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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl RetroTechUK), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC, BECG, MCR21 etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 19th May 2023, 5:14 pm   #41
Paul Stenning
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

As stated on https://www.retrotechuk.com/ in the FAQ section:

Quote:
Is there catering available on site?

A catering trailer will be located immediately outside of the Arena hall and will sell hot and cold drinks and hot and cold snacks. There will be an area of tables and chairs within the Arena hall for folk to relax and eat their food.
The FAQ also mentions that the nearest cash machine is at a Co-op store 5 minute walk away, so that shop would be another option for food (sandwiches, cold drinks etc) if the catering truck fare doesn't appeal. Or of course you could bring your own food with you and eat that at the rest area.
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Last edited by Paul Stenning; 19th May 2023 at 5:30 pm. Reason: Tyop and extra info
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Old 19th May 2023, 6:46 pm   #42
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Thanks Paul. Looks like bring your own will be the best option.

Cheers

Aub
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Old 19th May 2023, 9:03 pm   #43
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I'm assured that the catering trailer will offer a range of hot and cold snacks and drinks, including vegetarian options. As Paul has said, there is a convenience supermarket within a walkable distance in the village. The rest area within the hall is for anyones use, including consumption of your own brought food..

Look forward to seeing many of you there and I'm sure we'll all have great first event at this new location..
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Old 20th May 2023, 7:35 pm   #44
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

See you all there. Car is packed and ready. Shame I couldn't fit everything in it!
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Old 21st May 2023, 9:05 am   #45
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I wish you all a very enjoyable day.
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Old 21st May 2023, 4:18 pm   #46
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I did get there but I thought better of it because the totally inadequate car park was full and if I had wanted to buy something or two it would have meant walking a good couple of miles there and back and the way my knees are playing me up I just cant do it any more. so I won't be going again.

Cheers
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Old 21st May 2023, 6:21 pm   #47
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Yeah, that was a bit of a bummer, but later in the day the main car park cleared a bit and we were able to bring the car round and get quite close, good job really as I had bought a fairly heavy Radio Rentals radio and didn’t fancy lugging it all that way! Apart from the car park it was a really good day! Nice to catch up with a few people I haven’t seen for ages, some I’ve not met before too! It was a bit unnerving having storm troopers wandering round though! Best purchase of the day has to be the silicone wire! I can get in with my R1155 now. I’ll get the usual photo of all the stuff when I get back home. I also got an Airmec Televet, something I’d been after for years!! It’s probably completely useless, but fun to play with anyway. Maybe I’ll get it up and running and actually try to fix an old telly using it! Sadly half the stuff I put on the bring and buy ended up coming back with me, so if anyone wants a nice soldering iron/multimeter/Alan keys in a little blue carrying case, or a Bush transistor radio that’s missing it’s handle then they are both still available! Strangely the old floppy drive and GPS tracker thing had both gone! I think the GPS thing had dropped into the back of the Philips scope that had no lid on it, so someone may get a surprise if they bought that! There were some lovely TV’s there, a nice Ekco T161 for £40, I’d have had that if I hadn’t already got one, it was nicer than mine too.. the little Premier kit set was interesting, and the Baird t164, I nearly went for that!! I’m saving the space for the sets I really want, which are either a Sobell Stargazer, a Marconi VT-73 or VT-53, or a GEC BT7092.

Regards,
Lloyd
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Old 21st May 2023, 6:37 pm   #48
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd 1985 View Post
Yeah, that was a bit of a bummer, but later in the day the main car park cleared a bit
Hardly surprising though, is it? You put an event on in a sports venue, and what do people who like sport do? They go somewhere at the weekend to play it...

I remember going to the very first NVCF but as time has gone by I decided that the event - whatever it was called - was simply less and less attractive to me and it would seem many others, judging by the diminishing number of stalls.

I expect to be roundly criticised for this, but I am wondering if the time has come to put this event out of its misery.
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Old 21st May 2023, 6:51 pm   #49
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

The car parking was a bit odd. That seemed to be being controlled by the venue staff who didn't seem to understand what was going on. Initially we were put right round the back the wrong hall even though the people knew which event we were attending. Ten minute walk from my car to our stall was not fun. Anyway I twigged I could get closer coming to the grass area to the side of our hall. The local staff didn't want me to do that either, and tried to make me park at the far corner. I asked to park closer as I had a lot of stuff to carry and i got blank stares for a while as though I was asking in Martian. Anyway they did eventually let me park in a better place. The mad thing was, fairly soon after they were directing everyone there.

That's no reflection at all on the organisers of the event itself which was really good. But maybe they would like to feed back about the parking to the venue? It did end up making me a bit stressed about getting stock in once the doors were (quite rightly) closed.

Hope some people got some bargains from me. I've brought some stuff home. My intention was only ever really to get rid of things I'd gathered over the years and break even on the stall / tickets. We did that, and paid for the petrol money too so great, and a day out. My Nephew came with us too, and enjoyed looking at the other stalls. He even bought a retro 35mm camera. I just hope it does work!

Lots of people looked at the Powermac, but I couldn't tempt anyone!

Thanks.
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Old 21st May 2023, 6:53 pm   #50
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathovisor View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd 1985 View Post
Yeah, that was a bit of a bummer, but later in the day the main car park cleared a bit
Hardly surprising though, is it? You put an event on in a sports venue, and what do people who like sport do? They go somewhere at the weekend to play it...

I remember going to the very first NVCF but as time has gone by I decided that the event - whatever it was called - was simply less and less attractive to me and it would seem many others, judging by the diminishing number of stalls.

I expect to be roundly criticised for this, but I am wondering if the time has come to put this event out of its misery.
No sports people there, I could see. Kids and parents for a Comic event (Star Wars etc) and us.

Looked like every stall was occupied, to me.
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Old 21st May 2023, 6:55 pm   #51
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I went, had a stall and enjoyed the day. I bought a nice Ekco SH25 and sold a bit of stuff. On a purely observational basis it seems to me that collectable vintage radios (as well the less collectable ones) have gone down in price and even desirability. So many really nice sets were left on tables, and they weren't really over priced. Round Ekcos now selling for the £300 mark, Philips 634a £100, and so on. But then you look around the room and there's very few young people in attendance. Another factor - as I see it anyway - is that most of the older collectors have, to a large extent got the sets they are looking for, and so competition is now lower for the prestige sets. And like I say, the younger collectors are just not coming through in large numbers. But anyway, it's not about the value of sets unless you're an out and out dealer, it's about putting a smile on our faces, giving us material to perform our hobby with, and meeting old friends again. And there was a lot of people smiling. Personally I liked the venue, it's large, spacious, the catering was good and a good time was had by most attendees I think.
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:07 pm   #52
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Yes I’m sure that every stall was taken this year, no empty spaces! I did see a bit of car park that was fenced off with a sign saying gym members only, and it had loads of spaces left! As we were getting ready to leave there seemed to be more people arriving for something else, possibly a wedding?! Certainly a busy place. I hope no one went to the old place, when I looked at their website it said they had a tarantula exhibition on!!

Regards
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:12 pm   #53
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I also enjoyed the event , went with a couple of friends and we bought a few bits n bobs.
Bought a couple of Rigs , a 2m receiver, couple of other bits ,but diddnt really want to cart a large item back to the overflow carpark so resisted other stuff to the relief of her indoors.
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:13 pm   #54
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I went to Retrotech after stopping in up the road at the DDRC boot which is about 2 mins from my front door. The boot was quieter than I remember but I did pick up a box of about a million tape deck and av belts and idlers for a fiver. I got to Retrotech about 11 and ended up in the overflow car park which was a good few hundred yards walk at least. That was a bit of a drag but as I’m a bit younger for me doable. I think it was because the comic con event next door was mobbed although it seemed that both events were very busy. There was a lot of interesting stuff but I’d spent elsewhere but did pick up a couple of Sony cassette decks for the princely sum of £15 the pair and am hoping I have the belts in the box I’d bought earlier. Not high end but both cleaned up ok and I’m happy.
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:31 pm   #55
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

I went with a friend and had a great day. My Friends Jon and Mick had a stall and nearly sold out! Prices were fairly low 'to go' though. Trade was solid throughout the day. I bought a couple of record players and a nice Philips car radio. The car park was fairly full early on probably because of Comicon being in the next building. We were able to park nearer the building later on so we didn't have to walk far with our purchases in the end. The event seemed very busy and full.

It was great seeing the Comicon people I have a couple of great pictures of me with Stormtroopers and Predator and Mrs Predator! A real "Geekfest"! I just hope the organisers find that the event is sustainable at the new venue.
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:34 pm   #56
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncanlowe View Post
The car parking was a bit odd. That seemed to be being controlled by the venue staff who didn't seem to understand what was going on. Initially we were put right round the back the wrong hall even though the people knew which event we were attending. Ten minute walk from my car to our stall was not fun.
Did you ever go to the NVCF when it was at the NEC...? Now that was not fun by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 21st May 2023, 7:39 pm   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehertz View Post
I went, had a stall and enjoyed the day. I bought a nice Ekco SH25 and sold a bit of stuff. On a purely observational basis it seems to me that collectable vintage radios (as well the less collectable ones) have gone down in price and even desirability. So many really nice sets were left on tables, and they weren't really over priced. Round Ekcos now selling for the £300 mark, Philips 634a £100, and so on. But then you look around the room and there's very few young people in attendance. Another factor - as I see it anyway - is that most of the older collectors have, to a large extent got the sets they are looking for, and so competition is now lower for the prestige sets. And like I say, the younger collectors are just not coming through in large numbers. But anyway, it's not about the value of sets unless you're an out and out dealer, it's about putting a smile on our faces, giving us material to perform our hobby with, and meeting old friends again. And there was a lot of people smiling. Personally I liked the venue, it's large, spacious, the catering was good and a good time was had by most attendees I think.
Something I have been saying for a long time. When I started collecting radios I was sixteen. Joined the BVWS at nineteen after I was proposed as a member (as you were back then). Attended my first Harpenden at twenty-one... and there were others my age there. I don't see people in their twenties at BVWS meetings.

Now, forty years later I am trying to reduce my collection and it is damned difficult. Sooner or later I will have to accept that weighing in for scrap may be my only option.
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Old 21st May 2023, 8:24 pm   #58
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Had a very good day, lots of my no-longer wanted stuff went (but priced to sell, so I didn't make a fortune).

The venue seemed near ideal, arriving early meant that parking near the loading doors was easy. It was good to catch up with lots of the familiar faces.

Tea and coffee from the stall outside was better than average; I'd brought my own food with me being ever- suspicious of burgers.

Even the journey home was unexpectedly good, M1 flowing better than your average Sunday afternoon.

A very big thankyou and well done to all the hard working organisers and helpers who made it so enjoyable.

Ian
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Old 21st May 2023, 8:26 pm   #59
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Regarding the car parking (and also the queues for the catering trailer):

Neither the BVWS committee or the Comic Con event organisers knew there was another event on the same day sharing those facilities. If they had they would have worked together to find ways reducing problems, such as allocating spaces nearer the Arena for Retrotech visitors (who tend to be older and carrying larger heavier items). They could also have pushed for more catering facilities such as separate area for buying just drinks and pre-packed snacks.

I know the BVWS committee will be discussing these and a few other niggles with the venue in due course. This is the first event at Sports Connexion so some issues are inevitable.

The WEC was indeed an excellent venue for Retrotech. However it was also very expensive. The last event there almost broke even and the previous one made a significant loss. That's not sustainable. WEC were unable to negotiate the sort of discount that would have been needed, so the only options were to find a cheaper venue or scrap the event.

Sports Connextion is vastly cheaper, around a fifth of the cost of the WEC. Although it may not be as nice, it is much better value. Most importantly it means the event will be viable there for years to come. It should be remembered that profits from the event go to support projects at the British Vintage Wireless and Television Museum.

There was around the same number of stalls (150), although there were no exhibitions (such as Brimar, 405 line TVs or TV camera car) filling up space.

As has been mentioned, back when the event was at the NEC the car park was a long way away, and it was either waiting ages for the shuttle bus or a long walk.

When the event first moved to the WEC there were some issues and negative comments. But over time the issues were sorted and the event settled in well. The same thing should happen again.

I'm sure the committee will be reading the comments here, and will welcome constructive feedback to help improve the event in future years.
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Old 21st May 2023, 8:30 pm   #60
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Default Re: RetrotechUK May 21st

Quote:
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Looked like every stall was occupied, to me.
I believe there were two no-shows with no contact, and adjacent stalls were invited to spread out onto the tables towards the end of early entry period, as that obviously looks better than empty tables.
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