New Midlands show


Mark Baker

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Last weekend, I was at the New Midlands show at the showground in Newark. It was busy and there were quite a few carvers who attended. Michael Painter and ‘The Tiny Turner’ - Aka Emma Cook – both had stands and were carving and answering questions over both days. Looking down from where I was demonstrating, they too were very busy. Shows are always tricky things: getting the balance right of cost, location, mix of exhibitors and demonstrators, seating arrangements, food and refreshments: it is a logistical nightmare to pull off. It is like editing a magazine. No one is pleased with the result all of the time and someone will have something to say, no matter what one does. I know that when I attend shows, I do likewise and find things I like and dislike or ponder about. It is human nature! Of course, what we want from a show is personal to us and those likes and dislikes may, or may not be shared by others.

The people I spoke to seemed genuinely happy to have a show in this locality, they liked the fact that it has the possibility of expanding into a bigger hall so more exhibitors are possible for next year, that it was easy to get to and so on. The only comment I received for future development was that it would be nice to have a wider spread of the woodworking disciplines represented. It is a truism that turners and carvers tend to be the dominant majority at most shows. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that this show was a brave venture. It was a new location and in today’s economic climate, it was risky as to whether it would work or not. I am told it is happening next year, with a greater spread of the woodworking disciplines represented, so it will be worth a look if you want to attend a show. If you attended, let me know what you thought.

Have fun,


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