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2013 Show Review

2013 saw our exhibition grow once again, this time by 60% with a move to larger premises at Poynton leisure Centre. Measuring 9000sqft this allowed us to expand the range and numbers of models and traders attending to 54 stands. The greater diversity in exhibits also accorded us to change our name to ‘The Model Show’ New for 2013 were:

The National Association of Road Transport Modellers
The Scalefour Society
Etherow Boat Club
The 2mm Scale Association
The OO9 society

We also staged a new ‘stewards zone’ where those modellers otherwise occupied in assisting running the show, had an opportunity to display some of their own work. This produced a diverse multi scaled exhibit consisting of card modelled buildings, road vehicles, plastic kit aircraft and a large scale radio controlled aircraft. A resounding success we shall be increasing this display area in 2014.

The standard of modelling was excellent and across the show it was instantly apparent the effort the modellers and traders had made to show off their work. It is almost impossible to judge quality across such diverse modelling mediums, as we stage at TMS. But worthy of added report: 2013 saw our first return visit by an exhibit; namely Ray Slacks; Bodmin, and the many visitors who made a point of visiting this exquisite model; which has taken 13 years to build so far. Got to marvel at some of the best small scale architectural and signalling modelling in the hobby. For his high level of presentation, his willingness to engage the public and the overall high quality of the modelling and smooth operation of his display Ray rightly won the Stewards award for best in show.

The public gate saw an increase by 49% which although slightly below expectation was regardless a very positive sign that our suggestion of staging a; truly ‘mixed modelling medium’ show. Was of interest to the avid modeller and general public alike. Moving venues is always a risky gamble and having changed venue and date in three years, we were always aware this may affect visitor numbers. However we look on 2013 as a good base upon which to build further and therefore shall endeavour to improve again next year.

Our trade support reported lowish returns over the weekend, which during a period of financial prudence as the nation is currently gripped by, should come as no surprise. Nationally the figures for traders have been down by around 45% on average and this we must accept is a representation of the times. People not buying does not suggest that people are not modelling however, as component and kit suppliers have been steadily producing new lines throughout the year. It was unfortunate however that in many cases, Chinese production delays meant that many new products were not available to purchase at the show this year. We thank all our traders for their continued support with advertising and especially those who have already committed to next year’s event.

We received excellent reviews in the local press, in person, by E-mail and upon several internet modelling forums, with a humbling array of thanks and congratulations presented. We thank each for their consideration and for taking the time to let us know their ideas and what they thought of the show. Without which we are always limited by our own expectations, desires and beliefs, so we truly appreciate the outside view such gives us of our show. Pasted at the bottom of this page is a selection of these comments.

Sincere thanks go to the small army of exhibitor’s stewards and friends who so willingly give of their time and energies to make our show a success. As a truly group effort we avoid raising too much fuss over any individuals efforts but to those who I hold in extra regard “I have spoken with you already and thank you again”.

On a personal note, I was extremely pleased with the show as a whole and despite several last minute hick-ups, some terrible storms on the Thursday prior and several cancellations we opened on time with a show full of exhibits and maintained the broad array of quality scale modelling we had envisaged many years ago. The low numbers of Juniors was a cause for concern and alongside Martin Reagans comments in the Macclesfield Today Newspaper (See bottom of this page) after the show; I shall be contacting the education department first hand in 2014 to see how better we might assist the kids to ‘make their parents bring them’!

My last words goes to our supporters, the public; who took the time and trouble to come and see our show. Without you we have no future and you may be rest assured that we know and recount this throughout all the stages of planning and operating the event.

Thank You and I hope you have a productive modelling year,

Mark Henshaw
Exhibition Manager TMS

A selection of the comments we received this year during and after the show.

Mr A Barron / Poynton –in person
“You have completely opened my eyes to modelling, I had no idea it was like this. Thought it was just trains and old men, the intricacy of the models and the willingness of the modellers to talk about them, amazing, well done”.

Richard S/ Wirral Finescale Modellers – posted on RM Web.co.uk (edited for publication)
“Thanks to the team for hosting what turned out to be a cracking show. A very interesting mix of railway and non-railway items to study. I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 days on the WFRM2 demo stand. Roll on the next one.”

Phil Anderson. E mailed to TMS website
Good Evening.
I came this afternoon and I was very surprised at the very high standard of Exhibits, the friendliest of the staff and all those that I spoke to were very helpful.
Congratulations on a Great Show.

Mr A Clayton / Macclesfield -posted on RMweb.co.uk (edited for publication)
To bring a genuine modellers experience to this part of the country is something that is long overdue. Reputations are built over years and to think that this is only your third show, just highlights the distance you have travelled in a very short time.
Well done y’all, I had a quality weekend, as I know everyone else did.

Mr C Tully – emailed to TMS website
Hi. A few of us retirement aged geezers are reliving our youth and trying RC planes so our interest is high for any model making information so it was a great surprise to see a ‘Model Show’ poster as we flashed through Bramhall today – and sad as we have missed it by one day.
We had heard nothing about this elsewhere. I suggest more publicity and clearer posters next year!

J Parrott / Poynton – in person
“Great that you put on something in the village suitable for children and for not charging their entry which helps. I myself am into dolls houses. Is this something you will be having in the future as it would interest me a lot more than the other things. I thought the people were all very friendly and the show had a warm atmosphere which was nice also”.

‘Macclesfield Today’ newspaper from Thursday 19th December 2013

A model for a civil society

One of the country’s largest modelling shows arrived in Poynton last weekend. It was more important than it seemed, argues Martin Regan.

There are things that go on in our area which remain a mystery to the bulk of the population. Interesting things, things that a decent newspaper should bring to the attention of its readers. Hence, we found ourselves at Poynton Leisure Centre over the last week, gazing in awe at what was, quite frankly, a collection of models the like of which, in terms of complexity and seriousness, we had simply not seen before. The Poynton show, now one of the largest in the country and organised by local man Mark Henshaw, was one of those events which deserved to see queues snaking around the corner. That it didn’t is, one suspects simply down to the fact that few people knew about it. It was every young boys dream day out. This was where those who actually had the patience to finish the Airfix kit which used to be a staple of the Christmas box have finished up. This is the reward for dedication and hard work…and was something indefinably British about it. Hobbies nowadays have fallen into neglect. The societies and classes set up over generations to promote the simple concept of doing something enjoyable and productive and doing it well have been abandoned by modern children, or rather by their parents who no longer find the time to teach them the first steps in an engaging process that they will enjoy for the rest of their life. The time and patience required for a hobby have been replaced by the slick, instant nature of gaming. Why take years to become an expert in something when you can achieve it in a few hours. Does it matter? Well yes, actually, it does. Walking around the leisure centre on a miserable day could not help bring a smile to the face. The exhibitors were not grown men who had failed to emerge from boyhood- setting Kipling’s strictures aside for a moment, – but those who had chosen to spend some of their time over the years perfecting a meaningless skill which none the less creates things of wonder. By all means suggest that modelling is a waste of time, but the same argument must then be applied to art. Creating things which have no intrinsic purpose other than themselves is a mark of civilization. What those who ventured to the leisure centre saw was a world within a world – a landscape  of various scales, each defended as better that the others, and various off-shoots from mainstream modelling to card modelling. There was even one man present whose entire specialisation was creating landscape for model scenery, his company,  he said was doing very well. In one corner were the simple clip together models that would have given most of these serious modellers their first steps on a long road. They were there to allow youngsters, who were inspired by vastly more complex models on show, to try things out: to take that tiny first step. Modellers, like every other hobbyist group, know the continuation of what they do depends on the steady arrival of new generations, hence the free admission for children. Exhibitors had come from all over the country, one from as far afield as Scotland, to show off their models to each other and to the general public. It was a community within a community, warm and engaging. In many parts of the world people are killing each other over pointless imagined slights. At the leisure centre in Poynton they showed off pointless things of some beauty. There are many, many things that make up the concept of a civil society. Hobbies are one of them.