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I was going to write my usual review but someone beat me to the pictures!!

I should point out that I am biased here as this is the show run by my own club.

Transport - I live up at kings cross so this was literally a 15 minute train ride. And train tickets for both days added up to a grand total of about £4.50. I cant ask for any better than that. I understand that there was engineering work further up the line so mabye people form the other direction might have had problems but I didnt hear of any.
The palace is only about a 5 minute walk from the station at the other end so I decided to walk it rather than use the bus. As the bus went past me on the saturday it was looking very busy and I was glad I had walked. For me at least I really could not have asked for more on the travel front. - 8/10

Building - As last year the exhibition took up 2 large halls and the toilets were plentifull. Not only was it a good venue but also you get to see a wonderfully historic building. Built in 1871 and still containing the origional studio's 1 and 2 of the BBC. It is worth a visit even if you cant go in! The palm court was looking a little tatty in places. The water features were looking a bit neglected and I think health and safty had sealed them off. - 9/10

Layouts - Like all bigger shows this is always a gamble. Its easy to fill a hall with lousey layouts. But I am glad to say this wasnt the case. It was a good mixture both of scales and standards.
There were 3 layouts that really stood out in my mind. The first was Burntisland. I have seen it a few times now but it really is a beautifull layout and always seems to have a new section or something new to look at. The stock is the finest I have ever seen. The second was a small narrow gauge layout near the hornby stand. It was rather frustrating that whenever I went over to see it there really wasnt much hapening on it. But the design and scenic work made up for it.
The third was a continental layout. Most of it was fairly ordinary but there was a very nice bridge and the scenic work was inspiring.
There were no complete duds I can think of. there were a couple that lets just say were not to my taste but the standard of modelling on these too was pretty high so I really cant complain about those. Not quite a scaleforum but a very good show - 9.5/10

Shirts - Its pretty cold at the moment so this was not really a problem. Both rooms were nicely ventilated and there were no cramped areas. A well diluted - 8/10

Backpacks - There was lots of space between the isles probably even more than warley and this really helps with the backpack problem. I wasnt backpacked a single time over the entire 2 days. - 9/10

Trade support - Hornby Dapol and Bachmann were there. I didnt take much notice of the hornby stand as there really isnt anything at the moment that floats my boat (had a quick look at the pendolino) but over on the bachmann stand it was nice to see first hand the new chinese loco. (albeit with no price tag yet!) I think the kit manufacturers were a little lacking. There were a few that for mee at least were a little noticible by their absence. Names that spring to mine are Gibson, Fox transfers, Comet, 247, London Road. For me it is these little part manufacturers that turn a good show into a great show. - 5/10

Overall - A very nice weekend spent enjoying the hobby I love. I left very early on the sunday as I had an early shift this morning so my apologies for not helping to tidy up after the show.

I have left my memory card at home but i will add some pictures tomorrow.

Peter
 

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QUOTE Transport - I live up at kings cross so this was literally a 15 minute train ride.

I wish I had thought of that when I lived in Muswell Hill. I used to tube it to Finsbury Park and then take the W7. Took a lot longer than that, but then again I didn't have to walk across Alexandra Park.

As regards Ally Pally, there used to be a pretty good pub there called the Phoenix. Good views from the front.

The Burntisland layout, is that modelled on Burntisland in Fife? Thats near where I grew up and the train line is pretty spectacular when it passes through. The train goes along the coast and there is a dock at the Aluminium plant. Good place to model.
 

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Hello neil. burntisland-yes it is. its based just before the tay bridge came along. they are modelling the stretch from the station to the ferry terminal. the loco that fell of the bridge is one of the ones they run on the layout.

The layout is wonderfully victorian. very colourfull and very well made.
i left my pictures at home but here is the linkl to the scalefour site.

http://www.scalefour.org/layouts/Burntisland/Index.html

Peter
 

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Names that spring to mind are ... Fox transfers

The gentleman who runs fox transfers has been unwell recently and have consequently decided to cut back on exhibitions.

Alistair
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 26 Mar 2007, 17:46) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hello neil. burntisland-yes it is. its based just before the tay bridge came along. they are modelling the stretch from the station to the ferry terminal. the loco that fell of the bridge is one of the ones they run on the layout.

The layout is wonderfully victorian. very colourfull and very well made.
i left my pictures at home but here is the linkl to the scalefour site.

http://www.scalefour.org/layouts/Burntisland/Index.html

Peter
Thanks for that link Peter. Some very nice locos and the station on that link.
 

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The gentleman behind Fox Transfers had a heart attack about 2 months ago , and hence Fox have been forced to withdraw from all future exhibitions , perminently and with immdeiate effect.

They were already planning to cut down drastically - this has forced them off the circuit

Alan Gibson is winding down to closure at the end of the year . I'm very glad I don't model in EM - this could be quite a worrying situation for a very basic item of supply. Buy now - especially if you have any plans to build any industrial engines or small diesel shunter in the next decade , buy wheels while you can

All rather worrying
 

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Thanks ravenser.

Sorry to hear about the fox transfers chap.

I have just looked at their site and seen this.

JENNI AND MIKE WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OUR MANY FRIENDS WHO HAVE SENT MESSAGES, CARDS AND FLOWERS FOLLOWING MIKE'S HEART ATTACK ON 15 FEBRUARY.

MIKE IS NOW OUT OF HOSPITAL AND MAKING GOOD PROGRESS UP THE MAIN LINE TO RECOVERY. WHILST HE IS PROCEEDING UNDER AMBER SIGNALS, OUR BUSINESS ACTIVITIES HAVE CONTINUED WITH HARDLY A HICCUP THANKS TO JENNI, LYNDA AND GLYN. WE HAVE, HOWEVER, TERMINATED OUR EXHIBITION APPEARANCES WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT, SOME THREE MONTHS EARLIER THAN ORIGINALLY PLANNED.

IN FUTURE, WE CAN OFFER MAIL, TELEPHONE, FAX, EMAIL AND SECURE INTERNET ORDERING FOR RAPID DESPATCH OF OUR HUGE PRODUCT RANGE, AS ALREADY ENJOYED BY THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS, NEW AND OLD

I am sure we would all want to wish them the best of luck with his recovery.

Peter
 

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Nice work Jennings,

Some nice stuff there, I may have to save the pennies for a 4CEP, although it will need to blue/grey as that's how I remember them. Pre refurb that is. The ICE looks good as well.

Thanks for posting some good stuff.

Regards

John
 

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>The Burntisland layout, is that modelled on Burntisland in Fife?
and it had a rather stunning boat in what I think was a dry dock.

Since the layout was originally built for the P4 challenge to create a layout of 18.83 sq feet, the year being modelled is 1883. Now that the challenge has passed, the layout has been expanded into an "L" shape with 44 foot of frontage.

Burntisland was one of several layout of layouts from the time when engine drivers and firemen were real men who got an absolute soaking in bad weather as the cabs were completely open. Having read of Dennis' liking for early period layouts, I think he would have enjoyed the show.

Ambergate was another with open cab locomotives. I'm surprised that Peter didn't mention this one. It was hard to get near but fascinating to see once I did.

>Most of it was fairly ordinary but there was a very nice bridge and the scenic work was inspiring.
If I remember correctly, this was an N gauge German model and yes the bridge was stunning - in fact I wondered whether it was really a bridge / valley model with a railway attached


>I think the kit manufacturers were a little lacking
I thought that too. C&L were there and I did have a look at their track kits. I am not quite ready to part with £25 for a point or £12 for a crossing frog. Parkside were absent and I don't remember seeing any of their kits on any stands either. However Parkside are scheduled to be at Railex in Aylesbury at the end of May.

>I have left my memory card at home but i will add some pictures tomorrow.
I look forward to seeing them

My wife got an unexpected surprise today - it seems that one of the transactions she made at the show locked her credit card. While she was going through the rigmorole of unlocking it when they seemed to want know everything including her shoe size, she learned the amount of the offending transaction and matched it to one made with an old fashioned manual "impressing" machine. She had trouble on another stand but they made sure everything was cleared properly. Later we saw another retailer with customer in tow walking purposely with wireless machine for a quiet spot. I do wonder how much longer credit cards are going to be a convenient form of payment. I closed one account when their "checking software" locked my card 4 times in 3 months - the final straw being twice in one day.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 26 Mar 2007, 18:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ambergate was another with open cab locomotives. I'm surprised that Peter didn't mention this one. It was hard to get near but fascinating to see once I did.

>Most of it was fairly ordinary but there was a very nice bridge and the scenic work was inspiring.
If I remember correctly, this was an N gauge German model and yes the bridge was stunning - in fact I wondered whether it was really a bridge / valley model with a railway attached


>I think the kit manufacturers were a little lacking
I thought that too. C&L were there and I did have a look at their track kits. I am not quite ready to part with £25 for a point or £12 for a crossing frog. Parkside were absent and I don't remember seeing any of their kits on any stands either. However Parkside are scheduled to be at Railex in Aylesbury at the end of May.

>I have left my memory card at home but i will add some pictures tomorrow.
I look forward to seeing them

My wife got an unexpected surprise today - it seems that one of the transactions she made at the show locked her credit card. While she was going through the rigmorole of unlocking it when they seemed to want know everything including her shoe size, she learned the amount of the offending transaction and matched it to one made with an old fashioned manual "impressing" machine. She had trouble on another stand but they made sure everything was cleared properly. Later we saw another retailer with customer in tow walking purposely with wireless machine for a quiet spot. I do wonder how much longer credit cards are going to be a convenient form of payment. I closed one account when their "checking software" locked my card 4 times in 3 months - the final straw being twice in one day.

David

I didnt mention Ambergate simply because i couldnt remember the name. it was fantastic to see cromptons going round. there did seem to be alot of behind the scenes fidelling going on with not much hapenning up front. it was a fantastic layout but i think perhaps the operators lacked the showmans gene. I prefered Burntisland because although it was often a single shunter moving very slowly (making me very jealous) there always seemed to be something moving.

Yes the bridge layout i was talking about was the german N gauge one.

I do have my pictures today but for some unknown reason i am now getting a "Power surge on USB port" error message.
I will try one of the other computers around here.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 26 Mar 2007, 06:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think the kit manufacturers were a little lacking. There were a few that for mee at least were a little noticible by their absence. Names that spring to mine are Gibson, Fox transfers, Comet, 247, London Road. For me it is these little part manufacturers that turn a good show into a great show. - 5/10

Great review & pictures thanks Peter.

Speaking as a small retailer the reasons behind the continuing reduction of the smaller traders attendance is purely costs.
For us to do Ally Pally the costs would stack up somewhat like :

Stand space (estimated for 12') £250.00
Fuel £60.00
B & B for 2 for 2 nights £200.00
Refreshments& meals for 2 days £150.00
Making an estimated total of around £660.00

We would have to take some £3,000 just to break even - you have to sell a hell of a lot of small bits & pieces to do that - & we are not box shifters, although are prices are competative we jsut do not attain those figures. Please note that some of these examples are estimated - they could be more or less.

Just one more gripe - we have noticed that some layouts have an abundance of operators (yes, I know that people have to have breaks & time to look round the show), but still seem to be overmanned. Maybe, just maybe, some layouts take the p
with the expenses.
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 27 Mar 2007, 20:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Great review & pictures thanks Peter.

Just one more gripe - we have noticed that some layouts have an abundance of operators (yes, I know that people have to have breaks & time to look round the show), but still seem to be overmanned. Maybe, just maybe, some layouts take the p
with the expenses.

Peter

Great pics well done and thank you.

dbc50 you are right about the number of operators on some layouts. I recently attended a small show where one small layout (approx 8' x 2') seemed to have 6 operators- I would have thought three could have managed even allowing for breaks!!

Regards

John
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50)Speaking as a small retailer the reasons behind the continuing reduction of the smaller traders attendance is purely costs.
For us to do Ally Pally the costs would stack up somewhat like :

Stand space (estimated for 12') £250.00
Fuel £60.00
B & B for 2 for 2 nights £200.00
Refreshments& meals for 2 days £150.00
Making an estimated total of around £660.00

We would have to take some £3,000 just to break even - you have to sell a hell of a lot of small bits & pieces to do that - & we are not box shifters, although are prices are competative we jsut do not attain those figures. Please note that some of these examples are estimated - they could be more or less.

I totally agree. i dont want to drag up the old debate again but i think sooner or later exhibition managers are going to have to attach a value to the service the smaller providers make.

I think it is these smaller providers that set us apart from the industry in other countries. i for one hate seeing them fall buy the wayside. they are also the ones that give a huge ammount to increase the modelling standard in the UK.

(i am not singelling out the ally pally show here)

Peter
 

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Trade support is an emotive issue , especially in London. However it's worth pointing out that stand rent is 40% of the cost in dbclass50's figures and only one element in the equation.

On dbclass50's costings, even if stand rent were slashed by 25% it would only reduce the total cost by 10%, and he would still need to take £2700, which is still QUOTE a hell of a lot of small bits & pieces

On the other hand if you slashed 25% from the trade income of the big shows which hire public venues, I suspect most/all of them would stop being financially viable and fold (I don't know the actual financial results for any of the big shows mind you, but I do know DEMU Showcase loses a 4 figure sum)

Food and drink for the traders' stand crew , on these costings , is equivalent to 60% of stand rent.

By all accounts it was the hotel bills and meal costs in London that were the biggest factor in the specialist traders switching from London to York half a generation ago

As far as "overmanned" layouts are concerned , it's not necessarily the case that this is costing the exhibition.

If the layout is local or from within 40 or 50 miles of the show it's quite possible some of its operators have come for the day at their own expense on the basis of free admission to the show and lunch, reckoning that with plenty of bodies available they'll have several hours to see the show. It's by no means uncommon that only a core crew are with the layout and on expenses/accomodation - others may look in for one day under their own steam

Secondly , if you bring a car, you can fit up to four people in a car . In dbclass50's example fuel remains £60 whether there is one , two or four people in the car (ok maybe with 4 it becomes £65) . So long as they don't require overnight accomodation , the cost to the show is still £60. Shows won't book layouts that require too many operators to be accomodated - its not viable

In the case of the small layout at a small show BritHO mentions I will bet money it was a local layout and the expenses amounted to nil or petrol for 1 car for two short round trips . Small shows don't have the money to spend heavily on expenses. Cutting the number of operators in this case would almost certainly not have saved the show anything
 

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Firstly, let me make it quite clear that I was not singling out Ally Pally. To be quite honest we would like to attend, but received no reply from the organisers to our enquiry.

The basic problem is costs all round - the exhibition organisers have to arrange public liability insurance, large venues are very expensive to rent & so on.

Speaking to many exhibition managers they often mention "overmanning" but say if they want "layout A" it "comes with X operators - take it or leave it", so they often have no choice ! There is van hire often on top as well.

As a few on the forum know we operate "St.Laurent en Ardennes" - a 16' x 8' layout based in the Belgium Ardennes. This can now be operated by one person. We also run our trade stand & often combine the two at shows on a "no money changes hands" basis. This arrangement works well for both sides & seems to save money all round - the show gets a layout (banging drum time here - out 3 times & a placing in each) with no expences to pay & we get our sales stand with no expenses to pay except our travel costs. We manage to cram the sales stand, stock & layout into a VW van & 8 x 4 box trailor. as well as the three of us required to operate the stand & layout in the front !

Generally, we find that some of the smaller shows are more cost effective - many of the other smaller traders we talk to tend to agree. Maybe, the days of the big prestige shows are drawing to a close ?
 
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