Today we braved the weather and went to the Wakefield RMS’ show – the journey there was fine but the return trip was positively awful! It took three times as long as you would expect with the M62 down to just one lane and less than 25 mph! But the question is, was it worth it?
I have to say I thought it was – the standard of layouts at the Wakefield shows is always very good indeed with a wide range of eras and genres as well as different scales and standards. It would be really hard to describe in detail every layout I liked as there were so many. Worthy of mention were the two tram layouts which were being exhibited; one is one of the few tram layouts I’ve seen where the trams get a decent run! And the trams ran slowly and steadily just as many of the prototypes did. Both layouts were operated realistically and are a world away from some of the layouts I’ve seen where the trams’ acceleration would have given any of the turbo-charged cars I’ve owned a run for their money!
One of the layouts I was really looking forward to seeing was Striven which was built by the late Chris Matthewman and is now in the hands of Colin Ashby, a name well known to many modellers no doubt. Both my dad and I loved his other layouts, one of which has made a return to the exhibition circuit recently. All were EM and rather traditional in many ways. That’s not to be critical, far from it. The layouts worked well and the modelling was of a very high quality and they looked superb!
Elsewhere Law Junction was a wonderful example of modelling the current scene, and an excellent example of how N gauge can allow for long, prototypical, train formations in a reasonable space. One feature which I really liked is abandoned line –
A really nice piece of modelling with a lovely contrast between the modern mainline with its CWR and deep ballasting and the old line as it slowly returns to nature. Very nice indeed.
Of interest to me, due to its local connections, was the model of part of the Sand Hutton Light Railway in its later form with ex-military 18” gauge stock. The modelling is of a very high standard with every thing built from scratch. It’s all very nice but I’d have liked to have seen a deeper scene – it’s a hard one though. First glance I wasn’t convinced by the way it was presented but returning and watching it for longer I started to ‘get’ it. The use of flat cut outs behind the scene and the backdrop is very theatrical in concept and does seem to work well, even it if isn’t how I would have done it. Maybe it’s a good example of keeping an open mind to new techniques? Either way, I did like it.
Finally I have to mention The Gresley Beat - for many it will need no introduction but for those of you who don’t know it, it’s an interpretation of the East Coast Mainline as it heads through North London. It’s not based on any particular part but draws inspiration from various parts of the line. The result isn’t a replica in the sense of The Model Railway Club’s Copenhagen Fields, instead it is more impressionistic. And the result is superb with a whole host LNER named expresses interspersed by locals and long freight trains. I really like the layout and it has moved on hugely since its appearance at the Hull show a few years ago.
Wakefield RMS do seem to manage to maintain an excellent standard year on year which is no mean feat. I think it’s one of the best club shows in the country and not one where you come away thinking this or that ‘could be better’. Well worth the trip despite the rather long, drawn out journey home!