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The return of exhibitions - a further poll


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I am conflicted . Even though restrictions are lifting I find that I’m still reluctant to be in large groups . I’m not going to restaurants and pubs .   I would go to a show if it was well laid out . I’m hoping to attend Model Rail Scotland in February (assuming it’s on) but will certainly try keeping distance . I watch crowds celebrating the Euros and it makes me feel very uncomfortable . 

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8 hours ago, Captain Kernow said:

I was all set to go to Scaleforum at the end of September, as part of our local Area Group demonstration team, but the event has recently been cancelled, of course.

 

Until last weekend, I was relatively relaxed about going to shows, given that like many people, I've now had both vaccinations.

 

However, the report from Andrew Marr, about how he caught Covid (seemingly from the G7), despite having both (Pfizer) jabs, was extremely sobering. Whilst he was not hospitalised and seems to have made a full recovery by the end of his self-isolation period, he nonetheless described it as 'a very unpleasant experience'.

 

I don't know any more, of course, but it sounds similar to a bad bout of flu. Whilst each fully-vaccinated individual is probably going to react in different ways to catching the virus, I am most disinclined to want a week or so in bed with such symptoms or to pass this on to my wife, even if I was confident that we wouldn't have to go to hospital or worse.

 

Having said all that, some of the Scalefour Society Area Groups are now planning small events in their respective localities on what would have been the Saturday of Scaleforum, with numbers strictly limited and on a pre-booked basis, as I understand this.

 

I am now lined up to help out with a friend's layout at this small event. Knowing the venue and the fact that most (if now all) attending are likely to be vaccinated, gives me a bit more confidence, which I hope will be maintained as we get nearer the date of the event.

 

I believe that Scaleforum was cancelled because the venue, a school, applied restrictions based upon their normal Covid operating procedures. These included a limitation on visitors at any one time, one way flow, etc. It was felt that this would considerably impact on the whole show experience and the atmosphere of the exhibition. 

 

It may be that other shows held in school venues will be similarly affected. Given the current impact of Covid on schools it may be some time before shows can be confidently planned using their facilities.

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2 hours ago, Torper said:

Two of the exhibitions that I might normally expect to attend involve fairly lengthy train journeys.  I'd be more put off by having to travel for several hours in a train than I would be by attending the exhibition.

 

DT

And yet in reality the risk at this stage of using trains is negligible. I have continued to use the trains (always for legally permissible reasons) throughout the pandemic and have found the level of cleaning exemplary and have not felt at risk (nor contracted anything....)

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Hard to answer some of the questions, because at a purely personal level I'm not the slightest bit concerned or bothered; the personal risks haven't moved me in the slightest all along, but I do have a sense of responsibility (albeit one that doesn't go to the most extreme). This means what I'd personally be happy with and what I think is actually a good idea don't completely align.

Edited by Reorte
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1 hour ago, Jol Wilkinson said:

I believe that Scaleforum was cancelled because the venue, a school, applied restrictions based upon their normal Covid operating procedures. These included a limitation on visitors at any one time, one way flow, etc. It was felt that this would considerably impact on the whole show experience and the atmosphere of the exhibition. 

 

It may be that other shows held in school venues will be similarly affected. Given the current impact of Covid on schools it may be some time before shows can be confidently planned using their facilities.

I have heard the same, in particular I understand The High Wycombe club have abandoned plans to hold an exhibition this year because of the conditions imposed on them by the venue - a school.

 

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Not always easy to answer but the response is logged.  Each of us has different circumstances and comfort levels.  Personally I have had the good fortune to not have missed a day's work throughout the pandemic for any reason and as of midday today still tested negative.  I work with a lot of people around though not, for the most part, staying around for long.  

 

That said I also have a conflict of interests and I answered purely for myself.  I am happy etc etc .....  But SWMBO is most certainly not comfortable with me resuming some activities which would probably include a larger public indoor event of any kind.  She has been uneasy about me travelling to and from work by train throughout but it is the only realistic option.  I am not (yet) allowed to join friends in pubs nor take her out to dinner (not even outside).  But I am allowed to travel alone the 90 minutes by train to see family and to spend the day with them. 

 

So purely for myself my comfort level is that I am ready to revert to where we were 18 months ago and play a full part in society without restrictions.  Sanitising of hands will remain a good idea.  Face coverings for those who wish to use them is fine but I am hanging to lose the wretched things.  I actively try to avoid peak queueing times anyway even if this means arriving into an already well-filled venue and maybe missing out on a few of the early bargains sometimes offered.  

 

I'll be back just as soon as I am allowed to by the Leader of the Opposition without fear of finding the locks changed and my things on the lawn when I return ;) 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Mike_Walker said:

I have heard the same, in particular I understand The High Wycombe club have abandoned plans to hold an exhibition this year because of the conditions imposed on them by the venue - a school.

 


Whilst the High Wycombe and District Society’s usual Wycrail show has Indeed been cancelled this year, we are arranging a much smaller community centre hall based  exhibition on 30th October. 

Edited by Graham_Muz
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2 hours ago, Legend said:

I am conflicted . Even though restrictions are lifting I find that I’m still reluctant to be in large groups . I’m not going to restaurants and pubs .   I would go to a show if it was well laid out . I’m hoping to attend Model Rail Scotland in February (assuming it’s on) but will certainly try keeping distance . I watch crowds celebrating the Euros and it makes me feel very uncomfortable . 

Concur. My perception of all crowds as being risky has now increased as the how things like flu are spread (it killed my father) has been so widely broadcast. My worry, and the football crowd data supports it, is that things I have been doing with masks and distancing (local pub, riding on the bus, shopping etc.,)  are now going to have an increased risk entirely because of the relaxations.

 

Where I would have put Autumn as a return to shows date answer (even up to a fortnight ago) I actually answered the Spring.  For me it remains a wait to see if a 3rd spike occurs before considering going to any event with crowds whether open air or inside. Prolonged mask wearing will be an attendance killer as much as anything else especially if going with the Society stand and not for a shorter time as a visitor to something small and local. 

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I'm off with the new layout to Potters bar on July 31st, selection of masks in my grubby little mitt.

 

Our own show is going ahead on September 4th and 5th.  Cotgrave Welfare are on board and the insurers liked our proposal.  I just hope we get enough punters to cover the costs-

 

reminder- South Notts Show at Cotgrave Welfare, with some brand new layouts - Bregenbach im Schwarzwald, Hazelby Ballast Loader, Newton Folly, and the complete version of Soarston.  We also have Tony Wright with his loco clinic this year....

 

Les

Edited by Les1952
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As somebody said earlier, given time, we will grow to treat this like cold and flu, and I acknowledge that unfortunately, people die from that too.  I think it is the risk factor that hampers my thoughts. I am early 40s, but like others am still keeping myself to myself, and fortunate enough to be in a work environment where I can do that there too. Pre-covid I did 40,000 miles a year on the trains and thoughly enjoyed the travelling, since 3rd February 2020 when the numbers started climbing in the UK and I said the risk is getting too high, I have not set foot on a train, and am not tempted to do in the coming couple of months at least.  I am asthmatic, so in one of the at-risk groups, but am also (in a limited capacity) a carer for two relatives both 70+, whom I see every day.  So my concerns are as much contracting something myself, as being asymptomatic and passing it onto them.  That is a major concern, having lost two very dear friends to this horrid thing over the past 12 months.

 

Everyone will, and should, make their own mind up as to what they are each happy about doing and not doing at the end of the day.  On a personal view, I would feel far happier attending an exhibition, where your ticket is only valid with proof that you've had both jabs - but I openly acknowledge that doesn't work for everyone, for example those with under 18s in the family who would feel left out if they couldn't attend with Dad, or Uncle etc.  But equally to start adding restrictions like that is adding more time and complications for the exhibition organisers.

 

Rich

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35 minutes ago, john new said:

Concur. My perception of all crowds as being risky has now increased as the how things like flu are spread (it killed my father) has been so widely broadcast. My worry, and the football crowd data supports it, is that things I have been doing with masks and distancing (local pub, riding on the bus, shopping etc.,)  are now going to have an increased risk entirely because of the relaxations.

 

Where I would have put Autumn as a return to shows date answer (even up to a fortnight ago) I actually answered the Spring.  For me it remains a wait to see if a 3rd spike occurs before considering going to any event with crowds whether open air or inside. Prolonged mask wearing will be an attendance killer as much as anything else especially if going with the Society stand and not for a shorter time as a visitor to something small and local. 


in Scotland it’s just been reported that 2000 COVID cases are directly related to the Tartan Army meeting up for the Euros . What a surprise ! Who didn’t see that one coming . 

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9 minutes ago, Les1952 said:

I'm off with the new layout to Potters bar on July 31st, selection of masks in my grubby little mitt.

 

Our own show is going ahead on September 4th and 5th.  Cotgrave Welfare are on board and the insurers liked our proposal.  I just hope we get enough punters to cover the costs-

 

reminder- South Notts Show at Cotgrave Welfare, with some brand new layouts - Bregenbach im Schwarzwald, Hazelby Ballast Loader, Newton Folly, and the complete version of Soarston.

 

Les

 

To add to this-  We've cut the number of layouts from 16 to 12 and the traders from 12 to 7, and with no big feature layout there will be a lot more circulating space.  We have a one-way system worked out for the hall, will be encouraging masks, though not enforcing them as by September it is likely to be a recommendation rather than a legal requirement. We will also be going round at regular intervals with sanitiser doing the surfaces that are touched the most often (doors and handrails) and will be taking contactless on the door for the first time.  Punters who want to eat had better hope the weather is reasonable as the dining tables will be outside in the area behind the hall.

 

Our highest ever attendance over a weekend has been 800 so that looks like about 150 in at any time, in a venue licensed for 450.  The cold we caught last year cancelling the 2020 show with two weeks to go amounted to a bit over £600, and we've kept advance costs well down this year.  The venue isn't expensive (partly because they  also take a cut of the catering budget) and don't want paying in advance.  having them as our landlords for the new clubroom is also very helpful.

 

Hope this lot is helpful.

 

Les

 

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51 minutes ago, blueeighties said:

Personally I can't see exhibitions returning this year, 26k cases today. Cases are rising at an alarming rate yet again.

It’s not the number of new cases that is important, it’s the number of hospitalisations that arise from those cases. COVID-19 will almost certainly be around for the foreseeable future and that’s ok so long as it doesn’t put thousands into hospital or worse. Thousands die from flu every year in this country but that hasn’t made us all cower away locked in at home. It’s all about level of risk.

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I was at the National Garden Railway Show at the east of England Showground last Friday, which was set-up day. I had planned to assist in operating a friends layout the following day but a domestic occurrence quite unrelated kept me from attending, which was frustrating. What I saw of the venue on the Friday was extremely encouraging with huge wide avenues between stands and a planned morning and afternoon limited pre-booked ticket access system to reduce crowding. The organisers had done pretty much everything right with every exhibitor given a risk assessment document first and all exhibitors/traders/helpers details given to the organisers. Exhibitors were required to wear masks and socially distance and our layout owner had brought along a supply of sanitiser and some spare masks. While I couldn't attend on the Saturday I saw some video and still photos and chatted to the guys who were there and they reported not many visitors which made me concerned the organisers may not have broken even.

But shows are do-able already and with the proper organisation should be safe - at least as safe as going round Sainsbury's probably. However can they be both safe and profitable? That's a different question.

So short answer - yes, I'd definitely attend.

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36 minutes ago, Chris M said:

Thousands die from flu every year in this country but that hasn’t made us all cower away locked in at home. It’s all about level of risk.

 

It is all about level of risk, but the flu analogy is one that needs to be used with care (not that it is by some politicians), because the probabilities of severe outcomes if one catches Covid are 20 to 40 times greater than with flu.

 

Risk is the product of probability (of catching whatever disease we are discussing) and consequences if you do. 

 

Judging by my experience, there is about 1:5 probability of catching a common cold at a busy winter MR exhibition, but no great worry, because the consequence is no more than a few days feeling a bit under weather. Given the potential consequences of catching Covid, even if double-vaccinated, I would want to be very sure that the probability of catching it was a heck of a lot lower than 1:5.

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59 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

 

Judging by my experience, there is about 1:5 probability of catching a common cold at a busy winter MR exhibition, but no great worry, because the consequence is no more than a few days feeling a bit under weather.

Speak for yourself.  I catch a cold every autumn/winter without fail, and it usually lasts till about April, though I agree it's nowhere near as serious as the Covid.  I have my flu jab every year, though I'm not convinced it's worth the bother.  There seems to be a new variant every year but the jab is necessarily based on last year's bug.  And of course I'm told that what I've actually caught is man-flu. 

 

At least it sounds as though I'm going to get a third Covid jab in the other arm when I have my flu jab this year.

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I went to the garden railway show in Peterborough on Saturday. A friend exhibited there & we exchanged views over a video call yesterday.

As a visitor, I was comfortable wearing a face covering (bandana), but I was there for about 2-3 hours & in that time, I took a break outside & removed my bandana.

My friend who was exhibiting & removed his mask for periods during the afternoon when the show was very quiet.

The stands were well spaced out & we were aware of several missing.

 

As a visitor, it wearing a face covering comfortable? Yes, but I did need to remove it for a while every hour or so.

As an exhibitor, is wearing a face covering comfortable? Possibly not.

The show was quiet in the afternoon.

We wondered if the show made a profit or loss. We suspect it was a loss.

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3 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I went to the garden railway show in Peterborough on Saturday. A friend exhibited there & we exchanged views over a video call yesterday.

As a visitor, I was comfortable wearing a face covering (bandana), but I was there for about 2-3 hours & in that time, I took a break outside & removed my bandana.

My friend who was exhibiting & removed his mask for periods during the afternoon when the show was very quiet.

The stands were well spaced out & we were aware of several missing.

 

As a visitor, it wearing a face covering comfortable? Yes, but I did need to remove it for a while every hour or so.

As an exhibitor, is wearing a face covering comfortable? Possibly not.

The show was quiet in the afternoon.

We wondered if the show made a profit or loss. We suspect it was a loss.

My recollection of Peterborough is that it is a relatively large airey environment whch would also - I assume - mitigate tramsmission risk?

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Michael Hodgson said:

 There seems to be a new variant every year but the jab is necessarily based on last year's bug.  And of course I'm told that what I've actually caught is man-flu.

I'm no expert but I think there are judgements made each year about likely strains and risks when flu jabs are formulated.

Chris

Edited by Gilbert
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There is an issue with the mode of transport question.  I regularly travel by car, public transport and cycle depending on the location.  The questionnaire only allowed me to select one.

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4 minutes ago, GeraldH said:

There is an issue with the mode of transport question.  I regularly travel by car, public transport and cycle depending on the location.  The questionnaire only allowed me to select one.

 

Just pick the predominant one.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Chris M said:

It’s not the number of new cases that is important, it’s the number of hospitalisations that arise from those cases. COVID-19 will almost certainly be around for the foreseeable future and that’s ok so long as it doesn’t put thousands into hospital or worse. Thousands die from flu every year in this country but that hasn’t made us all cower away locked in at home. It’s all about level of risk.

 

My mother-in-law who is a retired medical professional would disagree.  I used your argument with her the other day and her reply was the greatest threat now is long-Covid which can have debilitating affects for many months, impacting both the individual and society / the economy. Given that 1 in 20 people who have had Covid get the long form of it, that means of those 26,000 odd cases yesterday, 1,300 will suffer for an extended period. Multiply that by a few days and exponentially grow it as is happening, and we have another major issue.

 

I had not considered that and didn't argue back to her...


Roy

Edited by Roy Langridge
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11 hours ago, andyman7 said:

And yet in reality the risk at this stage of using trains is negligible. I have continued to use the trains (always for legally permissible reasons) throughout the pandemic and have found the level of cleaning exemplary and have not felt at risk (nor contracted anything....)

 

I fully accept that, but in the current situation logic tends to fly out the window and psychological aspects tend to prevail and as things stand I would be unhappy about putting myself in a confined space with a load of complete strangers for any length of time.  Besides which it's not the trains themselves that are the potential problem, it's some of the eejits who might be using them and as recent events have shown there are still plenty of covid eejits about.  But as things improve and settle down so, I think, will my state of mind and I am sure that I will in due course become confident again about using the railways.  Having said that, the awful Azuma seats to which I would be subjected for hours on end are also a genuine factor in my reluctance to submit myself to the company that calls itself LNER for any great distance :(.

 

DT

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Personnally I like the idea of one way anyway, but it needs the odd escape route to rejoin an earlier circuit as it were. In the larger exhibitions people going against the natural flow tend to cause a few problems anyway in my experience. 

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