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2015 Show Review

Rain, rain and more rain: is a statement that might be used to sum up the 2015 Model Show. However despite the month long downpours which preceded our 3rd show, ruining many of our roadside advertising boards. Followed by the storms and flooding which significantly affected attendance numbers on the Saturday we had our best show yet. So before getting into the ‘nitty-gritty’ I wish to place on record our profound thanks to those persons who braved the torrential conditions we were presented with on the Saturday and we hope (having not heard otherwise!) that everyone got home safely? Fortunately Sunday proved a far nicer day weather-wise even if this was only a lull in the storm so to speak, with heavy showers returning early Monday morning to ensure that the remaining tidy up work was a more laborious task than it should have been!

For 2015 we had staged our largest number of exhibits to date and as anticipated, setting the show out Friday afternoon proved an arduous task where we filled every square inch of useable space. The result however was an excellent array of exhibits encompassing our widest range of modelling mediums so far. These included a first attendance for Miniatures (including dolls house modelling) which proved both an interesting and well arranged display and it is hoped was the embryo of a much larger miniatures presence at The Model Show in future. The ranks of war-gaming enthusiasts exhibiting, doubled and saw the introduction of ‘large table’ gaming throughout the weekend. We received many good comments both about the games, the historical knowledge and recollections presented by the players and of their keenness to see members of the public having a go. Our plastic kit modelling section increased to four groups and a number of individual modellers also attended, with some models being brought great distances. Once again high levels of presentation and finish were the staple of these displays.

Etherow boat clubs members put on a large display of vessels in ever widening styles from the historical and fictional to fun-craft and again took to the swimming pool for two sessions each day. Further large scale models were brought in via High Peak Flying Club who joined our ranks at the last moment after a late cancellation and did an excellent job regardless, they will be returning in 2016. New for 2015 we included large scale railway locomotive construction and painting which proved most instructive with some mouth watering examples on display.

One unique attendance came in the form of two model railways of Burnham station in Dorset, in 152nd and 148th scales. A once in a lifetime happening and having been some time in the planning this proved a real draw on the audience and many of the exhibitors attentions.

Roger Bigg and his team from the National Association Road Transport Modellers as ever put on a fantastic display of modelling in a wide variety of mediums; these folk really do know how to lay out a display as do so many that attend the show. This is no coincidence, the organisers are modellers and exhibitors in their own rights and we only invite modellers of considerable ability and who are keen to pass onto others their techniques and wish to inspire further modelling in others.

Alongside all of which we had our many regular individual attendees who demonstrated to the public a wide variety of modelling genres, skills and materials.

A real effort was made by our volunteer stewards to speed up the delivery and variety of catering provided to our 130 exhibitors and the great many visitors they served each day, for which we all give our sincere thanks. Improvements were also made to our traffic and on-site signage; which having heard no complaints to the otherwise, we shall assume sufficiently aided everyone’s attendance this year?

The change of date to one week later went without a hitch with no reports of people missing the show or turning up 7 days early! Moving location or date is always risky in show planning terms, is never done lightly and this move had been in the pipeline for three years, done to ensure we no longer clash with events in London and Reading, (such is the cramped nature of the national modelling exhibition calendar today), ‘fingers crossed’ if everyone stays where they are from hereon, we will hold our show on the weekend of the second Saturday in December.

The increase towards areas where visitors may ‘have a go’ and try out: kit building, painting, and war-gaming was well received and will be developed more next year. This year we had to delay until 2016 the attendance of several exhibits as we simply had not enough space, despite some careful floor planning and many late hours pouring over the plans. 2016 will accordingly be a larger show!

Despite low numbers on the Saturday, our traders reported good returns over the weekend and all but one have asked to come back in 2016. This year we had broadened the array of trade through the introduction of several new stands whilst keeping the numbers selling each product range to one or two only so as to better guarantee returns. Lastly we again encouraged the expansion in products ranges and stand size in regular attendees. All of which seems to be heading in the right direction, but as always the case; traders are business’s and if visitors don’t spend for whatever reason, then they jeopardize the future presentation of good trade support at our show.

This event takes over a year to plan, a week to assemble, runs for two days and a takes a further week to pack away again. None of which could be achieved without the steadfast assistance of the volunteer organizers, stewards, leisure centre staff, exhibitors and via the financial support of the visiting public. Each has an equally important part to play and long may it continue.

On behalf of everyone on the TMS team may i thank you for your attendance, assistance or support, we hope you enjoyed our 3rd show and would be pleased to receive your comments or suggestions, which can be sent via this websites email contact button. We hope to see you next year and that you have a healthy and productive 2016, happy modelling.

Mark Henshaw
Exhibition Manager