Astolat MRC is my local model railway group, so I could hardly not go along to their 2015 Exhibition, held on 17th January.
On a cold but bright January Saturday afternoon I nipped down to Astolat’s 2015 exhibition held in a nearby school in Guildford.
For anyone not familiar with Astolat MRC their name may seem odd. What on earth is Astrolat? And, what’s the connection with Guildford?
The name is Authurian in origin, being a fabled city in the tales of King Arthur and in was identified as Guildford in Sir Thomas Malory‘s book Le Morte d’Arthur. Hence Astrolat popping up all over Guildford and Astolat MRC being Guildford’s Model Railway Circle.
With approaching 20 layouts spread across four halls and various retailers selling rolling stock, accessories and equipment, the show offered a good mixture of stands to see and buy from although OO trains seemed have the upper hand.
The show ran from 10am till late afternoon and during the time I visited – lunchtime – a small queue was waiting in the entrance hall and a good number of enthusiasts, both young and old alike, were keeping exhibitors busy in all four halls. I hadn’t intended to buy anything and but temptation proved to great and while I avoided loco’s I did put my hand in my pocket for some railway scenics foliage, a bit of track and some second hang wagons.
My favourite layouts were the home team’s own OO layout Priorsfield (picture above) or the Wantage Narrow Gauge Tramway (pictured left) although I liked the unusual World War 1 winter battle-scape layout Wipers Fish Hook and Menin.
Other layouts presents included Bad Aston, Dentdale, Elmgate and Thatcham Light Railway, Priors End, Little Telsleigh and Thirdley.
Traders present seemed to do okay, with tools, rolling stock and a few books and paints selling.