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Well, The biggest exhibition of the year has come and gone and what an exhibition it was. I went on both days and had a good time. the wonderfull thing about this show is that it currently has just about evrything you could want to see do do with modfel railways under one roof.

Transport - saturday was not a problem. Straight up on the pendolino from euston. took about 90 minutes and cost about £25. I arrived in tood time to help finish a friends stand before the flood gates opened.

Sunday was much more difficult with engineering works all over the place it was actually quicker to get the slow train from marylebone. it took about 2 hours go get me there but took well over 3 to get me back. cost about £9. both journeys were uneventfull. - 8/10

Building - The warley show was in the biggest hall of the exhibition centre this year (aparently due to a last minute swap.) the NEC is really a great venue. i was comming buy train but people who cane buy car were directed to what must have been one of the furthest carparks and had to walk or get on a very long cue for the bus. it was a good 10-15 minute walk particularly on the sunday when it was tipping it down!

I know some people are not going to like this bit but i am going to say it anyway. yes i know the hall was swapped at the last minute, but i think if i was exhibition manager then i would have found a way to use all that extra space at the front of the hall. even if was just a case of making the isle between the front and the back of the show twice as wide. they were not paying extra for that space so i think they may as well have used it. i think the wall of white boards made it look a little uninviting. there were plenty of loo's and places to rest. the tannoy system was dreadfull! - 8/10

Layouts - With such a large exhibition its verry difficult to fill the hall with quality layouts but i really think they managed it this year. the standard of modelling was generally high and i cant think of a single layout that looked like it was there just to make up the numbers! one point i would like to make (and perhaps this is a discussion for another day and another thread) is whgat actually constitutes a layout? there seemed to be alot of this large scale very small alyouts with mabye 1 or 2 points. the modelling on these was often exceptional but to mee they are dioramas rather than layouts. i am not suggesting they dont have evry right to be there and they were very welcome. but to mee they just dont fit in with my idea of a "layout" - 8/10

Shirts - This winter was nothing like as cold as last year and i was expecting some pretty unpleasent moments but they just didnt happen. there were one or 2 coats that had obviously not been washed since the milennium but with that number of people you are bound to get 1 or 2. - 9/10

Backpacks - Oah dear! Now i dont mind a small pack for people to take their belongings home in but there were people there who looked like they were going on a camping holiday! at many shows this can be excused to an extent because there is nowhere else to leave your things but at warley there are facilities for left luggage. i was backpacked several times over the course of the weekend. -3/10

Trade support - Very good. I often have well founded concerns that the smaller traders are being squeezed at big shows like this. it has happened many times in tha past that a show gets bigger and they put up their prices and the smaller traders cant go leading to a lousey show. but this has been adressed buy the warley mrc and prices have been lowered and even invitations went out to smaller traders. this is to be commended. all the usual players were there. the hornby stand seemed smaller than usual. and i wish some of the intl stuff had been on show. but never mind. - 10/10

Now i dont know weather attendance was down but it seemed to be. there was more stand frontage this year but even so i think attendance was slightly down and perhaps the 2 factors together ment the crowding was not such a big problem this year.

There were no real gaping gaps in the line up of traders although it has to be said that fox transfers is sorely missed - 9/10

Bagains - They were pretty thinly spread but they were there to be had. most of the 100 Dynamis systems had gone and some people had lynched some of the bachmann stuff before the exhibition even opened on the saturday. but i dont think this os the reason people go to warley. they go to see the new products and to see the stands and layouts. there was a mehano thalys going for £50 on the sunday. now why in the name of all things holy didnt i buy it???? - 3/10

Peter

Now for the pictures on this occasion i cant blame my camera, but this was the first time i had used it and so the lack of quality is purly down to my lack of practice with it. (sorry!)

Photobucket is being very slow so these will have to wait a few minutes.
 

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Thats a pretty fair report Peter.

QUOTE I know some people are not going to like this bit but i am going to say it anyway. yes i know the hall was swapped at the last minute, but i think if i was exhibition manager then i would have found a way to use all that extra space at the front of the hall. even if was just a case of making the isle between the front and the back of the show twice as wide. they were not paying extra for that space so i think they may as well have used it. i think the wall of white boards made it look a little uninviting. there were plenty of loo's and places to rest. the tannoy system was dreadfull! - 8/10

Thats a fair point. A hall seems cosier when you enter it directly from the bright lights of the circulation area. There was a feeling of entering a rock concert arena rather than a model railway show. Tannoy system was rubbish as it is at rock concerts and Warley should get a refund on this as it was pointless!

QUOTE i was backpacked several times over the course of the weekend. -3/10

Is this something unique to Warley and if it is why? I will admit to not having any backpack experiences so maybe Peter was just unlucky. I left the layouts until later though.

QUOTE the hornby stand seemed smaller than usual

I thought the same but Hornby claimed it was the same size as last year.

QUOTE There were no real gaping gaps in the line up of traders although it has to be said that fox transfers is sorely missed

I miss box shifter Southampton Model Centre as they always had a lot good offers and a good range of secondhand stuff. Did not Fox Transfers say that they will longer attend shows?

QUOTE Bagains - They were pretty thinly spread but they were there to be had. most of the 100 Dynamis systems had gone and some people had lynched some of the bachmann stuff before the exhibition even opened on the saturday. but i dont think this os the reason people go to warley. they go to see the new products and to see the stands and layouts. there was a mehano thalys going for £50 on the sunday. now why in the name of all things holy didnt i buy it???? - 3/10

My feelings also. There should have been more show bargains and manufacturers should have made more effort to get new stuff to the show. Very dissapointing that there was a distinct lack of Xmas goodies. There was a large "small trader" presence but they all missed opportunities for show bargains to get the punters interested and parting with cash. If there was a bargain you had to hunt for it rather than having it hit you in the face. This is an area that the show organisers need to look at. If a trader cannot come up with a stonking show offer they should not be allowed to appear! And if Bachmann and Hornby cannot deliver the goods also then their attendance too should be questioned! Why no pre-production prototypes that we have seen in the past? And what goodies could have been airfreighted in apart from Dynamis?

Heljan and Dapol did actually have some of the most interesting stuff at the show. Come on Hornby and Bachmann. Bigger effort next time to get the last of the years goodies to the show!

Happy modelling
Gary

PS did anybody spot the Hornby limited edition show bus? They will be massive future collectables in 40 years time.
 

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An excellent report and great photos - thanks for posting them Peter.

Regards
 

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"Is this something unique to Warley and if it is why? I will admit to not having any backpack experiences so maybe Peter was just unlucky. I left the layouts until later though."

Hello Gary

This is buy no means unique to Warly (see my other reviews) but i think as there is a left luggage space outside the hall there is less of an excuse at this exhibition. they know its going to be crowded and still they bring those camping packs into the show. its just plain daft imo.

On another note i finally mastered eating at the NEC!! what you do is forget the food in the show and cafe and at the nec itself and hop on the little shuttle and go to the airport!!! no queue's!!!!!! the shuttle only takes 1:70!! it was even better than the exhibitors cafe! and its not expensive. on sunday night my father and i had a 3 course dinner for les than £20!!

Peter
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 3 Dec 2007, 13:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very dissapointing that there was a distinct lack of Xmas goodies. There was a large "small trader" presence but they all missed opportunities for show bargains to get the punters interested and parting with cash. If there was a bargain you had to hunt for it rather than having it hit you in the face. This is an area that the show organisers need to look at. If a trader cannot come up with a stonking show offer they should not be allowed to appear!

I beg to differ on this, it is very difficult for a small trader to come up with a "stonking"show offer and to banish a trader because they fail to supply said offer would get any organiser who tried it a very poor reputation I feel. Small traders who specialise do not normally have funds available to buy the quantities of stock required for this sort of dealing.

Regards
 

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QUOTE (Gary @ 3 Dec 2007, 13:52) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If a trader cannot come up with a stonking show offer they should not be allowed to appear!

What utter rubbish & a remark guaranteed to provoke conflict ! - does that include internet based secondhand dealers who also attend shows & swapmeets ?

As a small trader that would finally rule us out if, in the extremely unlikely event we were ever invited to attend Warley. Our prices are already competative & to reduce the margin further would almost certainly turn the event into a loss from our POV. Many of our customers come to our stand because we stock many products that other traders don't, they are happy to be able to get them, pay a reasonable price & free advice (even if later, on the phone in the evening - how many box-shifters are on the phone after 18.00hrs ?)

IMHO Warley had been heading towards more of an event to pick up bargains, rather than a model railway show - maybe the reported lack of "bargains" reflect a change of direction (by confidential) agreement between the Manufactures & the organising team ?
 

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I got "back packed" a couple of times and I don't normally. It was just after I arrived on Saturday about lunchtime, so maybe I wasn't quite up to speed with my "dodges". Actually thinking more about it, it was in the aisle with the Heljan stand. We passed through there about an hour later and it did seem markedly more crowded than other parts.

Peter's done a great job on the photos, but, and I don't mean this as criticism, there were a lot more layouts than those he has featured. It really was a _big_ show.

I also agree that the first impression on walking through the doors was "Where is it?" and "Why do that?" but on reflection inside, I think it was the right thing to do.

Note to Neil: Those fishing boats in the third photo after the Fleischmann layout in the first set were very nice. If I remember correctly the layout was 7mm scale at least.

David
 

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Ian Wigglesworth
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I have never been to Warley, this year was my first outing and I thought it was excellent!

Ok the lighting was a bit crap, but the organizers can't be held responsible for the NEC's lighting preference.

The reason for this post is the utter amazement I have looking and reading posts on another forum where so many people have done nothing but complain at how bad the whole show was and also some of the layouts!!!!

Now if you dig a little bit deeper some, but not all of these posters don't even have a layout of their own!!

This to me is just shocking, All of the layouts I saw, I thought excellent, I wish my modeling skills were up to the standard of the so called 'very poor' ones. This comment was made by a poster on another forum not by me, I didn't see a 'very poor' layout!!

I do hope the exhibitors don't just throw the towel in and say stuff it not doing any more!!
If I had taken that much time and effort into building a layout for an exhibition to have have all the so called perfectionists and dare I say it 'rivet counters' slate it then I would have to seriously think about not doing another show!

For all those who have done nothing but complain at how poor the show was, then put on a show yourself that size with your own PERFECT layout and make the show 'better' before starting with the complaints and layout trashing!

It really is amazing how other modelers can slate other layouts for errors, such as wrong rolling stock with wrong locos etc, etc.

It's a hobby that should be fun, or is this not allowed anymore unless everything we do has to be 100% accurate and perfect with no exception?

If this is the case I may as well pack it all in now as my layouts will never be any where close to perfect or 'correct' prototypically. As for rolling stock....my layout run anything I like!!!

For all those who did take the time and effort to build the layouts and spend 2 days exhibiting them good on ya and don't let the moaning git's put you off!

Some of us really do appreciate all the hard work and time that has been put in to put on a exhibition like Warley, and I wouldn't know if the wrong coaches were being pulled by the wrong locomotive anyway and to be honest I wouldn't careless!!

Rant over, it just really does annoy me that people can complain when they have nothing themselves to show and are never likely to!

Ian
 

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QUOTE wrong rolling stock with wrong locos etc, etc

You don't suppose they "clocked" that LNER BoBo electric crossing the Dutch river crossing?


I agree with Wiggy. There were good layouts there and great ones. I was particularly taken by "Keighpatt Bay" an American HO layout of the Camden & Delaware set in Spring 1838. The ship tied up at the dock was rather good too.

As Brendan Behan famously remarked
"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves"

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 3 Dec 2007, 20:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I got "back packed" a couple of times and I don't normally.

Yes! Me too, after everything I said in the defence of packpacks, I was almost knocked off my feet by a hickers rucksack! Unbelievable why anyone would need to carry something like that around....

Also as Birtho said, the lighting really was dreadful. I also agress with Pedro and gary that perhaps it would have been better to use the space at the front of the hall properly.

BUt...It was a truly great show. Anyone not there has missed out. For me the layouts were the best over the last 5 years Ive been to Warley.

Well done WMRC.

Rob
 

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QUOTE Note to Neil: Those fishing boats in the third photo after the Fleischmann layout in the first set were very nice. If I remember correctly the layout was 7mm scale at least.

Yes those were very nice.

Thanks for posting the pictures and review Peter. Very good for those of us unable to attend.

Some very nice layouts, I particularly liked some of the bridges.
 

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Yes thats the model of the Boyne Viaduct. Its a great model of a very intersting bridge. At one point in the past it was of course a two road bridge but the centre span was reduced to single track many years ago as when the bridge was strengthened (I believe in the 1930's) the clearance was reduced so that it was not possible for double track. The track work is very interesting as there are no points but instead the tracks overlap, allowing the posibility of a head on crash! Its a great bridge on the Belfast to Dublin mainline.
 
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