Friday, November 12, 2010

Once upon a time, there was an Eternal Beginner...

A Truck 11965, at Dorrigo,the underframe of these wagons were all timber, square nuts were before all the hex head stuff you see everywhere these days. Keith was telling me about their plans to replace all the 'hex' stuff with the original gear that they have boxes and boxes of ready to go. Keith put up with all my stupid questions and endless stops for photos. I really don't know who was more patient Keith or the other guys I came with?

This is one of the many shots I took of 'Bowen Creek' over the weekend, I daresay one of thousands taken since its first display. I love looking through the scene for a shot, that sense of depth really draws you into the scene.

At Dorrigo bogie wagon BLV 15593 awaits an overhaul. This wagon pre dates 1900 and is probably the last of its kind. It has original 'everything' including the bogies with timber central beams, not for high speeds at all. Certainly worthy of some restoration, wish I lived closer to be more actively involved.

In the story so far we find our heros setting off on another adventure. There was Peter , Darren, Scooter and Geoff. The four set off on a trip of modelling parallel there would be none to find equal to. The stories of the trip would be passed on to many others over time, and eventually end up as things of legend. We find our heros returned and invigorated, refreshed and a little tired...

The weekend of the convention was truly inspiring. The number of really active modellers was huge. The best part was that there were many that I'd met for the first time, but they felt like old friends in a short amount of time. To everyone that I met, thanks for making the weekend a real hoot! Also if I didn't get a chance to say Ooroo, then Ooroo! till next time.

The sharing of information, and techniques was continuous over the weekend. I've written down many notes that will certainly be referred to in the future. My thanks and praise to all that presented, or manned demonstrations for the weekend they certainly did a fantastic job.

To see the two layouts in the flesh being presented for the weekend was fantastic. I have been following 'Bowen Creek's blog for a while now, so I had a fair idea of what to expect, well I was wrong. The effort and skill that Ian and Andrew have put into this layout is staggering. They both are to be congratulated for their efforts. The two guys are doing what many only talk about in their Proto 87 efforts. Ian I'd met at the previous Ebor convention some five years ago, why he's hooked up with someone like Andrew is dumbfounding! Sorry, had to give you a little poke Andrew! A top bloke, obvious that Ian is the brains of the pairing, oops did it again, sorry, Andrew I think I brought home your comb though oops! Damn it, well you can see we got on ok.

On our way home I took a few photos at Dorrigo, well over 300 actually. A return trip in the future is definitely on the cards. It was great to be joined by a couple of enthusiastic photographers in Dean and Brendan.

I don't want to go on about the weekend for too long so, a big thank you to the New England Club for a professional, informative, friendly, fun weekend. Thanks to the suppliers that came along, I think they did ok from what I saw, and to everyone who attended, thanks again for wanting to share your works, skills and good humour with 'Beginners' like myself. I can't wait for the next one. Notice I didn't mention the antics of the T'ba blokes at all? Or the guy that was in the last session I attended for the weekend, trying to tell the presenter he'd gone over time, when there was nothing after, funny I didn't see a rope tying him to his seat...

That'll do for now, Ooroo!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Carpooling, Motels, and Models

The Bookings were made months ago, plans for models even longer, holiday forms put in, discussions, e-mails ,Blog posts, etc. Yep well it's finally here, this Friday four of us head south to Armidale for the New England Convention. I have been waiting for this one since the end of the last convention at Ebor, about three years ago I think.

So when we first heard about the chance of a convention, then confirmation of the dates I think we scared Warren a little bit with our enthusiasm for attending. the Motel was booked pretty quickly also, with staff there trying to convince me that we'd booked on the wrong weekend!??? I know! Golf was their reasoning, and we'd booked on the weekend of the women's competition. That of course mattered nought to us, but they were rather confused when i did set them straight about our real reason for coming to town, the pause was a little long ( all modellers have experienced the pause at some point, I'm sure).

The car pool made perfect sense, and Peter kindly offered to provide the transport. The discussions very recently revolved around the route of the trip, inland via Warwick then south, or towards the coast through Grafton. Inland first making the trip shorter, and remembering the loss of the hour due to daylight saving. Then there is the discussion about breakfast, beds and of course pyjamas... nothing more be said on that one I think.

That leaves us with the actual weekend and deciding what sessions to attend, and the worst bit, what sessions we were prepared to miss! Not happy Jan! Numbers that I've heard seem to be rather high, great for the organising club, and even better for the hobby as a whole. For me if I could be a bit philosophical for the moment. I think that our hobby is well and truly alive and well, not at all in trouble. It will cycle over time, highs and lows, but it will always be a real opportunity to create our own version of history, just a little bit and this convention proves how active we are as modellers.

Those that know me, know my job, and it's transfers, and the fact that yesterday I had to lodge another holiday form for friday and Monday, damn and blast! Yet another store to work at, and another group of people to experience their ...PAUSE when I tell them what my hobby is. A strange sort of inquiring normally follows, especially when I tell them that this weekend I'm going to a convention. The best question that I've been asked so far is...'What do you wear?'

That cracks me up! See you there if you're going, Geoff.