this trip: the Friday setting up team, Martin Edmondson, Phil Taylor, Shaun Whitehead, Peter Rigby*, plus Tony Bucknell, Graham Bucknell Dave Kenton and Ian Worthington working the filling in turns on Saturday and Sunday. My many thanks chaps.

* Pete was taken ill early on the Saturday morning and had to be taken to hospital – he was released later all OK, albeit a little battered and bruised from the fall he took. We all wish him a speedy recovery before the next outing, Rochdale on 12 and 13 April. Also my thanks to those particular staff (Iain MacRae in particular) from Warners publications who showed a great and genuine concern and understanding about Petes health.

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