Model Boat Convention 2011
The show by modellers for modellers
DAVE ABBOTT reports
The Model Boat Convention has seen a number of venues over the years including the Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port, Birchwood Business Park in Warrington and now for the first time in 2011, at Haydock Park Racecourse on the 27/28th August. This is a superb venue with loads more space than Birchwood to exhibit models and for the traders to display their wares, plus plenty of free parking and the usual other personal facilities! Jean Barlow is the Secretary of the Model Boat Convention Committee and she, together with her colleagues is to be congratulated on making the whole event the success that it was.
The halls on both floors provide excellent lighting and much greater space for both the club displays, traders and the general public, and a small but well used outside pool was provided for exhibitors to operate their models. I understand that for 2012, there should be a larger pool or the possible use of the water facilities of the racecourse itself. On the first floor there was an eating area and café which was more than adequate to cater for the hungry visitors with tea, coffee, light meals, soft drinks and snacks, all at sensible prices.
The number of model boat clubs attending was more than in 2010 and the number of traders was higher as well. So, this was (and is) a good all round show for model boater builders of all persuasions, although it must be said the emphasis is very much on scale r/c models. Mind you, the model of Amerigo Vespucci was absolutely stunning! The number of models on display on the club stands was apparently a staggering total of 527!
The opening ceremony on the Saturday morning was held in the large foyer outside one of the three halls used for the traders and model clubs. The guests of honour for the weekend were Paul and Rosemary Freshney. Paul opened the event and also presented the prizes on the Sunday afternoon.
The competition models were assessed during the two days by an experienced team of judges as were the club stands. There were demonstrations of model making techniques and of course the comprehensive trade support was (and is) critical to an event such as this. As I mentioned earlier, the number of traders was significantly more than in 2010 and the range of what they offered covered everything one would routinely need to pursue our hobby. The quality of the models on display was of a very high standard, better than ever before and it certainly gave the judges a lot of hard work! The President’s Award went to William (Bill) Power for his lifeboat and Talus tractor. He has of course also built a huge one quarter scale model of the Talus Tractor and is to be commended for his dedicated skilled engineering as well as his model making abilities. The President’s Award was judged by Paul Freshney, himself a Senior MPBA judge and not a bad model builder either!
And for 2012?
I can confirm that the 2012 Model Boat Convention will be held on the Saturday and Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend at Haydock Park Racecourse. Please see this magazine for updates nearer the time or check the website: www.modelboatconvention.co.uk.