Saturday was typical of this summer - grey skies and rain varying between steady, heavy, and torrential. So not ideal for the Railway Gala at the Amberley open-air museum! I was there helping the Sussex Downs group with the 009 society stand - and Mark Holland's Spirit of Welshpool layout. Fortunately the model layouts were indoors...
Welshpool is a great layout to operate, well, once we got it all working. Despite all points having their frog polarity switched by the motors several didn't seem to switch when required, resulting in intermittent dead sections. Also two different locos at different times stopped completely dead, with no amount of cleaning wheels and fiddling pick-ups making any difference. Then they suddenly started working again... in the end we just blamed the damp. Mind you I've come to the conclusion I am a pretty poor operator anyway, always forgetting a switch and making the wrong move. Mark has written an operating sequence - which works well provided I followed the steps!
Since I had transported the showcase their I also set it up, so you will see some of my stock on the middle and upper shelves. However the Ffestiniog coaches and locos on the top shelf were built by Rob Waller of Bron Hebog, and owned by John Reeves. (John is the chap in the blue mac on the loco at the top of this post).
The weather outside was pretty wet, but I did venture out to see the proper trains too. Amberley is like a full-size train set for kids who like industrial narrow gauge! With a kit for an O&K in the to-do pile I was on the look out for a real one ... and here I found two, with a third just out of shot.
There was a steady stream of visitors but it never got busy, I'm sure like so many events this year the weather will have affected visitor numbers. Hopefully the Sunday will have been much better as it was at least dry. Anyway, if you didn't make it there are a few more photos here.