We are very grateful to all those, mainly MAFVA members,
and some from
Gravesham Model Club, and some traders, who undertook the
thankless task of judging the competition.
MAFVA, Paul Middleton writes:
Filled with trepidation after some pessimistic weather reports, I set
off at dark O’clock and after a happily uneventful two hours pulled up in the prime parking space on the Leas. No one
wasthere so I went for breakfast at the Café round the corner. There I overheard conversations centred on fixing missing rooves courtesy of Storm Doris (No, not you Ellen!).
The show was very fortunate that the storm did not hit 48 hours
later. On returning to the Leas Cliff hall, it was open, but no On Track people, so I went down to the Channel Suite and laid out the chairs for the MAFVAZone. On popping back up I found ‘Dependable Darren’, an On Track stalwart and crew about to unload the freshly arrived tables, so I joined them. Pretty soon we had the tables spread around the hall, and a stack delivered down to the Channel Suite. This allowed me to set up the tables at my own pace, and then start the MAFVA HQ set up, once I had access to the street-level lift to unload the car.
Incidentally, whilst parking on the Leas is convenient for unloading to the lift or main stairs, it is limited to three hours, and the local wardens are efficient! So I moved the car to the underground car park which is only £3.00 for 24 hours.
Darren’s delightful wife provided lunch with a much-needed cuppa, and on we went. The various contingents of exhibitors and traders started to arrive, and with an early start, we had plenty of time to chat. With an invite out to join Paul Gandy (The MAFVA Chairman-Elect) & the South Wales MAFVA (Or is it the Taffia?) we soon finished and headed off for the hotel. For many of us, the social side of the show is as important as the models, and this was borne out with an excellent evening of banter over some scrumptious food at the local Chinese, followed by a few beers.
An early start followed in the morning to ensure the street-level lift was available, and then while the remaining exhibitors and traders set up, I opened the HQ desk for business. Soon the place was a hive of activity as members popped by to say hello ,
re-subscribe or chat. I managed a tour of the MAFVAZone and was amazed by the variety of models, styles, presentation and sheer brilliance. The competition tables soon began to fill and as you will see when you visit the photo pages (courtesy of Natalia
Claringbold), the standard was extremely high.
When I finally escaped to the main hall, as expected it was extremely busy, and I had to wait to talk to all the people I wanted to see. Not only were the usual suspects amongst the traders, but a few new faces as well. To see who was there consult the traders list on the website. Every variety of kit, book and tool was on offer, frequently with a show discount, and visitors were busy trawling through the stocks looking for bargains.
The make & take was sponsored by Tracey from Armourfast, and excited youngsters could be seen beavering away on a model they were able to take home.
Who knows? That could have sown the seeds of interest in our hobby for some of them, as happened with all of us
Justin was up in the vestibule with Avid reader, his usual haunt, and as usual a wide selection of books on military subjects. Tom Welsh had his Milicast stand by the bar (no surprise), Dan Taylor was beside him with his latest creations, and Mr. Models the other side with floor to ceiling stacks of kits. Amongst the international traders were Black Lion & Geisbers from the Netherlands, Resicast & Paper Panzers from Belgium.
The wargamers were doing their thing on the podium to the left of the stage, which
was impressive and kept many happy.
Before we knew it, it was 4pm and time for the presentation of prizes. Armourfast again sponsored the junior classes, and each winner had a selection of kits to take home. The Seniors seemed well pleased with their trophies, and this year’s ‘Best of Show’ was again by Rob Henden, this time his rendition of ‘Monty’.
Close down was incredibly fast thanks to willing hands and a team of Gurkhas brought in
Although very much a team effort, it would all be in vain without the sterling leadership of Harold Hanna. Well done Harold, another successful show!
Next year’s show will be in
the same location on Saturday 24th of February.
Paul Middleton 1528