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Five Paddys Go To Exeter

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Noel

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Thursday, November 11th.
Get up in the middle of the night, dress, drive to friends house to meet up with others and drive to Belfast International Airport. Arrive at airport
at 6.00am, get told by the local cops that there is a "security incident" (how nostalgic...)at the main carpark. A mortar luncher( a mk II, apparently..) was noticed sticking out of the bushes, pointing in the general direction of the terminal. Bomb disposal are having a look at it.......Better start looking a bit faster, as our easyJet is sitting on the tarmac, waiting to go at 7.00am. "Well officer, what do we do, then?" The nice officer replied " Well, if you want to park in the main carpark you can follow the diversion signs and drive around the back of the local town and get to the carpark that way. But if you do that, you won't be able to get into the terminal from there, on account of the security incident." Big help. So, after a little negotiation, we manage to make it to a private carpark and get one of their shuttle buses to the terminal, except that the bus can't quite get to the terminal, so, grab the bags, a ten minute walk and get to the easyJet check-in desk in a very empty airport with a few mins to spare, fly on an empty 737 thing to Bristol, get hire care and arrive at Westpoint at 9.30. The day has to get better, doesn't it?

Westpoint looked good. Traffic flowing freely into the carparks (unlike other carparks I could mention....). About a two minute wait in the queue to enter the hall.
First impressions slightly negative. I'd been to Shepton Mallet and in comparison this place looked small. In reality there was more to see, more to get involved in, as much drooling and since we had two days, no rushing around at 4.30 trying to fit everything in.
I guess any show of this nature revolves around two aspects - the merchandise on show and the people associated with the merchandise. Both points provided a very enjoyable 2 days.

Highlights that I remember included the Brimarc stands - Ramon talking about and demonstrating the Leigh D4, Joel Hansen on the Kreg stand (big improvement on price and presentation compared to Carrolls), a nice lady, Judy, carving a laminated ply rocking horse with an Arbortech, more than a few interesting chats with Martin Brown (he of the Kilt wearing clan) and the purchase of a Veritas marking wheel gauge and a striking knife. Very nice tools, especially the marking gauge when compared to the LN Drake model costing 3 times the price.
Next stop Mr King at the GWW stand. Very friendly and knowledgable had good gleek over Ian's work station, wonder who won it.
Then onto Terry's stand for the UKW meet. Great to put faces to names. Planned to have a good chat with everybody but only ended with a quick word with Gidon, Adam and Chris. Always next year.
Visited Rob Cosman's dovetail demo about 109 times and still failed to see a complete demo. The guy was talented but perhaps talked too much during the demo and didn't interact enough with the audience IMHO, although was impressed with his Houndstooth joint.
The Trend stand was certainly big and well stocked but the staff were not too overly friendly.
Although I have little interest in turning I was very taken by the sheer skill on show. This along with the furniture on display in a minor hall was well worth the visit, especially a chest of drawers in mahogany and a magnificent vase.
Nick Browne on the Jet stand was as helpful as ever, the GWW £10K prize looked rather appealing....wonder who won?. Time and lack (lackage, Alf..) of memory doesn't permit me to waffle much more. There were a fortune of other stands that offered plenty of interest. One downside, the bar ran out of the Black stuff after only two rounds but managed to find plenty more in Exeter and on the the way to Bristol......
All in all, an excellent show, see you there next year.

Noel

PS - Purchases? The two Veritas mentioned above, 4 Pony pipe clamps, an NVR for the R/Table and a few other minor bits and pieces.
 

Philly

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Noel,
Glad to hear you had a good time-worth the trouble getting there!
That quick talking Mr Cosman is a character (I got there at 9am, waiting 30 minutes forthe door to open then made my way straight to the L-N stand. Then had 30 minute chat with Rob (and the 2 lovely L-N ladies :wink: ), he showed me a few work-arounds for my dovetailing woes, one-on-one. He told me he was sick to death of cutting them all day........that's the price of being the Dovetail King tm!)
Unfortunately I was only there on the Saturday (WILL be there Thursday next year!) so missed you Guys,
best regards
Philly :D
 

Alf

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Noel,

What is it with you and getting to airports anyway?!
Sorry we didn't get to say more than "Hi" and "Bye" - I was plunged into galootish "show and tell".
Good call on the wheel gauge, one of my favourites too. Although having said that I spent the weekend using the cutting gauge BB kindly gave me. Gauge problem? What gauge problem...?


Philly, very cunning to go straight to the L-N stand to get to Rob while he was fresh. I never managed a single glimpse of his demo, and yet still managed to succumb to the chisels. Goodness knows wht could have happened if I had seen it...


Cheers, Alf

For those who couldn't make it, UK Workshop's presence on the BriMarc Veritas stand
:
 
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