Sunday 23 February 2020

Tenterden exhibition

 'It was like the last thirty years never happened'
I'd been to this one before so knew roughly what to expect. This was more or less a shopping trip to see if any bargain bits could be picked up for Hopwood. This in itself was vaguely successful and more on that later. The show? You'll remember in the old days when exhibition layouts had no lights, were on tables and had no drapes or any form of outward presentation. We left all that behind in 1990 didn't we? It would seem not. There were some stand out points: Noel Dolimore's tiny 009 stuff and the 7mm trams (which didn't seem to move). Other than that, pretty poor. As if no one had bothered to get out and see how exhibitions should be done. This was not a tiny village or society area group open day, but a major (railway) town club show. For some s/h type shopping it was worth the trip, but...
Exhibition: 2
(Shopping:  7)
Catering: a very basic 2, only cake and tea available.
Rucksacks: 2

Just down the road was the KESR. No time (or cash left) for a ride, but a wander around the station and a late lunch in the café. A wander off limits to snap a jackshaft drive guard mesh.


  1. Perhaps I should approach the Tenterden exhibition manager! Usually no lighting, layout sits on table and...oh yes, I do have black drapes, so perhaps I'd be disqualified.

  2. I suppose I take a slightly different view of it as I go every year and know what to expect, but I enjoyed it. You're right, it does seem pretty untouched by progress!
    We'd had a rather nice pub lunch in Tenterden so the shortcomings in catering went unnoticed. Perhaps the fact that it's less than ten miles from home helps.
    I also enjoyed Noel's layout...a bit like a smaller version of the late lamented Roger Christian's West Lancashire Light Railway based layput.
    The trams were running when we were there...they seem to run in a much more realistic fashion in 7mm than the 4mm ones...better mechanisms or just more mass? They even sounded realistic.
    Oh, and Gilly bought me a Hornby Dublo Deltic...

  3. I can only agree. Most of the layouts were 'old school'. I did mention the height issue to Noel Dollimore (best layout there) and he countered with, 'people will complain if it's too high'. I just don't get it. We don't have to raise it to Iain Rice's heights but a decent viewing height, lighting, and possibly a proscenium, make all the difference and elevate the layout to something approaching art. The previous week's Tonbridge exhibition had moved with the times, in that respect.