I took my son over to Brighton for the Model-World show today. This isn't really a model railway show at all, it's an entertainment event, and a very commercial on in many ways. But then it uses the Brighton Centre - usually home to top music gigs, shows, and party conferences, and is popular enough to have people queuing round the corner to get in (tip - find the back entrance, just don't tell anyone!). The other thing that is different is the range of models on display - trains, boats, planes, cars, tanks, fairgrounds, doll's houses, sci-fi - you name it and someone has made a model and brought it for display.
Not just models too, in this picture you can see two separate miniature railways giving rides, a mini Carousel (for little kids) from Hollycombe, on the left a coach from the nearby Volk's Electric Railway, and outside is a full size traction engine. Demonstrations too, such as this one of radio-control lorries and diggers, moving soil from one place to another. I know these are just big toys (who are we kidding, so are trains), but fascinating to watch, lights and sounds included.
This is all great for children: my son had a go at sailing a radio control boat, colouring a picture of a lifeboat at the RNLI stand, racing a slot car (he won too, more by the "tortoise and hare" method than the Lewis Hamilton effect), and making an Airfix kit. Well actually I helped rather a lot with that last one! But it shows how "hands-on" this show is, and why it is so popular. From my perspective the selection of model railway layouts, while good, wouldn't justify the entrance price, but as a day of family entertainment it is great.
Talking of the model trains, my friend Tim Sanderson from the local 009 group was showing his "Elmgate" layout, a super little layout I've previously had the pleasure of operating, and good to see 009 represented. In fact it wasn't the only 009 layout there. Amongst the other layouts were two separate models of (or at least closely based on) Buxton, one in 00 and one in N, and showing why it is such a good prototype to pick. You can see more photos here, though I didn't manage to photo that much with an excited boy in tow. One model that I did really like though was this fine diorama of Dolgoch station on the Talyllyn, in a large scale and capturing the character, even without any running trains.