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Ally Pally Review

3280 Views 21 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  mick b
First of all I think i should declare my interests in this one. I am a member of the MRC.

Along with several other things i was meant to take with me including the wooden building i have built for putnam, i forgot to take my camera with me. (sorry folks. no pictures!)

Well transport was easy enough. the train from KX worked like a dream and as its only about 2 minutes walk from my house to KX i really cant complain there! at the other end there was the shuttle bus but as my fiance has declared me on a diet i decided to tackle the hill. for those going to this show i would really recommend this. the view really is stunning and it takes time to really enjoy it. i don't feel you can do that on a bus.

On arriving there about 10.30 i was pretty frustrated to see the size of the queue for tickets. it was at least 100m long. their card machine had broken down and there was also a queue for the cash point. in all fairness to them the queue was moving and it was only about 20 minutes before i had my ticket and was heading for the hall. i was a little amused to see the 2 rather attractive girls who's job it was to "supervise the queuing"!! (i could do that and i am sure i wouldn't charge as much as those girls!!) anyway. this ordeal was over in about 20 minutes and i was in.

My first impression was that there was allot more fitted in this year. i think on previous years the show had been blighted by huge open spaces at the far end of the main hall and the bottom end of the second hall that frankly i considered a complete waste of space but that didn't seem to be the case this year.

I had a good look around the show and i think the layouts present were generally pretty impressive. there was a very nice N gauge layout and a Z gauge layout that was a pleasure to watch. The big holiday haunts replacement (sorry i cant remember the names) was nice to see. I always love the layouts that look great and offer thunder!! i want to see that and its not something you get from a super detailed P4 shunting yard.
The big French 7mm layout was an interesting addition. i really don't know what to make of it. the detail wasn't great and there was virtually nothing moving. but it was spectacular. if you stood back and appreciated the whole layout rather than stand there and scrutinize the detail or the stock then it was a good layout. Thinking about it last night i think if i was the exhibition manager i would have put it in a different place. i think i would have had the viaduct right in front of you when you walked in the door. it was a center piece layout but it was tucked in the far end of the second hall. I dont know if the exhibition manager had ever seen the layout in person but i think far more could have been made of its presence.
Another small criticism of this layout is that it completely hid our club's layout Happisborough (sp?) I can imagine that many people completely missed it.

Compared to other shows recently, the tannoy system was refreshingly unnoticeable.

Trade support.
Well, there were an awful lot of box shifters. I know how much it costs a small trader to attend this show and i can totally understand why they did not attend. its pretty much on a par with warly and with a few "stealth" charges and inconveniences thrown in for good measure. there was a complete lack of useful traders. i got the paint i wanted from phoenix, and blacksmiths had some HMRS transfers i wanted but i neither 247 or MJT or comet were there so i couldn't get the roofs i wanted and i didn't do any impulse buying at all. i cant think of anyone selling loco parts. there was some nice scenic traders there. i like to meet these people but i feel a bit like once i have my bag of green fluff i don't really need to go to another stand and buy another bag of green fluff.

The cold weather seemed to keep the bad shirts away. the humidity did rise later in the day but i didn't seem to make any noticeable difference.

On the whole i think it was a good show. the traders were a complete let down but there were some nice layouts and for me it was an easy show to attend.

I didn't realize while i was in the show but the weather outside had turned ugly and i got soaked returning to the station!
I actually helped move a layout because water was dripping on it but i assumed it was a water pipe or something!!

Now i am going home to start using the £40 of paint i got.

All in all a good day out.

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Nice pics, thanks

Don't surpose you got any more of the SJ set did you which was hiding behind 4472?

Glad pictures are appreciated. A couple more

LNER Copenhagen Fields layout this is a small part of the layout and the only thing moving was the J50 shunting the middle section. The remainder of the stock were there for display only.

The French layout from the other end

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