The Warley Weekend – 25-27 November 2023

Having packed up Edington on the previous Wednesday we loaded it into the van and set off on Friday for the NEC before 10.00am arriving at our allotted time of 2 pm. Once there we quickly identified our pitch, As soon as Martin had driven the van into the hall, we unloaded Edington and set it up before David Gr placed the stock on the layout in the
appropriate starting positions ready for the exhibition opening the following morning.

As we were setting up, we were surprised to see Steve and David Go arrive wheeling in Steve’s very unusual N gauge micro-layout Exe Halt which they then proceeded to set up almost opposite us.
As soon as we had set up Edington, we gave it a quick run through to make sure everything was working properly. It wasn’t quite but there were no major issues and Paul quickly dealt with the one or two problems that did arise. Once satisfied that we had done everything we needed to do we headed back to the car park to the Grimwood mini-bus which then took us all to our accommodation at a (relatively) nearby Premier Inn.
First thing the next morning we made the reverse trip and familiarised ourselves with the duty rota that Tim had very carefully prepared. Unfortunately, this arrangement fell at the first hurdle as people tended to do their own thing. Despite this, throughout the weekend the layout was staffed by at least three and usually four of the team so there was always
something happening and someone to talk to the punters.
Warley put on a good show with a lot of interesting layouts. There were some very fine and interesting large O gauge layouts including Staindrop, Weltham Mitey and my favourite Weatherbury Magna and Monksbury.

The Model Railway Club were also there with Copenhagen Fields. This N gauge layout if you haven’t seen it is a tour de force representing the area behind King’s Cross, well worth spending a lot of time looking at it.
Edington continued to be very well regarded by the viewing public and we received many compliments over the weekend. We also received expressions of interest in buying the layout and in inviting it to future shows.

Sadly, we had to explain that Edington was being retired and that we had in fact now sold it and would be delivering it to the purchaser in Bromley on our way home.

Sunday wasn’t quite as busy as Saturday but still busy enough and by the end of the two-day show we were all ready to call it quits. The show finished at 5.00pm whereupon we dismantled the layout and put the stock away. We then had to wait nearly an hour for the van to be allowed into the hall before loading it up and driving back to our accommodation
for some R & R.
So, Monday morning all packed up and ready to go we left Birmingham just after 9.00am for the great drive south. We made good time down to and along the M25 and then courtesy of David Gr’s Satnav went on a country ramble through the Kent and Surrey borders to Bromley. Probably not the easiest route for Martin driving the van but at least we did get to see some beautiful scenery. Anyway, we got to Bromley, unloaded the van and then made our way to Badlesmere to unload the bits and pieces we hadn’t sold before heading off home.
In summary; a very enjoyable weekend. Edington performed pretty well and Warley put on a good show with some interesting layouts.

Sad to see Edington go in some ways but everything has its time and it has done very well for us over the last nine years. So, the end of an era. Chris

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