Open Day

An excerpt from “Sonja in a storm”

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Copyright © 2007, Michael M Wayman

It was a special day – it was the Model Railway Club Open Day. Sonja and all the other members had been planning and working hard for weeks. It was a big day for The President of the Club, for Sonja and for all the members. The weather was good – it was a special day.

The idea was to show the club to the whole town, but more important to attract new members. There were too many older members that were too honorary or too dead than active. Young men were the target group and Sonja was the bait. This last idea was one of the few that did not come from Sonja.

It was Sonja's job to guide the visitors from one display to the next. There were the three main displays operated by the three main groups. They were very impressive; pity that they used three different incompatible standards.

Jim did the “How easy it is to get started” display. How to take a Xmas present of a model train set, a few model buildings, some wire netting, some green paper and a few other bits and pieces and make a nice layout on the kitchen table – it was a proper layout because it had a tunnel. Jim did it in 30 minutes, wrapped it up again in 5 minutes and did it again and again. It was Sonja's idea, but she had persuaded The President of the Club that it was his idea.

Two members demonstrated how to build trucks from plastic sheet and wheels and things. Another two were soldering printed circuit boards and answering questions on automatic train control. Chris was handing out info-sheets, especially membership forms, and selling books and model this and that.

And outside there was food and the big gauge steam railway. Frank was grilling the sausages, Peter was slicing the cake and George was handing out the plates – everything free of charge – it was a special day. All the children wanted to ride on the big gauge steam railway and ride they did – everything free of charge – it was a special day.

The children had fun. The men enjoyed the displays, especially the ones that they could operate themselves. The young men seemed to find Sonja more interesting. A group from the twin town came; Sonja translated for everyone. The kids from the school came, some teachers too.