The 7mm Narrow Gauge Association exhibition (and AGM) at Burton-upon-Trent is always an interesting opportunity to discover layouts that I might not see at other shows. Being centrally located there is a degree of layouts appearing that don't often come much further North (and vice versa for our friends in the South).
It was therefore good to meet Simon Andrews and view his 'Ramma Woods' layout, a minimum space O9 circuit sat on top of an Ikea 'Apa' box.
Laid using Shinohara track and taking advantage of their small radius points this really does fit a lot into a small area. Simon uses the smallest wagons from the Black Dog Mining range which really gives the image of a small 15" gauge railway in a forestry setting, taking inspiration from the 'Woodland Railway that once ran in Kent.
Simon is presently working on something even smaller, an O6.5 layout using PMT Technomodell track and Rokuhan Z "Shorty" chassis. This is a bogie unit but cunningly disguised as a 4w loco. The wagons are again the Black Dog tramway items and Simon demonstrated that he had managed to get working coupling and uncoupling. This will be an entry into the Dave Brewer competition at Expo NG later this year.
It was good to meet up with other O9 modellers at the show and discuss various ideas, which has been quite beneficial as I consider future projects. I also caught up with the owner of another layout from the South, David Malton's O14 'Abbey Light Railway'. As the designer of the 3D print Simplex I have recently completed it gave an opportunity to hold an impromptu gathering, only the blue locomotive here isn't a print (although a hint was made that it may now get a rebuild!).