I have written several reviews here and in DHMS magazine for the York Show so I am struggling to find anything original to say about it. I thought I might take another tack.
How do I decide whether to go to a show and what would I like to find there ...
1. Distance - in my case this seems irrelevant. I have been lucky enough to have spent half the year in the USA for the past fifteen years and that has allowed me to visit shows there. We are no longer doing that so now I have to consider which shows I want to do and somehow validate the cost and time. The easy answer is to choose shows which will build into some sort of holiday. This means that an American show or the Holland or Madrid one aren't out of the question.
We can actually do the York Show in a day as it is just a couple of hours drive from our home but we have taken to building it into a short break in York. So this time we left on Friday which gives me the luxury of attacking the show following a hotel breakfast and feeling fresh as a daisy... well a rather old daisy. We went home on Monday. It also means we get to eat at my absolute favourite eatery twice a year. Google 'Trinacria' if you are ever in York.
2. Size - Hard to put a number on the amount of vendors I need to make it feel worth doing but probably something over forty. Size and distance to the show are of course interrelated - it is fine to do a small show if it is a day trip but to add in a mini break around it gives me pause for thought. This is a wiggle and jiggle area.
York lays claim to over ninety vendors and more than a thousand visitors. This show listed 83 and there were a couple of no-shows (this does happen at most shows) so we had 81 to go at. This is a surfeit of stands for most people to trawl from 10.30 am until 4 pm. A lot of people like me pre-buy their ticket and they are allowed in at 10 am.
It seemed to have a good footfall, maybe less than the November one. Again it claims to be the largest event in the North of England.
3. Workshops - this isn't such a big deal in the UK shows but York did offer three - Make a silk bonnet with Hazel Dowd £5, Miniature Crazy Patchwork with the Miniature Needlework Society £5 and a free session with Jane Harrop - Holiday themed miniatures. They are usually fully taken up.
4. Parking - it is just great to be able to park right on site and not have to hike to the show. York does this nicely and it is free.
5. Catering - on site catering is an absolute for me. I want to be able to take a break with a snack or a cup of tea during the day just to regroup for more shopping. The better the catering facilities the happier I am. York also has lots of seating areas to relax in away from the shopping.
6. Good mix of vendors - it is really important for me that there is as wide a mix of vendors as possible. I want to look at just about anything you could put in a project and would love to see it at different quality and different budget levels. Hence the need for it to be as big a show as possible. York Show does OK at this and I am sure there is something for everyone.
7. Disabled access - not high on my must-have list but a vital element nevertheless. The York Show is on three levels and has a lift.
8. Space - I hate being at shows where you feel you can't breath because you are so hemmed in by tables and people. Also if you are squished you have to wait ages to get near any stand you want to look at. York is one of the best for offering a feeling of space and easy access to the wares.
9. Cloakroom - I meant to check if they had a cloakroom - this is really useful sometimes. For example if you do a cold/wet day show at Miniatura you really want to shed your outside clothes before going into the show rather than trudge round in them all day (for two days). I apologise for not checking but have a feeling there isn't a cloakroom at this venue.
10. Entrance fee - I have never yet thought the entrance fee to a show was too much and York is no exception. It costs £5 for adults and £2.50 for children on the day at the door and £3.50 and £1.50 if you buy your tickets in advance. You save this on one single purchase by not having to pay postage had your ordered your treasure on line.
Here's a few photos of things I liked: (click on any photo to see it full screen)
One of my all-time favourites - Delph Miniatures - they never cease to amaze me with their ingenuity. You really need to get their catalogue or spend an evening trawling their website as they sell things you never knew you wanted but then discover you can not do without.
Severn Models is entirely new to me and was absolutely fascinating. I presume it was born from model railways but there is a wealth of stuff for dollhousers. I so wish I had taken a photo of the most perfect 144th house (a dolls house for your 1/12th dolls house). There are many 144th houses around but not many with stairs and interior walls and doors and furniture. Exquisite and on my shopping list.
|YHunt for Miniatures and Bears|
Victoria Fasken is another favourite of mine and I actually own some of her dishes for my current project. I can not find a web site for her but here is a good article about her work: Victoria Fasken's Exquisite Small Ware
|C. J. Miniatures (1:48th)|
|C. J. Miniatures (1:48th)|
C. J. Miniatures sell a lot of very nice things but the favourite for me is always the wonderful work of Gayle B's Petworth Miniatures. There is always a huge crush around Petite Properties but for my brief journey into quarter scale I would have always chosen the lovely fine materials and beautifully detailed work of Petworth. If only she made a piano or harpsichord in 1/12th!!
Sadly I didn't buy very much as I had a very specific list of needs and wasn't able to fill them as I am so pernickity. No fault of the show. If you want to see what I bought they will be posted over on my project blog on Saturday (11 June). Dalton House