** WARNING IF EASILY OFFENDED STAY AWAY Oh dear the person who started the cake thing off thinks I’m offended by their posting – no i’m not offended at all, I just find it all rather rather amusing and a good subject to have one of my wry looks at life !

One of the highlights of the model railway world for me has always been the Easter Show at York. I first exhibited there in 1987 (conversely enough, that year it was in May) and had visited many times prior to that.This Easter I had to miss it for the first time in a long while due to family celebrations over the weekend. There were quite a few layouts there that were well worth making the journey for alone. Portchullin is one of my personal favourites on the circuit at the moment and demonstrates that you can use sound on a layout in a subtle and very effective manner without deafening the audience, so I was a bit dissapointed at not to be able to see Mark’s masterpiece again, and Leicester South, a big well modelled layout in the days when big layouts are an endangered species due to the costs and the difficulties of transport in a 7.5 tonne van.

Of course you can always read about it on the various forums and see what you missed and that’s what I did for York. So on goes the PC and what do we have. Well someone bought the whole of their shopping list. Bleeding great lad, I really needed to know that. Oh good, there’s some nice cake on offer. Someones bought some boxes. Excellent move to the front of the queue on the forum, just whats it’s all about really buying boxes and opening them. Oh hang on a minute the cakes not that good after all, its padded out with carrot. Now someones bought something else, but next along we are starting a full-scale cake war, move over Sue and Mel, this knocks the Great British Bake off into a cocked hat. Oh the ice creams OK. Can someone please post some pics please, please please. Hey up another shopping list fully satisfied plus some extras. Cake wars still going on though. CAN WE HAVE SOME PICS PLEASE, oh OK here’s some – but its only one layout, MORE PICS PLEASE. Now its cake recrimination time, someones going to get a soggy bottom from this.

So what have I learned about the show. Well not a lot of any relevance really. I’ve got to say I find the posts described above excellent proof that there is still life in the shallow end of the gene pool. Whatever happened to a good honest review of a show, warts and all which actually focusses on what a model railway exhibition is all about, principally the layouts but also the traders and the demonstrators? What really really irks me about all this crap that’s being spouted is that it generally ignores the sheer hard work and graft that the organising committee has put in to stage the show, apart from the actual people who exhibited who appreciate that work and always say thanks. I know how much goes in, been there seen it, done it, and have the T-shirt. Mel and the crew who stage the show since Mike Cook’s sad death a few years ago deserve better recognition than a few crumbs off the plate.