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58 minutes ago, Tricky-CRS said:

I suspect that mass gatherings are unlikely until this time next year (give or take a couple of months) and international travel restricted for a similar period. 

 

Managing the queue outside is not the only issue but also the number of people behind layouts and stands and how close they are. If 2 layouts back on to each other you should then have 2m seperation to move around each fiddleyard / stock table. Tradestands would need seperating from each other. Demo stands not just sat 2m apart but any part of the stand they might want to use, a screen between them and the public sat trying to talk to them. These issues are not insurmountable but will need to thought about and be worked through. 

You are right. Most operators on layouts work closely together and are not from the same family group. However the issues around social distancing for the public is even worse . Our layout is 10 Metres long- 5 people allowed to view at any time? And where does the queue to view wait?

Some layouts are not even 2 meters wide - one to view? And how close would they get to the layout to remain 2 meters from the operators. 
And  that’s before you start on traders - imagine trying to social distance the “scrum” at the Bachmann stand.

We need to be realistic it isn’t doable for things like exhibitions. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Roger Sunderland said:

You are right. Most operators on layouts work closely together and are not from the same family group. However the issues around social distancing for the public is even worse . Our layout is 10 Metres long- 5 people allowed to view at any time? And where does the queue to view wait?

Some layouts are not even 2 meters wide - one to view? And how close would they get to the layout to remain 2 meters from the operators. 
And  that’s before you start on traders - imagine trying to social distance the “scrum” at the Bachmann stand.

We need to be realistic it isn’t doable for things like exhibitions. 

 

 

 

Yep, I was just point out the queue outside is in reality the least of the issue to over come, inside the exhibition there are numerous obstacles to that will need thinking about. 

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I have a feeling there won't be any shows till the new year at least. Unfortunately until things level out the risks are too high to plan or stage anything. layouts trade and punters will all be wary of going. and if exhibitions are unable to obtain a break even figure then it is unlikely anyone would take the risk of staging a show. Warley and Ally Pally with huge up front costs would be hard hit if they went ahead and the hall was half empty and with a fraction of the visitors. I think the hardest call would be if the venues were reopened and exhibition managers had to make a call on to go ahead or not. If venues remain closed then the decision if made for you.

 

David

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20 minutes ago, David Bigcheeseplant said:

 I think the hardest call would be if the venues were reopened and exhibition managers had to make a call on to go ahead or not. If venues remain closed then the decision if made for you.

 

David

 

Fully concur and it is not just the organisers who will face the hard decisions in this scenario, but also the stand holders across all aspects of the show. Stay away and be safe versus not attending and potentially upsetting the segment of the enthusiast community who have a greater acceptance of risk taking than you. 

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So I am guessing here that with all the doom predictions here the proposed rescheduled Ally Pally in August is either going to be extremely quiet or a non runner...

 

Disappointing but not surprising.

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11 hours ago, arran said:

We all have a bus with our name on it ,

 

A variation of that phrase in Northern Ireland during the Troubles which was directed at cautious people who would avoid certain places when tension was high was " why not go out? unless the bomb has your name in it you will be ok" . To which tbe response was "maybe but there is no sense in autographing it"

 

Same with all risky actions such as reckless driving, unprotected sex, attending a crowded model railway exhibition.  (but not necessarily n that order ;) )

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9 hours ago, John M Upton said:

So I am guessing here that with all the doom predictions here the proposed rescheduled Ally Pally in August is either going to be extremely quiet or a non runner...

 

Disappointing but not surprising.

What will be the official situation in August?

Will many exhibitor's personnel withdraw/decline?

How will attendance be affected? Will many regulars decide that they won't go this year due to risk of infection?

How quickly can everything be arranged?

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4 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

What will be the official situation in August?

Will many exhibitor's personnel withdraw/decline?

How will attendance be affected? Will many regulars decide that they won't go this year due to risk of infection?

How quickly can everything be arranged?

 

As a layout owner who is booked to attend in August all I can say is that Warners have to make a decision in 'mid- May' to confirm or cancel.

 

I am pessimistic about my booking in December so you can guess my view on August.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Pete the Elaner said:

What will be the official situation in August?

Will many exhibitor's personnel withdraw/decline?

How will attendance be affected? Will many regulars decide that they won't go this year due to risk of infection?

How quickly can everything be arranged?

I have no realistic expectation that the situation relating to large gatherings will change significantly between now and this August. I'd consider Ally Pally in August 2021 to be a reasonable possibility, though (IMHO) even that only becomes probable if widespread vaccination is well underway by then.

 

Quite aside from any risk involved in attending/exhibiting/trading within the hall, there is also the potential exposure incurred in getting to the venue to be considered. In my own case, that's previously been by train/tube/bus which ain't gonna happen for the foreseeable. Would the likely transfer of patrons from public to private transport (one per car to ensure social distancing) make a nonsense of the available parking anyway?

 

I'm 68 and in generally good health, but there have been plenty no worse than me who have succumbed to Covid-19, and I've decided not to attend any shows for the rest of this year, even if one or two do get staged. 

 

I suspect enough feel the same way to make the financial risk of mounting anything too great. Even a (fairly optimistic) 20% drop in attendance would be enough to push most into loss.

 

John

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dunsignalling
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Posted (edited)

As the owner of a large exhibition layout (based on a minority interest - China) which can only be set up at exhibitions I am in a very poor situation right now, because I can foresee that even when exhibitions start up again exhibition managers will be looking for cheap local layouts - small van, few operators, no hotels - in order to keep costs and therefore risks under control.

 

Now my next suggestion is not made in jest, but I accept that it's radical and would need very serious monitoring and I am thinking of the period of uncertainty - say the first 12 months once exhibitions are legally allowed to take place, but visitor attendances are a complete unknown.

 

My layout has van and travelling expenses of approx. £400 plus 3 twin rooms on Fri and Sat nights and so it is an expensive layout but I do think in the old scenario we offered value for money. But when exhibitions return we will be in very different times and exhibitions will be put on under very different conditions. So,I would be prepared to do a deal with a non-commercial club to pay part of those expenses out of my own pocket if it turns out that the show lost money, but if the club made money I would want part or all of that subsidy back.

 

To clarify - I have a layout which has taken 9 years to build, cost £thousands and which has absolutely no purpose unless it's shown at exhibitions. Moreover, TBH the layout has been to 4 exhibitions (inc Warley last year) and I have NEVER been happy with it. I spent hours and hours on it (15 hours one particular day) correcting all the issues and it was to be 're-launched' at Aly Paly in March.  All that work will have been a complete waste of my time if we don't get invites due to the 'new normal' when shows return. So I see being 'flexible' with expenses being a way forward.

Edited by TEAMYAKIMA
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This is an "interesting" situation for lots of reasons, many discussed or mentioned above.

 

I do not seek to underestimate any of the issues we face and will face, but think some contributors are being excessively gloomy about the future.

 

Might this whole ghastly business actually make the model railway exhibition scene more interesting or even better once we are through it? It probably is not a bad thing if people have to think a bit more about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

 

Perhaps it has all been too easy before?

 

Just a thought you understand....

 

Not Jeremy

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18 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

As the owner of a large exhibition layout (based on a minority interest - China) which can only be set up at exhibitions I am in a very poor situation right now.

 

I have NEVER been happy with it. I spent hours and hours on it (15 hours one particular day) correcting all the issues and it was to be 're-launched' at Aly Paly in March.  All that work will have been a complete waste of my time if we don't get invites due to the 'new normal' when shows return. So I see being 'flexible' with expenses being a way forward.

 

So you only get to give it a shake-down at exhibitions, then have to wait for the next to see the benefits of any repairs/adjustments you make?

That's a really tough thing to do & you have my admiration for it.

 

Regarding you being unhappy with it, if you are like me, you may well be the most critical person of your own work.

I have exhibited my own layout once but with a club several times & with a friend even more. I usually find that I am less happy with things which viewers don't really seem bothered about.

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1 hour ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 I can foresee that even when exhibitions start up again exhibition managers will be looking for cheap local layouts - small van, few operators, no hotels - in order to keep costs and therefore risks under control.


 

That is true of most non commercial shows already ;) good show managers decide to take a few layouts from the more expensive bracket for the something different factor. Most clubs, certainly the two I’m involved in, haven’t lost any of their show fund as venues cancelled and hotels refunded. It may mean we hold smaller members days rather than our big show until all the restrictions are lifted once vaccines are around but we already did those and it’s just a matter of being patient. 

 

1 hour ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

. So,I would be prepared to do a deal with a non-commercial club to pay part of those expenses out of my own pocket if it turns out that the show lost money, but if the club made money I would want part or all of that subsidy back.

That too has been done before when we’ve waived expenses when it’s obvious the show was well down on numbers due to weather. 
I’d be wary up front of a deal though as how do you tell what they’ve made? ;) having had the experience, fortunately once only, of a show manager trying to default on agreed fees I think it sets a problematic solution open to abuse. There are shows out there I’ve not done because of a hazy financial beneficiary!

 

1 hour ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

and I have NEVER been happy with it.
. . . .

All that work will have been a complete waste of my time if we don't get invites due to the 'new normal' when shows return. So I see being 'flexible' with expenses being a way forward.

I think you’re being over critical of yourself, those of us who’ve enjoyed it here and at shows have appreciated the journey of learning and to be invited to Warley and Ally Pally means it’s considered good enough for premier shows. 
We all know the faults in our layouts and part of the fun for me is constantly improving it towards the ultimate in my head.  At Warley I was delighted when two chaps from Germany told me they’d made it part of their trip to England to include Warley and see certain layouts including mine, another from the Festiniog Rly had done an exchange visit with the HSB and particularly come to see it. Those three were the icing on the cake of a fun weekend with 7 friends and many other chats at the show, just look for those few special moments and they alone make it worthwhile. 
At the end of the day large Continental layouts just don’t have the wide appeal of Gresley Beat or Copenhagen Fields but that doesn’t stop them being important to inspire others. I started Continental modelling partly because of Via Mala by the much missed Mike Polglaze and the chats with him and his crew, a couple who are still friends nowadays. 
My Harz layout is my third Continental show layout, Rhatia (16x3) did 16 shows, my G scale Harz (20x10) did just 7 and the Süd Harz in various set ups (up to 34x11) has accrued 8 to date as it develops. 
Several of those are repeats where it’s been can we have the new layout please but the big layouts are limited to bigger shows simply because they don’t easily fit in smaller venues ;) 

I think the status quo will work just fine, we just have to be patient. 

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41 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

So you only get to give it a shake-down at exhibitions, then have to wait for the next to see the benefits of any repairs/adjustments you make?

That's a really tough thing to do & you have my admiration for it.

 

Regarding you being unhappy with it, if you are like me, you may well be the most critical person of your own work.

 

Yes, yes and yes to those three questions.

 

Sorry to take this thread a little off topic, but in the context of your questions/comments...…..

 

Our last show was Warley last year and our performance on the Saturday was our worst ever, but in general the public did not seem to notice much - due to the super-human efforts of my operating team who managed to compensate for the layout's terrible performance which was due in great part to the total failure of the new DCC wi-fi cordless throttles.

 

On the Saturday in the pub I got ripped to shreds by some members of my team and I decided that this could not go on, Warley 2019 would be my last show, the layout would go in the bin - I could not keep putting my friends through that hell.

 

On the Sunday morning before opening I managed to grab the DCC dealer who sold me the wi-fi system. I begged him to come and see if he could help. He came over. I explained how the whole system was set up.

 

He said, ' Oh, that's strange that you've put the loconet cable into the rear socket of the unit - I always put mine in the (identical) socket in the front'.

 

So, I changed it - TOTAL SUCCESS! So a person who knew what he was doing sorted my problem in less than 20 seconds!  So the Sunday at Warley was our best ever performance and my team were a lot less stressed!

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6 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

So you only get to give it a shake-down at exhibitions, then have to wait for the next to see the benefits of any repairs/adjustments you make?

 

Another, slightly off topic, issue with regards the (probable) cancellation of Aly Paly and my layout (and perhaps others like mine) is that at Aly Paly we would have been able to set up from before noon and be all set and ready to run by 2pm at the latest as I live relatively close to the venue and Warners are able to book the venue for all day Friday.

 

Consequently we had planned a total 5/6 hour running/test session on the Friday without the need to 'keep something running'. Very often apparently identical wagons/coaches run better one way or the other - whether it be derailments or uncoupling - when something happens like that in front of the public all you can do is remove the offending vehicle and carry on regardless. In that test running we would have been able to stop everything and analyse what exactly the problem was - losing that Friday afternoon slot is doubly disappointing as many other venues don't open so early for setting up and the journey time would be much longer anyway.

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7 hours ago, Not Jeremy said:

This is an "interesting" situation for lots of reasons, many discussed or mentioned above.

 

I do not seek to underestimate any of the issues we face and will face, but think some contributors are being excessively gloomy about the future.

 

Might this whole ghastly business actually make the model railway exhibition scene more interesting or even better once we are through it? It probably is not a bad thing if people have to think a bit more about what they are doing and why they are doing it.

 

Perhaps it has all been too easy before?

 

Just a thought you understand....

 

Not Jeremy

 

If nothing else, I suspect with all the "lockdown projects" there might be more layouts available....

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For interest, I have just seen this in an update email from "The Torygraph".

 

<QUOTE>

The Government is to drop its "stay home" message this weekend after Public Health England told councils to prepare to remove the slogan from websites. Local government communications teams have been told to expect a "transition to a new phase of the campaign".

</quote>

 

Think we might want to wait and see what BoJo has to say on Sunday...

 

Elliott

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25 minutes ago, DutyDruid said:

For interest, I have just seen this in an update email from "The Torygraph".

 

<QUOTE>

The Government is to drop its "stay home" message this weekend after Public Health England told councils to prepare to remove the slogan from websites. Local government communications teams have been told to expect a "transition to a new phase of the campaign".

</quote>

 

Think we might want to wait and see what BoJo has to say on Sunday...

 

Elliott

 

I think that we have clearly been working towards some sort of relaxation. Govt knows that it could not keep the citizenry in check for much longer.

 

But as much freedom as indicated by that Torygraph quote would seem unwise (or "courageous") while death rates are still so high.

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3 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

But as much freedom as indicated by that Torygraph quote would seem unwise (or "courageous") while death rates are still so high.

Agree there Joseph, the question is what mantra will they replace it with?  Thus far I haven't picked up on any "softening us up" comments in the daily 5PM briefing but I'm sure it won't be a total relaxation.

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It is surely a move from the financial perspective - they want to stop paying furlough, increase tax revenue by getting people back to work, and get people working more efficiently/effectively by not having the distraction of home schooling.

 

I don't think the first phase or two will have anything to do with allowing us to have 'none essential travel', nor mass gatherings. As had been said up thread, even if our government follow the trump gung ho approach that doesn't mean much of the public would follow suit.

 

I expect to be keeping my head down & making modelling hay for a while yet.

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9 hours ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

I think that we have clearly been working towards some sort of relaxation. Govt knows that it could not keep the citizenry in check for much longer.

 

But as much freedom as indicated by that Torygraph quote would seem unwise (or "courageous") while death rates are still so high.

Agreed.

 

The numbers suggest to me things are still "bumping along uncomfortably close to the top". There clearly is an overall decrease, but it looks pretty slow. Perhaps as-yet-incomplete stats still in the pipeline will show greater improvement. We'll find out in the next few days.

 

Great progress in hospitals is largely being masked by the surge in care-home losses. The latter presumably shouldn't get any worse so long as such establishments are excluded from any planned "liberation".

 

If the thrust of the article is correct, membership of the anticipated second wave is being opened up for self-selection by the desperate (who have my every sympathy) and the "adventurous" (who, TBH, will have rather less). However HMG loosens its advice, many of us who can, will be exercising great caution for a good while longer.

 

John

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Posted (edited)

Exhibitions up to the end of this year could be few and far berween venues/ financial risk/physical risk are major inputs to the decision making ofclubs,

 

Could be we will be told we can hold them but any problems caused  by holding an event must be paid for by the organisers. From recent statements by one monisture it seems like he wants people to get things open..but expects the people to work out how to do it.

 

Baz

Edited by Barry O
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22 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

Regarding you being unhappy with it, if you are like me, you may well be the most critical person of your own work.

I have exhibited my own layout once but with a club several times & with a friend even more. I usually find that I am less happy with things which viewers don't really seem bothered about.

 

I'd agree. I saw the layout at the Chiltern show and it was one of my highlights. . Looked great. Lots of trains ran. There are plenty who can't claim both!

 

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On 05/05/2020 at 19:39, David Bigcheeseplant said:

If venues remain closed then the decision if made for you.

 

If venues remain closed for a significant period of time then some may be very appealing brown-field sites for developers. The land between Birmingham airport and Solihull would be very valuable for a start and it won't be the only one. Buildings need money spending on them all the time, and if you have no income and no prospect of an income...

 

11 hours ago, Jub45565 said:

It is surely a move from the financial perspective - they want to stop paying furlough, increase tax revenue by getting people back to work, and get people working more efficiently/effectively by not having the distraction of home schooling.

 

The government can't pay for over a quarter of the population to stay at home forever. Worse, if those businesses don't adapt to the new normal, and some of them can't, then those workers will simply add to the expected 7% unemployment later this year. As you say, at the same time as the bills have gone up, the income has fallen through the floor.

 

I think the papers have massively over-egged any lifting of restrictions and you can already hear the sound of government media people trying to reign in expectation from Sunday's announcement. That said, the supermarkets have shown that it is possible to adapt and logically, many other places will be the same. I can't see that happen for shows unless a cure is found (my favourite bet is the "3 bottles of wine for a tenner" shop near Andy Y. £20 of that in an evening and the virus will be the least of your worries) at which point the first mass gatherings will be for sport.

 

Having said this, I wonder about small, specialist shows. They might be the easiest to bring back first. People will have to learn not all to turn up first thing on Saturday, but it might just be possible to do something eventually.

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On 05/05/2020 at 23:31, Colin_McLeod said:

 

Same with all risky actions such as reckless driving, unprotected sex, attending a crowded model railway exhibition.  (but not necessarily n that order ;) )

 

I haven't been driving much recently, recklessly or otherwise, and have no plans to visit a model railway exhibition for at least 6 months, so if I want any thrills..........

 

Seriously however, the only thing I have booked and paid for in the future is Warley 2020. But getting there will require a train journey from Glasgow to Oxford, to stay with my 90-year old Mum, then the journey by train and possibly bus to and from the NEC, the exhibition itself, and of course the journey home. Who knows what the situation will be by November, but no matter how desperate we, and certainly I, will be to get out and about then, I cannot see myself attending, if indeed the event can even take place - I hope it does but as other have said above, the difficulties are enormous. Unless of course we have by then a 100% effective vaccine, universally available and administered, which seems extremely unlikely.

 

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