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Kent Group Report: Deal Show

The L&B Kent Group exhibition stand was on the road again at the weekend, this time for the Deal Model Railway Show at The Astor Theatre. One might think a model railway show in a theatre is a bit unusual. Well, I've never been to one before, and I can see why! The Victorian venue describes itself as "a unique multi purpose arts centre offering an eclectic mix of music, theatre, literary events, art exhibitions, films and a range of classes and clubs for all ages and tastes. Our aim is to offer 'Something for Everyone!'"

This was the first Model Rail Show in Deal for some thirty years, and it did perhaps show a little - there were probably too many layouts, but not enough trade stands or "association" stands (The L&B was the only full-scale railway represented) in a very confined space, spread around the stage, the auditorium (luckily, without the seats!) the balcony, and a couple of upstairs studios. There was even one layout in a corridor and a couple in the bar! Despite this, and a few last-minute hiccups for the organisers, everybody was very friendly, and mucked along as well as we could. The show was in aid of The Pilgrims Hospice, and with over 700 paying visitors through the doors, they were very pleased with the results.

We were in some ways fortunate that, being upstairs and close to an open window, it wasn't too crowded and pleasantly bright and airy, despite having to carry Anne's half-size L&B wagon up and down the stairs. There was a steady stream of visitors, several of whom knew North Devon, and spoke to us at length about the L&B, its history, and future plans. We sold quite a bit of our stock, including several of the L&B books, and gave out a number of leaflets. Legacy flyers and 762 Club applications seem to be among the "best-sellers". We were able to make a small donation to the Hospice from our takings, for which they were very grateful.

We have been invited to attend next year, and they have promised to try to sort out the parking (very restricted in Deal) so we hope to be there again in 2015.


The next Kent Group outing is in two weeks' time, in Whitstable on 16th August. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make it as my daughter is getting married, so if anybody is in the area, please say "Hi" to Anne, and perhaps give her a hand on the stand.

Anne Belsey, Martyn de Young

email: kent.group@lynton-rail.co.uk


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