Steam in Beds
Over the years it has become the custom for the Beds. Area Group to put on an exhibition with the aim of bringing the delights of narrow gauge railways and the 16mm modelling thereof to a wider audience.
“Steam in Beds”, as the event was christened, became a bi-annual feature of our calendar and took the form of a full public exhibition with 16mm traders and a good handful of layouts. In its earlier years this took place at the Parkside hall in Ampthill, which was an ideal size for our needs.
An enforced move of club meetings due to closure of Ridgmont village hall and the loss of our trailer used to transport the layout, combined with news that the Ampthill hall was to be re-developed, led to thoughts about bringing the event “in house” and running the exhibition in all available rooms in our (then) new meeting venue in Leighton Buzzard. This had advantages but space was also more limited, therefore the event transformed into more of an Association running day, still retaining as many traders and layouts as we could squeeze in, but at the same time remaining open to the public to attend as an exhibition. With the growing enthusiasm for the event, (both traders and visitors were coming from far and wide), and the question “can we come again next year ?” being voiced by many, it was decided to make it an annual fixture.
The formula worked so well for us that we decided to continue after another enforced change of premises, albeit missing 2009 whilst we settled in to our new home. 2010 saw the resurrection of SIB in Eaton Bray village hall, and despite being slightly more restricted on space, everything went well and the feedback was extremely encouraging.
The 2012 show has just been held and the “can we come again next year ?” question has arisen again, so watch this space……………