Dallas Quaife, Keith Dick, Guy and Adrian Romano and of course your scribe JB made the journey and experienced warm country hospitality.
On the way we called in to Geoff’s place in Gatton to have a look at his On30 layout and pick up a Hornby O gauge clockwork set donated to the Gosford Club. Geoff’s finely detailed layout brought many effusive expressions of praise tinged with hints of envy. Narrow gauge hill billy rail is a temptation to lure a man into something different.
Very nice, but on to Inverell. The show was held in a school hall and was a well-planned and efficiently run regional exhibition. Some of the usual crowd were there including Col’s Collectables and Yani’s detail parts as well as local supplier and NEMRC member Warren Herbert of Gwydir Valley Hobbies and Al Cutmore from Warwick with AR Kits. Keith and Dallas found some bargains, notably Graham Farish HST trains in N Scale negotiated down to $150 for two power cars and seven (I think) cars.
The centre of the hall was occupied by the large Coffs Harbour layout, and Coffs boys also displayed Bullenbung Creek, an excellent HO NSWGR layout based on a Riverina branch to Kywong (below). Another favourite of mine was Splitters Swamp Creek NSWGR HO and also Rollingstock on the NSWR.
All up there were nine layouts on display, plus a plastic modellers’ stand, a few armoured fighting vehicles (tanks) and modelling demonstrations.
An N Scale British layout named Kirby Dale (below) won the popular vote, and the Rollingstock of NSWR layout won the judges vote as best layout. One aspect of the R/S layout that I liked was the notice board listing the trains running with their consist. For example North West Mail 1962 – MHO, KP, FS, FS, TAM, CS. The Kirby Dale layout was packed with detail showing many small fields with livestock, tractors and machinery, as well as town scenes of semi-detached houses. A nice UK layout that drew the public’s interest by its detail and the lighting used to give a night scene effect.
One of the highlights for exhibitors was the country cooking. A hot lunch was provided each day together with delicious desert dishes and of course lots of cakes. The ladies did an excellent job country style.
The visit to the New England was an enjoyable weekend. The exhibition is the first by NEMRC since 2008, so when it is run again remains to be seen. In 2016 the club will run one of its well-known Conventions in Armidale. Dates to be confirmed, but if they follow the 2014 pattern about November 2016. Worth a thought so watch http://www.newenglandmodelrailwayclub.com/content/index.shtml to find out.