The biennial Narrow Gauge South exhibition is always a good show, with a large number of layouts, traders, and a good atmosphere. This year it was the host of the 009 society AGM once again, and the show does have a definite bias to 009, although 7mm NG and other scales are represented too. This year I visited as a paying punter, which meant I had plenty of time to look around, take in the layouts, and chat to folks. Having been either exhibiting or with small child in tow at many exhibitions recently, that was a nice change!
Friend and Sussex Downs group member Martin Collins had taken his partially complete Ffestiniog Railway inspired "Llandercwyn Railway" to it's first proper show. With about half the layout largely complete it is clear that this will be a superb scenic delight, and Martin's locos and stock are to an equally high standard. Unsurprisingly with so little running in advance, there were some operational gremlins - mostly operator confusion I think!
Nic Arthur's "Torrisdale Railway" was also at it's first show, the layout is interesting in design. Out of the small terminus station the line turns away from the viewer and heads up a valley which can only be seen from the end. Watching the train weave through the trees towards you is rather novel.
"Ryedown Lane" by Pat Collins is a lovely Colonel-Stevens style terminus that has proved a popular layout at exhibitions, but as well as adding a sky backscene in place of the operator's shirts, Pat has added an extension with a through station; "Winterbourne Road". As you can see it has just the right atmosphere.
Prolific layout builder John Thorne premièred his "Bottle Kiln Wharf" layout, built to his usual style and high standard, with lots of details and glimpses through the trees. It's clear from this shot where the layout gets it's name. The kiln is from Skytrex by the way.
Another novel layout was "Dean Hill" by Jim and Lyn Owers, a montage of scenes from the Royal Naval Armaments Depot of that name. It's different to see a "modern image" NG freight line modelled (well, they've closed now, so I use the term modern in a relative sense!). The prototype has been well observed and the model is well detailed and executed. It also provides an "original" habitat for the Narrow Planet Baguley Drewry kit!
So there's a few highlights of some new layouts, but with (I made it) 26 layouts in total, it's just a brief glimpse. If you'd like to browse more photos click here.