One thing that never ceases to amaze us is how quickly this event comes around every year. We have been attending this show for over 11 years now from our base in the midlands, 11 with the Shawplan stand. Although its a 3 day show, it becomes a 5 day event due to the traveling required to get to and from the venue.
Our trip started out on the Thursday morning with Pete dropping his car off and Brian’s before we started on the road up the M1 and across the A66. Its a great run and the weather made it very pleasant. We were in contact with Bill who was traveling up from work in Coventry via the M6 and he was trying to catch us up. Our first pit stop was Southwaite services for a coffee and a burger. Pete was bemused that what he had ordered looked like half the size of Brian’s, which necessitated a top up with a Gregg’s sausage roll. A bag of doughnuts for the trip also found their way to the van somehow. Onwards then up the road and by the time we got to Hamilton Services Bill was with us. Our arrival at the SECC was later than usual but we got the van into the hall quickly and set up, shoehorning into the gap left for us by our neighbouring trader, who never noticed we had had to shove him back a bit.
Once we were all set up it was a short walk over the Bells Bridge to the Premier Inn, our digs for the next few days. Soon it was time to get something to eat and as custom has it it was out to the Lord of The Isles at Braehead for Curry Night. The hotel offered to get us a taxi and when a Hackney rolled up I feared the worst regarding what the fare would be out to Renfrew. It turned out to be almost double the return fare using Braehead Taxis on the way back! This year we were joined by James Hudson of Bill Hudson books. James is not one for curry so he played it safe, with the rest of us tucking in and taking on a few beers.
Friday morning was an early start as the early entrants (or window lickers as they are affectionately known), were already starting to queue up to get in.
Friday is traditionally the modellers day when it comes to the type of visitor and the busiest on the stand. The venue quickly filled up and it was show-on!
The standard of layout at the show is getting better with many now invited from across the country, including this year the mammoth that is “Calcutta Sidings 2”. There was one other celebrity layout in attendance at the other end of the scale but more of that later.
As Friday drew to a close Bill had to head back home as he had other business to attend to so after a quick freshen up Brian James and Pete headed out to the Panda Chinese buffet and a call in at the Old Toll Bar on the way back. None of the group were tempted by the cocktails this year which included a “Peaky Blinders” selection.
After breakfast on Saturday it was back to work at the show. It was another busy day and lots of chatter and eating of Tunnocks products took place. We had to reign back on the eating though as Brian and Pete had lined up a meat-fest for that evening. With James deciding to stay at the hotel, Brian and Pete headed for Viva Brazil in the city centre. All you can eat meat and a very comprehensive salad bar awaited. No sooner were we seated we were presented with the first of many meats to try. In the end Brian tried about 16 meat offerings and I had about 13. Absolutely stuffed we headed out into the mild evening weather for a cultural tour of the city centre with Pete as the guide. One thing that really disappointed us was the mess they are making of the new look Queen Street station. Having exposed the full splendor of the southern glazed arch they are now proceeding to hide it again with some monstrosity of a building, sacrilege.
Sunday as expected was a quiet day which gave us a chance to see a bit of the show and for Brian to spend a bit more time liaising with other traders and manufacturers. By the end of the day we were ready to pack up and once the van was in the hall it was time to load up and get back to the hotel.
Due to being a bit knackered we decided to eat in the hotel on the Sunday night, and had a nice meal. Before that we joined the RevolutioN and Accurascale guys for a bit of banter in the hotel bar. We had a few laughs and it was a nice way to finish off the weekend.
And so in line with tradition we award the DEFine $hite Modelling award (just a bit of fun). This year it goes to none other than the celebrity layout by Aberdeen Model Railway Group that won the “Great Model Railway Challenge” on TV, “City of Tiers” (Or is it City of Tears?). Unfortunately the Shawplan stand was opposite this and we had to look at it for 3 days. OK, it was built in 3 days and it was TV entertainment but it doesnt represent railway modelling in its true form. It does for railway modelling what Charles Ratner did for the jewellery business.
And so that was another Glasgow Show weekend over. Pete stayed behind to fit in a visit to family on the Monday whilst Brian and James headed their respective ways home. Roll on next year. Its one of the friendliest and sociable shows on the calendar, but then I might be biased 😉
And so to “City of Tiers” this years winner