Ah - so you'll be joining the back of the queue then :-)
Personally, I would avoid Saturday like the plague. It's way too crowded, and you won't get any bargains because there aren't any at the Warley show! The crowds make it difficult to actually see the layouts, or get near to the trade stands. Don't forget to allow for the painful experience of paying to park at the NEC, and you'd be better off taking your own food and drink. It's available, but expensive and has long queues. Oh, and take twice as much cash as you think you'll need!
If you really want to go on Saturday, then sharpen your elbows :-) Sunday is far more civilised.
"Graham Harrison" wrote in message news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
Take lots of patience, you'll need it, some of the visitors can be very rude and you'll need to take it in your stride and not get upset about it, otherwise you'll get stressed very fast and soon find the show a real horrible experience. Keep a cool head, and let other people be the rude ones, it's the best way I've found to get through the day.
If you want to have a good clue as to where things are re the layouts and trade stands, it's probably worth getting the show guide which is normally hawked to visitors waiting in the queues (unless you've already got it). Once you've got it you can spend the time waiting to go in getting to know where things are. That said I've never found it an essential need.
It sounds like you'll be in the advanced queue for the 9.30am block. Unless you're desperate for a *possible* 'sold as seen' returns bargain at the Bachmann stand, avoid getting anywhere near it at the start of the show, as it's worse for injuries than a rugby scrum ;-). If you want to see what they're showing in their display cases, if you can it's best to wait until the second half of the afternoon/early evening, it's much easier to get to then. Also note that Bachmann don't discount their new stock, only the other traders do, so if you buy from them you'll be paying a hefty amount more than you really need to.
As said already, best to take your own packed lunch and drink, the food facilities tend to be priced like transport food (i.e., overpriced). I take a litre of water in, plus sandwiches. I do tend to get a couple of fresh cups of tea from resellers there though.
Wear good footwear. You're going to be standing and walking *a lot*, so don't wear anything that makes your feet tired. I have a pair of comfortable ankle supporting boots that I wouldn't be without for things like this.
If you can last the whole day, it gets quieter in the later afternoon/early evening, and it's much easier to see the layouts then.
As with all exhibitions, if you're going to take photos, respect the layout operators re flash. I'm taking a lightweight video camera this year, so no flash required. Previous years have not seen a ban on photography (unlike the BRM Alexandra Palace show earlier this year), and I don't believe it's banned this year, but it's always a possibility.
Are you planning on buying much? Last year I came up with the idea of getting an inexpensive folding up shopping trolley bag with wheels. It was a godsend, as I bought just enough stuff that it would have been too heavy in my backpack. I'm taking it again this year, though I'm hoping I won't need to unpack it as I'm planning to keep my purchases down in size (best laid plans, etc ;-)
Re cash. Many traders accepts credit/debit cards, but not all by any means, and especially the smaller ones. It's good to have a few notes (quite a few if possible) for getting those small bits that you notice as you pass the trade stands.
*** A word of caution re the credit/debit card machines: They are often wireless devices that are used to collect your pin number. Though I don't believe the Warley NEC show has ever been targetted, it isn't impossible for hackers to 'read' the wireless information as it flows between such card devices and the traders' base stations. The mitigating factor in such a show as at the Warley NEC is that so many transactions are flinging around that it's harder to hack. If you want to be 100% sure of card safety, don't use one. ***
However, that said, if you're making a purchase of a locomotive, it is highly unlikely to have been tested, so if may be advisable to use a credit (note, NOT debit) card for the added financial protection it can give you should you need to return it for any reason. Also, make sure in any such purchase to get the details of the seller (name, address, telephone number) just in case you need to return anything. There aren't really any cowboys at Warley NEC show, it's a bit too well established for that, but it's always better to be safe than sorry when buying to make sure you get contact details for them.
(My personal recommendations for the new item sellers at this year's show go to 'Raliwayania' (aka Replica) and 'The Signal Box' (of Rochester), as I know them both well from frequent transactions. But, I'm sure others have different recommendations.)
I tend to do my shopping for the first couple of hours, have an hour or so break for lunch, then take the first of two rounds of the layouts. The first is to get a brief glimpse of the layouts and a feel for those I want to see again. Then I have another shorter break, a quick check round the trade stands, then I have my second and much more leisurely stroll round the layouts. By the time I've finished that it's normally about 5.30pm.
Very helpful, thank you. I've got the brochure and my ticket so I've done a bit of planning but since this is my first year I think I'll likely do quite a bit of simple wandering. I'm used to big exhibitions (I was at Excel in London recently) and I agree absolutely with your comments about food, drink and carrying things.
I think I went in that way once - sitting in an interminable queue on the M42 North, I decided to carry on and follow my nose. I ended up coming in the back way, straight into the car park and onto the shuttle bus.
Fairly late now for anyone thinking of going tomorrow but having just returned from the show today I found the atmosphere today far better than previous ones I have been too. Only Barney I saw was in one of the food outlets where two parties were both claiming a chair for someone who was about to join them. One was a Geordie and they tend to argue with their own shadow if no one else is around anyway. Didn't go armed with a tape measure but I suspect there was more space to move in this year in what seemed to be a bigger hall. An irritation I found in the past is people innocently bashing others around them with rucksack style backpacks when passing or turning. hardly happened to me this year. Had my 11 year old Nephew with me and did not suffer at all from any old miserable gits. He managed to get view all the layouts he wanted sometimes waiting a minute or so for a gap to appear but in many cases people made a space for him as they could look over his shoulders. Entered with pre purchased tickets so no queue at 10 expecting to leave about 1400. Eventually left at 1700 having had a good day out. Bonus was a having a little sum come from ERNIE last month so I had a little more to spend on goodies with a clear conscience. G.Harman
Mmmm, I arrived at 0845 and was therefore fairly well at the front of the queue. When I got in I made my way to the very back of the hall and spent an enjoyable 30 minutes or so there before things began to fill up.
While the show is very comprehensive it's almost too big. It also took me a while to begin to appreciate the layout of stands - it would help (or did I miss something) if the organisers would add something to the plan showing where groups of similar stands have been placed.
"Graham Harrison" wrote in message news:euqdnUwsONlbwc email@example.com...
This year in Hall 5 certainly seemed to make a difference. It definitely felt less crowded, there was a better atmosphere around the layouts. I wouldn't have said it was too big (or any bigger than other years in terms of numbers of traders or layouts). It just felt like it was spread out better. All in all, a very enjoyable day.
On 01/12/2007 22:53, firstname.lastname@example.org said,
Ha! I was thinking the same, but got clobbered by several rather large beer bellies turning round instead! If the lump isn't on their back, it's on their front :-) I do have a backpack, but carry it in crowded bits, and I'm conscious of it when turning if it is on my back. I've also noticed that those with video cameras seem to wait patiently these days to get their shot, whereas in the past they often seemed to think they had some sort of divine priority. I'm not quite sure why one guy was filming the guy at East Kent Models serving a customer.
The only downside was not of the organizer's making - the chaos that passed for parking control. Like a numpty, I followed the signs to the West car park - the ones that said "Warley Model Railway". Eventually got in, and like everyone else I drove round and round in circles looking in vain for a space, no attendants in sight, before I eventually found my way back to the exit where the one and only attendant was directing people to the North car parks. Why didn't they just direct people there in the first place, or at least stop people driving into the West car park? It took about 2 hours to get to the NEC, and another
3/4hr to get parked. The trek to the hall did me good!
Anyway, the show itself was good! I got everything on my list, plus a Class 14 kit from Mercian that I didn't know existed! It looks a lot better than the old A1 Models kit I've got.
...and I didn't see the bloke with the shorts and wellys :-)