We had the full team (David L, Tim, me, Bill and Martin) out on both days as we took the layout to the Longfield show. We were tucked away in a corner next to the EKOGG stand which was manned by Roger who gave out EKOGG leaflets and told everybody what a wonderful bunch we all are at Badlesmere.
As we were setting up the layout, we were approached by the organiser of the Maidstone show back in December who said that so many people had enjoyed the layout there and wanted to see it again as it developed that would we be prepared to take it back to Maidstone next year.
Once we had set up the layout, we proceeded to operate it along the lines established at the Maidstone show; that is, two passenger trains and their locomotives and a station pilot on the upper level at all times, together with a station pilot. This gives us continual movement and together with the controlled slow running and sound of whistles and brakes etc afforded by DCC ensures maximum interest for the viewing public.
We were also able to operate the track nearest the dockside (closest to the spectators) on the lower level and here Martin came into his own. Having fitted his Class 03 diesel with a Bluetooth chip Martin was able to run it from his tablet from the front of the layout. Then as any young child came in view Martin would offer them the opportunity to drive his diesel up and down. This proved to be extremely popular with both child and parent. All the children seemed to be very comfortable with operating the tablet and I suspect some of them even taught Martin a thing or two.
Saturday was busier than Sunday and at times we had quite a crowd in our little corner. Our use of copper clad sleepers again gave rise to a lot of questions as indeed did the location of the prototype. Overall, the layout ran very well although we did have an intermittent short from time to time. David L is to try and track this shorting problem down although we managed to operate the layout pretty well despite it. As we discovered at Maidstone, we really do need to have some form of barrier to keep people back from the layout as they do tend put their hands on it while looking at it and talking to us. Anyway, another enjoyable couple of days of exhibiting QCD and apart from the invitation to take it back to Maidstone we also received an invitation to this year’s Chatham show in July. Chris