Newmarket September 24-25, 2011

Note from Deane Louise: Well if we judge by the reaction of the children and parents seeing our layout in operation this weekend at the Newmarket Heritage Festival; the opener for the 2011-2012 Bristol Club season was a smashing success. It’s fun to see the enjoyment the kids and adults get out of our display. Many of the same kids and families come back year after year to see the trains and this weekend many of the kids came back hour after hour and for both days to get their fill. The weather was iffy Saturday morning as those setting up left their house in the rain. But by the time Dale had the trailer in place to unload, the rain stopped. There was a good turnout for setup and we were running trains before 10 AM. It was slow audience wise in the morning but we did have a trio of musicians who stopped in to play a railroad tune for us. Traffic picked up in the afternoon with quite a number of kids spending a lot of time watching themselves on the new tv screen and enjoying the various trains from Yankee Flyer to Thomas to one of Dan Lundy's trains which was capable of running at very high speed.....no names mentioned. Dick Connors kept sneaking new items onto the layout all day and really filled it up; his cemetery addition was great. The coal dump is also always popular and Helen did a fantastic job showing how it worked to all the visitors.

Saturday turned into a hot and humid day which helped for a good Festival turnout and lots of traffic in the American Legion Hall where we’ve been on each of our trips to Newmarket. The Festival committee really appreciates our being there which they repeated to us over and over. Tommy really likes collecting the stipend they give us each year; we could tell by the smile on his face.

Sunday was another great day, very warm and still a little humid. Michael Greene worked on the camera car and set up another transmitter option. For much of the day we had two video screens operating while they worked on improving the video reception. The new screen, color and fidelity is working out great. Michael, Bill Clark and Tommy are going to continue working on it to see if they can get the last of the bugs worked out.

Sunday we had good coverage once again and the club members played well together. Fly catching was raised to a new art form by many of the members! The children loved watching the camera car catch up to Thomas and see Clarabelle’s smiling face on the video screen. Tear-down had a small crew but managed to pull it off in less than two hours. Donations to the club amounted to a little over $40, and Tommy talked a gentleman into donating for the Flying Yankee Restoration Project. Jim Babish was busy taking pictures of how Dale Hasenzahl packs all that ”stuff” into the trailer, just so we don’t forget how full it used to be once we get the new trailer. By-the-way, Dale ordered the new trailer today.

So thank you to all who so graciously helped this weekend, you did a great job. Everything went smoothly, lots of people got to have fun running trains, and it was a very successful show. And as for Phyllis Sieger, she worked so hard on Saturday…I don’t think she knows how to ease up. Phyllis and Bobbie Stead did a great job with logistics and planning. Thanks to you all.

Click on any of the pictures below to see the slide show. Thanks to Don Haiges for the photos, captions, and much of the description above.

Photos and captions by Don Haiges.