The third Saturday in January saw me making the annual trip across London to attend the London Model Engineering Exhibition which was held over the 17th to 19th of the month at its now usual venue of Alexandra Palace. Arriving at about 9.30 parking was easy and after a leisurely walk up the hill, photo 1, I made my way to the queue of advance ticket holders waiting for the doors of the Great Hall to open at 10.00am.
Once inside I made my way around the trade stands making a few purchases as I went, there were no major items that I specifically wanted but I did make a list of materials and other consumables that I like to pick up at the shows as it helps to support the traders that make the effort to attend and the saving in postage and packing on one or two purchases pays for the admission and any more goes a good way towards covering fuel costs.
Although the days of “show special offers” seem to be a thing of the past I did get a couple of good deals, Jenny from JB Cutting tools (no relation!) threw in an extra cutter when I bought four-ball nose carbide milling cutters from her and Noggin End who I often purchase from, as they tend to keep a few more metric sizes than some of the other ME suppliers, rounded down the cost of a bundle of metal.
As I walked up and down the isles they did seem to be a bit wider than in previous years and there were also a few large areas with nothing which although making it easier and more comfortable to move around is also a sign that less of the hobby specific trades are finding it economic to attend shows or having to cut down the number that they take a stand at. Though having said that there were one or two new faces including a new metal supplier, unfortunately they did not have the size steel that I was after despite having a good range of other metric sizes and several grades of steel.
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