Sunday, 19 April 2020

Saturday extended ramble

The comments on yesterday's post seem generally in agreement. The underlying factor here may be one of age. Specifically that as we all know, the hobby attracts those from the 40-80 bracket - possibly not those who will be wanting to stand too close to large numbers of people in a confined space. The indication from a few of those commenting that they are in this bracket and frame of mind confirms my suspicions.

We are not being pessimistic here, more cautious and protective which is right and understandable None of us want to be a victim and we do not want to spread to family members.

The last show I did was East Grinstead about five weeks ago.  A few days before two friends pulled out of exhibiting at two different shows that weekend. I was at that time slightly sceptical about their motives and I carried on while working within the advice given at the time, which was one of sanitising, hand washing and low contact. My scepticism was ill founded and I was wrong in not understanding their concern. I'll say again, we have to be cautious here and we have to adapt as best we can and possibly even turn this to our advantage. I've said before on here that the exhibition circuit has become unwieldy at times and by consequence this may result in a slimmer, fitter exhibition scene as well as a slight change of mindset among modellers.

As CC pointed out in the comments, home layouts do not mean poor modelling - quite the opposite - perhaps this will change our view that those who publish/exhibit are the pinnacle of skill; they're not. They (me) are just the show offs and I mean that in the nicest possible way. Wanting to show your layout and high skill are not always the same thing, just that some have an entertaining bent, while some are happy to stay at home.
Home birds, your time may just have arrived.


  1. Well said. Especially as there is now a way to show other people your work at home in ways that could not have been dreamt of in the previous height of the home layout/systems development... Thinking here of: P D Hancock, John Ahern, Mike Sharman, and all those others that led us to follow their hobby


  2. I enjoy a good show both as a punter and exhibitor; with the demise of the local model shops in my area, shows where you can meet mates and traders or have access to a good second-hand stand, have become a valued resource.

    For various reasons I decided to restrict myself to a home layout at the end of last year, and sold off a couple of my show layouts, meaning to concentrate on a home layout which could be operated by a team of friends from time to time. Recent developments have thrown this scenario into some doubt, as it is possible that I may be "at home" for anything up to another 12 months (not looking forward to that) and it occurs to me that a layout needing two or three operators to do it justice, may not after all be the way forward. I shall probably continue with the build, as it keeps me occupied, but I do begin to wonder if the original concept will be carried out.

    If all else fails, I still have a small portable that could be used, but the rear controls would almost certainly need to be moved, and the rear fiddle yard brought into the open.


  3. I'm building the current 5.5mm layout so it can be operated from front and back. So gone are the beloved slide switches for point control. Their one drawback is they are front or back only, unless somebody can give me a steer on that. So I'm experimenting with micro-swiches for frog feeding. Ah well, it's good to try something different.

  4. [1] As a long time builder of front operated layouts I am feeling a little smug - they work as exhibitions AND at home on a shelf.

    [2] Les might find the current layout being built by Neil Biggs of interest ref mechanical operation of points from both the front AND the rear. See -

    Christopher Payne

  5. Some great comments here. It is interestign that people are already exploring ways forward