Hey there Humphrey Bear! Thanks for stopping by to see Philden at this year's Miniature Trains on the Coast. Fresh back from my 3rd public showing of Philden on Australia's Gold Coast, I must admit that the warm weather over the weekend signalled the Queensland model train exhibition circuit is coming to a close for 2017. Swapping the Sunshine Coast for the Gold Coast for another weekend of running trains, I once more dismantled my bookshelf layout, took it down six flights of stairs and packed it safely into the back of our hatchback for the two hour trip down the highway. The warm weekend called for the air-conditioning to be on high and some Coldplay on the car stereo.
|The 2018 venue for the Commonwealth Games hosted this year's Gold Coast Miniature Train Show.|
Down on the Gold Coast, Carrara is being transformed ahead of the city hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April 2018. The old Gold Coast Rollers basketball stadium was once more the venue for the Miniature Trains on the Coast over the weekend of October 28-29, but this time the giant yellow Gold Coast Sports Complex building behind it was being opened for the public to view for the first time. I think organisers were expecting a bumper crowd next door with food vendors, live concerts and activities throughout the day, but the spies I sent next door to tell me what I was missing out on reported that the numbers were thin and there were more people inside the old building looking at the model trains.
|I don't get to park this close when I go to the AFL at Metricon Stadium! Did anyone notice my Brisbane Lions plates?|
Saturday saw a good amount of visitors through the doors and called for exhibitors to park their cars next door at Metricon Stadium, the home of the AFL's Gold Coast Suns. Last time I was here was to watch my Brisbane Lions defeat the Suns by just 2 points. Back then I had to park the car 7 kilometres away and walk to the game. This time I was directed to park much closer than anyone with Lions number plates on their car has ever dared before. I just couldn't help taking the above photo!
|Denise spent just as much time at the controls as I did over the weekend.|
A basketball stadium as a venue for a model train show is superb, in that the floors are dead level and the amenities a cut above most others. Denise and I had no problems in setting up the layout, and posted a new record for packing up and loading the car for the trip home on the Sunday evening of just 20 minutes. The quality of layouts on display over the weekend was the best of the 3 shows I have taken Philden to so far.
Despite adding a new illuminated layout name sign that said PHILDEN, I still had someone point out that my layout looked nothing like the Granville Bridge on account of the 'All Stations to Granville' memorabilia that is attached to the layout's frame. It only proves you can't win them all. I suppose it was nowhere near as bad as the gentleman who stopped, screwed up his nose and exclaimed, "it's nicely detailed and all, but why would you want to build something that just goes up and back? To me it's just a waste of space and may as well not be here. In fact I'm bored already just looking at it." I suppose its each to his own, but if by comparison he's only got a box of old train parts tucked away in a garage he plans to do something with one day, I for one would like to return the compliment when he exhibits his layout someday. If indeed he ever gets around to building one at all.
Exhibiting my layout three times over the course of 2017 has however been a rewarding experience. Now that the Gold Coast Miniature Train Show is done and dusted, I feel like a footballer whose season is over. In fact, at this stage I am unsure whether I will exhibit Philden again next year. The layout from here on can only be tinkered with as far as any changes are concerned, and for the large part I've exhausted what I can write about it here on this blog. I don't want Philden to become one of those layouts people tire of seeing. During the course of the past 2 years, I've not only been enjoying my hobby, but taking the time to self-produce some railway books of my own. To a large point that has been a rather disappointing affair. Readership here and on my author blog hasn't necessarily translated to sales and it is time for me to give it the flick and move onto something else. At this point I am committed to finishing my set of 4 Last Train railway bush poetry photo books by mid next year, after which time I feel inclined to pursue something entirely different in life. By then I may have finished that other layout I've been referring to, and Philden might not make another public appearance at all.
Regardless of what the future brings, I plan to keep Philden standing proudly above my desk.
Armed with the memory of posing for that photo with Humphrey B. Bear at the 2017 Gold Coast Miniature Train Show, and with Denise having recorded just as many scale miles as I did on my small layout over the weekend, we headed home. A stadium quickly becomes a lonely place after the game is over. So with Coldplay filling our ears, and summer storm clouds chasing us in our rear view mirror, we headed north on the highway. Another show over. Another one to come. Perhaps. But as usual, I'll let that be a story for another day.
See also; Exhibition #2 Pine Rivers