AMRE CONVENORS REPORT 2017
The 2017 Show
The 2017 Adelaide Model Railway Show was held once again on the Queen's Birthday Holiday week-end at Greyhound Racing SA's Angle Park venue.
About four and a half thousand people were treated to a high quality display of the many facets of the railway modelling hobby, including:
- Real locations such as Kapunda (South Australian Mid-north) and Eyarth (North Wales) painstakingly reproduced in minute detail
- Convincing interpretations based on railways in many parts of the world, including Australia, UK, USA, Germany, France - all featuring intensive train operations. Non-rail operations also featured, including an airport with a plane taking off and landing at regular intervals.
- Demonstrations of simple and advanced modelling techniques and digital control systems
- Examples of Garden Railway operation
- The Southern Bricks Lego User Group's prize-winning display featuring prototypical trains and railway buildings built from standard Lego components
- Nostalgic toy trains from the past operated by the Classic Train Collectors
- Novelty displays such as the Enchanted Wood and Hogwarts in Miniature
- The preserved full size railway scene, represented by SteamRanger and the National Railway Museum
- The Second-hand Stall, packed with hundreds of models and kits - the first point of call for many of our patrons
- Traders offering models, kits, equipment, and specialist tools catering for the needs of a wide range of enthusiasts
Upstairs from the main hall, food and refreshments, a Children's Play Area and free Face Painting were popular with families enjoying a day out.
Organising the show
The show is presented by Adelaide Model Railway Exhibition Incorporated, known as AMRE, a non-profit association of seven of Adelaide's model railway clubs. After expenses are met, proceeds go to a children's charity. In recent years these proceeds have gone to the Make-a-Wish Foundation which helps to brighten the lives of many special youngsters experiencing difficult times.
AMRE is generously sponsored by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield by means of a grant and assistance in kind in promoting the show. This year we were delighted to have the company of His Worship, Mayor Gary Johansen at our Exhibitors and Awards Presentation Dinner.
The Exhibitors' Dinner and Awards Presentations
The dinner, attended this year by approximately 100 exhibitors and partners, enhances the camaraderie which exists amongst model railway enthusiasts. This year, the Rob Burford Memorial Trophy was won by Gordon Brown for his model of Eyarth, judged by a panel of judges as the best layout in show. As has been the custom since the inception of the trophy, it was presented by Lesby Burford. Mayor Johansen presented the trophy for Most Popular Layout trophy, as voted by the public, to the Southern Bricks Lego User Group for their working display of Lego trains and railway buildings.
At any one time during the show there are about 200 volunteers manning exhibits, ticket office and entrance gates or attending to administrative tasks. Many of these people spend the Friday before the show setting up all of the exhibits and immediately after closing on Monday afternoon/evening dismantling.
As Convenor of the Adelaide Model Railway Show, I chair meetings of the working committee which consists of a representative from each member club plus a four-person Executive comprised of Convenor, Deputy Convenor, Treasurer and Secretary. The success of a show depends much on the efforts of the committee and volunteers from the clubs attending to preparations throughout the year and serving in a variety of roles during the show.
One club deserves a special mention at this stage. The Mount Barker Model Railway Club has run the Secondhand Stall for many years. In the last few years they have been hit by a combination of serious illness, declining membership and the spectre of having to make way for re-development of the land under their clubrooms. In the face of these difficulties, they have epitomised the spirit of "the show must go on" but, sadly, they have decided that the 2017 show will be their last in that role. We can but thank them for their effort and offer our wishes that these issues can be satisfactorily resolved and that they can continue their involvement in future shows in other ways.
We are also helped by various organisations, businesses and additional volunteers who contribute to the success of the show. This year they include:
- St John who attend throughout the weekend ready to respond to the medical needs of our patrons.
- Greyhound Racing SA hospitality and maintenance staff in preparing and servicing the venue and providing food and refreshment services
- City of Port Adelaide Enfield council staff who went out of their way to help with administrative formalities and additional publicity within the council area
- 20 Sound for the public address system and provision of audio and video services for the Exhibitors' Dinner
- Stewart Dickin for photography services this year, with supporting equipment from John Wilson who, although unable to attend this year, has provided this service for many years
- British Railway Modellers of Australia (SA) for provision of billets and additional operators for exhibits visiting us from interstate
- Debbie Benger for painting hundreds of young faces
- PrintMint for printing services
- Property owners around the metro area who permit our advertising signs on their boundary fences
Lastly but by no means least, we are also grateful for our loyal patrons who visit us each year. They are a mixed bunch: rail enthusiasts, serious modellers, entertaining modellers, armchair modellers, collectors, virtual modellers, proponents of new technologies and, importantly for the future of the hobby, hundreds of families with future railway modellers in tow. We hope to see them all again next year.
Convenor, AMRE Inc