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First of all I think i should declare my interests in this one. I am a member of the MRC.

Along with several other things i was meant to take with me including the wooden building i have built for putnam, i forgot to take my camera with me. (sorry folks. no pictures!)

Well transport was easy enough. the train from KX worked like a dream and as its only about 2 minutes walk from my house to KX i really cant complain there! at the other end there was the shuttle bus but as my fiance has declared me on a diet i decided to tackle the hill. for those going to this show i would really recommend this. the view really is stunning and it takes time to really enjoy it. i don't feel you can do that on a bus.

On arriving there about 10.30 i was pretty frustrated to see the size of the queue for tickets. it was at least 100m long. their card machine had broken down and there was also a queue for the cash point. in all fairness to them the queue was moving and it was only about 20 minutes before i had my ticket and was heading for the hall. i was a little amused to see the 2 rather attractive girls who's job it was to "supervise the queuing"!! (i could do that and i am sure i wouldn't charge as much as those girls!!) anyway. this ordeal was over in about 20 minutes and i was in.

My first impression was that there was allot more fitted in this year. i think on previous years the show had been blighted by huge open spaces at the far end of the main hall and the bottom end of the second hall that frankly i considered a complete waste of space but that didn't seem to be the case this year.

I had a good look around the show and i think the layouts present were generally pretty impressive. there was a very nice N gauge layout and a Z gauge layout that was a pleasure to watch. The big holiday haunts replacement (sorry i cant remember the names) was nice to see. I always love the layouts that look great and offer thunder!! i want to see that and its not something you get from a super detailed P4 shunting yard.
The big French 7mm layout was an interesting addition. i really don't know what to make of it. the detail wasn't great and there was virtually nothing moving. but it was spectacular. if you stood back and appreciated the whole layout rather than stand there and scrutinize the detail or the stock then it was a good layout. Thinking about it last night i think if i was the exhibition manager i would have put it in a different place. i think i would have had the viaduct right in front of you when you walked in the door. it was a center piece layout but it was tucked in the far end of the second hall. I dont know if the exhibition manager had ever seen the layout in person but i think far more could have been made of its presence.
Another small criticism of this layout is that it completely hid our club's layout Happisborough (sp?) I can imagine that many people completely missed it.

Compared to other shows recently, the tannoy system was refreshingly unnoticeable.

Trade support.
Well, there were an awful lot of box shifters. I know how much it costs a small trader to attend this show and i can totally understand why they did not attend. its pretty much on a par with warly and with a few "stealth" charges and inconveniences thrown in for good measure. there was a complete lack of useful traders. i got the paint i wanted from phoenix, and blacksmiths had some HMRS transfers i wanted but i neither 247 or MJT or comet were there so i couldn't get the roofs i wanted and i didn't do any impulse buying at all. i cant think of anyone selling loco parts. there was some nice scenic traders there. i like to meet these people but i feel a bit like once i have my bag of green fluff i don't really need to go to another stand and buy another bag of green fluff.

The cold weather seemed to keep the bad shirts away. the humidity did rise later in the day but i didn't seem to make any noticeable difference.

On the whole i think it was a good show. the traders were a complete let down but there were some nice layouts and for me it was an easy show to attend.

I didn't realize while i was in the show but the weather outside had turned ugly and i got soaked returning to the station!
I actually helped move a layout because water was dripping on it but i assumed it was a water pipe or something!!

Now i am going home to start using the £40 of paint i got.

All in all a good day out.

Peter
 

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Thanks Peter,

Sad to see what appears to be happening at all shows these days with respect to small traders. It's something exhibition managers are going to have to look at closely over the next few years.

Rob
 

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QUOTE The big French 7mm layout was an interesting addition. i really don't know what to make of it. the detail wasn't great and there was virtually nothing moving. but it was spectacular

We really liked it. Judging by the display boards in front of the layout, I think the maker has a "thing" for iron pier viaducts. I was also fascinated to see locomotives from the 19th rather than 20th century. On that note, it was also interesting to see the LNWR shed layout which was set in 1901. There were some rather elegant looking 4-4-2 and a "single" or two to be seen.

We didn't do much shopping either, more because we're being a bit more careful than before.

And I didn't have a camera either - wish I had. Sorry

David
 

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QUOTE Sad to see what appears to be happening at all shows these days with respect to small traders. It's something exhibition managers are going to have to look at closely over the next few years.
The frustrating thing is that it can be done. the new erith show i am told was a dream come true for the traders.

The exhibitions could take their pick of the traders if they wanted in exchange for a £1 increase in the ticket price. then each show could tailor itself to its target audience.
This seems like such a simple soloution to the problem to mee.

For this show it wasnt so much the cost of the stand. it was the extras and the form filling that was required.

QUOTE ( @ 30 Mar 2008, 19:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I was also fascinated to see locomotives from the 19th rather than 20th century. On that note, it was also interesting to see the LNWR shed layout which was set in 1901. There were some rather elegant looking 4-4-2 and a "single" or two to be seen.
As i am sure you have guessed i am a bit of a coach man and it was great to see LNWR livery! i have painted a couple of coaches in that livery and its a real bugger to do!

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 31 Mar 2008, 08:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The frustrating thing is that it can be done. the new erith show i am told was a dream come true for the traders.

As one who attended Erith I would agree with that, but why oh why do the rising costs get passed on to the trade?

Regards
 

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QUOTE QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 31 Mar 2008, 08:15)
The frustrating thing is that it can be done. the new erith show i am told was a dream come true for the traders.

As one who attended Erith I would agree with that, but why oh why do the rising costs get passed on to the trade?

Regards

I suspect they get passed on all round. I believe the venue for Erith is a primary school in SE London with layouts in the classrooms. Ally Pally is a full blown professional exhibition venue with perminent staff, catering concessions to be kept happy etc etc. While I don't of course know the respective venue costs, I'd bet a modest sum that the cost per square foot at Ally Pally is a good deal higher than for Erith . Admission price was £10 on the door as opposed to £7 at York - I know there was a fairly generous system of concessions for advanced bookings, vouchers attached to BRM, etc but still theres a fair premium for being in the capital - both shows had 40 layouts

Apart from the traders and the gate there is no source of revenue - with a big show you are forced into a professional venue with inhouse caterers who expect to make their cut - no room for the WAGS to chip in with that useful few hundred pounds

It's a sobering thought that there were probably 3 times more model shops represented at the show than exist within the M25 ring these days - the high cost of rents in London has wiped out nearly all the local model trade. I'm not sure that conditions in Greater London are viable for traders at any level these days
 

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There is absolutely no reason at all that larger shows could not look for more value for money venue's (apart from "prestige" maybe ?).

IMHO, the better shows (as far as atmosphere/entertainment ect) tend to be held in smaller venues. I say this with both "hats" on too.

With rare exceptions I expect that eventually the only trade support the larger venue's will have will be from the larger manufactures/distributors & the box shifters.
 

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I don't believe "more value for money venues" capable of taking a show with 40 layouts exist within the M25 - though you could argue that's exactly where Warners are heading in looking to do a show at a new showground at Peterborough. I'd imagine the costs per square foot, for exhibitors accomidation etc etc at Peterborough would be literally a fraction of those for the Ally Pally show. Spalding is held in a big agricultural shed outside the town and their cost must be small in comparison to shows in the SE

Of course the same pressure applies to the medium sized shows as well , who are also faced with relentless rack-renting from their venues. Rents have already more or less wiped out the London model shops . Eventually much of the infrastructure of the hobby could be driven out of the more properous and densely populated parts of the country and we end up with a world where you buy over the internet from specialist traders living in Mid Wales , Cornwall and Invernesshire
 

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QUOTE (Ravenser @ 1 Apr 2008, 07:11) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Eventually much of the infrastructure of the hobby could be driven out of the more properous and densely populated parts of the country and we end up with a world where you buy over the internet from specialist traders living in Mid Wales , Cornwall and Invernesshire
I think we're well on the way to that world. A lot of what I buy comes from sources like these.
 

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QUOTE we end up with a world where you buy over the internet from specialist traders living in Mid Wales , Cornwall and Invernesshire

I get the impression that a lot of the craft stalls you find at County Shows are based in these places. I imagine them all beavering away through the winter months making the stock and then traveling the country from show to show during the late spring to early weekends selling the stuff.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The thing is i really dont think ticket price is the issue.

It is the premier london show. it should be expensive to attend it. and it should be a bloddy good show to justify that cost.

There are a couple of medium sized venues in london. kensington town hall springs to mind.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 1 Apr 2008, 09:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I get the impression that a lot of the craft stalls you find at County Shows are based in these places. I imagine them all beavering away through the winter months making the stock and then traveling the country from show to show during the late spring to early weekends selling the stuff.

David
Some of them do as Jim Hendry used to do with Townstreet. Some of them will just advertise in the mags and operate as a mail order outfit.
 

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Well guys.

If I may comment with both hats on, firstly I enjoy going to shows as a trader - you actually get to meet people and talk ideas through with them! Additionally people will buy things on spec, you don't get that on the internet.

As a modeller I find that I can often get things that will not be advertised on the net, second hand Lima HO mk1 coaches for example, also most second hand traders have a "rummage" box, it's amazing what you can find in them, frequently for pennies.

My comment earlier about rising costs being passed on to the trade was not aimed at any particular venue or organisation but an observation based on experience. I know of venues where the ticket price has not increased for several years but the stand fee has.

All the while I enjoy the shows and the work I will continue to do it - carry on regardless!

Regards
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 30 Mar 2008, 13:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Compared to other shows recently, the tannoy system was refreshingly unnoticeable.
You must have been to a different show to me then...
We were thinking taking a pair of cutters to the microphone cable.
Whoever it was (female) making the announcements, before, during, and after the show, was clearly a graduate from the former BR School of Extreme Loudness and Unintelligibility.
Whenever an announcement was being made it was impossible to continue whatever conversation you were having at the time - and you were still none the wiser afterwards.
 

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Nice photos ****
.

It would make an interesting competition for people to guess the scale in each photo. If I remember correctly, you've got N to G in that selection.

David
 

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I enjoyed watching the LNWR shed too


David
 

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Excellent photos ****,

I really like that French layout, which I have seen "in the flesh" it really is different.

Regards
 
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