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2017 Show Review

The Model Show 9th & 10th December 2018


For our 5th show we again gathered a varied arrray and ever larger number of exhibits and demonstrators. In line with the visitor and exhibitor research we undertook during our 2016 show, a couple of changes had been made. Firstly our maritime section opened up to include individual entrants; as static displays or sailing in the swimming pool. This meant a completely new approach to see the pool populated and with the steadfast assistance of exhibitors and stewards alike, we saw a good mix of craft operating on each session. Interestingly we also saw exhibits in scales as small as 1:35th sailing, having previously only drawn exhibits from the more commonplace and larger Radio Controlled scales. This success will be expanded upon during 2018. The numbers and range of scales and genres of working model railways was almost doubled, including a mini exhibition or expo, of the 2mm Scale Association; including a rare gathering of no less than four layouts, several demonstrators and the Associations publicity stand. Finally trade support for the show grew with many new business’s selling an ever widening variety of models, publications and modelling equipment.

As ever our regular attendee groups worked hard throughout the year prior to present new displays of models, many of which shall return in 2018 with yet more varied and interesting examples to whet your appetites. Once again we arranged hot and cold catering for both days, alongside a delicious variety of cakes. A consequence of the increased volume of models and trade stands was that we finally could not fit the show into the main hall alone. Accordingly the Mailed Fist war gaming group ‘fell on their swords’ so to speak and volunteered to be located into one of the centres squash courts. These are all to be used next year but having no heating weren’t in the 2017 plan, so a huge thank you must go to them for putting up with the chilly environment. Despite which they staged an interesting display with demonstrations, second hand sales and several games ‘playing’ all weekend.

AS ever i pick from the huge range of entries a few models worthy of extra note: High Peak Aero clubs entry was once again fantastic, especially the ‘WW1 bi-plane under construction’ which showed well the time and effort that goes into these beautiful scratch built scale models. Richard Brady and Jim cracking period depiction of the Eaton Park Railway which today runs once again through the estate of the Duke of Westminster near Chester. GN15 is a large and accordingly rare scale for a portable exhibition layout and the large nature of the models made for some interesting detailing. Ray Slack made a last attendance with his N gauge masterpiece Bodmin. Undoubtedly one of the best engineered layouts to appear in N Gauge the layout and Ray both retire now from the exhibition circuit after a long and productive modelling career. Ray will continue modelling from home however with his large scale flying models, the latest of which was displayed alongside the layout over the weekend. Another retirement was announced by Ken Ball: who has decided to put his tools down after a very long and productive architectural model building career. We wish these two veterans of the hobby all the best! At the other end of the modelling hobby it was great to see children taking their first steps into the hobby by taking part in ‘take your efforts home’ demonstrations by the Mailed fist Group and MDK Gamers, and many thanks go to our sponsors and supporters for assisting these worthwhile ventures.

Regrettably it wasn’t all sunshine and fun this year and in wanting to give an honest and open appraisal of our event, and as part of a process of evolving improvement, we must also note some issues. We regret a delay in opening the exhibitor’s rest area Friday and that a few customers were unable to purchase sandwiches or fruit over the weekend due to a communications mix up. For which we would like to both apologize for this issue and to assure visitors that all foodstuffs in our cafe area are for sale to the visitor! Unfortunately the media’s weather forecasting got it completely wrong! Having forecast heavy snowfall for the region, many visitors and two exhibitors stayed away. This despite our continued monitoring of conditions in the village, the approaching roads and more distant areas and our repeated and up to date fact based reports through our website, Facebook and on many modelling forums. For the record it did not snow in Poynton, or from Wakefield to Liverpool and North Manchester to the Potteries. It is regrettable as organizers of a voluntary event staged for the betterment and enjoyment of our combined modelling interests, how easily the British public are today swayed by the hype of the mass media; from the facts their own eyes may witness; as to whether or not they venture beyond their front doors. We can now state that taking previous attendances, trends and some long experience into consideration: at least 200 persons did not attend due to this issue. Regardless of which the 2018 shows expansion and change of date will go ahead as planned, but we give notice that the low returns in 2017 will have a direct influence on door prices next year!

This year we were pleased to support Poynton – MARIE CURIE -fundraising group who had a sales stall including a Popcorn machine. This proved popular with many visiting them in our catering area, we hope they were successful in raising funds for their worthwhile cause?

As exhibition Manager I was once again overwhelmed with the commitment made by our exhibitors, was thankful to those who parted with their monies, both at the pay desk and on the many trade stands and thank our ever too small army of stewards for their efforts during the year prior, the build up week, the show weekend and tidying up afterwards. You all guarantee that we shall return in 2018 with our biggest show yet, the plans for which are well in hand. For now I thank everyone for their continued support and on behalf of ‘the friends of the model show’ and at the end of our last winter show wish you a Merry Christmas and a productive 2018.

Mark Henshaw
Exhibition Manager TMS