Sunday dawned bright and a bit icy. Well there was a bit of ice on the windscreen that was quickly dealt with by the wipers, and the road from Coventry to Stoneleigh was slightly slippy in places to protect the good people of Leamington Spa from the barbarians in the north.
Arriving via the cashpoint at 8.30 we cleaned some wheels and track and then wandered around the show. While the layout owners weren't around this early, quite a few of the traders were. Most seemed happy to admit to a good Saturday's trading and congratulated us on the show. The general opinion was that while the numbers were down, the missing element were the general public rather than enthusiasts. That's not a big surprise - the public are fickle at the best of times and the chance to go to Tesco after 2 weeks locked in the house thanks to the second ice age would obviously be to great to miss.
Dave regaled us with the comments on RM Web - an unexpurgated list which generally were very positive. This might sound a bit sad but the new hall is a big step for the club and those of us involved in the organisation need too the feel good factor we can get. Teh interweb is a great thing for this - we get to see into the minds of those who have visited and pick up areas where things can be improved as well as basking in the glory when things go right.
Sunday followed the same pattern as Saturday. I went for the lasagna at lunch and chatted to guys from the boat club - who are allowed a couple of tables thanks to being near neighbours of the railway club on the farm we both meet at. Apparently they had quite a lot of interest and may have picked up a couple of new members. Great news this as it confirms a pet theory of mine, that people who like model making will appreciate all forms and not just their own brand. In fact many will indulge in more than one discipline - and yes I know how dodgy that sounds.
Anyway, the 4pm finish caught me out a bit as I'd expected have another half hour for a bit of last minute shopping and chatting.
For a big show, the hall emptied very quickly. Within an hour nearly all the stands had packed up and departed. Those that were left were the usual suspects (you know who you are) but this didn't matter as the club truck had to make two trips, one for club layouts and barriers and another for Overlord. By the time it returned for the second pick up, we were the last in the hall and being circled by the floor cleaning machine. Obviously there was much chat about how the event had gone, lessons to be learned and things we'd been proud of. Generally everything had gone very well. The numbers were not as great as hoped but then this wasn't unexpected - growing an event like this takes time. Next year will be bigger and better still...
More photos on Flickr