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Chiltern Model Railway Exhibition - Stevenage 11/12 Jan 2020

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I used to love this show when it was in St Albans and went every year. I have also heard it is just as busy in Stevenage as it was when it was in St Albans, so if the organisers are reading this BRING IT BACK please.

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3 hours ago, bart2day said:

I used to love this show when it was in St Albans and went every year. I have also heard it is just as busy in Stevenage as it was when it was in St Albans, so if the organisers are reading this BRING IT BACK please.

 

St. Albans was a hopeless place for an exhibition - Stevenage is a huge improvement.

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4 hours ago, bart2day said:

I used to love this show when it was in St Albans and went every year. I have also heard it is just as busy in Stevenage as it was when it was in St Albans, so if the organisers are reading this BRING IT BACK please.

 

It is far bigger, and better, in Stevenage, 2 large halls on the same level are so much easier to use

and access is greatly improved (especially for wheelchair users, and the less able).

The transport links are better, it being only a short walk from the station via the footbridge, also

the main bus terminal is only the other side of the venue and it's not far from the A1M.

Basically it's in another league to St. Albans!

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I was there on the Saturday on the DEMU stand with my new 7mm HST. Didn't see a lot of the show but Burntisland 1883 was seriously impressive. The guys on that layout went out of their way to answer questions on how [and why] the two fundamentally different methods of loading and getting coal across the Firth of Forth from the Fife coalfields to Edinburgh and beyond were use prior to the building of the Forth Rail Bridge.

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11 hours ago, polybear said:

 

St. Albans was a hopeless place for an exhibition - Stevenage is a huge improvement.

 

What’s wrong with St Albans? It is a much nicer city than Stevenage and has good road and rail connection. Furthermore there are no other model railway exhibitions or model shops along the southern section of the MML compared to many on the WCML and ECML making it unique. The organisers should have just found a bigger venue in the St Albans area rather than moving 15 miles away.

Edited by bart2day

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10 hours ago, [email protected] said:

 

The transport links are better.

Basically it's in another league to St. Albans!

 

Says the man who lists his location as being in... Stevenage! :scratch_one-s_head_mini:

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7 minutes ago, bart2day said:

 

What’s wrong with St Albans? It is a much nicer city than Stevenage and has good road and rail connection. The organisers should have just found a bigger venue rather than moving 20 miles away.

 

See below:

 

10 hours ago, [email protected] said:

 

It is far bigger, and better, in Stevenage, 2 large halls on the same level are so much easier to use

and access is greatly improved (especially for wheelchair users, and the less able).

The transport links are better, it being only a short walk from the station via the footbridge, also

the main bus terminal is only the other side of the venue and it's not far from the A1M.

Basically it's in another league to St. Albans!

 

Edited by polybear

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34 minutes ago, bart2day said:

The organisers should have just found a bigger venue in the St Albans area rather than moving 15 miles away.

 

Perhaps you could suggest a suitably large, easy to access, affordable venue with the appropriate facilities in St Albans?      We spent 20+ years looking, clearly we've missed something .....

 

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I went today, not a vintage show but a good one.

I had intended to travel by train, but the issues on the Met and the GN line encouraged me to go by car. Parking the car was an horrendous experience, cheap enough but horrendous. All the parks close to the venue were full and I had a 20 minute walk to the show after driving around to find a car park. If the railway is out in future I think I'll give it a miss, sorry.

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51 minutes ago, PupCam said:

 

Perhaps you could suggest a suitably large, easy to access, affordable venue with the appropriate facilities in St Albans?      We spent 20+ years looking, clearly we've missed something .....

 

There is the Cathedral.

You just need to get them to appoint a Dean with an interest in model railways to let you use it FOC.

The old venue had been outgrown and a move became essential. At least it is not that far away which does maintain continuity for a lot of locals.

Bernard

 

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1 hour ago, bart2day said:

 

Says the man who lists his location as being in... Stevenage! :scratch_one-s_head_mini:

Not wheelchair friendly 

On three floors

Access for exhibitors and traders very difficult.

The venue is not really designed as a exhibition venue.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, ELTEL said:

Not wheelchair friendly 

On three floors

Access for exhibitors and traders very difficult.

The venue is not really designed as a exhibition venue.

 

 

 

As well as:

 

Too small

Basement often very hot

Balcony Stalls a nightmare due to crowding

Parking a pain

On-site food hopeless (though outside is fine)

For those who may struggle with walking, the Rail Station location could be an issue (I believe there was a Vintage(?) Bus laid on by the CMRA, but no doubt at added cost to the organisers)

 

I went today, I found parking to be dead easy (for two quid all day), loads of varied trade stands, excellent layouts (many I'd never seen before), plenty of very interesting demonstrators, seating didn't appear to be an issue, both in-hall and foyer food outlets, 2 min walk to the town centre for external food outlets.  It kept me amused for five hours.:D

Many thanks to the organisers (who spend literally hundreds of unpaid hours to make it all happen) :yahoo_mini:

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1 hour ago, PenrithBeacon said:

I went today, not a vintage show but a good one.

 

Some great modelling on show, but I felt a little lacking in some of the traders - particularly I noticed that Wizard (who are usually pretty good at taking my money) were missing - on closer examination tonight I noticed they are scaling back on exhibitions, and not attending any more after Railex.

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1 hour ago, PenrithBeacon said:

I went today, not a vintage show but a good one.

I had intended to travel by train, but the issues on the Met and the GN line encouraged me to go by car. Parking the car was an horrendous experience, cheap enough but horrendous. All the parks close to the venue were full and I had a 20 minute walk to the show after driving around to find a car park. If the railway is out in future I think I'll give it a miss, sorry.

 

I agree it was a good show. Sorry to read you had a problem with parking but I wouldn't give up on it. If you look at a map of the town centre there are quite a few car parks – I use one that is within five minutes walk. If you have sat nav it's even easier to get parked.

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12 minutes ago, sharris said:

 

Some great modelling on show, but I felt a little lacking in some of the traders - particularly I noticed that Wizard (who are usually pretty good at taking my money) were missing - on closer examination tonight I noticed they are scaling back on exhibitions, and not attending any more after Railex.

 

The word is that Hobby Holidays (having not found a buyer) may well be going Mail Order only too.  The good news is that in doing so we won't be losing Phil's extensive knowledge of the very wide range of products he sells :imsohappy:

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1 hour ago, sharris said:

 

... particularly I noticed that Wizard (who are usually pretty good at taking my money) were missing ...

I had taken for granted that Wizard was attending and had a shopping list for it. I'm intending to stock up on it's stuff before it goes internet only because the website has so many errors in it it's not at all useful.

Pity really.

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21 minutes ago, PenrithBeacon said:

...because the website has so many errors...

I can't comment on the errors but I do hope when it becomes the only point of contact some way is found to make it easier to navigate.

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2 hours ago, polybear said:

 

As well as:

 

Too small

Basement often very hot

Balcony Stalls a nightmare due to crowding

Parking a pain

On-site food hopeless (though outside is fine)

For those who may struggle with walking, the Rail Station location could be an issue (I believe there was a Vintage(?) Bus laid on by the CMRA, but no doubt at added cost to the organisers)

 

I went today, I found parking to be dead easy (for two quid all day), loads of varied trade stands, excellent layouts (many I'd never seen before), plenty of very interesting demonstrators, seating didn't appear to be an issue, both in-hall and foyer food outlets, 2 min walk to the town centre for external food outlets.  It kept me amused for five hours.:D

Many thanks to the organisers (who spend literally hundreds of unpaid hours to make it all happen) :yahoo_mini:

Thanks for adding a few negatives with the old venue.

 

As yet I’ve not been to the new venue but other members of Stafford club have and said what a much better venue it’s.

 

Very busy at present as the Stafford Exhibition is on the 1st & 2nd February and we most certainly will have a courtesy bus on both days from the railway station.

 

Full details at www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk/exhibition 

 

All on one level, free parking for 2000 cars, 40+Layouts 40+Traders 

 

Also a member of the  CMRA who organise Stevenage 

 

Terry 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ELTEL said:

 

The venue is not really designed as a exhibition venue.

 

 

Few model railway show venues are. Sports halls, schools, colleges, race course stands, etc. are often used but often don't provide good parking, catering, easy access access for exhibitor or traders or w.h.y. The few shows held in "proper" exhibition venues such as the NEC  are often criticised on the grounds of cost, parking, catering, etc. as well.

 

2 hours ago, sharris said:

 

Some great modelling on show, but I felt a little lacking in some of the traders - particularly I noticed that Wizard (who are usually pretty good at taking my money) were missing - on closer examination tonight I noticed they are scaling back on exhibitions, and not attending any more after Railex.

The CMRA show is simply a good example of the direction this hobby is taking, in that the percentage of visitors attending who buy from the specialist supplier/manufacturers is small and often insufficient to make it viable for these traders to attend. The "specialist" shows such as the S4ums, EMGS events, GOG exhibitions and a few others such as Railex at Aylesbury or the York show do attract sufficient of the those modellers that do buy kits and bits, but St Albans/Stevenage is one that doesn't. Show organisers are rightly interested on ticket sales and revenue to cover their costs but the "modelling profile" of the visitors is something that they can have have less  influence  over.

 

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5 hours ago, bart2day said:

 

What’s wrong with St Albans? It is a much nicer city than Stevenage and has good road and rail connection. Furthermore there are no other model railway exhibitions or model shops along the southern section of the MML compared to many on the WCML and ECML making it unique. The organisers should have just found a bigger venue in the St Albans area rather than moving 15 miles away.

Good venues are hard to find.

Bigger places in the St Albans area? I doubt there are any, certainly without issues which makes them unusable. I can guarantee CMRA held in depth discussions about moving the show in the first place. Maybe you could suggest somewhere?

If you can't find somewhere with good, cheap (free?) parking, good disabled access, good lighting, catering & large open halls then you will get complaints...but I can't think of a venue anywhere I have ever been to which meets all of these criteria.

 

The Alban Arena had a lot of issues, most of which have already been mentioned, but loading/unloading for exhibitors was also poor because it involved parking on double yellows thereby risking a parking ticket.

It was an awful venue in many ways.

Driving In/out of St Albans was also painful. The roads from the Stevenage venue draw you onto the A1(M) quickly & easily which is great when you just want to get going ASAP after a day out or weekend exhibiting.

 

I disagree with there being no exhibitions or model shops near the MML. Great Central (Loughborough) is in June. I agree that's not southern but its bigger than Stevenage but if you like heritage railways, it is a great day out.

Kempston (nr Bedford) is in November & closer to St Albans, there is one just 1 stop away in the Harpenden Public Halls next Saturday: just 5 minutes walk from the station. http://brambleton.org.uk/exhibition.html .

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5 hours ago, bart2day said:

 

What’s wrong with St Albans? It is a much nicer city than Stevenage and has good road and rail connection. Furthermore there are no other model railway exhibitions or model shops along the southern section of the MML compared to many on the WCML and ECML making it unique. The organisers should have just found a bigger venue in the St Albans area rather than moving 15 miles away.

 

Unfortunately there isn't a bigger venue in St Albans . This is on the scale of "find a better cathedral in the town" …. And there was something of a dearth of decent-sized exhibitions in that part of Eastern England

 

The venue is substantially better than the Alban Arena. Access and car-parking is substantially better than St Albans. Whether the town is pretty is largely irrelevant. GETS didn't move from Gaydon to Milton Keynes because MK is a pretty place....

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3 hours ago, PenrithBeacon said:

I went today, not a vintage show but a good one.

I had intended to travel by train, but the issues on the Met and the GN line encouraged me to go by car. Parking the car was an horrendous experience, cheap enough but horrendous. All the parks close to the venue were full and I had a 20 minute walk to the show after driving around to find a car park. If the railway is out in future I think I'll give it a miss, sorry.

I arrived at 10:45 and parked in the car parkdirectly oppposite the enterance and there were loads of spaces

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59 minutes ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

 

Few model railway show venues are. Sports halls, schools, colleges, race course stands, etc. are often used but often don't provide good parking, catering, easy access access for exhibitor or traders or w.h.y. The few shows held in "proper" exhibition venues such as the NEC  are often criticised on the grounds of cost, parking, catering, etc. as well.

 

The CMRA show is simply a good example of the direction this hobby is taking, in that the percentage of visitors attending who buy from the specialist supplier/manufacturers is small and often insufficient to make it viable for these traders to attend. The "specialist" shows such as the S4ums, EMGS events, GOG exhibitions and a few others such as Railex at Aylesbury or the York show do attract sufficient of the those modellers that do buy kits and bits, but St Albans/Stevenage is one that doesn't. Show organisers are rightly interested on ticket sales and revenue to cover their costs but the "modelling profile" of the visitors is something that they can have have less  influence  over.

 


maybe some traders don’t now attend the smaller shows due to there cost for a pitch, and I spoke with some who may not even go again themselves. Another trader felt things were slow for them. Even shows like the nec seem to be losing smaller traders and seems to be the box shifters only going. I went again this year and I just felt something was missing compared to last year. There were some good excellent layouts Actually wasn’t to bad for parking even for a Saturday Although  the A1M issues were a pain both ways which isn’t the shows fault but is still a consideration in going again. But just some info for those coming from east of London try using the A602 I went this way back and was much better than the A1.

 

As to venues places like the NEC and possibly ally pally could take a leaf from the great electric show and peterbourgh , no parking charges. But there is no perfect show but  if the negatives out way the positives that will now affect what shows to attend in the future. But one thing I really do notice is the younger generation are a minority who demonstrate at these shows which was really noticeable at this show.

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Perhaps a visit to the Stafford Railway Circles Exhibition on Saturday & Sunday 1st & 2nd February should be a exhibition that we believe has a good mix of both specialist traders and a few box shifters.

 

We try very hard to accommodate the smaller trader and often turn down box shifters as we want to try to appeal to all.

 

Please see our list of Exhibits & Traders full details and pictures of ALL the layouts attending. PLUS FREE CAR PARKING FOE 2000 cars and free complimentary preserved buses from Stafford Stn on both days

 

PUT A DATE IN YOUR DIARY NOW 1st & 2nd FEBRUARY 2020 

 

Full details are on our website www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk/exhibition 

 

But to wet your appetite please see below.

 

Exceptional Value at £10 admission YES £10

No Charge for accompanied Children under 16

Free Preserved bus service from Stafford station on both days

Free car parking for around 2000 cars 

Includes show guide while stock last 

 

Layouts

ADDISON PARK 3mm

ALDGATE HILL & NORTON FOLGATE 3mm

APPLETON JUNCTION OO

AVYN-A-LLYIN OO9

BILLTON GOODS  3mm

BLUISH 3mm

BURDALE QUARRY O

CANALSIDE IRONWORKS 9mm

COLINTON P4

DACONBY TOWN 3mm

DEADMANS LANE OO

DUNCRIEVIE FUELLING POINT EM

EFFINGHAM STREET OO/OO9 

EVINGTON ST JOHNOO

FARMERS DROVEN

FOXHAMPTON OO

FRANKLIN I/2"

FRIARSGATE DEPOT OO

GRAVELLY OAK N

HARLYN PIER O

HEWISBRIDGEOO

HEYBRIDGE WHARF 3mm

HOGSMEAD ON SODOR OO

HOPE UNDER DINMORE EM

KINLET ROAD SHED OO

LINDHURST 3mm

NEUBURG HO

NINE MILLS N

PORTWAY - WESSEX TRAINS OO

ROLLESTON-ON-DOVE EM

ROLVENDEN P4

ROSSISTER RISE OO

SOUTH TOWN OO

SMALLWOOD Oo

UNDER THE CHANDELIER OO/HO

UPPER CWMTWYCH N

UPPINGHAM 3mm

WESTCLIFF BREWERY OO

WHITEACRES OO The club layout for the first time will be running BR Steam & Green Diesels 

WHITECROSS STREET OO

WICKWAR N

 

Traders

Along Classic Lines

Booklaw

Brushes 4 Models

C & L Finescale 

Country Park Models

D & E Videos DC Kits

Digitrains

Eileens Emporium

Elaines Trains

Footplate

Gramodels

Grainge and Hodder

Greenscene

Grimy Times

H & A Models

Handbourn Cabinets

Hanham Hobbies / ATP

Hobby Holidays 

Invertrain Model Railways

KS Laser Designs

Loco Fleet Shop

Locomotion Models NEW 

Made in Manchester Models NEW

Megapoints Controllers

MMRG Exclusives Ltd NEW 

Modellers Mecca

N Brass Loco

Nick Tozer Books

Petite Properties

Railroom Electronics

Severn Models

Scale Model Scenery NEW 

Shawplan

Skytrex

Stevenson Carriages

Sweets of Yesteryear

Talylln Railway (East Midlands)

Ten Commandmaents

The Model Tree Shop

Tools 2000

Topp Trains

Train - Tech

TTC Diecast

Wrenn Specialist

 

Demonstrators

David Wright

Tony Wright

3mm Society

Chris Hewitt

MERG

MIOG

 

Club Stands

York MRC

Warley MRC

Leamington and Warwick MRC

Alsager MRC

Sutton Coldfield MRC

Macclesfield MRC

Bala Lake Railway

 

News update to follow.........

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ELTEL

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An unfortunate thing to ask, but is everyone who attended on Sunday feeling ok?

 

I've just had a rather explosive stomach upset, and the only thing I can think of that I ate yesterday that the other members of the household didn't was a steak bake from the exhibition.

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