Of all the major exhibitions none, perhaps, attracts as many families, and potential, as well as actual, model engineers. And in large numbers. That has got to be good for the future of the hobby.

The 2016 show was the 20th and busy on all three days, although overnight snow meant a slow start on Sunday morning. No doubt the good attendance was largely due to some smart marketing, helped by local TV coverage. It is also down to a good proportion of exhibitors being relevant to the family outing, rather than the exclusive preserve of the experienced swarf maker.

For the model engineer it is a friendly event that does not pretend to be elitist. It is a place for an annual get together rather than showing off. And for shopping at the 50-odd trade stands.

One of the highlights was an excellent large display by the SMEE, which attracted lots of visitors of all types. It had something for everyone, from historic models, to new technologies, to a lathe for young Johnny to have a go on.

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