The Bristol Model Engineering and Hobbies Exhibition is one of those annual shows that I have never managed to visit. As the price of petrol has fallen (a bit) I decided to make the 220 miles round trip at the weekend. I am pleased to say it was a very worthwhile journey. The venue was the Thornbury Leisure Centre just north of Bristol, easy to get to as it is close to the M4/M5 junction and plenty of free parking once you arrive.
The exhibition uses all four of the main sports halls with further exhibits outside. From the free guide I reckon there were about 100 stands split roughly 60/40 clubs and societies to traders, a very good mix. Unlike some model engineering shows there was a wide variety of related hobbies from R/C planes and helicopters through trucks and cars to the more usual model trains and boats. I even saw a stand devoted to quilting and needlecraft complete with sowing machine.
The halls were very spacious and well laid out, there seemed to be plenty of room to move about and even enough space to take photos despite there being plenty of visitors. The main hall had a spectators gallery, where the photo was taken from, which is adjacent to the restaurant so it was quite nice to recover from the journey with a coffee whilst getting an idea of the layout below.
The Guild of Model Wheelwrights had an extremely interesting and varied stand with many fine examples of their work on display. I was particulary impressed by the selection of farmyard machinery by Brian Young, two of his exhibits below (click on the image for a larger version), together with a fine artillery piece by J. Walford.
I made the effort at the weekend to drive the 80 odd miles to Leamington Spa to attend the Midlands Model Engineering exhibition. There were a good number of trade stands there and my wallet was a bit lighter on the way home. I did take a few photos but I only had my phone with me and the quality of most shots was fairly poor. It is also difficult to line up good shots, when like most exhibitions, the stands are fairly crowded although it seemed to thin out a bit in the afternoon.
Got a reasonable shot of a Burrell traction engine and also of it’s smaller sibling a 3″ scale model, being one of the good turnout provided by the National Traction Engine Trust who were visiting the show for the first time.
Model Engineering clubs were well represented there being some 40 club stands showing a fine selection of work. One that caught my eye was the Knightcote Model Boat Club who had an excellent display which the photo does not do justice.
All in all a good day and well worth a visit, definitely on the calendar for next year.