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rooboy

Scale Model World 2019 - first time visitor help

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Apologies if this topic has been discussed before, but I couldn't find anything. Boston, USA, resident here. I'm interested in flying across the pond this November and visiting Scale Model World 2019 at Telford. I have the some questions about this expedition.

 

1. For accommodation, should I stay at the conference location? Or is it feasible to say somewhere close and commute? How will traffic at the show's location be?

2. Also related to question 1, getting to Telford from London. Drive rental car or take public transport (trains/bus)?. I would plan to arrive in the Telford area on Friday Nov 8 and leave on Mon Nov 11 to catch afternoon flight back to USA.

3. Is there anything for the spouse to do in/around Telford? She may not want to visit the show. 

4. Is there anything else you consider important that I should know?

 

Thanks

   Daniel

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Hi Daniel,

first off :post1: ! To answer your questions:-

1. Regarding accommodation, most hotel rooms will already be booked within Telford centre. However, you have hotel rooms available East of Telford and also West of Telford. The one I use is the Travelodge on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, at Bayston Hill which is around 20 minutes drive. Traffic can be a 'bit of a pig!' but if your timings right it can be a case of 'what traffic?'

2. My first thought is take the train, BUT, that is purely dependant on how used you are to driving on the correct side of the road :whistle:

Joking apart, Friday? Northbound? great if your flight lands at daft O'Clock A.M. as the roads will be fairly quiet, anything that involves leaving London after 10:30 A.M.

NO thank you very much! London traffic bad? Nah, around Birmingham / Coventry? it'll be a bear! My thinking, travel by train to Telford then pick up a hire car or just book a taxi / private hire car.

3. Dependant on what your spouse like to do, Telford centre is full of shops but if a little bit of history / site seeing is enjoyed, it's got to be Shrewsbury centre which has history back to the 13th - 14th Century.

More to follow!

 

Paul

 

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Most hotels in Telford maybe fully booked or on the higher cost range. There is plenty to do in Telford or local area. Stratford Upon Avon is only an hour and a bit away by train from Telford and so is Warwick Castle. Retail Therapy can be found in Birmingham City Centre.

 

You may want to look at the Telford City Website as they will have a tourist information for the local regional area.

 

Down load the train/bus timetables if you intend to use public transport. If you intend to drive, be aware that we drive on the wrong side of the road for most American and be very careful when crossing English roads because of this.

 

Also try to visit the RAF Museum at Cosford and Hendon if you can spare the time.

 

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I wouldn't rely on the trains, especially not on Sunday, if you're not staying in Telford itself.  Better to drive.  If you're coming up from London you'll have had plenty of practice by the time you reach Telford (c.200 miles) and will have stopped hitting other vehicles.  Allow four hours.

 

Also available for accommodation are north and south, although the roads aren't as straight or as fast, and the other towns are a little further away.  North of the main M54 route you have Market Drayton, Newport, possibly Whitchurch, and you might find something in the small village of Hodnet.  South you have Bridgnorth and possibly Ironbridge, and there's the home of the modern Olympics at Much Wenlock.

 

When coming to the venue, you'll find that the road into the centre is bung-full in both directions.  The show opens to the public at 10 but to IPMS members at 9, so the standing traffic is usually well established by 8:30.  In Telford town there's a long-stay car park called Cherry Pink which is a little cheaper than the venue on Saturday and a lot cheaper on Sunday.  It's all of two minutes' walk away.  I always park in there.  Of course, having flown over the pond and hired a car for four days, you might not find a few quid matter, but avoiding the delay might.

 

Telford is, I'm afraid, a bit unimpressive, and outside the single shopping centre it has stuff all by way of shops or sights.  Wellington, a village now in its western suburbs, has some history and is worth a look.  But PhoenixII is right to recommend Shrewsbury, which is just lovely.  If you're not in a hotel there, use the Park & Ride, as it's easier to leave the car there and cheaper to park.  There are three; the most useful are likely to be Meole Brace and Harlescott, both well signposted from the main roads.  Newport and Bridgnorth are both attractive towns but much smaller.  Bridgnorth has a unique castle with a leaning tower, and a church designed by Thomas Telford, better known for canals and rail bridges, and the man for whom Telford is named.  (Mind you, Shrewsbury has a round church, with Ebenezer Scrooge’s grave in the churchyard.)

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One question I forgot to ask, is spending both days at SMW overkill? Do people generally go both days or just one day?

 

Thanks

   Daniel

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:rofl2::rofl2::rofl2: Daniel, you could spend a week there and still not see everything! BOTH days, you'll need 'em. You'll be kid in a candy store!

BUT, I guarantee you'll loose the first half hour, walk round glassy eyed and drooling! Give consideration to extending your stay, 'cos your 'Dogs WILL be barking!'

 

From the little I know, U.S. shows are about the competition, so by their nature, including the IPMS (USA) Nationals, by SMW standards at least, are small.

With SMW, the emphasis is more with the clubs, (chapters) 46 currently confirmed to attend and the Special Interest Groups, 37 currently confirmed to attend, there will be more! then there'll be 160 (no, NOT a typo) 160 trade stands, size, from single 6' x 4' table to the larger! 30' x 30' unit. If you can't get it at Telford in November it's doubtful it's made, anywhere.

 

You'll have heard stories that SMW is hugh, it's true! Three halls, plus kit swop (if you have IPMS membership, including overseas) plus mezanine, total 50,000 sq. ft. Worth having a look at the IPMS web site here:- https://ipmsuk.org/. and have a look here for the TIC information:- https://www.theinternationalcentretelford.com/  Should you feel a little homesick, don't worry, there'll be at least one US vendor......well, he IS Californian :wicked: (sorry Richard, beat Peter!) there, so you can abuse the English language to your hearts content! We love you really!

 

Trust the above verbiage is useful in some small way?

Paul                                              

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Hi Daniel,

 

It may be worth looking at flights direct to Birmingham Internaional rather than the London airports. It's closer to Telford and if trains are your preferred mode of transport then there is a station at the airport with good links to Telford. It really depends on what the options are from your end (Birmingham has transatlantic routes but not sure which US airports they operate to/from).

 

If you don't mind driving, Telford is pretty easy to get to as it's on the motorway (freeway) network.

 

Two days - and you still won't see it all :)

 

Accommodation - as others have said,the three hotels adjacent to the exhibition centre are probably booked out already but it might be worth checking them out, The International and Holiday Inn are both effectively on-site whilst the Premier Inn is about 100 yards up the hill from the front front entrance. The are other hotels (large and small) in the Telford area and lots of small guest houses too. Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton are 15-20 minutes drive away (or on the same rail line) and also have a wide selection of accommodation.

 

RAF Museum Cosford is just down the road (10-15 minutes by car) and there is a train station close to the museum too (if you don't mind a 10 minute walk along the perimeter fence). Little tip - if you do want to visit the museum, go on the Monday or Tuesday after the show because that is the only week of the year when the museum opens up its conservation centre (about 0900-1300 each day) There's a small entrance fee to the conservation centre but it's well worth it (the museum itself is free entry but there is a parking fee).

 

Telford itself is a fairly anonymous 'new town' (a planned new development built in the 60s and 70s) with a reasonable shopping centre. The area around the exhibition centre has been redeveloped over the past 3-4 years and there are quite a few restaurants close by. Shrewsbury has lots of history and is probably better for the casual visitor/tourist to spend the day.

 

It's late in the year so several of local industrial heritage sites and museums will be closed. It is known as the cradle of the industrial revolution so there are museums and old sites to visit. If you google 'Ironbridge' or 'Coalbrookdale', it will give you an idea of the history.

 

If you belong to IPMS USA (or any other IPMS group) you will get free entry to the show (no registration fee for the contest either) - IPMS (UK) members don't pay and it is a courtesy we extend to all our overseas IPMS colleagues.

 

Not sure what your experience of US shows is, but British shows have a different emphasis. I know from my own visits to an IPMS USA Convention and the AMPS Convention in the early 2000s that US events are built around the contest. We build our shows around the chapter displays. The contest is important to us but the club displays are what make the show (and the vendors too). We aim to make a friendly, social atmosphere. There is always a dedicated 'overseas' area where all the organised overseas groups hang out and put on small displays (usually about 20-30 different groups from all over Europe and further afield - there's usually an IPMS USA presence there.

 

Hope that helps,

 

Regards,

John

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Another idea on accommodation is the university as that's where I stay and been great so far, it's only 10 mins down the road... 

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Hi, Daniel. 

 

For accomodation, I would echo what Batcode has stated here. The University of Wolverhampton has a campus about 5-10 minutes drive from the Scale Model World Show venue. Last year, I think a single room was £45 per night (including a decent breakfast). If you're used to five-star hotels, then the campus rooms might seem a bit basic, but my thoughts are "bed and shower, do you really need anything more?".  The web-site is bookaroom.wlv.ac.uk    (I have no association with the University, other than having stayed there the last four years worth of Shows). 

 

There are several hotels around the centre of Telford. Their tarrifs seem to increase sharply in early November, but I've never quite worked out why...

 

It is no exaggeration to say that you will need BOTH days to look around the Show - it is huge! One day just doesn't do it justice. 

 

I would also heartily recommend that you go to the RAF Cosford Museum - the only venue in the world where you can see all three of the RAF's 1960's heavy-bombers under one roof (Victor, Vulcan and Valiant). There are a number of other exhibits that are extremely rare (ME-163 Komet, Japanese Ohka rocket-propelled kamakazi aircraft, a good selection of British experimental types, etc). 

 

I'm sure you've already thought of this, but I'll say it anyway - bring some good, warm clothing with you. Hats, gloves and a strong umbrella are pretty much a must in Telford in early November, as the wind often makes things seem much colder than the reality. If you are queing outside up to get in on the Saturday morning, then you'll be glad you have the right clothing for the weather. Being an IPMS member will cut down your waiting time on the Saturday significantly. Having said all that, you can never really predict exactly what the weather will do in November, but do come prepared for miserable conditions.

 

There are a number of decent chain-retaraunts in Telford and there's also a large Supermarket (superstore, in you're native tongue?) very close to the venue (ASDA's).

 

Hope this is of some help to you. Enjoy the Show - it is quite an eye-opener the first time around. 

 

Chris.  

 

PS: Might be worth mentioning... IPMS members do not have to pay to get into the Show.

Edited by spruecutter96
Adding some info.

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A big thank you to all that have replied to my questions regarding SMW 2019. All of your responses were most helpful and I hope to perhaps meet some of you at SMW 2019. And if I have the phrase correct, it will be my shout.

 

Thank you

   Daniel

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Daniel, you Sir, are a gentleman. Think it may get a little expensive though! Just come over, if the chance presents, and say hello. As it is currently, I'll either be on the North Riding stand look for the arms of the Lord of the North, or Coastal Command.

Hope you have a pleasant journey over.

 

Paul Brown, secretary,

North Riding

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Unfortunately it seems you cannot fly direct  to Birmingham from Boston but the drive up from Heathrow to Telford is very simple if a bit dull.

 

We stayed at the Buckatree Hall Hotel last year, and booked again for this year.  It’s fine for a night or two but is a few miles out of Telford.  There were quite a few other show goers there.  

 

I concur with the others about Cosford, great museum and Ironbridge too.  Birmingham has great shopping etc and more canals than Venice (don’t search on YouTube for the Telly Savalas promotional video though...it’s not the best advert for the city)

 

It is well worth spending both days at the show.

Edited by R159
Spelin

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On 2/11/2019 at 9:10 PM, rooboy said:

One question I forgot to ask, is spending both days at SMW overkill? Do people generally go both days or just one day?

 

Thanks

   Daniel

I certainly wouldn't regard going both days as overkill, and I always go both days myself.  The show's huge, taking up all three main halls of the International Centre.  You could easily spend an hour or more on one table.   This threads reminds me, that I haven't booked my hotel yet.

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For a shorter travel time between airport and Telford you may want to consider flying direct from Boston to Manchester.  The shorter distance may allow you to include the visit to Cosford (you'll regret it if you don't) and still allow you to make your original 'Long Weekend' plan.

If you are anything like the rest of here you may also want to check up on the airlines extra baggage allowance and what rules there are about what they consider to be dangerous air cargo because you will be buying (lots of) stuff. 😉

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On 2/12/2019 at 7:25 AM, John Tapsell said:

Hi Daniel,

 

It may be worth looking at flights direct to Birmingham Internaional rather than the London airports. It's closer to Telford and if trains are your preferred mode of transport then there is a station at the airport with good links to Telford. It really depends on what the options are from your end (Birmingham has transatlantic routes but not sure which US airports they operate to/from).

 

As John said, I'd rather look at flights into Birmingham, even if you have to add a stop over somewhere. It's the more relaxed option - consider that after a long transatlantic flight you'd be sitting in a car for 3+ hours, in unfamiliar territory, driving on the other side of the road, steering the car from the other side, shifting gears with the left hand :)

Other than that though, make every effort to attend - it's worth it, all the stories are true !

J

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Hi, Daniel.

 

However you get there and where-ever you stay, I think you will have a fantastic weekend. It would be difficult not too.

 

Contact me via Britmodeller a lot nearer the show and we can meet up on the Saturday (or Sunday, for that matter). It might be worth knowing that the opening hours are an hour shorter on the Sunday (10:00am to 16:00pm on Sunday, 10:00am to 17:00pm the day before).

 

It could be a real benefit to have a guide on your first visit. I'll leave that with you. 

 

By the way, you have the expression right and it's a very generous offer, Sir. 

 

Cheers. 

 

Chris.   

Edited by spruecutter96
Correcting a typo.

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