Exhibition 2019 Report

The dust has now settled after a very successful 47th Model Railway Exhibition at Forestville Memorial Hall on the weekend of 2nd and 3rd March 2019.

Andrew King, our Exhibition Coordinator, reports:

“We had a total of 37 stands this year, larger than anytime in the last 5 years. This was comprised of 21 layouts, 3 demonstration stands (e.g. BRMA), 11 tradies, Bring n’ Buy and the Canteen.

Attendance was significantly up after a large downturn last year. Based on tickets issued, we were up 43%, and based on door takings, up 53%. The good news is even after the downturn last year due to construction of the footbridge, we either met or bettered the 2017 attendance figures, which means we have increased for the first time in many years.

The Bring and Buy check out team on Sunday morning; Michael Toohey, Ian Mash and Betty Brown.

We had purchased some new banners for this year’s show, which Stephen was able to put to good use in Ku-ring-gai.  There is only one free site in the Northern Beaches area and that was booked out. Through Gary Stocks’ good work we have beefed up our website and Facebook pages.

One of our new banners, being at Pymble Town Hall on Pacific Highway.

We instigated a verbal survey at the door this year to find out about how people knew about the show.  44% had attended before, 26% saw a banner, 7% saw the show on Facebook which confirmed our promotional efforts as successful.

The most popular layout was Blue Mountains (28 votes), closely followed by Epping Club’s Bethungra Spiral (23 votes) and Hills’ Roydon (22 votes) then Guildford’s Goulburn (21 votes).  It just proves that the public like / appreciate the bigger club layouts.  A total of 212 votes were received most of which were on Saturday.

Some running repairs on the U-Drive layout.

Running repairs on our Kidz Power layout which now has added scenery.

I would like to thank all club members, and especially their partners, who helped out to make the weekend a huge success.”

Presentations at the dinner on Saturday evening.

Of particular note was the return of Cheree Hall and son Morgan with their U-Push layout, “The Island of Sodor”.  This was a huge success with the younger enthusiasts who were challenged by the track plan.  We now welcome Cheree as a new Member of NSRMA and her infectious enthusiasm.

Cheree Hall, in full uniform, blowing the ‘train whistle’ on the activity around the “Island of Sodor”.

Activity a plenty around Island of Sodor under the watchful eye of the Controller.

In addition, our survey of where our attendees come from again confirmed the importance of promoting the Exhibition to our local audience.  The main stats for attendance were:

Northern Beaches                   38%

Northshore                              27%

North and Central Coast         10%

Inner west                               9%

A selection of photos taken during the exhibition are included below.  Our new LED lighting intrigued many of the regular visitors and was acclaimed a success.

Some of the early attention to Blue Mountains on Saturday morning.

Mick Bluett’s triple headed coal train heading Up passed Hazelbrook Station.

Mixed goods headed by 60 Class on the Down line into Clarence Station

Passengers waiting on Hazelbrook Station while 4013 heads Down with a freight.

3801 leads a HUB set passenger train past Clarence Station and siding.

Central West Express heading Up past Hazelbrook Station.

We were pleased to host the exhibition debut of the layout “Argyle Iron Works” by Chris Fraser, a Country NSRMA member.  The layout is a small On30 American narrow-gauge layout depicting a rural iron works set in fairly rugged landscape.  Chris was willing to discuss the layout, demonstrate the ‘switching’ and to let the visitors have a drive.

Chris Fraser’s “Argyle Iron Works”