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The L&B at the Manchester Christmas Model Railway Show

When the L&B North West Group was set up, we agreed that one of the ways we could promote the railway was to attend model railway exhibitions, like the large one held in central Manchester before Christmas each year. Now, only fourteen years later, we have achieved this aim, having offered to bring a model layout that had been featured in Railway Modeller magazine alongside the L&B display and sales stand.

We were allocated a good position in the largest and airiest hall (of the nine rooms) in the Barnes Wallis building on the UMIST campus of Manchester University, and will have been seen by almost all the 3500 or so people attending the 2-day event.

Bob and Sue Barnard set up the stand and layout on Friday afternoon, and were back there early on Saturday morning ready to receive visitors the first visitors at 9.30, with Peter Ainley and Mike Whiteaker from the L&B, and Paul Titmuss from the 009 Society, who had kindly offered to help operate the layout.

Bob, Sue, Paul and Mike W awaiting the crowds. Photo: Peter.

Sue had to attend another event over lunchtime, but we were joined by L&B member Mike Saunders in the afternoon. Just as well, as we were extremely busy continuously until late in the afternoon. There was even a special train bringing visitors from London to the event.

Finally quietening down. Bob and Paul operating Chelfham, Mike W talking to a visitor, and Mike S taking a breather. Photo: Sue.

Several young visitors lent a hand to operate the point and signal levers in Chelfham ground frame hut. Photo: Sue.

The show’s exhibition manager brought the Lord Mayor of Manchester to see us as he toured the event. Photo: Peter.

Sunday was less frenetic, with a steady flow of visitors throughout much of the day. L&B members Chris Duffell, Dave Prime and Stuart Robertson were there with Bob and Sue. We sold much of our stock of the latest L&B merchandise during the event.

Throughout the weekend, we were made very welcome by the show’s organisers and team of stewards, and even provided with meals.

A vision of the future? Lyn, Van 23 and carriages make their way across Chelfham Viaduct. Photo: Peter.

After the show closed, our Sunday team made light work of packing everything up.

Thanks are due to all involved in a successful weekend.

Bob Barnard

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