Our exhibitions are one year old! We did our first exhibition last year at Basingstoke 2002 and now
we were very happy to be back for 2003.
The organisers had given us an even better slot than last year, this time placing us out of the direct
sunlight from the window above the side entrance and giving us the whole of that side to use. Unfortunately
we only had two projectors so one screen sat dormant for the weekend - perhaps in the weeks to come we
can look to picking up a third projector so this doesn't happen in future.
One amusing aspect of this exhibition was the 'OO' guage modern image layout next to us, the operator
of it, Tony, is a Virgin Trains driver and spent the majority of the weekend actually on our stand operating
MSTS rather than his own layout. Picking up the slack on the layout, Connex and ThinLizzy spent the
majority of the weekend operating it (and I even had a play myself for a little while :) ). Tony said
he had a great time on MSTS and would definitely be looking to get hold of it for his own PC so we have
another convert there :)
Martin Ford joined us again for his second exhibition, this time wearing his new UKTrainSim T-Shirt! :)
MartinH demonstrated the Cambrian route again, and Saddletank decided to spend the weekend working on
some more of Highworth. There was a bit of a fright on Sunday morning after some excellent progress
made on Saturday - when it seemed he'd lost the days work and would have to go back to Friday - however
I believe after some fiddling around he was able to rescue a good chunk of it, and then he spent more
of the day driving so he could relax a little :)
I had my new 'Shuttle' PC with me - it is a very small PC built in to a tiny little case, it comes with
a carry bag so it can be easily moved around. It is very quiet and keeps itself extremely well cooled
despite only having one fan (plus one for the PSU). It's an impressive piece of kit and I highly
recommend it for anyone looking at a new system.
One very nice surprise from Saddletank and Ian Morgan was a 1st birthday cake to celebrate the first
anniversary of UKTrainSim exhibitions - thanks for the thought guys, much appreciated!
Sunday saw the "Southern Boyz" all turn out in force along with some of their own 'OO' guage rolling stock
to put on the layout next to us, while Tony continued enjoying his time on Microsoft Train Simulator.
It always happens once or twice and this time Saddletank had the pleasure of speaking to someone that
was absolutely and totally convinced that what we were doing was absolutely not modelling railways,
if it didn't involve plastics, glue and so forth. Martin tried to convince him for a little while
that what we were doing was just as much modelling as the plastic and glue stuff is but in the end
they agreed to disagree and left it at that. I think it's sad that someone can so completely miss
the point, but not everyone is going to grasp it and it's just something we have to accept.
There was a good turn-out of UKTS users to the exhibition as usual, including basildd and weathergirl,
Ken Austin, Dave Babb, Gary Cox, Jon Champ and Richard Scott.
Sadly the end of the exhibition wasn't quite as good as we'd hoped. Ian Morgan (the organiser for this
year and last - and known as ianm42 on UKTrainSim) let us know that due to his own work pressures he
had declined to organise next years exhibition but would try to find out what the new organisers thoughts
were on inviting us along for 2004. Later on Ian spoke to us and told us that apparently a number of
exhibitions had complained to the organisers that we were making too much noise and they were getting
headaches, as a result the general feeling was that we would not be invited back for 2004. I was a bit
taken back by this as we have always said that if anyone wants things turned down (or even off) then we
are happy to do that - and we'd been making an effort to keep volumes down anyway. The fact that nobody
had mentioned anything to us, and even at the end it took Ian going to ask them before anyone said
anything about it doesn't sit too well with me, I appreciate people being honest and straight with me to
allow us to fix the problem, rather than just not saying anything and refusing to invite us next year.
To be honest, once you went past our stand down to the rest of the exhibition the sound wasn't carrying particularly well
Still, it's up to them and it just means we have one more weekend free to go somewhere else
Over all though the exhibition was up to its usual standard, very well run and a pleasure to take
part in. Sincere Thanks to the organisers and to all those who came to give their support, as always,
very much appreciated.