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RMA19/10/2019 07:50:19
286 forum posts
4 photos

I went to the show on Friday, having been absent from the shows for many years due to distance from venues and seeing the same models each year.

I thought this show was very good. I wasn't interested in seeing large dealer stands, I was pleased to see some smaller newcomers, well to me anyway.

The layout of the catering could be improved, maybe a separate area just to get drinks. However what really annoyed me was the number of totally ignorant visitors with back packs! No thought given to people around them, just selfishly concerned with getting to the front of the dealer stands no matter what. As the day wore on these packs became heavier, no doubt filling up with metal, and can cause some distress when they swipe you round the face. Only had one apology!

Saw some great models on the club stands and managed to get everything on my shopping list, which was mainly for club members who couldn't attend. Obviously the internet has changed the way we shop, so a show with more models and technical content might be the way forward.

Nicholas Farr19/10/2019 08:26:00
3048 forum posts
1384 photos

Hi, I went yesterday and though it was a decent show, the trade stand issue is something that is affecting all sorts of shows not just ME ones. The restaurant meal upstairs in my opinion, was excellent, I had fish, chips and peas, OK there was a queue but you need to expect that with a large number of people in relation to the size of the venue. There was a fairly wide range of exhibits to look at and yes some of them I'd seen before, but undoubtable there were a good number of people who hadn't. I got a number of items that I was looking for which saved me buying from websites and having to pay postage. If people think that there is nothing new to look at these shows, then why not enter something into them even if it is just in the display or loan sections, as it is a bit like the magazines, that they won't survive without contributions.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 19/10/2019 08:27:19

Old School19/10/2019 09:01:50
392 forum posts
39 photos

I went this year and it's probably my last, I bought nothing but food and a drink. I did try to get a club stand a few years ago but it was declined by the organisers no reason given. The stand was for tether cars they are scale, semi scale and out right race cars most built in model engineering type workshops. Not sure I will try again it's a big commitment in time and money.

JA19/10/2019 09:24:24
1247 forum posts
74 photos

I went yesterday and thought that the show had not really changed other than there were fewer major firms. However I came away with what I wanted - some metal, small bits and pieces and silver soldering stuff.

The models were good but quite a few had been seen before. This does not worry me since models take time to make and there are not too many people who are prepared to display their work.

My major gripe is that the site is small and the major hall is quite cramped. Having said that I liked the chairs along the inside wall. I did not use the catering, we had a late lunch at a local pub.

As for the lack of traders, it was nice to see that the likes of Home & Workshop Machinery, Polly Engineering and Myford were still there. I think Myford may have got their stand about right - you bring things to the show that punters will buy there and then. OK they displayed a couple of lathes. I fully understand the commercial logic for dealers to stay away but I think they should be present is to meet, in person, their customers. In an earlier life I was involved in a large motorcycle club this was always the question; "why should we have a stand at shows?" - the only real answer was "because our members expect us to be there".


Ketan Swali19/10/2019 10:43:20
1384 forum posts
119 photos

Members of my team and I went yesterday to have a look.

I think the show was great. The organisers had managed to cover up the 'green Warco space' with new stands and displays. Having missed a visit last year as a spectator, the feeling I had was that there were many good new models on display. From what I could see, there was plenty of technical engagement between people presenting their displays and visitors. This was good to see on the club stands as well as on the SMEE and Stirling Hot Air engine society stands.

Didn't get a chance to try out the catering, as queues were long upstairs. As the caterers are consistent, I would expect that the food was good.

It was great to catch up with the usual traders, especially Andy from Polly with his new million dollar leg. , celebrating 20 years in business. I believe that traders with unique businesses like Polly, and Adrian from Engineers Emporium were experiencing 'good business as usual', and the show is the best way of presenting their unique offering. The impression I got after taking with BB Engineering, Home and Workshop , J.B.Tools , Noggin End, RDG, was that trade was up and down depending on time of day.

I am uncertain if traders are being priced out of attending. The visitor numbers were there, and the organisers had done their job in that respect by presenting the visitors to the traders. I think that as a trader, if you had something unique, second hand old gold at good prices, or current new tooling at a reasonable price, then the show is okay for you as a trader, especially as the big stand holders are out of the picture. All I would suggest for a new visitor to the show is to beware of some of the products being sold on certain new trader stands. When something seems to be too good to be true... it is. The older traders have gone though such experiences, whereas some of the new ones fail to realise what they are doing... or may be they do. This has nothing to do with our loosing any business to new comers. It is just based on observations we made, but at the same time, it would be better for us to keep quiet about what we saw, because at the end of the day, it is our opinion only, on a small selection of products.

I hope that more new comers visit these shows, using it as a learning ground to gain knowledge from experienced makers of things. On one or two stands there was a concern raised about the average age of the visitors being 50 to 60+, and the usual 'this is a dying hobby'. I would suggest that there are plenty of younger people about who are, and want to be working with metal as a hobby, be it making models or carry out restoration work on things like motorbikes and classic cars. We as a business come across them as customers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many lack knowledge or experience, but have plenty of enthusiasm. The fact that they are unable to visit the shows for some reason doesn't mean that this is a dying hobby. The car park was full on Thursday and Friday with a more mature retired audience visiting teeth 2. Perhaps today and tomorrow being Saturday and Sunday, the younger 'working' audience will appear. If they don't, just accept that they are definitely out there.. In our opinion, people attending the shows only represent about 30% of the market place.

As for ARC, we will continue with web sales, rather than participating at shows which we left a while back due to a variety of reasons, other than the cost of the shows, based on competition for generic products. There is no point getting into discussion over this.

For the future of shows: From what I can see, the development of the shows based on presentation of models and a place for imparting or sharing of knowledge is probably a good direction, complemented by a limited number of traders serving the hobby.

Ketan at ARC

Oxymoron19/10/2019 13:02:56
46 forum posts
18 photos

Interesting comments. I went on Friday, arrived 10:10 with pre paid ticket. Slight queue but got in quickly. For the record I am retired and 59. Maybe I reduced the average age slightly.

It was my first show for many years. I once attended Donnington park, many years ago. For me I wasn't bothered about buying much as I've used the net for this although I bought some Bakers fluid and a couple of spotting drills. Highlight for me was looking at the models on show. Some inspirational work on display. The outdoor display of a sawmill cutting timber was great.

I am building a 1" Minnie and was dissapointed not to find much in this scale. Also I've been contemplating joining a club. I'm based near Loughborough so Melton and Nottingham clubs are close to me. Unfortunately both these stands were unmanned although I returned several times. Would have liked to talk to them but I appreciate it is difficult to man a stand with volunteers continually for 4 days. I only stayed 2 hours.

As for the future, I would like to see more lectures and demonstrations. Otherwise I'm not seeing much to entice me every year.


magpie19/10/2019 15:30:38
480 forum posts
92 photos

With regard to the age of those attending, I am 79 and the shows are one of the few places where I don't feel my age. Being surrounded by other senior citizens means I don't stand out as an old codger. wink 2

Nick M0NPH19/10/2019 16:19:58
24 forum posts

Just back from a very enjoyable visit to the show met up with some old friends went in for a breakfast roll and surprised after reading above comments that i went straight up to the counter for my bacon and sausage roll and no problem getting some ware to sit also had a very pleasant visit to the Chester Machine Stand managed to get every thing that i was after new Lathe and bits and bobs all with a 10% discount along with free delivery so very pleased. All in all i thought that it was a very good show some very good engineering work on display


Baz19/10/2019 17:28:01
607 forum posts
2 photos

Went yesterday with a clubmate and had a very pleasant day, about 1:30 went into the downstairs tent catering and had lunch, standing room only, but not a problem. We both got all the bits and pieces we wanted, got some great help from Solder Connection and CuP Alloys, I agree with Ketan’s comment above that the organisers have done their bit, they certainly filled the place with punters, it’s down to stall holders to bring decent stuff and price it sensibility, then it will sell. There were some very good models on display, the Gatling gun springs to mind, the club stands were good, I cannot really find anything to complain about, left about 4:00 with a couple of bags of coal in the boot, thanks to Signal fuels being there. Will I go next year, yes

martin perman19/10/2019 17:54:59
2014 forum posts
83 photos
Posted by Nick Holden 1 on 19/10/2019 16:19:58:

Just back from a very enjoyable visit to the show met up with some old friends went in for a breakfast roll and surprised after reading above comments that i went straight up to the counter for my bacon and sausage roll and no problem getting some ware to sit also had a very pleasant visit to the Chester Machine Stand managed to get every thing that i was after new Lathe and bits and bobs all with a 10% discount along with free delivery so very pleased. All in all i thought that it was a very good show some very good engineering work on display


I often wonder what people expect when visiting a show and like Nick, who I spent twenty minutes with catching up on our lives, found the Exhibition far exceeded what had been written here in some posts, there was certainly no fog in the food and drink tent and the tea's my mate and I had were perfectly adequate, I didnt try the cooked food as I take my own for Diabetic reasons but I have in the past and its always the same trailers every year since I've been going.

I bought all the bits and pieces I was looking for and more, my mate and I arrived at 10:00 and the parking was quick and efficient and we joined a long queue which within minutes disapeared.

An excellent day out only mard by the car I'd borrowed from another friend, mine is sick, that suddenly kept suffering from fuel starvation but it got us home.

Martin P

D.A.Godley19/10/2019 20:26:25
118 forum posts
39 photos

Like many who have posted above , I really enjoyed this years Exhibition, which was contra to my expectations.

Due to an accident I had suffered a fortnight ago ,I travelled by Train to Leamington and used the shuttle bus to the show ground , it worked well and I was overly pleased that my OAP travel concession gave me a free ride , with the exception of the shuttle bus . I arrived at 11:30 and was astounded at how many cars were on the parking field , I can’t remember the last time , in many years , that I have seen it so full .

What really struck me is the rate at which we are loosing our regular and high quality traders , yes replacements of a sort are turning up , but they don’t hold a candle in many ways , to those we have lost .

I feel that we should , in fact aught to , support the hardcore traders, who essentially keep these shows on the go , particularly the likes of RDG , CUP , Chester , JB cutting College , Noggin ,Polly ,etc . We should , in my view support them with our business , as they support our show , Yes they are a business , but they are businesses that show the integrity to not turn their back on us for the sake of cost savings or profits .

Arc May write nice words , but having used the shows ,starting at Donnington , to establish themselves with us , shew nothing but contempt by expecting continued business from us while not being there for us at Exhibitions, this now goes for the likes of Chronos , Warco , EKP and several others .

i purchase as much as I can from businesses that support our Model Engineering Exhibitions , and only when they can’t supply me with what I want , i buy from other sources , and finally from those who have turned their Back on us , but that is a last resort move .

As far as the content of the show goes , I thought it was very good , in terms of the range , the quality and the chance to get up close if you needed . Like minded ,stand minders , were a mine of information and also a good chat , which increased the days pleasure and filled the odd moment or two , it was a surprisingly good day , and I look forward to the next show , London , I think ? .

alan ord 219/10/2019 21:06:49
106 forum posts
33 photos

D. A. Godley, totally agree with you. If you have to buy over the net then why buy from UK suppliers. Just go direct to China. By the way don't give me all the bull about customer support from UK suppliers. Chinese suppliers offer very good customer support.

Harry Wilkes19/10/2019 21:09:37
1214 forum posts
64 photos

Have been today like the last few years the show as gotten smaller but still had a good day, didn't buy anything other than coffee.


Oldiron19/10/2019 21:09:47
863 forum posts
23 photos

The wife & I had a great day at the show today. Arrived just after 10am and walked straight up to the pay window no waiting at all. Toured all the models as usual. The variety was as good as ever with some new items not seen before. Had a good chat with some friends from the MSRVS and the chap demo'ing the 3D printing. Now the wife wants one so we can print some new keys to replace those odd ones missing from our vintage calculators.. The wife enjoyed a chat with the lovely lady doing some beautiful lace work whose husband was manning the Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies stand. I always enjoy chatting to exhibitors about their displays.

Getting the egg & bacon baps and a seat was a breeze at 12 o'clock. I always enjoy the baps as they do not scrimp on the fillings unlike a lot of places.

Walked through the wet field (nothing changed there then wink  and enjoyed the live steam and demo's.

About 2 pm we started the walk around the trade stalls. A good variety as always some new and some not present this year but a good variety as usual. I allowed the wife to get me a few Xmas gifts as always. I reciprocated with a couple of items for her as well.

All in all an excellent day out. Looking forward to next time.

Lainchy19/10/2019 22:09:54
271 forum posts
103 photos

Where do I fit as a 49'er? I am looking to spend a little on tooling tomorrow, although, with the help of RDG, ARC, Tracy, Warco, Chester, and the chinese via eBay... I am mostly set up.

Looking forward to it too.

It'll be too long before next year comes

mal webber19/10/2019 22:26:45
141 forum posts
294 photos

Hi guy's would of loved see this show but work all week and home life plus a 500 odd mile round trip makes it hard to fit in ,closest i'll get is youtube which i was looking forward to some one posting plus Jason's photos and the comments on here .Lms4767 has a nice video on the show and to me it looks a grand day out with some superb models on show.


Circlip20/10/2019 11:17:22
1382 forum posts

"Arc May write nice words , but having used the shows ,starting at Donnington , to establish themselves with us , shew nothing but contempt by expecting continued business from us while not being there for us at Exhibitions"

So there you have it Keetan. I have NO doubt had you attended with a cnc miller and lathe, Mr Godley would have paid in cash for them in new threepany bits. It never ceases to amaze how short sighted some are to the logistics and costs involved for some to just look and twiddle and then pass on. Sir John (rip) gave an insight as to what was involved from Arcs' point of view after the Arrowgate saga of rocketing stand prices that had to be born by the trader and NOT a prospective customer who expects a discount on the stand.

Perhaps you should attend in force the next exhibition Keetan but add 15-20% on the tool prices to cover YOUR expenses????

Regards Ian.

PS NO connection with ARC, just a lamented past friendship with his loosrdship.

JasonB20/10/2019 13:15:22
21629 forum posts
2493 photos
1 articles

Also interesting to see who has the biggest adverts on this forum, without them you would not have anywhere to moan. Without that income there may also be no mag let alone forum.

Any company can do the sums and see what gives the best return for their money, they may choose to have banner adds at the top of the page or a prominent one top right.

They may invest a considerable amount of money into sponsoring beginners articles in the mags or spend time explaining queries via the forum.

They may only supply the hobby as part of their client base and would risk not being able to serve the commercial side while at a show

Or they may go to a show.

Edited By JasonB on 20/10/2019 13:18:19

alan ord 220/10/2019 13:27:05
106 forum posts
33 photos

Perhaps you should attend in force the next exhibition Keetan but add 15-20% on the tool prices to cover YOUR expenses????

Do you not think that Arc and other exhibitors include their show expenses into their pricing structure!!!!!!!

Or are you deluded into thinking that these suppliers attend exhibitions only for the benefit of visitors? They are there to sell product to benefit their bottom line.

Ketan Swali20/10/2019 14:48:52
1384 forum posts
119 photos

I made my positive comments about what I thought of the visit to the show. How certain people read that is up to them. They are entitled to their own opinion.

Ketan at ARC

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