The second reason is a more selfish one: this process takes up a good half of my time at a show and 'gets in the way' of my shopping and actually seeing everything, so if I am not compelled to do it I would prefer not to.
It does raise issues for this blog though as I won't have anything visual to share with you other than a general shot and photographs of what I bought. I am hoping that if I just share my experience of the day it may help towards your deciding whether this is a show you want to do or not. I am always happy to get emails from my blog readers so if you do want to ask anything specific or want a more private opinion please just ask.
The York Show is held twice a year - Spring and Autumn and is courtesy of Dolls House and Miniature Scene Magazine and their publishers Warners. That said the magazine hasn't had a presence there at either show this year.
York always has a good turn out of customers. It may have been just a little thinner than usual this time as the weather had chosen to have its first cold of the year (ice on roads) the very same weekend.
Even with a lot of buyers it isn't nastily crowded like some shows can be. You can usually get to see what you want and get served reasonably quickly. There were about ninety vendors so there is certainly enough to go at.
Whether you enjoy a particular show or not will depend on so many things, not least of which is your previous experience of them. The first show I went to was about half the size of this one and I thought I'd died and gone to doll house heaven having all those shops under one roof. Five years and four projects into the game I am a little jaded and even with ninety vendors I spend my time wishing for more and different. This will only apply if that's your usual temperament - this is a woman who keeps wishing 'they' had invented a new animal when she food shops! There really is a huge amount of stuff to go at for normal people.
Most certainly vendors like Jennifers of Walsall and J & A Supplies are my go-to people for all my build stuff and more when starting a project. Scanning the list of traders I really do think everything else you could want is covered too - there is food, curtains, furniture, glass, lighting and a zillion other specialists. Dolls, figures, fabric is also well catered for. I thought too that there seemed to be an increase in vendors adding 1/24ths and 1/48ths to their ranges if you look carefully and sometimes ask.
The show is easy to get to (road or rail) and is easy to find as it is held at York race course. There are a ton of places to stay if you want to make a short break of it. I really do recommend it if you can afford a little holiday with dollhousing built in. We did an extended weekend for the Spring Show and did some touristy things. York is bursting with things to see and do. This is also handy if you travel with someone who doesn't want to do the show as they have a mass of things they can do instead.
I have a favourite eatery (nearby) to adjourn to after the show if you can manage to leave around lunch time. It is cafe style and can be packed and noisy but worth it for the best Scicilian food off the island. My husband haunts it every trip for their outstanding ice cream - a 'breakfast' ice cream this weekend! Trinacria
Back to the show. It is spread out over three floors and there are always a couple of demos/classes held during the day on the mezzanine floor. There is a main restaurant right alongside the show so very handy - the food is OK and not expensive so no need to leave the room if you decide you need lunch and a sit down. There is an additional eating area on the top floor where you can grab a drink or cake or snack of some sort if you don't want to give up too much time to non-shopping needs.
Parking is fine, even better if your 'driver' drops you off as mine does. Unless you really must be the first person over the threshold just sit in the car until the show opens. There is always a very long queue and unless the weather is perfect that's not a fun way to start. I buy the preview ticket which lets you in half an hour before pay on the day folks but don't leave the car until ten o'clock when the door opens.
One caveat, and it applies to several shows, phone reception is almost non-existent inside the building so you need to make some clear arrangements (that's not phone dependent) with anyone who is not at the show with you.
I stopped at many, many stalls but only purchased from five. If you are pernicikty about what you want where it will always slow you down (my problem). If you are freewheelin' and are just enjoying making a dolls house in the truest sense you will have a ball at any good size show and have trouble hanging on to your money.
Here's what I bought. If you want to see them itemised you'll need to go to my purchases album: Purchases
|The Ironworks and Black Country Miniatures|
|The Craft Pack Company|
Email me if there is anything more you want to know.