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Southampton Model Railway Exhibition 24th-25th January


kipford

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Usually a good show as far as layouts go, although as with most local shows there's usually a few, let's say "mediocre" exhibits.

There have been some cracking ones there though, in the past, so well worth a visit.

 

I think this show's major flaw is the trade representation, which in recent years has sunk into a same old, same old pattern.

I always come away thinking the show needs a shake up.

 

YMMV.

 

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Usually a good show as far as layouts go, although as with most local shows there's usually a few, let's say "mediocre" exhibits.

There have been some cracking ones there though, in the past, so well worth a visit.

 

I think this show's major flaw is the trade representation, which in recent years has sunk into a same old, same old pattern.

I always come away thinking the show needs a shake up.

 

YMMV.

 

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Perhaps you can give us a clue as to what trade you would like to see at the show.  We feel that the trade we have is a good cross-section without much duplication, enabling the modeller to obtain most of his likely needs.  As for the same old same old pattern, there is a turnover in most years of one or two traders.

 

David

Exhibition Manager

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Perhaps you can give us a clue as to what trade you would like to see at the show.  We feel that the trade we have is a good cross-section without much duplication, enabling the modeller to obtain most of his likely needs.  As for the same old same old pattern, there is a turnover in most years of one or two traders.

 

 

Hi David

I do appreciate that it may be difficult attracting some members of the trade, especially if from afar. Being in a coastal location with its geographical limitations, doesn't help in that regard either.

Yes, there is a certain cross section, but there are a number of gaps that could be filled.

e.g. You have had a DCC room for a few years, but no specialist retailer present.

 

The loss over the years of traders like Fox transfers, Express models, International models etc, who provided a wider variety of wares, sadly hasn't helped of course.

 

I've been attending this show for years (although I deliberately gave it a miss last year), but haven't bought anything from a trade stall since the move to BP, other than books (Mr Robertson usually relieves me of many tens of ££'s).

I'm sure it's totally different for others, but for me there simply isn't anything worth buying.

 

On another note. Are there any other societies or organisations that might be interested in attending, or worth courting?

 

Don't get me wrong, as I'm looking forward to the show; but apart from the layouts i always come away thinking the rest is a bit Meh! if you'll forgive the modern slang.

 

Best regards and good luck for this weekend.

 

Ron

 

 

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Hi David

I do appreciate that it may be difficult attracting some members of the trade, especially if from afar. Being in a coastal location with its geographical limitations, doesn't help in that regard either.

Yes, there is a certain cross section, but there are a number of gaps that could be filled.

e.g. You have had a DCC room for a few years, but no specialist retailer present.

 

The loss over the years of traders like Fox transfers, Express models, International models etc, who provided a wider variety of wares, sadly hasn't helped of course.

 

I've been attending this show for years (although I deliberately gave it a miss last year), but haven't bought anything from a trade stall since the move to BP, other than books (Mr Robertson usually relieves me of many tens of ££'s).

I'm sure it's totally different for others, but for me there simply isn't anything worth buying.

 

On another note. Are there any other societies or organisations that might be interested in attending, or worth courting?

 

Don't get me wrong, as I'm looking forward to the show; but apart from the layouts i always come away thinking the rest is a bit Meh! if you'll forgive the modern slang.

 

Best regards and good luck for this weekend.

 

Ron

 

 

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Thanks for your reply Ron.  The lack of a specialist DCC trader is a gap that we are aware of and intend to rectify in due course.  Unfortunately for all of us the loss of the likes of Fox Transfers and others that you mention is much harder to rectify, as there are not equivalent traders out there.

 

We will continue to try to bring in a number of quality layouts each year.

 

David

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Was there last year with 'Kinmundy' Well worth a visit!

Were those fish and chips really a year ago. Blimey! Happy days...

Have informed Karl about said chippy. He's taking his Hebble Vale layout this year.

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Was looking forward to this one. Not far from me. Had the usual challenging run down the 2 lane bit of the M3, (no one uses the inside lane), and arrived at the well sign posted venue. After cruising the "car park" twice, I went to find an alternative. Sorry guys, but this is one show I'll miss in future. I have trouble walking any great distance so I came back home.

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Was looking forward to this one. Not far from me. Had the usual challenging run down the 2 lane bit of the M3, (no one uses the inside lane), and arrived at the well sign posted venue. After cruising the "car park" twice, I went to find an alternative. Sorry guys, but this is one show I'll miss in future. I have trouble walking any great distance so I came back home.

Parking was a nightmare even early on. Came back about 1200 and no better.

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The show manager has my sympathies regarding some of the comments above since the issues are mostly out of his hands. The usual rules of two day shows apply: it'll probably be quieter later in the day on Saturday (I've always tried to avoid Saturday lunchtime as that is the busiest period in the entire show) and on Sunday. The venue is on no fewer than three bus routes and, because it's an educational establishment, only has a limited amount of parking. I can't think of an alternative venue in the area that would be appreciably better in that respect. Anyhow, looking at the line up the trade seems reasonably balanced, small suppliers, a good supplier of RTR boxes and books and other bits and bobs. The lack of a DCC trader doesn't bother me but how many are there out there? Can't comment on the layouts as I haven't seen them, yet. 

 

I haven't made it to this year's show, but I'll go tomorrow, by bike. Through no fault of the organisers there's only limited places to secure the thing on site but that's by the by; there are bike sheds but these are properly secure - for the benefit of those that use them during the week - and it probably isn't worth opening them up for the handful of us that brave Eastleigh's roads on two wheels to go to something as outlandish as a model railway show. Still, I'm looking forward to it.*

 

Adam

 

* I'm nothing more than a happy punter, having no connection to the Southampton club beyond attending the show. 

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I arrived at 1000 and had no problem parking on the road outside, only 100 - 150 metres from the gates.

 

The doors were already open, but the long queue to get in stretched along two sides of the car park. 

With what seemed like a couple of hundred people outside, and goodness knows how many that had already gone in, I thought it would be packed inside.

However it wasn't bad at all and I experienced little crowding until around midday. Even then it wasn't that bad.

When I left around 1330, there was no queue to get in and I saw only a couple of people who looked like they were heading for the show.

 

DCC

 

With regard to my earlier post, Dave Townend and his chums had a very good DCC demo, set up in one of the smaller rooms. 

They had set up and were demonstrating several DCC systems, each with its own display space, set out along two sides of the room, with people on hand to talk about the pro's and con's of each system.

Up and running were...

NCE

Hornby RailMaster and e-Link

Hornby Elite

Digitraxx (running with RR&Co)

ESU ECoS (with a full set of ESU DCC modules and accessories)

Roco Z21

 

Mind you, one of the very nice and helpful guys did give some duff information about decoders and some of the Pro's & Con's posters were a bit misleading.

 

A list naming a variety of DCC specialist retailers was displayed in several places, but unfortunately there was no such DCC trade presence at this show.

 

Trade

 

Nice to see C&L present. I don't remember seeing them on the list of traders on the clubs exhibition pages.

A few other interesting trade stands too.

Cheltenham Models had a few RTR items at very tempting prices and a few models that seem to have been sold out elsewhere. However, they seemed to have rather a limited selection, especially wagons, despite the size of their stand.

I grabbed a Hornby Sentinel for £49.99 (the particular one is sold out nearly everywhere else).

 

Layouts

 

A mixed bag, as you would expect from such a typical show.

Some were very good. Several were excellent. A few were, to be perfectly frank, dross.

 

I was looking forward to, but ended up being a bit disappointed with Brighton East.

Nice layout, nice models, lovely detailed track work, but the operation was not going very smoothly. It was early doors though.

For a DCC layout, a lot of the stock was less than smooth, being noticeably jerky and almost everything seemed to be stalling over pointwork and other bits of the track.

Not helped by a ham fisted operator who made locos and trains just stop dead in their tracks, rather than coming to a halt.

Hopefully they managed to get everything working OK later on.

 

Leicester South - the big blockbuster layout - was quite impressive in its scale. Not my era or area of interest, but I liked it. I really should have gone back for a second look before I left.

 

I thought at one point that Maindee East Engine Shed was about to burst into flames, such was the amount of smoke emanating from what seemed like every part of the layout, out front and round the back. Everywhere except from the locos????

Nice and dirty though, just as it should be.

 

Dock Green was my favourite of the day. Smoothly operated and a friendly chatty team. Good work guys.

 

 

All in all, a good few hours entertainment. Congrats to the organising team; but I still feel they could up their game in a few areas.

 

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Problems sorted, a sick NCE cab, a sick VEP which in the end needed a new decoder,two new operators and a servo failing does not help. DEMU was so different! Still got three invites though!

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Whilst concerns about parking at a venue are always valid, am I the only one that would like to see a few pictures of the show itself? Way too far from darkest Norfolk, but there were more than a few exhibits at this particular show that I would have liked to have seen. If anyone has some pictures, I'm sure they would be welcomed. Pete.

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Indeed Pete, as I was lucky to be invited to this show last year-all the way from North Wales (584 mile round trip by the way, and five hours journey time each way) and extremely lucky to win the Chairman's Cup for best layout in show.

 

Also if I was going to make a day of it I would get there early and leave early, thereby bagging any bargains!

 

As there are only a finite number of members/staff available they can't be everywhere at once, as I have discovered via my involvement with the York Show, who do cater for disabled vehicles/visitors and have limited parking spaces allocated to them, effectively first come first served.

 

I think it's a little harsh to be critical about factors that are beyond the club/shows control especially from a subjective viewpoint, that is if you look at it from the Show Manager's perspective, that it's difficult to please all of the people all of the time. 

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Problems sorted, a sick NCE cab, a sick VEP which in the end needed a new decoder,two new operators and a servo failing does not help. DEMU was so different! Still got three invites though!

 

Everything working very smoothly this Sunday  :good:.

 

Brought back many a younger memory of the trek up the Freshfield Rd., looking over the fence, trying to catch any/some activity in the yard below......(Aunty, Uncle and Cousins lived in Firle Rd., at the very top, opposite the Race Course)

 

Many thanks.

 

Ceptic Frank.

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I went to the show today, and finding no parking at the venue, I managed to park just off Derby Road.

 

I told the missus I would only probably be there an hour, I spent a good three hours wandering around and talking to people.

As always the exhibitors and traders were very friendly, I picked up a lot of tips, and a lot of useful phone numbers and e-mail addresses, I also picked up a lot of idea's for the Andover MRC show in the late summer.

 

Congratulations to all those involved in organising this event, despite it being spread all over the college campus, it was well signed and the displays were easy to find.

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