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North West and West Midlands Groups at G Scale gathering

North West and West Midlands Groups at G Scale National Gathering, Stafford


Peter Ainley, Mike Whiteaker and Bob Barnard pose for a photograph in front of the display

The L&B was invited to attend the G Scale National Gathering at Staffordshire County Showground, Stafford, on Sunday 24 March 2013. Arriving through deep snow, fortunately cleared from the main roads, but piled up each side in places, we wondered whether any visitors would turn up for this event. But garden railway enthusiasts are a hardy bunch, and the two large halls of the show were busy throughout the day.

Mike Whiteaker from the L&B West Midlands Group joined Peter Ainley and Bob Barnard from the North West area on the stand, so there was a chance for some exchange of ideas in quieter moments. We had updated display boards, with more information about Phase 2 of the rebuilding, and about the latest progress with the heritage coaches, both of which generated great interest among the visitors. We had a static display of steam and electric L&B locos and rolling stock, as well as a table selling L&B merchandise.

Each show has a different atmosphere, and this one saw a steady stream of knowledgeable visitors coming to talk to us. In fact, all three of us were occupied for much of the time talking to people. Everyone was greatly encouraged by the progress we are making. People were now realising that they should now join the L&B, and wanted membership forms, and many people seemed to be thinking of a holiday in the West Country, to allow them to fill gaps in the heritage railways they have visited. We also had a few existing L&B members introducing themselves to us. Strangely though, it seemed not to be a day when many people bought things from us, the massive boxes of G Scale rolling stock many were carrying suggesting they had spent all their money elsewhere!

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