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Event RetroTech UK Sunday 12th May 2024

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chriswood
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It is time for another RetroTech UK in just over a month.

After a hugely successful event at the new venue, it is on again on Sunday 12th May 2024

A wide range of Radio, TV, Communications, Computing and Hi-fi with over 150 stalls. 

Details:-

Venue
Sports Connexion
Leamington Road, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Coventry, CV8 3FL

Visitor admission fees
Normal Entry: 10.30am to 4pm - £10 (under-14s FREE)

Early Entry: from approx. 9.00am - £25

No advance ticketing, all tickets on the door. Cash only.

FREE CAR PARKING

More details here:- https://www.retrotechuk.com/  

 

Chris W

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 12:38 pm
Lloyd reacted
Cathovisor
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I assume that this time the parking will be better? I didn't go to the previous event and from reports read both here and elsewhere, I'm glad I didn't.

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 1:51 pm
slidertogrid
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 I saw the complaints about the parking. We arrived in time for the normal entry time and were able to park OK. No further walk than at the previous event. Maybe it was the later arrivals that struggled to find a space?  This year we are told we won't be sharing the car park with another major event, so hopefully there won't be a problem.  Others complained about the toilets. Again, when I went there was no problem. Maybe I was lucky.  The only complaint I had was concerning the coffee ! It was terrible! Mine went into the bin after one sip! 

I'm looking forward to this year but I'm taking a flask...

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 5:54 pm
Cathovisor
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Well, the following was received from a friend who attended later in the morning.

Having now read the relevant bit of the forum in question,  I note a suggestion is to open the back door so as to shorten the distance to the "fields behind".  What the poster seems to be unaware  of is that (a) the "fields behind" are a factory [1], and (ii) that the SportsConnexion site is dug about 10 feet below the local ground level, presumably to prevent the buildings from massing the corner site.
 
[1] In fact, the car park of the factory was the first overflow car park, full by about 1045.  The second overflow car park was in a field, about 100m further down the Oxford Road.  Further use of the Google distance measurement tool suggests that the entrance to this field is about 660m from the door to the hall via the "official" pedestrian route i.e. not using the somewhat alpine path onto the site from the corner by the roundabout.  I think it might be interesting to see the risk assessment for the use of this field as a car park (there must be one, mustn't there? ) given the conflict between foot and vehicular traffic passing through the field gate.
Similar comments here:
 
 
I was toying with getting a stall and selling (nearly) all my record players at giveaway prices there to get some valuable space back in my quest to reduce storage space and collection size: I'm not so sure now. It does seem like the people behind RetroTech are simply looking at the price of venue hire and nothing else. I think most of those record players may just go to the tip now - I'm not sure I can be bothered listing them on eBay and then have the aggro of packing them up.
 
Maybe it's time to accept that this hobby isn't merely dying, but in fact is dead - or perhaps RetroTech as an event has breathed its last breath?
 
Posted : 07/04/2024 6:12 pm
slidertogrid
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I think you are right Mike, The members of the BVWS are getting older and there seems to be little enthusiasm to attract younger members. I recently persuaded a friend to join, he is early 50s. Still probably one of the younger members...

I am in a similar position to you, I have far too much stuff both vintage radio etc and Rover P5B parts! I am never going to need two lock up garages full!  I am going to list the surplus car parts at some point as a job lot collection only, that way even if it sells for peanuts someone will get some use from it and I won't have to make multiple trips to the tip!  Maybe do the same with your record players ? It seems a shame to dump vintage stuff, But I take your point about the aggro factor of selling at an event or online...

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 7:36 pm
Cathovisor
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@slidertogrid What amazes me, Rich is that yesterday I was at the Hornby Railway Collectors Association 55th Anniversary meeting at Newark Showground - they took nearly the whole of the Lady Eastwood Centre for two days and it is a cavernous space (1400 square metres, in fact). It has excellent in-house catering too. Okay, the HRCA has twice the membership world-wide of the BVWS (2400 as opposed to 1200) but if it can afford such a large venue, how come RetroTech can't? The age profile of the HRCA is a bit older, but it does attract new and younger members too: at the beginning of the year, member no. 10000 was signed up. Less than three months later, we have member number 10068.

Yesterday saw 570 visitors to the hall, and that was the members-only day. Today was the day where the public was also admitted and the entrance fee was just £5. I will be interested to learn what the figures were for the whole weekend.

Every year the HRCA mounts a members-only exhibition at the motor museum in Gaydon which is pretty big - and you get free entry to the Motor Museum too!

I really do not want to get into the position of stripping record players down, burning the cabinets/sending them to landfill and weighing in the record changers for scrap but it has become blindingly obvious to me that in vintage radio, unless something is 'desirable' or can be flipped for a quick profit on eBay, people are just not interested any more. I have four Bush AC1s here - a very boring, rectangular box that is as dull as ditchwater but thanks to it having "BiFocal Tone", actually sounds rather nice. I know that even if I put them on a stall at a fiver each they wouldn't sell and in what seems (to this old cynic anyway) to be an ever-commercially minded BVWS, I doubt they'd even be accepted for auction at an event.

For all his faults, you do miss Chas Miller at times.

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 7:57 pm
slidertogrid
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One thing Mike, No matter how ordinary or rough something was Chas would get a sale!  I remember one of the last auctions at Cowbit every radio had woodworm or was rusty inside or both! Yet everything got bids.  I bought a reel to reel fairly cheaply for parts, a good job I only wanted some parts because inside it had been robbed to death, no valves, speaker or output transformer!  Caveat emptor! 

The hobby has been in decline as you say for some time I do wonder how much longer the Cowbit meeting would have been viable.  

I have disposed of the occasional radio and record player at a local furniture auction (all pre 2019 though so prices may now be lower) and found results to be reasonable. The only problem is the fees and PAT test cost, you end up on average with just over 50% of hammer price. But still better than the dump!

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 9:09 pm
Cathovisor reacted
Cathovisor
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@slidertogrid I'm going to put the radiograms I want to sell through the furniture auctions - I think they'll do far better there than on eBay. I know the BVWS won't touch them.

 
Posted : 07/04/2024 9:33 pm
chriswood
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Last years event was a bit of a pilot and the first at that venue.

Lessons have been learnt and I understand there are no other major events on at the same time this year and the catering rather than relying on the outside vans will be in the hall.

I experienced vey few problems but I did get there early.

If the show had continued at the previous venue after the hike in charges it would have made a loss which would not be sustainable, therefore, think it was a sensible choice to keep it going by finding a new venue.

Those that think the hobby is dying should visit RetroTech and see how busy it is. The age and demographic is changing but there is still plenty happening. This is no different from any other hobby group trains/cars/models etc, and it will be what we make of it. If you don't like what is happening get involved and help change it.

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 9:02 am
Lloyd reacted
Doz
 Doz
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It was busy, which was nice to see. It *was* a long walk to the car. The coffee *was* ghastly. But overall I enjoyed it, and I'm planning on making the trip again this year, especially as the Irish vintage department is bringing me a camera tube! Nice to see a few younger people there too, probably because of the show going on next door at a guess... if they manage to get the bug, that can only be a good thing, otherwise this hobby dies with us.

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 9:32 am
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @chriswood

Those that think the hobby is dying should visit RetroTech and see how busy it is. The age and demographic is changing but there is still plenty happening. This is no different from any other hobby group trains/cars/models etc, and it will be what we make of it. If you don't like what is happening get involved and help change it.

I visit enough events - including the NVCF right from its birth at the NEC - and have been collecting for forty years so I'll not take snide and patronising remarks from an individual whose sole contribution to this forum is to push BVWS events.

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 10:11 am
slidertogrid
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I thoroughly enjoyed the event, and as I said had no problems myself. As far as helping things to change bringing in younger members etc. I have made  suggestions over the years with ideas. All have fell of deaf ears, I have simply been ignored. I honestly cannot ever remember having a response let alone a positive one.

  Take the Comic Con event being on at the same time last year. I saw it as a positive it really brightened my day and as it has been said I saw younger people looking around 'our' event, but most seem to have seen the event as a "clash" or a nuisance judging by the comments made on the other forum. 

  I suggested giving Comic Con Ticket holders / members a free pass to the Retrotech event to spread the word but "we don't want to share an event with them again" Apparently...   

Another 'reason not to' is that the "volunteers do enough already". OK fair enough, I can't argue with that but surely if a suggestion is put forward and assistance is asked for others may step up? Maybe?  The BVWS isn't even that easy to find on a web search. Yet the 'Ham events are... 

Amongst the suggestions that I have seen made in the past are: Organise an event with a record fair, they are always well attended and have a wide range of age groups, Vinyl has had a huge resurgence in the last decade, we now have record shops again, musicians  release new material on vinyl. Cassettes have made a bit of a comeback recently. Then there are the Jukebox fairs, again a huge opportunity. ISTR the comments about that were "too loud"... These are all opportunities that could be embraced.

I want to make it clear that my comments should not be considered to be criticism, just my experience of what I have heard in response to suggestions made.  I really appreciate the effort put in by the BVWS volunteers and wouldn't think of nit picking an event just because the loo paper was the wrong colour...  

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 10:40 am
Cathovisor
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@slidertogrid I recall the first NVCF at the NEC had jukeboxes and yes, they were deafening...

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 10:56 am
slidertogrid
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@cathovisor They had the same problem early on at the Jukebox fair in Brighton, sellers were playing numerous jukeboxes next to each other at high volume and it was Bedlam.  Then it changed and sellers started being sensible, running machines at low volume only turning the odd one up for brief periods for demonstration purposes.  Common sense really. I never went to the NVCF at the NEC the first one I went to was at the National Motorcycle museum nearby.

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 11:54 am
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @slidertogrid

I never went to the NVCF at the NEC the first one I went to was at the National Motorcycle museum nearby.

The Museum that unfortunately burnt down 😥 

The biggest problems that the NEC had were (i) the extortionate cost of catering and (ii) the ridiculous walk from the car parks to the hall it was in - something you'd certainly not want to carry anything of any bulk to, a trolley was a must unless the heaviest thing you planned to carry was a TR82 or similar (and never mind the guano from the resident geese all over the footpaths). The walk was not dissimilar to the one that I am told was the case when the overflow car parks were operational last year: a friend used Google's measuring tool and found it was 660 metres, or 3/8s of a mile if you prefer. Now try carrying say, an Ekco PB289 that distance.

Returning to the current venue: if things are all oh-so-rosy with this event, why has it been seeking ever-cheaper venues and has struggled to make a profit in recent times? I remember the number of stalls visibly reducing whilst it was at the WEC.

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 12:47 pm
slidertogrid
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I don't think all the lockdowns helped... 

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 4:27 pm
Cathovisor
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Posted by: @slidertogrid

I don't think all the lockdowns helped... 

This was happening prior to lockdown, Rich.

 

 
Posted : 08/04/2024 6:15 pm
Michael Dranfield
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Never been to retro tech before but after a bit of persuasion from John Joe on the vintage Irish radio and TV channel I have the hotel booked so will be going. 

 
Posted : 10/04/2024 10:01 pm
Pye Man
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@chriswood

Thank you for the useful reminder of the date. I am looking forward to going.

I preferred the previous place but fully understand the reasons for the change which were explained to me at the event last year.

Parking should be much easier if there isn’t another event next door. I remember walking down the road to be confronted by Batman and Robin, plus a lot of people who didn’t seem to be the vintage electronics ‘usual suspects’, and wondering if I had put the wrong date in my diary!

I have arranged to borrow a trolley should I end up in the field like last year. At least, if in there, it is a pleasant place to enjoy my sandwiches!

Nick

 
Posted : 15/04/2024 2:53 pm
slidertogrid
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I had a great day at RT and caught up with a few forum members. I managed to only buy one radio. A Hacker Sovereign with a missing Amplifier board but otherwise complete and in very good condition. From the B&B stall and very cheap in leu of the missing board. I have a spare in my parts box so It may turn out to be a real bargain!

We got there just after 10AM, there was plenty of parking. There was a que at the catering van every time I walked past so I was pleased I had taken a pack up and drinks. It was quite warm almost stuffy at times in the hall but all the side doors were open so the place got a change of air.   As usual wristbands were issued to the que so as soon as the doors opened everyone got in quite quickly.  There certainly seemed to be a lot of people there this year, maybe numbers are on the increase?
A big thanks to all the hard working volunteers who make this happen ! 

Rich

 
Posted : 12/05/2024 9:12 pm
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