View Full Version : Harrogate show

Mark Hockett
05-06-2009, 01:31 PM
Are there any members of this forum who will be at the Harrogate show on Saturday? If so is anyone planning a get together?

05-06-2009, 02:48 PM
Should be there on Saturday Mark, Watch out for Sir John on the Arc Euro stand.

Regards Ian

John Stevenson
05-06-2009, 03:15 PM
Well just got the second of the two 17 tonners loaded, back home and parked up.
Got a case to pack, well cardboard box in my case, nip down the pub for a pint and a reet good curry so I can share it with the guys tomorrow - who say's I'm not generous ?

Thursday setting up and down to Old Mother Shiptons on Thursday night, back to Stalag Rex for 10:00pm curfew, 10:05pm twenty second fart that changes note 4 times and causes everyone to bang on the walls, 10:07 laugh myself to sleep................


05-06-2009, 04:33 PM
I'm aiming to be there on Sunday.


Thomas Staubo
05-06-2009, 06:43 PM
I attended the Harrogate show last year (for my first time), and was originally planning on going this year as well but I've decided not to. There is so much to do, and a couple of events (car, swap meet) that I regularly go to are held the same weekend too.

I hope to go to Harrogate next year though (or maybe the show in Warwickshire in October).

If only I could bring some heavier stuff with me over from ol' blighty, I'm limited in the allowed baggage weight on the air plane.
Sadly, there is no longer any ferries going between Norway and UK, so plane is the only reasonable option.


05-06-2009, 09:41 PM
Sadly, there is no longer any ferries going between Norway and UK, so plane is the only reasonable option.

What! I like the ferry from Bergen to Newcastle, and was hoping to take it again after my next visit to my brother in Oslo.

Thomas Staubo
05-07-2009, 01:26 PM
Sadly it's true, and the economy is to blame, Allan.
After declining passenger numbers, several ferry lines were shut down. DFDS shut down the Bergen-Newcastle line in sept. 2008.


05-07-2009, 04:20 PM
I will be there on Saturday, fighting my way around the stalls looking for a bargain.


Mark Hockett
05-07-2009, 04:32 PM
I have some tooling to deliver to John so at some point I will be at the Arc Euro stand.

Phil, will you be breaking for lunch?


05-08-2009, 04:19 PM
I probably wont arrive until about 12 o'clock.


05-09-2009, 07:01 PM
Sorry we didn't meet up Mark, Saturday used to be the day to go and have a relaxed walk round a talk to the suppliers. Hmmm, must have been the news that you were coming over, very busy, the trade stands were very brisk - "What recession" was the statement from Hemmingway (one of the more discerning suppliers). Walked past his worshipfulnesses stand three times before I managed to get a word, or two, some of them obscenities :D he was busy massaging the green brown and blue pieces of paper bearing the Queens portrait from the dark corners of all an sundries pockets and wallets.

Don't know what Names is like in comparison, hope the Club stands gave a good impression of what Muddle Ingineering and homeshop toolmaking is like on our side of the pond. Hope you don't have to pay too much in excess baggage charges to get back home.

Regards Ian.

Mark Hockett
05-10-2009, 08:06 PM
I had a wonderful time at the show. I got there right when the doors opened and went to the Arc Euro stand first thing. The crowds were not heavy at that end of the building yet, so there was some to time to talk to John. One surprise was a familiar face from the U.S., Chris Wood from Little Machine Shop was there talking to John when I arrived.

The show that I go to in the U.S. every year is the GEAR's show in Portland Oregon. I have not been to any of the east coast shows so I can only compare to that one. One thing I noticed when I walked through the door was the first building was about 3-4 times the size of the building for the entire GEAR's show and it was completely full of nothing but vendors. At the GEAR's show I can count all the vendors on two hands. Then I walked into the second building and there were many many more vendors. The second building was about double the size of the entire GEAR's show. It wasn't until I got to the Arc Euro stand that I started to see models on display.

The popular models that are displayed at Harrogate are different from the popular models displayed at GEAR's. There were many model boats, planes, military and even some wooden models that you would not normally find at GEAR's. At GEAR's there will normally be many steam models but at Harrogate the majority of the engine models are steam. I only saw a few gas powered models and the one that was running was a hit and miss engine that had a crowd around it. From the conversation I overheard it sounded like the people had never seen this type of engine before, as the owner was trying trying to describe how it worked. I questioned John about this and he said that type of engine was never popular for farm use in the UK. One thing that was very interesting was the larger scale steam models. There were many steam traction engines and steam locomotives that looked to be about 1/4 scale. This is something you rarely see in the U.S.. There were also steam traction engines and steam locos in just about every size under those.

After walking through the model displays I ventured into the vendor area, BAD IDEA. There were many items that I have not seen for sale in the U.S.. I think I am gonna to have to pay for over weight baggage when we check our luggage. A couple of items I picked up were a digital gear caliper,
And a micro boring head set. The one I got is Ref: 171111 from this page,
One thing that surprised me about the vendors was that no one carried the Kurt style vises in any size.

While at the show I met the owner of Arc Euro who gave me some pointers on how to make the 7 X 12 mini lathes work better. One modification he recommended was to change the spindle bearings to a tapered roller bearing. I purchased the Nachi brand bearings from him and picked up a book that included many other modifications.

At the show I met two CAD/CAM suppliers, Andy Payne from Cam Bam and Tony McKenzie from Vectric, which has the Vcarve program. It's hard to tell the full function of either as I only saw brief demos but from what I saw they both looked easy to use and were good values for the hobby CNC machinist.

After the show I was invited to dinner with the Owner of Arc Euro and his wife, John and one of his friends, and Tony from Vectric. The conversation was very interesting as the owner of Arc Euro is very knowledgeable about Chinese manufacturing. I wish he would get on this forum so we could get first hand info and not the rumors that are often mentioned here. He explained how private Chinese citizens became owners of manufacturing companies, such as Sieg.

The trip to Harrogate was defiantly the highlight of the visit to England for me but there was one surprise when I got back to the hotel room that evening. My wife went to a used book store in York while I was at the show and found a wonderful old machinist book called Precision Workshop Methods, dated 1943, by H.J. Davies.

John Stevenson
05-11-2009, 04:24 AM
Just a quick reply, will do a better one later tonight as need to play catchup.

Good show, met many people, Mark included and some of the other from this forum, Tim and Ian [ Circlip ] got some quick pictures at the start of day 3 here on photobucket.

Will add captions later tonight.


Hope this link works.

also there is a video done by another Uk guy, Ralph who I credit with this .



05-11-2009, 05:57 AM
Ahh, the ability to be able to take pikkies BEFORE the throng get in. There we have it in photographic evidence, extracting a big Bluey (20 note) and the victim is actually SMILING, you smooth talkin' ******* (Pick yer own entry, various seven letter words will fit). Good to see you again John, Boggy next year hopefully, with EXTRA luck perhaps even the "Moron"?? Thanks Arc for a working CNC display stand.

Regards Ian

Forgot to mention, lots of the trade stands were selling EXACTLY the same items at differing prices. At least at the computer fairs we have over here the stall holders look at each others prices and compete, but the cost of renting space has to be found somehow and thats the price we pay for having what I think to be the best show in Britain now.

05-11-2009, 08:31 AM
Don't know what Names is like in comparison, hope the Club stands gave a good impression of what Muddle Ingineering and homeshop toolmaking is like on our side of the pond. Hope you don't have to pay too much in excess baggage charges to get back home.

Regards Ian.

There is no comparison, NAMES, Cabin Fever, PRIME and GEARS and any of the other large shows in the US. Are just shadows of the English Shows.

The incubator for NAMES was the 1980's South Kensington (London) Model engineering shows. This year there where just under 60 booths for vendors and around 75 tables for dealers and others, some having more than one tables.
Then there were the exhibitor tables with the piped in air for display of the models, which were filled more this year,than last. At least on Friday and Saturday, late Saturday and Sunday it starts to thin out as some of the people start heading home. It seems to always have been a problem with the US shows, getting the people to stay the full amount of times. It seems that as the people age, and have night driving problems. They are leaving earlier.

As the club operation seems to all ways been greater and larger in England. The ones that are operating in the eastern US and come are well represented with members and their work.

The heavy iron national dealers don't come. There are a number of used iron dealers that come some local and a couple from Chicago.

Little machine shop was there with one of their CNC set ups. And Sherline with theirs. As I understand it the big iron dealers no longer come due to costs of shipping the equipment. And the lack of income generated at the shows to cover the expenses. According to one a couple of years ago, they can stay home and send out info packets. And generate as many sales.

Other problems are that the weak signals RC show is just before the NAMES show in Toledo, and the Boaters and Flyboys. Attend and display there. Plus they have contests and give out awards and prizes for the models. Which NAMES doesn't.

The boaters are more electric and 2 stroke weed wacker engines, and less steam. Plus here in this country if you build the engine and drive assembly say for a paddle wheeler. They are less likely to build the whole boat.
At NAMES,we no longer even build a pond due to the lack of use at the shows.

The railroaders have their own shows, and don't want to be bothered with other distractions. And since their isn't much of a history or past in the US of small scale operating steam rail lines. Below 7 " gauge. The steamers tend to stick with the model engineers.

There has been a lot of comments about the inclusion of the Modular Model railroads groups in the last two shows. Along with the mirco cars,(small cars Like the BMW Isetta and some other failed attempts at small cars) Most not good.

As the (assorted fuel) fired hit and miss style engines and the propane fired Sterling heat engines. Have a larger following in the US. The 1/6 and scale farm or traction engines have a number of builders and I believe there is still somebody selling the casting kits for the 1/6 Case.

Showman's engines, and steam powered rides. Were only around for a short time. As The Parker amusement company Was the only one making a purpose built showman engine that I have seen an advertisement for. There were conversions of others, but not on the scale that they were used in England.

Also with the advent and conversion of rides to electric motors,the IC generators mounted in wagons. and the use of rail travel to move the shows even short distances. We have little if any history of using them over the road. To haulage of living quarters, rides and shows.
As with the steam cars and trucks that had a long run in England. IN the US IC engines took over, and squeezed the other power plants out.

And NAMES is just a not-for-profit group. That meets once a year,at the show. Everybody that attends and pays Dues at the door. (insurance carrier set up)
We have no other meetings, and no other activities other then the planning meetings for the next years show at a number of Directors meetings.

John Stevenson
05-11-2009, 09:26 AM
Because the UK is so small you get the same vendors doing different shows in other locations at different times and they are geared for it.
Chester machine tools has every machine pallet mounted and so is much of their small tools stand.
At the end of a show a fork truck that is carried on the rear of a 44 tonne articulated vehicles comes into the hall and takes the pallets out one by one and loads them directly onto the truck.

Warco do the same but load up into a 44 tonner using pallets and a tail lift.


Our main stand,


The CNC stand.
Notice everything is on wheels, the cabinets have glass tops and some have fold down glass display cases.
Everything in those displays is in the cupboards underneath. Come 4:30 on the Sunday everyone makes a rush for the door, no one can leave earlier, if you want to leave earlier you are politely told "Don't bother coming"

It takes us about 30 minutes to secure the cabinets, load the computers and secure everything for travelling, then start to load two trucks. According to my tacho print out on Sunday night it took 49 minutes to load both trucks and we were ready to roll, by that time the hall was virtually empty.

Vendors are responsible for their own setups, clubs get tables supplied and these are trucked in by the show organisers, this year there were 450 tables used just for club stands.

Attendance cannot be accurately judged as clubs get free passes for 'stewards' and so do trade for 'helpers' which is open to being 'flexible' but given what vendors and clubs *should* have and paying public the attendance is about 20,000 to 24,000 for the 3 days.

I'm betting that over a half a million pounds changes hands over the 3 days so they are very sucessful, just work it out if everyone only spent ten pounds that's a quarter of a million and many spend hundreds as they need to stock up.
I had a bad show, I only spent about 90 :mad:

My pictures were taken before the public were admitted as it's impossible to get the long shots when they are in and don't do justice to the way it fills up.

Even though it gets full quickly it's far better than the early London shows, then there used to be the one main show and very small clubs days all over the country.
As there was the one show it was a priority to go and the crowds were impossible.

I went one year and the queue was all the way round the building back to the doors. We passed by and came back later when it was only about 100 yards long.
As 4 people left the hall they allowed 4 more in, now with better transport, more time and more shows it evens out all over the country.