Im enjoying reading folks views and insights sparked by my letter in the Oct Newsletter. I agree we shouldnt under-sell ourselves as EM rather than P4 modellers. One very prominent P4 modeller once expressed to me the view that the only difference between EM and P4 is not the skills that are necessary to model in P4 but the time it takes to successfully model to the more stringent standards of P4 – perhaps illustrated by the smaller proportion of large P4 layouts at exhibitions compared to EM. IT is far less forgiving and to be honest the only way I can spot the difference between P4 and EM is by looking at the crossing/check rails on points. So for me its not worth the extra effort necessary to ensure reliable operation with the additonal attention required to track, rolling stock and locos.
The reason why EM covers 18.83 is way before my time on the Board going back I believe to the early 1970s when the Protofour (and separately Scalefour) standards were developed by a small group on then EMGS members. I think they subsequently broke away amid much acrymony (why the acrynomy I have no idea) and in a bid to continue to appeal to those EMGS members looking at P4 the EMGS decided to provide necessary trade support. As I say that is my vague understanding, I am sure others would be able to correct me if I am wrong. Of course both Protofour and Scalefour standards were developed with the Scalefour Society actually today supporting protofour (rather than scalefour) standards is my understanding… all a bit odd
As for expoEM. For me it should primarily be a showcase of EM modelling and an opportunity for MEMBERS to exhibit their layouts to members and non-members. It follows that this make=up of the show should predominantly be EM layouts. That was certainly the premise on which the show was established – originallly only traders who were members were allowed to attend but that seemed to be taking things too far so I ditched that requirement.
If I was still running expoEM at Bracknell I would be using the Newsletter to invite members with EM and P4 layouts to contact me if they would like to exhibit at expoEMs. In other words – dont hold back and wait for an expoEM manager to see you at a show and invite you, if you have an exhibition layout then get in touch for an invite..