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Midlands Exhibition

Disappointment or What?

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Chris Crew22/08/2021 20:47:49
135 forum posts

I don't know exactly when the cancellation of the Midlands Exhibition was announced but when the organisers were trumpeting this event earlier in the year, and because the Doncaster show had been cancelled, I booked an advance non-refundable Travelodge room for two nights in Leamington. Later I also booked and paid for non-refundable return train tickets online.

Just a few minutes earlier this evening I thought it may be a good idea to book an advance discount entry ticket only to find that the show has been cancelled. To say I am spitting feathers at this moment in time would be an understatement. I have to accept that these are not normal times but I feel if there was the slightest doubt that this event may not have taken place then the promoters should not have advertised it in the first place.

No doubt I can find something else to do over my, now enforced, two nights' stay in Leamington but I can't help feeling that the exhibition promoters have been grossly unfair by their actions in initially advertising the show and will not now attend any future events they may organise in protest. I may not be the only one who has been left in this unfortunate position and out of pocket.

Robert Butler22/08/2021 21:20:31
293 forum posts
6 photos

The cancellation was announced on this Forum on the 19th July 2021. Annoying but given the disruption over the last 18 months, the uncertainties and cost of late cancellation, understandable. Alexandra Palace exhibition also cancelled along with a number of other exhibitions staged by the organiser. I never book non cancellable accomadation and have no experience of train travel.

If in doubt delay decisions.

Robert Butler


Edited By Robert Butler on 22/08/2021 21:21:28

Stuart Smith 522/08/2021 21:25:05
231 forum posts
27 photos

This was discussed in this thread


With the uncertainty about the changing Covid situation it was perhaps not wise to book non refundable tickets.

Chris Crew22/08/2021 21:47:20
135 forum posts

Robert, good luck to you if you can afford to forego the discounts available for advanced non-refundable bookings and that you never have to use public transport, in any event my bookings were made well before 19th July. However, this Covid issue is going to be with us for evermore just like 'flu,TB and a whole host of other respiratory diseases that we live with on a daily basis and hardly take any precautions against, so on that basis they might as well cancel every conceivable event for ever more, of course that will not happen, although a January 2022 exhibition cancellation seems overly pessimistic but at least they have had the good grace to give plenty of notice. I would have thought, obviously incorrectly, that given the time from when the midlands exhibition was first advertised to its stated dates cognisance would have been taken of the fact that the situation would have changed significantly, which indeed it has with the vast majority of higher risk groups being double jabbed, large sporting events taking place, nightclubs re-opening and social restrictions being lifted but exhibitions, it appears, cannot be staged which is somewhat illogical in my humble opinion. 

Edited By Chris Crew on 22/08/2021 21:59:11

Edited By Chris Crew on 22/08/2021 22:00:15

DMB22/08/2021 22:00:46
1169 forum posts
1 photos


Suggestions to occupy your time in Leamington; Google Severn Valley Rly to ascertain opening info, likewise Brum Science Museum, bookshop crawl in Hay on Wye, (plenty of 'em!), motorbike and car museums in Coventry. Depends on what floats your boat, really.


DMB22/08/2021 22:03:37
1169 forum posts
1 photos

I love exbns and went to many over the years. Now I'm waiting to see a few actually take place b4 I make the effort - most are a good way from Brighton.

Chris Crew22/08/2021 22:11:19
135 forum posts

John, Thank you for your suggestions, it is appreciated. Yes, I have already checked out the train times to Kidderminster for the SVR. I have not yet been to the Birmingham science museum since it relocated some years ago but when it was in Newhall Street, and I was working nights in Brum, I was a regular visitor and considered it one of the best provincial museums in the country at the time. It's a few years since I have visited the museums in Coventry but again I was a regular visitor when I was employed by GEC in Cov. I have got over my initial 'hissy fit', and now know my time will not be wasted.

Mike Poole22/08/2021 23:10:42
3075 forum posts
72 photos

It may be worth talking to Travelodge as they may reschedule your dates, many organisations are being more flexible as things are beyond their and our control. Premier Inn refunded a non refundable booking we had made just because we asked, a big plus for their customer service.


Robert Butler22/08/2021 23:10:50
293 forum posts
6 photos

Chris it's not a matter of affording or not affording, circumstances in my life change at short notice and if the booking can be cancelled at short notice I find this economic as I lose nothing if forced to cancel.

I am unable to rely on public transport as I live in a rural location, no buses into the village for years. For the last 50 years I have made my my way to business appointments at all times of the day and night and literally in all weathers, Public transport is unable to respond adequately to bad weather and totally unsuitable for my needs, hence I have a car.

Robert Butler

SillyOldDuffer23/08/2021 12:40:49
7573 forum posts
1681 photos

Times are far from normal. Though Chris feels safe to travel to an exhibition, plenty of others are still nervous, thus anyone running a public event is gambling they will get enough customers to make a profit. High risk for organisers who lose big money if the event doesn't pull enough people in.

Of my extended family during the lockdown only my daughter caught Covid. Since lockdown ended last month, six of them have picked it up. Vaccination much reduces the chance of hospitalisation, but Covid is still highly active in the community and although mostly mild one of my six describes Covid as the worst illness he's ever had. With that in mind quite a few people are minimising contact until the figures improve. Makes it hard to plan anything at the moment.


not done it yet23/08/2021 13:04:02
6350 forum posts
20 photos

This topic has come up several times this year. Back in about Fed/March(?) someone raised hopes that it was going ahead and I think it was Noel that said he was booking his spot (maybe because he would be exhibiting?).

I replied that until the show was a certainty I, for one, would not be be booking anything in advance - just in case. Since then notification has been posted (date above) and only now we have people ‘grumping’ about booking hotels accommodation so far in advance.

It’s a bit like going on holiday to an amber listed destination and complaining if the status changes for the worse while there. People just don’t think ahead or take in the risks of events/destinations not being just as they ‘expect’.

The first real event we went to was the CLA game fair at Ragley Hall. Outside mostly and I only booked our rented buggies on the basis of a return if the show was cancelled. Similarly my brother left ticket purchase for us until close to the show.

People just need to consider all the possibilities before jumping in at the deep end. One can only blame oneself re pre-booking accommodation without checking. If non-returnable costs are involved and one knows about that - one either don’t or make a back-up plan.

Chris Crew23/08/2021 14:03:27
135 forum posts

It's OK folks, I am well over the initial 'hissy-fit' and thank you all for your comments and views which I respect, even though some may not align with my own. There are plenty of other things to do in this great country of ours which are open for business and will succeed in attracting patrons, myself included, even if those attractions will not now include model engineering exhibitions, sadly.

Even though I am a senior citizen, now soon to be living on borrowed time with or without Covid as my three-score years and ten are about to expire, I refuse to be daunted and live in fear because this virus is going to be around for evermore, just like polio, diphtheria and tetanus and all the other dreadful diseases of my childhood that are still present in the environment but no longer feared because inoculation protects us. I hope an ever increasing number of older people come round to that view sooner or later or else their well-earned retirement and remaining years are going to blighted by what is statistically now, in my personal assessment, an almost negligible risk for most vaccinated people.

With the greatest respect to those and their families who have prematurely lost their lives to Covid we must trust in the vaccines, which came too late for them to benefit, because at the end of the day that is our only defence as it is for all the other dreadful diseases. The alternative is to cower away from normal life and social activity and I for one refuse to do it but I accept that is my choice.

So, given the ongoing circumstances, are we now saying that no model engineering exhibition will ever take place in the future? I doubt it.

Edited By Chris Crew on 23/08/2021 14:10:24

Edited By Chris Crew on 23/08/2021 14:14:16

ChrisH23/08/2021 14:25:48
1003 forum posts
30 photos

These are very unstable turbulent times. The only current certainty is that everything seems totally uncertain. The possibility of another autumn lockdown still exists. The possibility of another covid spike this autumn is still there.

The situation changes by the day.

So, given the above situation, it does seem a trifle foolhardy just now to make any firm non-refunable bookings - it is a risk I would not want to take, but then I am known to have deep pockets and short arms, squeak when I walk, and not to take unnecessary risks where money is concerned.

Buyer beware by another name!


Rik Shaw23/08/2021 14:47:42
1458 forum posts
396 photos

Wife and I always look forward to a night or two in Leamington when the show is on so when they gave a thumbs up earlier this year we were v.pleased. "Shall I book the hotel" says she at the time. I thought about it but decided that the pestilence was to unpredictable and that it would be sensible to delay any booking until nearer the time.

We were disappointed but not surprised when it was subsequently cancelled.

Doing the tourist thing in Leamington for us means visiting the pump rooms in town and then a nice stroll in the sunshine round Jephson Gardens on the opposite side of the road where you will be able to feed the biggest grey squirrels we had ever seen.

If you need a bite we like to eat in Bill's restaurant just up the road past the poshest Co-Op in the UK. His chips served in a tin can are a work of culinary art.


Edited By Rik Shaw on 23/08/2021 14:49:41

Chris Crew23/08/2021 15:06:31
135 forum posts

Rik, I am very grateful for your recommendations. I was going to stay at Leamington on my own but as the Travelodge room is the same price for two as for one, and the trip no longer entails visiting a 'man's thing' the Maitresse de Maison has decided to accompany me on the promise that we take the train to Stratford on the Friday and I take her for a row on the river, in the 'oaral' sense of course, not the 'oral' row if you get my drift although that may happen!

mike T23/08/2021 15:38:17
186 forum posts
1 photos


In years past, my wife and some others went to Stratford and took in a matinee performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theater while we did our 'man thing' at the show. You may enjoy doing the same.

Chris Crew23/08/2021 16:58:08
135 forum posts

Mike, I would have loved to have taken in a visit to the theatre, being a lover of The Bard of Avon, 'Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend the very heaven of invention!' but I have checked on-line and there does not seem to be a performance on the day we will be visiting. I will have to find other ways to keep 'the tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide' happy or her 'tongue will be more poisonous than the adder's tooth' as is sometimes the case!

chris stephens23/08/2021 18:39:33
1049 forum posts
1 photos

Hi all, my fear is that there will be no more exhibitions. A show relies on two things, punters and trade stands. If punters are scared off by close contact, no shows. Traders by now are either out of business or have come to rely on the 'net for business and will no longer accept the inconvenience and costs of attending events, again no shows. I understand organisers are understandably risk averse but someone has to show faith or lose the lot, but perhaps the end has been on the cards since so many traders already abandoned us, and this china flu may be the final nail in the coffin. I do hope i am wrong as we have lost so many already.

Mike Poole23/08/2021 19:51:04
3075 forum posts
72 photos

I think Meridienne Exhibitions probably own the Midland complex so perhaps it would be a good one to test the water. Shows have for many years combined the opportunity to to visit a variety of traders under one roof and see some wonderful models. Trade stands have declined in number over the years and Ketan was decent enough to present his reasons for withdrawing from the show circuit. Many years ago the Motorshow used to have a big industry supplier presence but it is now just a vehicle display. Maybe we will reach the point where a model only show will evolve and it will be interesting to see if this is enough to draw in the punters. I have enjoyed the lectures I have attended at shows and live demonstrations always pull a crowd so we will see where the evolution of a model engineer show takes us.

DMB23/08/2021 21:27:23
1169 forum posts
1 photos

BBC News every night gives individual infection rates for all the towns and cities in Sussex and Kent. The daily figures keep going up and down like a whore's drawers! Tonight, 432/100,000 in Brighton, usually the worst place in the area. It's a student city. Virus is very much alive and kicking here, although I don't know a single victim. Certainly dont want to catch it because effects are milder with 2 jabs, there is the danger of "long-covid", meaning some form of permanent I'll health. Would still like to do an exhibition though. Just have to wait and see what happens next year and in the meantime, more metal butchery in workshop.

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