I've always felt the model boat world needed another exhibition, unlike the model railway calendar it's not stuffed to bursting with events. Something in the spring, or start of the proper sailing season would be good. Then at the end of last year, adverts appeared in the press for "The National Model Boat Show" taking place in Coalville, Leicestershire (a place name I can't hear without thinking of the Albion Band's excellent song "Coalville), about 40 miles away.
Off we trotted to the Hermitage Leisure centre - a building that was surely built without the benefit of an architect - and joined the opening day queue.
Once in, a process that would have been faster if they'd charged £4 rather £3.95 and saved all those 5p changes, we found ourselves in a decent sized sports hall. Along the main walls were trade stands and on the middle, boat displays. There was a sailing pool, but it was outside.
First stop was the excellent bring and buy stand. If you had some very modest amounts of cash handy, you could pick up a very nice boat. Top of the range seemed to be a vintage warship with a big cannon or 1/12th Waveney Lifeboat, both massively under priced in my opinion. I reckon that on the Saturday morning, around 20 boats changed hands and would expect Sunday to be similar. Once word gets out I could see this being a very popular stand in years to come, hopefully with an increase in prices for decent, finished models.
The trade mix was good and I couldn't see many that didn't appear in the November International show. Hopefully, this will also grow in future events.
Of course if this does happen, the hit will be taken by the model boat displays. The hall was full and plenty of clubs had taken the risk of getting involved with a new event. The mix was good with a huge variety of models on display.
Excellent event - looking forward to next year.
As ever, photos on Flickr for you to enjoy.