Author Topic: Model shows - the end of?  (Read 3230 times)

Online Jo

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Model shows - the end of?
« on: October 13, 2018, 08:09:57 AM »
As those of you who have participated in the Midlands Model show thread have been discussing of late the number of model engineering shows has rapidly declined. In the UK over the last 3 years we have lost the following shows:

Model Engineering Exhibition
Guildford Model Engineering Rally
Bristol Model engineering Show.

All of these have suffered from financial challenges that in the end made them unviable. So Is there an alternative? And what will the consequences be if there are no more shows?  :(

Jo
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 08:55:28 AM »
To be fair both Guildford and Bristol have not been lost, Guildford has changed and Bristol will too. Maybe they don't suit us model engine builders but from comments elsewhere this years Guildford was a good show for the Loco lovers who still seem to be in the majority.

We have also gained the likes of Lowestotf in the last couple of years. https://www.lowmex.co.uk/

Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2018, 09:04:30 AM »
The response back from the Guildford club was that the majority of the attendees this year was the kiddies and their parents. They took only the same as two regular running days so it won't be long before they question why they are making any additional effort at all. Other railway running clubs like Maldern take 3 times what Guildford did on their regular track running days.

Should shows be money making/financial activities or should they be for model makers? Like SCTEG: if we closed the doors to the public, we can have much more model making focused activities.

Jo
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2018, 09:12:54 AM »
Should shows be money making/financial activities or should they be for model makers? Like SCTEG: if we closed the doors to the public, we can have much more model making focused activities.

Jo

Even then is there the interest? SCMTEG Steaming/running day cancelled as not enough support/models and even in previous years only a few running engines. Don't even get the number of traction engine models there at the other meetings like there was in the start before you joined and that was when there were far fewer members as it was more a MJ owners/builders club.

Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2018, 07:17:40 PM »
:headscratch:

So I am assuming from the lack of comments (other than JB's usual negativism  :disappointed: ) that everyone thinks that the time is up for model shows and no one believes that we could do anything to save them    :'(

Jo
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Offline JC54

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2018, 07:39:21 PM »
Just a quick thought, we have shown/displayed various vehicles engines etc at "Steam Rallies" for many years and I have noticed that more people are showing their model engines at them than ever before. This year at Stapleford on August bank holiday weekend a good display of miniature traction engines, several model stationary engines (running!!) and various other models in the beer tent. Is this becoming an alternative? Last year at Lincoln Steam the display in the model "building" was superb.  :old: :DrinkPint: JC

Offline Ye-Ole Steam Dude

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 07:56:59 PM »
Hello Jo,

Even though we here in the US do not have as many shows as you do on the other side of the pond, I sure hope that more shows are the new normal and not less.

I am involved in old cars and the "Car Shows" are more and bigger than ever. The Cruising the Coast event held this past weekend had a record number of entries, 8,444, and no motel or hotel rooms were available for almost 100 miles. The entries and general public that attended the week long show was over 200,000. Maybe this is not apples to apples comparison but again I hope the organizers of the Model Shows make necessary changes to increase the interest and attendance. Possibly seek professional help.

Just my 2-cents worth.

Have a great day,
Thomas

Offline Bluechip

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 08:11:12 PM »
I had a vague idea what the thread was about then this:

SCTEG ?

SCMTEG ?

MJ Owners ?

Then I was adrift on an ocean of doubt and uncertainty.   :D

I don't think I'm alone either.

As a time-served ancient I see lots of others at shows. Not so many younger. As we pop off, can't be bothered to go, can't afford to travel long distances etc. the foot-fall will inevitably decline to the point where the shows are no longer viable. Town centres are changing, people are changing, interests are changing. I can remember when hobby electronics was fairly common and had gatherings for it. Not any-more.

I'm surprised that you're surprised ....  :D  Have a slurp and a nibble or two. Accept it and just patronise the ones that are left. It's the way it is. Things come, things go. Like my can of Bass. That's gone .... and it's mate ....  :DrinkPint:   :Lol:

Dave



Dave

Offline Jim Nic

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2018, 08:14:13 PM »
I attended the Bristol show for several years when I started modelling in 2010 but it is a bit far for me to drive these days; a sentiment I hear from several members of this and other forums who feel the effects of Old Father Time . 
I am now a regular at the Midlands show and always take a shopping list with me.  The last machine I bought, a bandsaw 2 years ago, I held off buying for a couple of months to make sure Warco got my order at the show, there was no show discount but I didn't mind that as long as I was encouraging Warco to keep turning up. 
If we all did this it may help to keep the traders spending the time and money to attend but they incur considerable costs in doing so and their web presence is cheaper, even if they have to give their wares to "influencers" free to get them seen, so we can't blame them for staying away.  Without the traders paying for space the organisers of shows such as Bristol incur costs with insufficient income to pay them.
It seems to me that the times they are a'changing and the internet is having a detrimental affect all over the place.  All I can do is keep going to the show that I can get to and spend as much of my modelling budget as I can while I'm there.
Jim
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2018, 08:27:56 PM »
I had a vague idea what the thread was about then this:

SCTEG ?

SCMTEG ?

Southern Counties Model traction Engine Group, except Jo forgot the Model bit :Doh:

It's a small informal group that meet 2-3 times a year, usually have a speaker but there is as much chatting and catching up with others before and during lunch. Actually I would be happy if it were just the morning and no speaker just the chat is OK with me.

Offline Bluechip

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2018, 08:37:49 PM »
I had a vague idea what the thread was about then this:

SCTEG ?

SCMTEG ?

Southern Counties Model traction Engine Group, except Jo forgot the Model bit :Doh:

It's a small informal group that meet 2-3 times a year, usually have a speaker but there is as much chatting and catching up with others before and during lunch. Actually I would be happy if it were just the morning and no speaker just the chat is OK with me.

Thanks Jason  :ThumbsUp:

I was a bit baffled ..  :headscratch:

Dave

Offline Mike Bondarczuk

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2018, 09:06:35 PM »
Hi Jo,

The seeming demise of the engineering shows is not being helped at all by some of the larger suppliers deciding that it is too expensive to attend and they prefer to use on-line shopping as the cheaper route.

When you couple this with the ageing model engineering population and the distances to travel you end up with a "perfect storm" situation where financially it no longer becomes feasible for the shows to continue.

I try to attend two such shows each year, and always send in a shopping list for collection as an enticement to suppliers' and this year will be visiting the Blackgates stand as well as Tracy Tools stand to collect items, and save on postage, which can be quite steep as well.

When you reflect that the whole of the motor industry is cancelling their major car shows then our little part of the industry is lucky to have any shows at all to go to.

Mike

 
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Online Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2018, 11:49:16 PM »
I agree with Mike Bondarczuk, what he said seems to sum it up completely.
 
Take the dominance of the internet, both for shopping and entertainment, disinterest by the younger generations in what grandad does , the aging model engineering population and you end up with a "perfect storm" situation where financially it no longer feasible for the shows to continue.

Times, they are a changing, we must learn to accept that fact. There is nothing we can do to bring back the lost shows, we can only give our wholehearted support to try to hold onto the few remaining shows. So what can we do about this unfortunate situation?

This year, Mike Cole and I took our model engines and a gazebo tent to the Guildford Gala day. Although we were almost the only display of model engineering there, we managed to attracted a constant stream of visitors. We intend to do the same next year and hope a few more will follow out lead.

Mike Cole and I also decided to exhibit our model engines at the forthcoming Midlands Exhibition (it's next weekend). Actually the organisers were not exactly enthusiastic about making space for more model exhibits. Eventually, after saying yes and no several times, they finally allocated us a small table beside the entrance to the cafeteria. The table space is limited so we are having to time share. Not exactly an encouraging response, but perhaps we have managed to get a foot in the doorway for next time.

There is one idea that could be a great help to the MEM forum members. That would be for the  Admins to create a new Forthcoming Events category, which is easy to find by the members. Any member can add the details of any local club events for all to see. Of particular interest would be details of events where the organisers are prepared to host visiting model exhibitors, by providing covered table space etc.  Jo made a start by posting details of next year's Wilton Show (it's near Salisbury) but that information is difficult to find, even when you are aware it's bee n posted somewhere on the forum. I am sure a new Forthcoming Events category would make it easier for anyone to find event information. The new category could have separate sections for the UK, Europe, the USA and one for the rest of the world.

The alternative could be to use the calendar section, but that feature does does not seem to work correctly at the moment.

Any other ideas?

Mike
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Offline Ginger Nut

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2018, 12:12:48 AM »
Sad to see such in the UK it has happened here downunder in other types of shows but if they become stale or over costly for all concerened then maybe its time to restructure.
If this is the case in the UK what would the lack of interest mean for all the magazines which cover these hobbies and businness?

Here the growing cost is/was due to greed of exhibition management, venue owners  & insurance costs the biggest of all.

Also here was such as over zealous safety nutters who made it impossible to encourage the younger ones by allowing hands on or to get close to exhibits. Over a few years at woodshows this was the biggest killer, where taking or allowing kids to experience let alone adults was discouraged.

Since about 2014 we have seen a resurgence of vintage machinery shows growing in number and venues around the country, some now incorporated with model engineering and other hobbies such as restoration enthusiasts.

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Offline stevehuckss396

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2018, 12:45:48 AM »

There is one idea that could be a great help to the MEM forum members. That would be for the  Admins to create a new Forthcoming Events category, which is easy to find by the members.

Mike


There is a dedicated area called "Shows" specifically to alert others of upcoming shows and events and post pictures after they take place.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 01:10:41 AM by stevehuckss396 »
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Offline stevehuckss396

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2018, 01:10:21 AM »
Here in the states there are a few things that may be contributing to low numbers of spectators. These are my own observations and things that have been relayed to me over the years.

1. I have talked to more than one person who said that they go to the shows and nothing seems to change. Many people display the same items year after year and don't come with anything new. Many builders are getting up there in age and just cant do it anymore. Others are so busy with life in general that there isn't time to get into the shop. Many i run into go every 2 or 3 years because there is not enough that changes year to year.

2. I cant count how many times a spectator has pulled out something cool out of there pocket and wanted to show and talk about it or need some help with it. Often these are engine parts where the engine is at home and there are 2 or 3 more with it. The builder for what ever reason didn't bring there stuff and display it. This also adds to problem number one. Something unseen would add interest to the show.

3. Not too many years ago the show was where you go to gather ideas for future projects. It was also where you go to see others work and get help with your projects from others who have successfully done what you are trying to do. Now with forums like this you have all the help you need. Ideas for projects are unlimited. There is also a feeling that there is no sense in spending the time and money to go see these models when you already seen them online and watched the build as it went along.

I think there is a new generation building models but there is a good chance we will never meet them. Kind of sad but that's the reality.
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Offline Ginger Nut

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2018, 02:07:44 AM »
Steve you've also hit the nail on the head.

One or two shows here downunder
Sydney's https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Antique-Machinery-Club-Inc-269659793078611/.[/b]]https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Antique-Machinery-Club-Inc-269659793078611/. is one I mentioned growing fast I miss going having moved 1000k away.
Lake Gold Smith in Victoria https://www.facebook.com/lakegoldsmith/
QLD Kingaroy which we haven't been to s yet https://www.facebook.com/VintageMachinery/

Campbelltown in Western Sydney also https://www.facebook.com/Campbelltown-Steam-Machinery-Museum-1477522595843850/

The two groups in Sydney's west are not 60k apart and both growing fast.


Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2018, 08:03:57 AM »
As Steve says you do hear people saying that the same old exhibits are entered year after year which will put people off. I have always entered different models from previous as I also like to see different work when I go back to a show. I notice that one of the exhibitions that is still going has a question on the entry form asking if the entry has been exhibited before and where so maybe they will give preference to new work over previously shown which I think is a good thing.

As I said in the other thread a lot of people go to shows for the trade stands, you hear far more complaining about there not being as many trades than you do saying there were not as many models so these exhibitors need to be supported. At the recent Bristol show a comment was made to me about why I paid what I did for a piece of metal. Yes I could have got it cheaper by mail order or e-bay but I would rather support the trades, only a couple of sales could be the deciding factor if they make a profit or a loss and that will be a big factor in whether they decide to come again next year.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be
economically viable.

I also mentioned in the other thread that over the years I have been making models that in the UK we have gone from one large show to maybe 10 or more if you include shows for all the separate branches of the hobby that were previously covered by that one exhibition. I feel we have/had got to a point where this number simply could no longer be supported and that is why some have fallen by the wayside. You only need look at the website of the company that puts on the Midlands show and see that they have 6 exhibitions all of which would have been under the one old MEX. Traders can't be expected to attend all of these, public won't want to pay to go to a show every month and if they do go they won't need much from the traders as they have not been making a list over 6 months but getting the items at last months show or cheaply from China.

J


Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2018, 08:14:49 AM »
It's a small informal group that meet 2-3 times a year, usually have a speaker but there is as much chatting and catching up with others before and during lunch. Actually I would be happy if it were just the morning and no speaker just the chat is OK with me.

I like the talk bit  ::) I think you would find that less people would turn up if it was not there and I am not sure how many do the actual chatting I suspect it is about half.

I did think of organising a similar gathering in my garden to do a bit of model engine running and talk about our latest builds  :noidea: It has the advantage of being free to use and central to the south coast/London/Oxford. 

3. Not too many years ago the show was where you go to gather ideas for future projects. It was also where you go to see others work and get help with your projects from others who have successfully done what you are trying to do. Now with forums like this you have all the help you need. Ideas for projects are unlimited. There is also a feeling that there is no sense in spending the time and money to go see these models when you already seen them online and watched the build as it went along.

Yes, that is why I support the running of this forum as the local model engineering club no longer has anyone interested in actually building models or could provide any help and there are less quality shows to go to.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be economically viable.

We have 12 of us going to the show that is why we get a discount, some of those wouldn't go if the group was not going. And you could do with attending a few more shows yourself  :stickpoke: If people don't attend then they don't spend money  :ShakeHead:

Jo
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:22:00 AM by Jo »
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Offline RayW

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2018, 11:56:18 AM »
Jo,
A garden gathering would be a great idea.

Like the model shows, full scale vintage rallies have also suffered falling attendances over recent years. Many organisers have tended to treat stationary engine exhibitors as second class citizens, relegating the engine pens to some remote part of the rally field where the public often did not venture.
Tractor and engine clubs have also seen membership numbers declining dramatically, with many, including my own local club, folding, having at one time boasted a membership numbered in the hundreds.
It makes me wonder what will become of all our beautiful models when we are no longer around. I, for one, have nobody to hand mine on to, so at some point in the future, do I sell, donate to a museum, or just leave whoever is left to deal with my estate to make that decision?

Ray

Ray

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2018, 12:17:01 PM »
Well....

Don't forget that when the finances are tight things like " hobbies " are the first to be shelved. There are many families struggling to keep a roof over their heads at present.

The internet now provides almost " instant " gratification in every area and the younger generation has firmly grasped this tool. Pictures, video all available in the comfort of home, or anywhere for that matter!

Having seen, first hand the amount of cost and effort that goes into preparing for a ME exhibition I can understand why suppliers might be reluctant to keep throwing away cash as each year passes.

Perhaps another point, based upon my past experience, the " sterility " of UK exhibitions? After visiting and exhibiting at the NAMES show where virtually everything was running, glad to report that the scale Gattling gun wasn't!! I never visited another UK exhibition again. I always preferred the stationary engine rally field where we could properly run our models.

Most importantly as technology moves forward so rapidly, more and more are embracing the
" throw away " society where " make and mend " has almost died. I'm happy to report that here, at least, another generation are becoming " capable " model engineers!

Cheers Graham.

Online Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2018, 12:25:56 PM »
As Steve says you do hear people saying that the same old exhibits are entered year after year which will put people off. I have always entered different models from previous as I also like to see different work when I go back to a show. I notice that one of the exhibitions that is still going has a question on the entry form asking if the entry has been exhibited before and where so maybe they will give preference to new work over previously shown which I think is a good thing.

As I said in the other thread a lot of people go to shows for the trade stands, you hear far more complaining about there not being as many trades than you do saying there were not as many models so these exhibitors need to be supported. At the recent Bristol show a comment was made to me about why I paid what I did for a piece of metal. Yes I could have got it cheaper by mail order or e-bay but I would rather support the trades, only a couple of sales could be the deciding factor if they make a profit or a loss and that will be a big factor in whether they decide to come again next year.

Also support the organisers by paying the going rate for a ticket, don't gloat about being able to get cheap or free tickets or try and blag your way in by pretending to be a persons carer to try and get a fee entry. Again a few more ticket sales could be all it needs to get the takings to the point where the show may go ahead again or not be
economically viable.

J

Jason, If I understand your three proposed solutions correctly.

1  I should only exhibit a new model which has not been on show before, otherwise you may become bored. That would be bad news for the builders of big, long term or complex models which can take many years to complete.

2  I should only buy overpriced materials from the trade stands in order to support the traders. Unfortunately, show prices are often inflated to cover the trader's stand costs, travel and accommodation. I would prefer to support more deserving charitable causes

3  I should always buy an entrance ticket. An exhibitor, when supporting a show, can be expected to attend each day and sometimes the setting up day as well. The exhibitor has to pay his/her travel expenses and perhaps several nights in a hotel, out of their pocket, the only return being a complementary entrance ticket. Should I pay for the entrance ticket as well?

Mike
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 12:41:03 PM by Vixen »
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2018, 01:21:37 PM »
Mike

1. You shown new progress on your large long term projects so there is something new to see. Did you notice I spent more time talking to you about the Jupiter at Guildford than I did at Bristol which was only a month or two after as there was not so much new to see. I was talking more of people who have the same model or board with several models on who dust it off from one year to the next.

2. That bit of metal probably did not cost me much if any more than had I got it off the net as the postage cost would have increased the overall price. But it is a fact that if our suppliers are not supported at shows or even during the rest of the year then we will risk loosing them altogether not just from the show scene.

3. I have no problem with genuine exhibitors getting a ticket by way of a thank you for entering a model. It is when you see a model being taken to a show by someone else just so the builder can get a free ticket for the day they would have gone anyway or others abusing the tickets given out to clubs for stewards.

Offline Alyn Foundry

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2018, 01:38:11 PM »
Jo,
A garden gathering would be a great idea.

Like the model shows, full scale vintage rallies have also suffered falling attendances over recent years. Many organisers have tended to treat stationary engine exhibitors as second class citizens, relegating the engine pens to some remote part of the rally field where the public often did not venture.
Tractor and engine clubs have also seen membership numbers declining dramatically, with many, including my own local club, folding, having at one time boasted a membership numbered in the hundreds.
It makes me wonder what will become of all our beautiful models when we are no longer around. I, for one, have nobody to hand mine on to, so at some point in the future, do I sell, donate to a museum, or just leave whoever is left to deal with my estate to make that decision?

Ray

Hi Ray.

You brought up some valid points. Years ago we were occasionally discussing how the rally field organisers seemed to be forgetting that it was the exhibits and their owners that " actually " made a show! Sadly most of the newer events have become little more than " Sunday " markets, with a few stationary engines thrown in.

Mikes earlier post draws attention to " our " expense, a four day event like the Cheshire Show back in the late 80's would cost me over £200.00 in lost wages and food etcetera. All to show off our prized exhibits. Nothing asked in return!

Regarding your models, Vincent's entire collection and workshop nearly ended up in the hands of the
" scrappers " !! No will, no children, a single phone call the day before the funeral was the first I knew about his passing. Luckily Geoff and I managed to gain permission to save his lifetimes work.

Cheers Graham.

Offline PJPickard

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2018, 02:23:48 PM »
The ME Exhibition show is gone??? I grew up reading Model Engineer and loved to read about the show and all the models, tools, etc. That show has been on my bucket list for decades. I guess I can cross it off the list now  :(

Offline gbritnell

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2018, 02:32:45 PM »
 This is over simplifying the question but, it's a sign of the times.

 I have been a model builder all my life starting with plastic and balsa when I was 8-9 years old. When a company called AMT came out with plastic model cars in the late 50's me and my buddies were in styrene heaven. New suppliers were emerging every day contests were being held at local 5 and 10 stores and models were being presented in magazines like Hot Rod and Car Craft, not to mention plastic's own publications.
I still belong to a local plastic modeling group, we meet once a month and hold swap meets and club contests. We have discussions on how to bring in new members and get people interested in the hobby but the interest just isn't there. Sure there are fabulous plastic models being assembled and detailed but in general it's by a very much smaller group of people than in years past. A sign of the times.

 I have, like Steve, been an avid hot-rodder all my life going back to my very early teens, 1958. Back then most of the guys in school loved cars, not just the car guys but most of the school crowd. Although I couldn't drive I had buddies that were a couple of years older who could and I was always around when they were working on their cars, brake jobs, water pumps, tune ups and full on engine rebuilds.
A lot of us got into drag racing so we learned more about engines from magazines like the ones previously mentioned. We would then apply that knowledge to making our engines more potent.
When my sons were growing up and got their first cars I told them I would show them how to work on their cars, mainly maintenance jobs but it taught them how to work with mechanical things.
In the 70's with the mandate for better fuel mileage and lower emissions electronics emerged which required a whole different skill set and tools and instruments for diagnosing problems. The backyard mechanic has all but disappeared. I have a group of friends who are still into cars, mainly the older ones and we hold a weekly gathering generally at one friend's house because he has his shop out away from the house. We sit around and talk about the old days and the future of the hobby, alternate fuels, hybrids and electric. Attending the local shows generally reflects the age group that's involved in the car hobby, in a word, old. There's not many young people who want to restore a 1957 Chevrolet or can they afford it. Yes, yes, yes there are people still working on cars and engines but in most cases they cater to a much richer clientele. A sign of the times.

 Now onto the hobby that we hold dear, miniature engineering. Let's face it, we were a limited group in numbers right from the beginning. As an example I worked with almost 300 other metal tradesmen in my career where you would think that there would be a lot more interest in things mechanical, but there wasn't.
 I started my modeling career building Stuart steam engines, I.C. was non existent except for model airplane engines. To build an engine specialized tools were needed, lathes, drill presses, milling machines or attachments. A whole other skill set was also required. There were no engineering shows. If you wanted to display your work you had to attend any of the numerous antique engine shows. Some even had a building where you could set up.
The hobby was by word of mouth or by the few publications that evolved around the hobby, in the States that included Live Steam, Strictly I.C. and Home Shop Machinist. There were no computers or Internet, not even digital cameras.
 The hobby grew over the years, there were suppliers for all of your needs and I.C. engines emerged in the form of hit and miss engines or the likes of the Wall line of engines. At this point let me interject and say that yes there were more sophisticated I.C. engines being built in England but like I said the Internet hadn't been born, at least as we know it so other than a few people this information wasn't available.
 The first major show that I know of and attended was one held at Domino's Farms in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This was the start of what we now know as NAMES. Cabin Fever show developed along with the Black Hills, Estevan, and several on the west coast, Gears was one. Sadly the west coast shows in themselves have disappeared although the modelers do exhibit in conjunction with other events.
 Several points have emerged as this thread goes on. The first is that the public doesn't attend because they're tired of seeing the same things year after year. I understand that but as we all know some projects take years to complete, not just from the enormity of the project but the time a person has to devote to his or her hobby. My latest 'big' project is my flathead engine which from start to finish has almost 2-1/2 years in it. When I attend a show I take my usual engines plus I always have at least one or two new things. So many times I've heard people say that they come every year just to see a particular engine.
 The hobby, much like the aforementioned examples, is declining. The modeling crowd is getting older, the interest in machining isn't there due to the demise of trade schools, apprenticeships, CNC and just general interest.
We feel it's a shame that these shows are going away but times have changed. It's a whole different world out there. All of the hobbies that I have embraced over the years are slowly disappearing. As much as I would like to there's nothing I can do about it.

 A show that was started about 10 years ago, The Mid-East Ohio Model Engineering Show, has seen declining attendance and therefore reduced revenues to maintain the venue so this year they combined it with a car and airplane show. As far as I am concerned the modeling part of the show was a great success. There was a whole new crowd of people that had never seen anything like it. I had people coming back 2 and 3 times to see my engines. Maybe rather than just putting  on a modeling show that has the same people attending year after year the organizers might look at combining the models with another similar venue. If anyone follows the BAEM website (west coast modeling organization) they know that they have paired up with a large car show, The Goodguys, and other venues, to exhibit their work. I'm not saying that this will revive an interest in our hobby but maybe it will prolong it.

 It's a sign of the times!

George D. Britnell
 
 
 

   
Talent unshared is talent wasted.

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2018, 03:00:23 PM »
The ME Exhibition show is gone???  :(

Nothing definate has been said but I do have my doubts that it will return.

Offline RayW

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2018, 04:59:41 PM »
Mike makes a very valid point about exhibitors being asked to pay an entry fee. I know of one particular vintage rally where the organisers tried this and effectively killed the rally that year as exhibitors voted with their feet and stayed away in their droves.
I used to travel from Kent to the Tatton 1000 rally near Manchester(Five and a half hours each way)  for several years in my motorhome towing a large engine on a trailer and I reckon it cost me £100 - £150 In fuel, etc to attend. Unlike the steam exhibitors, who got free supplies of coal, stationary engine owners received no contribution towards their costs. Let's not forget that without exhibitors, organisers would not have a show.

Ray
Ray

Offline JC54

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2018, 09:41:01 PM »
I agree completely Ray, we  were exhibiting vintage tractors and one year the organizers of a local show decided that we would have to pay for the privilege of showing tractors we all voted with our feet. The organizers realized 1 week before event that they only had 6 tractors entered instead of the 150 from previous years and panicked, contacted previous exhibitors who basically said "***k **f  we had booked in elsewhere.
     You cannot run these shows at a loss but if you don't  look after the exhibitors and suppliers then you haven't got a show. :old: :DrinkPint:




















t

Online Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2018, 11:12:07 PM »
I am still of the opinion that  it would be a great help to the MEM forum members if our Admins were to create a new Forthcoming Events category, which is easy to find and use by the members. Any member can add the details of any local club events for all to see. Of particular interest would be details of events where the organisers are prepared to host visiting model exhibitors, by providing covered table space etc. 

OK there is a Show category, but that is intended for members to post reports and photos of past events. Besides, any future event would quickly become lost among the show reports and would not therefore serve the intended purpose. A new Forthcoming Events category would act as a calendar for the next year, making  it easier for anyone to find event information and plan their weekends well in advance. The new category could have separate sections for the UK, Europe, the USA and one for the rest of the world.

The alternative could be to use the existing calendar feature, but that feature does does not seem to work correctly at the moment. We could get it fixed.

Bill, Jo, Dave and any other Admin, what are your views on creating a new Forthcoming Events category, to help our members to enjoy and get the most out of this wonderful hobby obsession of ours.
You could make it happen.

Mike
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 11:34:24 PM by Vixen »
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Offline steam guy willy

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2018, 02:49:31 AM »
Here in Norridge there is a science week happening next week and the Norridge society will have a stand at the library showing off lots of our engines to the public ... this is half term week so there should be lots of future young Model Engineers there ...I usually make one stationary engine a year so there is at least one new engine on display at Forncett. This years show was a bit different from the usual show with some antique engines and more new work  on existing builds.....We will be there on the 23rd October btw

Willy.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 02:52:43 AM by steam guy willy »

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2018, 07:28:01 AM »

Bill, Jo, Dave and any other Admin, what are your views on creating a new Forthcoming Events category, to help our members to enjoy and get the most out of this wonderful hobby obsession of ours.
You could make it happen.

Mike

I'm going to sound negative again buy that's the way it is.

Just because there is a section on a forum to post things does not mean things will happen. For example ME forum has an "Events" section where you can submit details of an event last entry was 2017. There is also the forum topic much like "shows" on here and that only gets a few entries well in advance as most are pic, reports or "who's going". Events page in the mag is too close to actual date to suit people wanting to enter and not kept upto date on the site.

Now when you think that ME covers far more than our small "Engine" interest such as Locos then that is not a lot of use being made by far mor emembers to list forthcoming events well in advance so entries can be  made.

J

Online Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2018, 01:17:44 PM »
Jason, Why not give this a try:

"You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between."

Mike
It is the journey that matters, not the destination

Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2018, 02:25:34 PM »
Like this JB - I like going to shows because:

I get to see other model makers with similar interests, more often than not we arrange to meet up for a chat before going to the show. We chat about building our model engines and what we might build next ;D
I get to admire other people's engines and it inspires me to do better with my own builds.
I don't wait for the day and look at the weather and then decide if I want to go to the show :ShakeHead: I have arranged to go early and am looking forward to going to the show for weeks ahead  :)
I can have a bacon buttie for breakfast for a treat at the show and not feel guilty :-X
Over the years the traders have become old friends and they know me too well as they always seem to have something to tempt me with  :facepalm:
And I always discover that there was something that I had not realised I needed until I saw it at the show  :noidea:

I always come home looking forward to the next show  :cartwheel:.... I wish there were more shows to go to, with more model engines to see   :-\

Jo
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Offline Chipswitheverything

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2018, 02:39:44 PM »
I must just say, particularly as no one else has happened to comment, how much I enjoyed reading George's  ( Gbritnell's ) very interesting longer account of his lifetime involvement in model making and technical activities, and the changes that George has seen in attitudes and involvement that affect our model engineering hobby.  Thanks George.
      Incidentally, I found myself a lot luckier in the ratio of my colleagues in engineering work who had a model engineering interest, over 30 plus years I worked with at least half a dozen very keen and highly capable model engineers, a great stimulus, and those still around are valued friends still.     Dave

Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2018, 04:40:19 PM »
Like this JB - I like going to shows because:

I don't wait for the day and look at the weather and then decide if I want to go to the show :ShakeHead: I have arranged to go early and am looking forward to going to the show for weeks ahead  :)

Well why would I go on a day when it is pissing down when I could go the day before or after when the sun may be out, don't know about you but I much prefer looking at the traction engine models that are running outside when it is dry rather them all being covered up and not in steam due to the rain, probably does not affect things if you are just going to eat sticky watsits.

I suppose having a job where you can book a days paid holiday is nice or being retired but as I'm self employed I don't know months in advance what I will be doing unlike you and that is why I leave it to the last moment to decide to visit, would be even more of a commitment in advance if I were showing. As all my work is by recommendation or repeat clients I'd rather keep them sweet than take a day off and leave them with a bathroom or kitchen tat can't be used.

Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2018, 05:44:39 PM »
That's the attitude my ex had JB as a result he never did anything  :ShakeHead:

You can always buy a ticket early to help keep the show going for the rest of us and having it might even encourage you to go. The Sticky Wotsits are for sharing between friends when we sit down for our chin wag and to admire our purchases or to give to the traders as I wander round :) 

Think positively one day you too will be retired and will have lots of time to do what you want.

Jo
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 06:14:09 PM by Jo »
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Offline gerritv

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2018, 06:03:17 PM »
I haven't chimed in yet because didn't have much to contribute to the topic. But upon reflection: I would happily attend shows if there were any nearby. There are none. I do attend local club meets, both ME and ship model related as both are of interest.

But 'real' shows I  have to travel to Detroit or Philadelphia area which becomes a commitment in money for hotel etc. (time is not the problem). I don't really care if the weather sucks or not (prefer not to have snow of course), I am going for the contents not the journey. I attended NAMES in 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the online folks in person as well as being surrounded by the hobby. My wife enjoyed the show as well, it made her appreciate what it is I am up to in the basement :-) I plan to attend Cabin Fever in 2019 and possibly NAMES as well.

In the interim I either make my own tools or order sight unseen online. I much prefer dealing with humans in person and seeing what it is that I am spending my money on, this only happens at those shows. At least in the UK you have more choices including rail travel to get to and from. So attend those shows and support the vendors, once they are gone they are gone.

Gerrit
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Online Vixen

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2018, 06:24:17 PM »
.........................So attend those shows and support the vendors, once they are gone they are gone.

Gerrit

One of he underlying factors with the UK shows is the sad fact that it is the vendors who are no longer attending or supporting the shows. The visitors still attend but their ticket sales alone are not enough for financial viability. Many traders have said to me that shows are no longer cost expensive and they can make more sales (money) by manning the office phone for a day, responding to mail orders and e-bay sales.

Without the trades, visitor numbers drop and the show is lost forever. How long will it be before the hobby itself dies? Will the traders blame themselves for the loss, or will they simply change the type of stock on their shelves?

So, as Gerrit advises 'attend those shows and support the vendors, once they are gone they are gone.'



Mike
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 08:26:48 PM by Vixen »
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Offline Jasonb

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2018, 01:21:39 PM »
On a positive note this is the statement from the Bristol Club about their show and should be taken as correct rather than the previous misinformation that they will be arranging something different next year (Bristol show thread) and the negative opening post here that the show is "lost"

At this time it is hard to say what format the 2020 show will take assuming there will be one  but don't right it off just yet.


“We are looking at alternative venues and approaches to see an event return in 2020, a return that will build on our success over the past 17 years.

“The Bristol Society of Model & Experimental Engineers faces considerable challenges in 2019 both with the exhibition and with other society affairs. In respect of the exhibition, it is evident that the model engineering environment is undergoing increasing change. We see changing demographics having an effect on many exhibitions, including ours, with increased costs, reduced visitor numbers and the growth in internet based purchasing being used by consumers; all these changes contribute to uncertainty around what might be the best exhibition format.

“In addition to those challenges we, as a society, need to focus on some big issues we currently face.”


Online Jo

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2018, 01:47:00 PM »
On a positive note this is the statement from the Bristol Club about their show and should be taken as correct rather than the previous misinformation that they will be arranging something different next year (Bristol show thread) and the negative opening post here that the show is "lost"

Yes you are correct there will be no 2019 show at Bristol, the wording on the Bristol thread could be interpreted that there possibly is going to be one.

I understand from someone who spoke to the club that the "scaled down event" they hope to run in 2020 is going to go more in the direction of the Guildford Railway Gala weekend with less expectation on traders, in a different and cheaper venue.

Jo

P.S. I recall the ME show originally just had a year off  :(
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Offline ChuckKey

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2018, 10:26:37 PM »
...
I can have a bacon buttie for breakfast for a treat at the show and not feel guilty :-X
...

A trip to The Fosse would be more enjoyable if the catering were not so dismally atrocious.

Offline steamer

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Offline modeng2000

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2018, 12:10:13 PM »
A trip to The Fosse would be more enjoyable if the catering were not so dismally atrocious.
[/quote]

I don't know where you were eating but I have never had a bad meal at the exhibition.
The staff are friendly and the food is hot and very acceptable.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:10:43 PM by modeng2000 »

Offline Kim

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2018, 04:46:39 PM »
The whole hobby might be morphing.....

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/534672160/mastercrafts-magazine-build-cool-stuff?fbclid=IwAR3pMeU2tYDN5s04NB3JuoQkA3r5qBNdQkzx1q4IfnPR6y3zPsirYLkyO2c

Dave

I've been thinking about this, and I'm with you Dave. I think we are myopically focused on our little area when there is a huge amount of stuff going on around us.  I was thinking of "Maker Spaces" and things like that.  No, they don't call it Model Engineering, and they may not focus specifically on machining steam and IC engines.  But it's a similar kind of urge to build & create. To learn and to make stuff on your own. And that, to me, is the crux of our hobby.

Every hobby I've been involved in has had the same kind of discussion.  At lease, every hobby I've been involved in since the internet allowed me to see these kinds of discussions.  The hobby is shrinking, no young people are showing interest, what is happening with our kids these days, etc...

But I think it is just a matter of us drawing our boundaries in very fixed ways, and not looking at where the kids are going and what they are doing.  It isn't going to be exactly what we do.  They're a different generation.  But I don't think it spells the end of anything.  Just gentle changes and sometimes refocusing to a way that applies to them in their world, as opposed to us in our world.

While it's sad that things change, they do.  And in fact, if they didn't change, that would be worse.

And maybe some of the inevitability of that is how the internet generation will deal with gatherings.  Are shows going away in general?  Maybe.  The ones we're focused on seem to be (GEARS for my local example).  But instead, I see some Maker Fairs going on in the area.  If I'd get off my duff and go to one of those, I'll bet I'd be impressed and surprised with what these people do. And I'm betting they'd be WAY more accepting of me and what I'm doing with my shop full of tools than we might have been to them at our shows (well, I hope that's not the case, but I said it for emphasis :)).

So, in summary, my thesis is that I think we are mourning a change.  But if we're mourning the loss of people who want to learn new things and build stuff with their own hands, I think we're just not looking very hard and we need to examine where we draw our boundaries.


Those are my deep thoughts for the morning! :)
Kim

Offline JC54

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2018, 08:38:04 PM »
KIM, I agree with you, OK a lot of "youngsters" cannot see further than a computer screen,,, but just look what some of them are doing on them and then printing out on 3D printers rather than lathes or mills??? What would our Grandfathers have said about lathes and mills being "normal" in our workshops. Let alone DRO, CNC, etc. Any Hobby/Pastime evolves with time.
     Sadly to some of us has the Internet with it's relatively easy access to tool, materials, and information corrupted our hobby or moved it into a different era????
 

Offline JC54

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #46 on: October 18, 2018, 08:44:29 PM »
Sorry pushed the wrong button :zap: Just to finish my rant,,, I still like the shows as a newbie I can talk to like minded people and buy those things that I didn't know I couldn't live without. Also to see live what people have produced just leaves me speechless. (about time SWMBO)  :old: :DrinkPint:

Offline steamer

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Re: Model shows - the end of?
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2018, 12:49:30 AM »
Well I don't know about Rant....or that I'm somehow prophetic..

But let me digress briefly,.....to someone worthy of the moniker.

My good friend Ray Hasbrouck, built a beautiful #10 steam launch engine.   Very nice...I asked him,  "Ray?  Would it offend you if I turned your engine into a compound launch engine by using your #10 as the HP, and creating a larger cylinder for the LP?"    I had the utmost respect for Ray, and did this question by letter, and he wrote back to me square away.

"Dave, that would be Great!   I love when anybody builds a steam engine!"

Now, if you look at that with today's prism, I say   "Great!   I love it when someone builds Something!"

Listen, we have the hots for engines,  and machine tools....well me personally. 8)

I've also spent five years discussing Ad-nauseum RC racing on these very pages....yeah that was a lot, and yeah I built a lot RC stuff....and if you don't think thats Engineering...you weren't paying attention!

But it's all kinda the same thing..    We're all a bunch of "Doers"....and expecting anything else from this lot is tantamount to trying to put rain back in the clouds.   To expect the next generation to be different because they know a PCs better than us, or use a lot of  :NotWorthy: :whoohoo: :censored: :hammerbash:   to communicate....is just silly!.

(listen to me getting all progressive and %*&^!  ...don't worry I'll revert..)

Dave


PS   William is in his room building another airplane...from plans he created...and I've been told to bugger off with the help    :lolb:    Good!!!    The Crew chief has done enough wrenching for a while!
"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!