National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition 2013, Harrogate

Our programme entryNMEME 2013 ProgrammeThe National Model Engineering and Modelling Exhibition was our very first public display. The exhibition was in its 20th year this year, and this was the first time that LEGO had been displayed.

We had been planning for a few months on what to put together and display and before we knew it time had run out. It was Thursday the 9th May and set up day had arrived. We quickly noticed that we had only been given a very small space for our display and that all the models we had planned to bring would not fit. After speaking to the event organiser, who realised that the models weren’t just multi coloured houses made of 2×4 bricks, our display space was doubled.

Poseidon's Chariot Race The event organiser was amazed at what we had put together. He went on to tell us he wasn’t expecting anything like our display and said when you think of LEGO, you think of kids. He described our display as “truly brilliant”. Before we even realised it was 8pm and time to leave. We all then had the difficult task of leaving the display all by itself, and trying our best not to worry about all that LEGO going missing overnight.

ACD/SEAOn the Friday morning we got there early, a few things were tweaked; we moved tables around and set the display up better. After breakfast, we all just sat back and looked at the display. It was amazing but not yet perfect. People started to flood into the show. We were all amazed at how popular we were. It was Friday so most of the day was populated by the older crowd as the kids were in school.

City LayoutWe spent most of the day building extra models to pad out the display and time flew by with everyone stopping to look and asking questions. “Is it all Lego?” was a popular question but the best one was “So how do you get them so detailed? Do you carve the LEGO bricks?” The statement of the day, if not the weekend, was from one of our members who said “We could fill this whole building with our displays”. A bit ambitious, but you have to admire the positivity.

Brick CitySaturday brought one major change; Children. The phrase of the day became “don’t touch, please”. It wasn’t until the second day that we realised that there were competitions for the exhibitors. The winners of the Best Stand ‘PEEMS’ came over to talk to us, and very kindly told us that had we entered, we’d have won, which was lovely to hear. Maybe next year!

Train StationOn the final day, there was a bit of sadness that the weekend was coming to an end, but also a lot of pride in what we as a group had accomplished and a drive for us to do it all again ASAP but we still had a full day to go.

As with the previous days we had a few visitors that kept coming back throughout the day we also noticed a spot where people were standing a good 5 foot away at another stand and having a sneaky look (we thought they may be a bit embarrassed to come and have a proper look).

Hogwarts ExpressWe continued to add and modify the exhibit throughout the weekend, and the entire thing had evolved from the first day. One of the city layouts had the Hogwarts Express sporting some really effective brick built smoke and Superman chasing General Zod a couple of inches above the trains.

So there you have it, our first show was a massive success. We had lots of interest, and we now know that as a group we can easily produce large scale layouts with many interesting objects for people of all ages and modelling skill.

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Brickshire’s First Quarterly Meeting

Brickshire figureOne of the fundamental reasons that Brickshire was formed was to allow like minded AFOLs to meet regularly and relatively locally. This weekend marked our first of hopefully many quarterly meetings. I thought it would be nice to give you a flavour of the event as an update for those that didn’t attend and a taster for prospective members.

It was a very informal event and a number of members attended, for some it was their first Brickshire meeting. The first hour flew by without getting more than a fleeting chance to talk to anyone, as everyone was busy setting up their models and displays.

City Layout

Once everyone had set up and settled in, I officially opened the meeting with a quick welcome and introduction to the days events, and the floor was opened on a couple of official matters. As it was a short meeting, there wasn’t much in the way of an itinerary. I thought it would be good to let everyone get to know each other naturally.

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After that I was lost in a blur of Brickshire minifigures and raffle ticket sales before getting chance to have a good look at everyone’s displays, and chat to a few new members and members I’d not met before. Almost everyone had brought something to display, which was great as it provided the stimulus to get people talking.

Lunch came around very quickly, all of which was donated by members (or in my case, members’ wives). After lunch the informality continued. There were some fantastic models, and the feedback I’ve received is that the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We closed the meeting with a raffle.

Raffle Prize Table

At this point, I have to add a huge thank you to everyone who donated prizes to the raffle. There were a lot of fantastic and very generous prizes, with the “star prize” being an unreleased (in the UK) Galaxy Squad set. All in all there must have been over 25 lots up for grabs, and every single person that bought a raffle ticket won a prize (except poor old me).

Everyone packed up fairly swiftly, and it was great to see people helping each other out. The four hours that we had this time around went really quickly, and without drama… with the exception of me losing the keys to the Village Hall.

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Britain’s First Regional LEGO® User Group

Announcing the launch of Brickshire.org.uk; the home of Brickshire: The Yorkshire LEGO® User Group (known more informally as Brickshire). Brickshire is the first LEGO® User Group in the United Kingdom to be set up at a regional level.

Brickshire is a group aimed at Adult Fans of LEGO® (AFOLs) based in and around Yorkshire, who would like to meet like-minded people, display their LEGO® creations locally and get involved in events across the region. Application is open to anyone over the age of 18 who would like to meet and attend events in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Richard Lawson, Chairman of the Brickshire said “We want to provide a friendly forum for our members and offer them regular opportunities to meet and display LEGO® models locally, with as much support from The LEGO® Group as possible, which is something that hasn’t been available until now.”

Richard Hayes, Brickshire’s LEGO® Ambassador and Secretary added “It’s important that we build a strong and direct relationship with The LEGO® Group, and that’s where I come in.

“As a LEGO® Ambassador, it is my job to liaise directly with The LEGO® Group’s Community Engagement & Events Team and make sure our members’ voices are heard, and that Brickshire continue to be able to positively promote the LEGO® brand with the support of The LEGO® Group.”

Brickshire’s first public display will be at the Northern Modelling and Engineering Exhibition in Harrogate from 10th until the 12th of May 2013, and now that the official Brickshire website has been launched the group hopes that it will attract new members to display at many more events in the future.

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