As Wessex NGM Exhibition Manager for NG South said in the Complimentary Show Guide: "Welcome Back"! 4 long years since the last Biennial NGS was held in 2018, and coming out of the Covid Lockdowns, it was a huge challenge to not only put on a great show and to round up top class layouts, but also to convince a nervous population that it was now safe to attend a big show like this. Although numbers were not surprisingly a bit short of target, there were still enough enthusiasts prepared to travel and come to the show to make it a very worthwhile and viable reward for the enormous amount of effort put in by Tim Couling and his small team of volunteers.
In my introduction text to the report on the last NG South, back in pre-lockdown 2018, I referred to it as the 14th biennial Narrow Gauge South so I started my first draft for this report as a welcome to the 15th NGS. A bit of a surprise therefore to find in the show guide for the next NGS, ie this one in 2022(!) that it started with a welcome to "the 20th" NGS. Not to worry, one of us is 6 shows out of sync, and I'm sure that history will determine who got it right, but it doesn't really matter, as the main thing is to celebrate that it has returned, despite the restrictions that we have all had to bear during the Covid crisis period!
NGS has been run every 2 years (except for 2020!) since 1982 and is now the largest and longest-running specialist narrow gauge model railway show in the UK. Indeed, since the retirements of Expo NG and NG Southwest it can be said that it is one of only two of these large events left - good to see that NG North is still going to continue, following the tragic loss of Andrew Kirkby.
So, on with the show as they say, and how to present the best representation that I can of this momentous occasion! As with previous large reports, and in order to cover as much of the show as possible, I have decided to split the report into no less than 4 parts. Access them in the usual way by clicking on the link text under each of the 4 photos below to open up individual albums for them.