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Any idea whether the buffer stops are available again? They used to do a whole range and an MR /LMS /GC/GN buffer stop would make a nice change from Peco

Attendences at the big exhibitions seem to have been rising modestly year on year for some years. Whether that is reflected across the board is difficult to say. I've heard of shows folding because of venue problems (eg Woking, or Ipswich a few years back) or because the organising club got too small/old to mount it. I don't recall shows disappearing for lack of attendance. Most vistors tend to be over 50, but DEMU Showcase has a much younger demographic and that's growing steadily too

Go back 25 years and the Railway Modeller alone sold over 100,000 copies . Today it's under half that but it has a lot more competition. Whether the hobby has been contracting in the last 5 years I don't know,- I tend to think it may not have been, actually

The specialist traders are a slightly complex one. We seem to have an alarming spate of closures - not because of lack of demand , but because a whole generation of specialist traders who started in the 1980s are well into their 60s and calling it a day. We've lost D&S Models (Danny Pinnock retired) Alan Gibson is calling it a day , but will keep the wheel side going on a part time basis as nobody has made an offer for the business; Andy Mullins has just announced Branchlines is closing because he's retiring after Warley, Andersley Models is calling it a day on age grounds, etc

A1 Models seems to have taken a step back for personal reasons though they are still around, but Shawplan is stepping into the breach

There are plenty of new items being announced in 4mm and probably N. Parkside's range gets ever larger, I don't know how long 51L Models have been with us but it can't be too long. Street Level Models and Scalescenes have both emerged in the last 5 years and are still expanding their ranges.

Whitemetal locos may be a waning area but resin cast seems to be a hot new medium - look at Silver Fox, Dean Sidings , Smallbrook Studios and that Southern biased company whose name escapes me (Golden Arrow??)
 
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