The March of Time

As I write this blog entry I’m conscious that the show calendar continues to be decimated by the current circumstances. This evening I received notification that one of my favourite shows of the year has been postponed and possibly cancelled completely for 2020. The IPMS Avon show in August is always a highlight of my year but like so many other shows, the organisers are faced with just too many obstacles to overcome. Some of those are around the practical difficulties of running a show with social distancing in place and even whether the venue will be open for business by early August.

However some of it is far more prosaic. Any model show relies heavily on volunteers and with a club show like Avon, this generally means from within the host club. We’re not a ‘young’ Society and the age profile of our members means that a disproportionate number are either in the bracket of having to isolate themselves because of age or medical conditions – or because members of their immediate family are in that position.

Scale ModelWorld still has the luxury of time – as I have mentioned previously we are in the fortunate position of not having to make any major decisions until late August. That doesn’t make the situation any easier for many but there are strong practical reasons why we don’t want to cancel too soon. Scale ModelWorld is a huge undertaking both logistically and financially. In order to secure a venue of the size we need, we have to use commercial exhibition venues. That in turn means signing multi-year contracts with significant financial commitments on our part. WE therefore have to balance our commercial obligations against the practicalities of running a show. The future is uncharted territory at the moment so it’s too early to be able to predict what the situation in the UK will be in November. It’s also too early to predict what the public appetite for the show will be. That people will come if we run the show goes without saying, but it will depend a lot on how many people turn up.

That said, we will be looking at various options to try and ensure the show goes ahead in some form and we’ll keep everyone informed of progress. We may need to canvass opinions at some point to get a better feel for what might work and whether we may need to change the format of the show for 2020. It remains our stated aim to run Scale ModelWorld in November 2020 if it is at all practical to do so.

In the meantime, the modelling year progresses apace and there are new kits being released on a regular basis. Thankfully there’s only one new kit that is likely to make me part with money anytime soon, but I need to track down a UK stockist. Books however, are another matter entirely…

Stay safe and hopefully we’ll get through this strange year relatively unscathed.

John Tapsell

IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer