A couple of weeks ago, a colleague said something very blogable.
"I've just got two tickets for the Villa. They were a bargain, only £30 each."
30 quid ! Each !
Amazingly, it turns out that these were restricted view tickets. So that is three crisp ten pound notes to sit and watch 22 millionaires wandering around a field trying not to bump into the goalposts and boot a ball into a net. And it's all over in 90 minutes apart from the bit in the middle where the poor dears have to have a bit of a rest.
Compared to this, model railway shows are a bargain. Even last weeks NEC bonanza cost just over a third of that price and you can stay all day. OK, so the views of some of the layouts might be restricted but you can always go away and come back once the crowds have cleared a bit.
Despite this, modellers think they are being charged the earth. One spent quite some time explaining this to us at the weekend. Of course he mentioned the 8 quid parking fee imposed by the NEC, something to do with having to maintain car parks for tens of thousands of vehicles I suppose. Mind you the Villa ticket doesn't include anywhere to leave the motor either. It's a moan that I hear more and more though. I know that toy trains cost money, but so does any other hobby. Even walking requires footwear. I suppose naturism is free but if most of the people I see at shows take it up then the Government will have to tax them back into their clothes.
Perhaps the problem is that model railway exhibitions don't cost enough. Maybe if the superstar exhibitors were paid more than petrol money, say £90,000 per week, then we would be taken seriously ? It's worth a try you know !