Saturday, March 20, 2010

An Exhibitors diary

8:30 AM. Decide that last nights investigation into $10 Pinot noir while watching the documentary channel till early in the morning was not a particularly sound plan. Round up various models to take. Am just about to head out the door when parents ring. Oops running late. Bike to hall to avoid parking hassles.

9:50 AM arrive at hall on bike, to find layout owner just arriving as well. Plenty of parking space, but I'm right next to the door, so I saved a 20M walk. Drop off Da's plus some wagons with other local NZ120 modeler. Get set up on the S scale layout and started. Do some track cleaning. Start shuffling wagons around, and work out what shunting moves work and what don't. Set up where one person drives on the back side of the layout, while the other operates points, uncouples/couples and chats to punters. This works quite well. Try to work out how to use screwdriver to uncouple kadee couplers. Discover that its 'hit and hope'

'Reefton, all 27' of it, and one board'

11:00 AM. Feet starting to remind me why I was going to bring along the bar stools. Realise it would have been quite hard to do so on the bike anyway.

1:00PM. Afternoon relief running late. When he does turn up, wander off to have a look round the rest of the hall, telling him just to make it up as he goes along, as that is what I've been doing all morning. Quickly discover that hardly any traders will get my money. Robin Knight one of the lucky ones as I score a can motor from him quite cheaply (but slightly larger than I really want ( never mind, you can't have too many spare motors and it is one that Ian Rice recommends). Have a discussion with him about powering Ew's and Ka's. Wander off wondering about changing my plans for powering this. Also find a copy of 'Engine Pass' by D.B. Leitch for $5. A very good score.

2:00 PM try mornings arrangement with afternoon assistant. Discover that he is far better talking to the punters than helping me run the layout. Still, someone has to do it. Spell NZ120 layout operator, and take chance to put all the wagons on that I brought along. Still not as long as the Cass trains, but its a start. Chat with another modeler who has similar feelings to mine about the journal. Wonder where to go from here to change the world. Eat an apple instead.

4 :00 PM, Suddenly wonder where the afternoon has gone. Feet tell me they have been there all the time and its dragged. Tell then they don't have a vote and I'll do it all day tomorrow as well if they don't shut up.

'I need a shrink, I'm starting to like pink'

4;50PM. Park up the layout for the day. There's still 10 minutes to go, but I'm done. Talk to an old chap who has been videoing all day and discover he worked for NZR in Palmerston north in the 60's. He might have some pictures fro me as well. A good score.

Bike home, stopping only to purchase $10 bottle of Pinot noir....


Amateur Fettler said...

Pink? Will have to make sure the GP18 Dj is pink then, wont we!

greg keay said...

Can you elucidate a bit further on the shared thoughts as to improvements to the Journal -

The about to appear March 2010 issue will include an essay by a certain "noted NZ120 modeller" on "the first forty years of TTn3.5 (or NZ120)", as a prelude to further articles.

Any sensible suggestions for Journal content I am sure will be well received at the AGM.

Motorised Dandruff said...

Well, its not so much the Journal (well maybe it is) but I think there needs to be a wider ranging discussion along the lines of 'What is the guild delivering for its members, and how can we do better?'.

Again, to hop on one of my hobbie horses, Its about communication and dissemination of information. I think that the guild needs to move forward into the 21st century. The reasonably forward thinking move we made onto the internet in the mid 90's has not really been followed up, and in some respects we have not really moved forward since the 1980's.

If there are moves afoot to change this, they are being made in a very quiet manner, when a wider input may provide input and viewpoints from outside the square.

As a example, I would point to the 2mm association. for 20 quid you can purchase a CD/DVD with electronic copies all the back issues of the 2mm magazine since the year dot. This is updated for members yearly. Now, initially, this is a huge task, but it only has to be done once. the 2mm association also has a quite lively mailing group which has broad and wide ranging discussions on a variety of subjects.

woodsworks said...

I suspect that the 2mm association has a few more members than the NZMR Guild. Given that the effort required to digitise the NZ stuff will probably be similar to what it cost the 2mm Association, but we have fewer members to spread the cost over, this makes it almost certain that it will be (a) far more expensive to members, and (b) not very likely to happen.

I think if this were to happen - and don't get me wrong, I would love to have such a resource myself - it would have to be a private effort done for the love of it, since all rights to the material, and all proceeds from sales, would have to remain with the Guild. I wouldn't mind doing it, except for the sad reality that I really don't have the time.

Motorised Dandruff said...

I'll check tonight, but I think that the 2mm association only has about 700 members, which would put it on a par with the guild.

Greg said...

Your comments about "moves afoot, but being made in a very quiet manner" admirably sums up the manner in which the Guild has perhaps always operated, and continues to operate.

The principal mission has been get the Journal back onto a definite quarterly issue cycle of June/Sept/Dec/March (now achieved with all colour & 48 pages per issue).

The other major projects which are nearing completion are (1) a thoroughgoing revamp of the Guild website, using a professional developer & 21st century technology - this development is expected to be on show at the Christchurch Convention & (2) the development of a new portfolio of NZR plans (the so-called "Cedric Green" series) which members will be able to order & pay for electronically - again the first offerings from this new initiative are expected for display at Christchurch.

The matter of providing an archive of out of print Journals is under investigation at present also.

Your 11 area reps all receive an electronic newsletter each month with updates on Guild business, which they are expected to communicate to members.

So - there are some exciting developments afoot for new &/or improved services to members, even though it may seem that the Mainland Cheese punch line applies, but after all, the Guild work is all done on a voluntary basis, by modellers who are not getting any younger.

Whilst I have been Secretary since 2006, I can count on the fingers of two hands the number of letters from members, telephone calls or emails which the Guild has received from members with suggestions for new or improved services, or offers of help to run a project for "new stuff" for NZ rail modellers - The Guild after all consists of more than just the Exec - ideas (positive) from the 450+ members are actively sought and encouraged - thanks again for your thoughts - now, who else has some great ideas as to how the Guild can assist members?