I thought that people might be interested in what it takes to exhibit Purespring watercress. Here are a selection of pictures from the Worlds Greatest Hobby show in Saint Paul, Minnesota on February 25th and 26th 2006 showing how I set up and what the layout looks like in its exhibited state. To the right here you can see everything ready to assemble in the exhibition hall. I was lucky enough to be able to drive our car into the exhibition hall itself though not up to my layouts site. The big tool chest is wheeled so I just placed the layout cabinet on top and wheeled it to the location. Then I went back and picked up the timber parts. Two trips. That's all.


The first task is to assemble the legs. These are made from 2" x 1" softwood. Nice and light. The shelf has 2 slots in its bracing to locate the legs. The cross brace is screwed in place to give the structure some rigidity. The next stage will be to fix the layout on top of the legs. It sits on top of the legs and rests against the 2 flaps that you can see at the top of each leg. Once located and squared up, four screws through the flap and into the layout cabinet hold everything securely in place.
Once the layout is securely screwed into place on top of the legs the wings are added to the side of the cabinet. The fiddle yard is added to the rear. (I'll show that in a later picture). The black curtain is pinned into place, the protective flap is opened up which reveals some informational diplays about the layout for people to read. Once the barrier is assembled and put into place all I have to do is switch on the power and I'm ready to go. Fully assembled by one person inside 30 minutes. I made the nameplate on my computer.

  Here you can see at the left of the picture, held in place with a couple of bolts and screws, the fiddle yard. If it deserves such a grand name. All it is, is a piece of 1/4" ply with a length of track on it. Trains were changed by means of a number of PECO loco-lifts that were placed on this section of track. At the right of the picture an interested viewer reads the display on the front.


Small crowds were not uncommon around Purespring. Operating from the front made it easy to engage them in conversation and keep them entertained with interesting and amusing stories about industrial railways and railway modelling. It looks to me like they are enjoying themselves. I was lucky enough to meet several regular visitors of this site and I may even have converted a whole lot more to Gn15. Probably the most surprising thing to me though was being able to have long discussions with several people about the potato farm railways of my home county of Lincolnshire.

The attendance of the Saint Paul show is thought to be near 30,000. After two eight hour days stood on my feet (memo to self - take stools next time) I was more than ready for the show to be over even though I had enjoyed the show immensely. Since the WGH show Purespring has been seen at small shows in Princeton, Minnesota and an excellent show in Saint Cloud Minnesota too.

Dismantling the layout was as easy as assembly. Infact easier as I had the help of my wife to pack the stock away while I disassembled everything. We were ready to leave inside 30 minutes. So fast that were unable to drive our car into the exhibition hall to load up. So we just walked out the doors that all the visitors came in. Here's everything stood on the pavement outside the Rivercentre while I'm waiting for my wife to bring the car over from the carpark.