How It All Began

Written record from Chris Gray about the first NALUG Meeting - 1999

Early this year (I don't remember the details), James Brown and I decided to try to have a small Lego get-together here in Edmonton. The result of a bit of arranging happened last Saturday, April 10. The agreed upon meeting place was the Whyte Avenue "Boston Pizza" at 1:00 p.m. By about 1:15 7 of us had got together there.


Here are our smiling faces. Starting with James in the right foreground, and going counter-clockwise, are: James Brown, Don Catton, John Koob, Raven, Colin Lang, Michel Magnan and Chris Gray. Sorry for the dim picture - the flash went, but didn't help much!


After pizza we all headed downtown to the Bay. Conveniently, they had a clearance sale, including a bin of Lego, and it was their "scratch and win" day as well. The lady at the nearest checkout seemed to take 7 adults all buying Lego in stride. I think all of us only got the 10% off on our scratch and win cards. My receipt also shows a "multi item" 7% off, but I don't know what that was. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! After that, Michel had to run off to a meeting he was already late for. The rest of us came to my place to ogle my collection and start some trading.


A bit of trading
Here, Don is getting ready some loot for me.
Notice the #375 castle box (not mine!) in this shot.



After trading, we decided to head off to James' & Raven's place. After more attrition, it ended up being just the 3 of us, unfortunately. I was certainly pleased, however, since I got to see the works of some serious castle fans. I'm now much more excited about working on my own, and much less reluctant to go buy more Lego. (Oops!)


The view from the front door lead me downstairs immediately! In yet another poor photo, you can see James' castle in progress, several smaller models, and lots of full storage containers. The pair of stackable units on the right are full of lego, as are the nearly invisible ones further in. After lots of viewing of stuff, we went upstairs for burgers (thanks!), then back downstairs for some trading and a few pictures.


There are always more things to take pictures of, but I'm sure James and Raven will be taking more when they are ready. So, here are a some shots of works in progress.


James' Castle
First we have an overall view with the top layer removed. From left to right you have the large cliff tower, the stables, waterfall, main keep (towards the back) and the kitchens/dining area.
Next, with the roofs back on, we see the kitchen building, with the keep behind it, this time showing the next higher floor.
From the other side we see the stable with its roof on, too.
Here is a closeup of the top level of the keep, which is currently built in removable sections.
Next comes a shot of the waterfall.
Finally we have a shot of the front corner, showing the entrance to the high front tower.



Raven's Castle
Raven's castle has a stream going through one corner of it, and dungeons and tunnels under the enclosed ground.
Here is a shot of the front, showing the gatehouse and tower.
A closeup of the tunnels also shows some of the dungeons. The Lego power connector is for interior lighting!
This shot shows the dining room in closeup.
Here is a slightly wider view of the dining room.
This last shot shows the river, and another view of some of the dungeons. That's the old king in chains down there.



Raven's Skull Keep

Outside view.
Inside view - there are several levels in there!

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