Chapter 132 – 28/03/2021

Well, it’s been an eventful March for us all here at the Wuiske Asylum.
Firstly, we’ve been inundated with all of you wanting to know about and grab our new Flexible Track. Secondly, we had our first Model Train Show in 18 Months!

The Wide Bay Burnett Model Railway Club Inc put on their annual (aside from Covid Stuff) show in Bundaberg. Obviously, Wuiske Models were there to terrorise the locals, enjoy the rain and just plain have fun!

Normally, this is the first show of the year in Queensland. Being 2021, this was the first show in 18 months though! As such, the sheer volume of modellers blinking as they emerged into the sunlight for the first time in over a year was astounding.

Being the only show that is well and truly outside of South East Queensland, it meant most of the traders, exhibitors and punters were staying in hotels, Air B&Bs, Timeshare Tents or stolen dog kennels. Which of course meant that EVERYONE was looking to have some fun at the show as well as after the show.

This is the primary reason Bridget and I love this show so much. Everyone is in a great mood, ready to have fun and just relaxed. Also, there is a relatively well known series of drinks produced in Bundaberg that we all (in the name of being neighbourly obviously) had to sample… Repeatedly.

As per usual, we stayed in our usual digs across the road from the railway station. As did the RMCQ (Brendale Club) boys and two very dear friends of ours, Majella & Gerarde Ryan whom we always manage to get up to no good with.

There really is something that you never get used to when you hear a train whistle and see twenty plus hotel doors open up in unison as a parade of semi sober, semi conscious modellers amble towards the end of the balcony and start mentioning which train that is and start regaling each other with tails about their memories of said train.

This always makes me laugh as I sit there quietly sipping my surgically attached coffee. Also, it really helps to bring home why we all model the things we model and how these weird friendships develop over the years.

Similarly, the same conversations can be heard in several of the local pubs and clubs over the course of the weekend. Walking into a pub and hearing some drunken oaths slurred about “he only models N scale” and other such things will never not make me smile.

For us and everyone else we discussed it with, the show was insanely successful. The turn out was greater than at any of the previous years and everyone had a great time. As always.

However, one of the highlights of the Bundaberg show is always the arrival of our good friend Dirk. Every year he stops off at his local bakery and grabs us half a dozen cream buns which is always entertaining.

Firstly because I have a rather stupid moustache and cream goes everywhere whilst I am trying to pretend I am actually professional.

Secondly because, each year, without fail, Bridget lets out a high pitched squeak of excitement that sounds slightly akin to one of those chew toys you buy for your pedigree labradoodle cross bull mastiff cross badger, cross empty coffee jar flea bag being run over by a lawn mower on it’s last legs.

Those of you whom join in our Wednesday night modellers chat through the Queensland Modellers’ Group on Faceplant know the noise of which I speak.

This year, The evil Dirk, whom we actually believe may have been a sacrificial animal breeder in a past life told us he’d forgotten to grab any.

It turned out in fact that, the thoroughly lovely, decent and all round nice guy (whom possibly should be given an order of Australia) had actually bought two packs of the delightful cream buns and hidden them in plane sight behind us on the stand.

So thanks have to go to Dirk. We enjoyed the buns as ever and the look on Bridget’s face when she discovered them was priceless. Thanks mate.

For Bridget and myself, the real magic of this event is the fun times that happen after hours on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

This year, Matty Harrison joined us to lend a much needed hand and to join in the insanity after hours. I feel pretty safe in saying he had a fantastic time.

For us, we attended the Metro on Bourbong Street (unfortunately this is only 200 metres from our hotel) and had a few drinks with PK and a few of the other boys from the RMCQ. Bridget and I attended their smoker’s section which seems to be neatly styled on Colditz with a late Bubonic feel to the décor. No matter, we had a great night!

Saturday night, a small, intimate group of around 35 of us attended the East Bundaberg Sports club and had a great meal. Bridget even managed to discover that they sell a certain well known Bundaberg mad spirit, they even had a reasonable amount of said spirit in stock she discovered.

Upon leaving this fine establishment, we dropped Steve Hornabrook off at his hotel… Well we almost did. We actually dropped him and ourselves off very near Steve’s hotel at an Air B&B that had been leased by our old friends at the Gold Coast Club.

So, Bridget and I sat chin wagging, swearing, musing and plotting with Den & Glenys, Roc, Marty and the two Steves until 2am! This should help to explain why we were all just a tiny bit dead and dopey the next morning.

On the Sunday night, we just sat at the hotel with bout 6 of us and ate some genuinely awful pizza from a well known chain store. But with such company, the additional salmonella and diphtheria toppings tasted superb and in fact they very nearly could have passed as food.

From  myself, Bridget and Matty, we’d like to thank the club for yet another outstanding show. We’d like to thank ALL the people from all the clubs and shops whom we spent time with for giving us a truly enjoyable weekend.

I’d also like to apologise to the Gold Coast boys for that incident with the Brain Coaster… oops.

So, what a fantastic start to the show season! It was great to see that after an 18 month holiday, we’ve ALL become delicate little petals whom have forgotten how much hard work there is in doing these shows. But most importantly, it reminded us all of just how much we truly love doing what we do and how lucky we are that the residents of the Wuiske Asylum get to “work” with the residents of so many other train-related asylums.

Our next show will be the big one. Brisbane on the 1st and 2nd of May.
Hopefully, our gumbyment will continue making influenza great again and the show will go on without the interruptions we’ve all had to endure for the last year or so.

As always though, we shall see how we go.

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