….And so it was that on the 13th day of November, the year of our Lord 2021 that David ventured out unto the promised land of the Excel centre to attend the wargames show that is Salute and in doing so saw many wondrous things and met with many similar and like minded individuals. He was by turns, impressed and depressed and returned from his journey beset by nagging doubts….
Apologies for the rather rambling introduction but I am feeling in a rather whimsical frame of mind!
The modest amount of Salute ‘loot’. The brown bag contains my order of bases for the block armies. ‘O’ Group are a battalion level set of WW2 rules published by Reisswitz Press - I had a chat with the author, David Brown whom assured me that the rules were worth far more without his signature! As a show special they came with the MDF order counters you see. Battle for the Bundu I picked up from Dave Lanchester and was really pleased to do so as this was also one of the books disappeared into the ether some time ago
Salute needs little introduction from me so the following post is very a personal opinion and is not in any way intended as a criticism of those that spent an enormous amount of time and effort organising the show for the thundering herd that attended.
My first issue was with the cost of the parking - a flat fee of £20 for the day! Taken into consideration with the entry fee and the possibility of a ULEX charge going forwards it becomes a pretty expensive day out even before you hit the trade stands. I know that this is an Excel charge but it still seems very dear especially if one is only going for half a day.
I arrived at around 1:30 and by the time I had paid for my parking and had gotten passed Covid control I was barely able to make the bloggers meet up at 2pm, for which I was only able to spend a short time due to a few show related errands. I did meet up with Postie’s Rejects, Tamsin and David in Suffolk (all of whom I bumped into on various occasions during the afternoon) which was a real pleasure after so long.
As is my usual modus operandi at shows I was going to be helping Dave Lanchester pack away his book stand (usually I help him set up but at his request it was the other way round this time) so after having dropped some items off with him I went for a wander about.
I was really keen to visit the Warbases stand to say hello to Martin and to thank him for the excellent work on the bases for my block armies and the various bits and pieces I needed for my ACW ships. What a very nice chap he is!
I was also able to have a brief chat with Simon Stokes of the Naval Wargames Society - he was hosting a Saga based game featuring 28mm Viking longships.
It was also great to say hello to Dave Ryan of Caliver Books and Tony Francis at Brigade Models - both of which seemed to be pretty busy.
It has been a long time since I attended a show and probably even longer since I attended one in the afternoon so perhaps that is why it all seemed a little flat. The venue is massive but it felt slightly under occupied and the sight of empty tables that had been reserved for clubs that for whatever reason had not attended made for an even more ‘spaced out’ feeling. Perhaps it was just me but it all felt very much as if it was going through the motions in a way.
I took a few pictures of things that caught my eye so I will let the do the talking.
Overall I enjoyed the show but it did seem a little flat in respect of the atmosphere. It was great to catch up with some familiar faces and of course, the modest amount of retail therapy made a pleasant diversion from recent weeks. As usual with this venue my left leg was very unappreciative of the effort it had to make wandering about and after having filled up Dave Lanchester’s van at the close of play, my shoulders and back joined it in sympathy!
The final twist on the day was when I went back to my car I had made the mistake of parking it under a previously unseen bird’s nest located in the ceiling conduit. The roof of the car looked like it had been carpet bombed…