Sunday, February 07, 2010

Stafford 2010

Water tower
Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker
My trip to Stafford this year was a mission to talk to the traders - and not with credit card in hand either ! No, the plan was to get some feedback from last months Leamington show, see how it went from their point of view and where we can improve things. I know this sort of thing can be done by e-mail but the personal touch is much better and will garner much more candid opinions and gossip.

As it happens, they all seem to be happy with what we are doing. Eshewing a morning arrival for an early lunch in the Wetherspoons pub in the town centre, beautifully converted from an old cinema, I arrived off the vintage bus just after 1pm. There's no point in being there earlier if you want a chat as they are too busy serving eager customers to stop. To be honest Sunday afternoon is the ideal time for this job but that would have meant a drive up the M6 rather than a train ride and who wants that ?

The hall was busier than I think I've ever seen it - walking around was pretty difficult at times. However perseverance paid off and I saw everyone I needed to. I even clocked a few layouts although certainly not all of them - too much gasbagging for that !

Those I did see looked good - I like Stafford clubs coal mine. These aren't the easiest subject to model what with being huge and this only showed part of the site. What was there though was really well modelled.

Bridport Town looked nicer than the photos in the recent Narrow Gauge & Industrial Magazine. Perhaps this was down to a bit more stock being on display or just I could appreciate the very 3D nature of some of the building layout better in the flash. The builder has obviously put a lot of time to getting that seemingly random arrangement of structures and it pays off.

At some points, the numbers of people was annoying. A couple of blokes deciding to have a chat in the doorway between two halls oblivious to those waiting to get by was a particular highlight. It seems that without their "better halves" to do the thinking for them they became walking adverts for euthanasia. That goes for the idiot who dashing in and out of crowds wearing his backpack and forgetting it made him wider when he turned around. You know who you are...

Apart from that, and the tea urn going cold when I reached the front of the queue, it was good fun. I could have spent a few hours more and found plenty to occupy myself. As far as purchases went, I bought an old book on building buildings and a snail, of which more later, so a cheap trip thanks to me chanting "I need no more projects. I need no more projects." as I walked round.

In the meantime, there are some photos on Flickr.

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