We may have been a bit quiet on the blog recently but we have been maintaining our usual responsibilities around drinking beer, eating curry, getting out and about and oh yes, a bit of modelling too.
As is customary we attended the Winter Beer Festival in the Roundhouse at Derby railway station. This year we had a small but perfectly formed group in attendance with Alex joining the crew to sample the beers on offer. On arrival at the venue we were greeted by Alex who had managed to purloin some complimentary entry tickets which was a bonus so once the glasses were purchased it was on to the main hall. Alex and Paul got tied up with “Enthusiastic Laura” on their way to the pilsners so the men headed for the stouts and porters. Strangely enough, Mr Spencer emerged with a very dark looking beer which was unusual for him, but got the thumbs up from the guys. Once we had a few down us it was time to head for some food. There was a limited choice left but everyone seemed to find something however I was completely underwhelmed by my “Speciality Hot-Dog” which was basically two small pork sausages in a dry not dog roll.
Before we headed off it was time for the cheese bar. Brian made sure he managed to get what he wanted and others too made a few purchases. I went to the beer festival and came away with a jar of pickled onions in balsamic vinegar. Mmmm. Roll on next year.
No sooner had the Beer Festival passed then it was off to Scotland for the Model Rail Scotland event. This year it was Brian, Bill and Pete travelling up in the van and no sooner had we set off, it was in to McDonalds at Uttoxeter for breakfast. As we drove towards the M6 we could feel the winds picking up and the van was getting a good rocking about. No sooner had we started heading north past Stoke and on to the M6 itself things got a bit more serious. We could feel debris hitting the van and the windscreen took a few hits. Debris was all over the road from falling branches and we just missed a tree that fell down as we passed it. Our journey then slowed down as the Thelwall viaduct over the Manchester ship canal was closed so we enjoyed a nice diversion through Warrington. By the time we hit Lancaster storm Doris had done her worst and thankfully we didn’t experience any snow. Our later than usual arrival in Glasgow meant we had to get the stand erected and out for something to eat in short order. As it was Thursday, that meant Curry Night at Weatherspoons in Braehead.
Next morning after a full Scottish breakfast it was off to the show. As usual it was very enjoyable and the three days flew by. We got to meet up with lots of friends and have a good laugh. On Friday night we settled for The Harvester, which turned out to be a bad move as it was disappointing this year.
We fared a lot better on Saturday night as we had pre-arranged a table at The Wee Curry Shop in Ashton Lane as opposed to the usual buffet trough at the Koh-i-noor. This is a great wee curry house, very small but the food is excellent. For starters it was haggis pakora all round following some complimentary popadoms and pickles from the manager. Brian told him it was a reunion as we had been there together 3 years ago, which was true, but we didn’t tell him we see each other every Wednesday night! After the curry we had a few beers in Ashton lane and then up Byres Road to Oran Mor. There is something strange about sitting bevying in a church!
Sunday was the usual Chinese Buffet and a few beers in Wetherspoons and next morning it was an uneventful trip home, albeit we bumped into some of the award winning layout operators from “Tonbridge West Yard” at Tebay services. The lads had done really well over the weekend by bagging an award for second best visiting layout. They then had to experience some typical Scottish weather on the Sunday though when the SECC failed to hold back the elements and water started to drip down on to their layout. At this point rain stopped play apart from shunting the yard
All in all another great visit to Model Rail Scotland which left us exhausted after 3 days on our feet.