Bowing out in style

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Retirement planning is a necessity nowadays, according to HM Government. SMRS were faced with this requirement recently when it became clear that Saltash was starting to feel all of its fifteen years and in need of spending more time with its rolling stock. Consequently a big party was arranged in Victoria Park by the Woodvale Rally organisers, with lots of other layouts and other attractions laid on to ensure Saltash's last public appearance was one to remember. The fact that the usual venue at the RAF station was deemed inadequate for such an event speaks volumes for the layout's standing in the modelling world - the media story of asbestos in the taxi-ways was of course merely for public consumption.

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And so for 48 hours Saltash was the star of the show, with large numbers of the railway fraternity coming to pay homage (or at least an entry fee). The all-star supporting cast included Terry's Sandale, Ian's Shell Cove and Eastbank MRC's Binns, together with numbers of SMRS members that on occasion reached double figures. No doubt conscious of the need to put on a good show, the layout ran well all weekend, with just a dicky controller to remind us of who was actually in charge and to test our on-the-fly maintenance skills. A bonus was the distribution of exhibition flyers to anyone coming with ten yards of our pitch, at least 800 judging by the diminished level of stock at the end.

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And the fate of Saltash once Monday morning arrived with no work to go to? A temporary home in a garage whilst Jim's capacious cellars (to be renamed Dunshowing) are refurbished to the necessary high standard. Rumours that personal GPS systems will be provided to avoid visitors becoming disorientated in the maze of corridors and layout rooms under Maison Ford have yet to be confirmed, but seem entirely believable.


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