Folkestone, Hythe & District Model Railway Club

Website edited by: Chris Dorrell

© Folkestone, Hythe & District Model Railway Club 2024

We try our best to show layouts in a wide range of scales, gauges, eras and locations and generally speaking we get the balance about right. An exhibition can take up to three years to organise, the first stages (apart from booking the venue - which is done five years in advance!) is booking layouts. Information about layouts is received from many of our club members who visit other shows around the country and on occasion I get out as well. In addition some information is gleaned from railway magazines and online forums and web sites. At present (09/02/2020) the arrangements for the 2020 & 2021 exhibitions are in hand with layouts being booked.

Invitation Process

After initial details of a layout has been received the data will be filed until required. When I look through the files for layouts to invite I will look at the layout size, era, scale & gauge and any comments made by a reviewer - whether that has come from a club members personal observation or through magazines etc.

If a layout has been chosen I will send of an invitation letter (FMRC 1) and the form (FMRC 2), I will usually write on the letter a suitable deadline for a reply, this is generally 3-6 months from the invitation depending on timescale available to me. When the form comes back I will review the accommodation request, insurance valuation and expenses requested from the owner and if acceptable I will send a confirmation letter (FMRC 3). If on the other hand nothing has been received by the deadline I will send and reminder letter (FMRC 35) and hope that a reply is then forthcoming although this has not always proved to be the case. If no reply is ever received the layout details are removed from the file and a note is made on my contact sheet. A contact sheet is kept in the folder for each year for each layout invited showing dates of all the correspondents sent or received by myself so that I can follow the progress of the invitation.

After this flurry of activity nothing will now happen until nearer the exhibition, when in the August preceding the exhibition the welcome pack is sent out to the layouts (and traders etc) showing them how to get to the hall, their position within the hall and other information that may be useful to them.

At the Exhibition

Upon arrival at the exhibition a folder is picked by by the layout representative which contains meal tickets, badges and a copy of the exhibition guide.

During the exhibition the public have a chance to vote for their favourite layout and the winner receives some bottles of wine as a prize. Each layout is also given a brass layout plaque which they can affix to some suitable area of their layout showing that they have been to the show.

After the exhibition is over the file remains dormant for about a year until it is archived and the file is re-used for another year.

Chris Dorrell

Exhibition Manager