The two grandsons are train mad. Daddy has just bought a model railway for them and Number 1 was desperate to help him set it up. At four and a half we felt this was a high risk activity. We knew the bribe of a trip to see Grandma and Grandpa wouldn’t work, but the offer of a trip to go to the Cleethorpes Model Railway Exhibition was a winner. Daddy was left to struggle with incomprehensible instruction by himself.
This is a yearly event and was a very well worth while day out. The two kids loved it and the layouts were sufficiently interesting to keep the attention of mum and grandma. There were about 15 different layouts, mainly OO gauge and all were working. At many shows the exhibitors are more interested in tinkering with their locos rather than running them. Several of the displays were low enough for the tinies to be able to stand and watch without being held – a definite plus. Exhibiters were also keen to talk about their layouts and answer questions. There was also plenty of space to be able to move around the hall.
Number 2 settled down to watch a large layout with plenty of locos running. He just stood and watched and watched, giving a running commentary. Number 1 was intrigued by by a layout of a street scene with trams as well as another layout where some of the steam engines not only made the relevant puffing sounds but also belched out steam. He now has designs on a loco like this, but we had to tell him they were very expensive…
There was also a small layout with a lot of interesting rolling stock, including rail bus, open toast rack coaches as well as a variety of locos, again popular with the two boys. I was also interested in the layout using a laptop computer to control signals, points and magnets for uncoupling. Model railways have moved on a long way since husband’s 60 year old three rail…
We were very impressed by the scenery and the amount of detail in some of the layouts, including one where there was a young couple having a picnic on top of a disused guards van… There was a lady demonstrating how to make scenery. She was very keen to grab the interest of the youngsters as the average age of modellers puts them firmly into the Silver Traveller category. She was making trees with straws and cotton wool balls to an admiring audience of youngsters. They did look more like candyfloss than trees, but the kids were delighted and went off clutching their trees.
There was the usual range of trade stalls selling rolling stock, tracks, and model kits. The Lincolnshire Wolds Railway had a stall with a good range of very cheap second hand books. The cakes were homemade, very good and also very cheap.
Daughter and I and the two boys had a great time. Daddy has the model railway up and running after a lot of bad language and the two boys are happy – although he has been told they want a level crossing, station, signal box ….
Next year’s Exhibition is 25th & 26th April 2015. Definitely a date for the diary. Entry was £3.50 for adults, £2 for concessions. Children £1.50 with under 5s free.