The East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition on 10th & 11th March, which is organised by St Neots Model Railway Club, was, again, a great success with over 2,500 visitors enjoying the layouts, traders and demonstrations. An off-site overflow car park had to be found prior to the event because after the snow and rain, parking on the grass at Wood Green was not possible but the mini bus, that was hired to do transfers between the venue and the overflow, proved to be too small for the crowds on Saturday and had to be swapped for a full size coach. We apologise to those who waited longer than expected.
We always aim to gather some of the very best exhibits from across the country in order to promote the hobby and show experienced enthusiasts and novices what can be achieved, how to do it and, who supplies the necessary products. Unfortunately though, this will be the last exhibition in Godmanchester. The Britten Arena at Wood Green Animal Charity Centre is being decommissioned on the 31st December 2018 and will be demolished to make way for other Charity facilities. I think it is very sad to be losing this venue which provides over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space all on one level. We have not been able to find a suitable alternative venue so, unless something becomes available, this was the last East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition for the foreseeable future.
The Spirit of Swindon in N gauge by Will Heath was awarded Best Layout on Saturday 10th March, as selected by Cllr Sarah Conboy, Mayor of Godmanchester . She was accompanied by Cllr Dick Taplin, Deputy Mayor of Godmanchester and they said that they will try and help to identify alternate venues in the area for this popular event. Sixpenny Handley in OO gauge by James Handley was 'Highly Commended' by The Mayor and she particularly mentioned the interchangeable scenery sections that James and his dad Richard created.
Over the two days, visitors voted for what they perceived to be the Best Layout and Launceston Steam Railway, in OO9 gauge by Richard Holder, was awarded the Brian Rawlings Shield. After the exhibition Richard Holder told us "your exhibition stands out as the best organised and most friendly event that we have attended over the years - and we have attended a lot!! I do hope that you are able to find an alternative venue. It would be a real shame if the East Anglian Exhibition disappeared from the calendar".
If we find another venue for their exhibition, we will keep people posted via this website and model railway press.
Meantime, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the exhibitors, traders, demonstrators, visiting stewards and Club members who make this exhibition a success and thank you to all of the visitors who attended.
Jackie Kneeshaw, East Anglian Model Railway Exhibition Manager.