This weekend has seen a very successful 2012 New England Convention held at the Armidale Bowls Club and arranged by the New England Model Railway Club.
My week of modelling content started with a Tuesday night get together at Left and Son’s shed and 10 others. Six of those in attendance were heading south for the convention. I think there were a few others there who wished that they were going to the convention this weekend. My long weekend of modelling railroading started with Peter arriving early on Friday morning to pick me up. We left at 7:20am and arrived in Armidale at about 2:10pm after one pit stop for a coffee. We checked in at our hotel that backs onto the Armidale Bowls Club where the convention was being held. Talk about convenient. My room mates had arrived down about an hour earlier and they were setting up Geoff’s Splitters Swamp Creek layout at the convention. Registration was at 5:00pm, so we had a beer or two waiting and then caught up with many friends and acquaintances some whom we have not seen for 2 years, others even longer. After dinner we checked out the shops present at the convention and went shopping.
Upon retiring to our room, Peter visited and had a cup of tea, while we had mixtures of coffee, Bourbon or Rum. No sooner had he left, when what we thought were a few loonies started knowing on our door. It was only Ian and Andrew, and their mate Tom. This ended up being a great late night full of laughter and frivolity. The only loony ended up being at the pub across the road, who kept us entertained for some time.
Saturday morning dawned and we made our way next door for our five presentations for day one of the convention. I enjoyed four of the sessions and only found one to be not up to the standard expected. Following the day’s activities we went on a layout tour. Five layouts were listed and we attended four of them while there was a bit of a storm occurring. We then went back to the Bowls Club for our Convention Dinner. We hooked up with the Toowoomba guys (well those that were not allergic to pies), two guys from the New England Club on a table for dinner and a few ales. We spent all night in absolute fits of laughter, thanks to those at our table. We had a really great night. The meal was very tasty and we also had a good after dinner speaker in the form of Ray Love talking about the Great Northern Railway. Following the Dinner, we did lots of talking with various attendees and that was again a very late night.
Sunday was also a good day consisting of 5 pretty good presentations. Some sessions during the convention were heavily attended and the rooms were pretty cramped. There was also quite a few partners attending. At the end of the day, after helping Geoff (sort of) pack up his layout, we retired to the bar for a few drinks, before we made our way to a local pub for dinner. We has arranged to meet the Toowoomba guys there, as well as a few other Brisbaneites. The Toowoomba guys turned up late as they took too long to apply their makeup. There were also another 5 attendees from the Convention also there. Again a great meal, a few more drinks and a few more laughs. I’m sure the pub was pretty impressed as 19 people just blew in and ordered meals and drinks.
So after this weekend, I think I’m all refreshed and have a renewed interest in modelling and will be jumping back into the shed to do some work over the next few weeks in the lead up to the next Running Day over Christmas.
Tomorrow we are trying to visit Rohan and his Bolivia layout, on our way back home. I will try and post some photos of the Convention during the week. Thanks for the Convention Warren and crew.