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SMW 2017 – an extraordinary event!

 

In this year, after a one-year break, we went back to England to attend IPMS UK's SMW 2017 in Telford.

On Friday we flew early in the morning from Salzburg to London/Stansted with Ryanair. After a short  acclimatization and orientation on site - the airport was completely rebuilt -  we took over our vehicle for the next four days. We were delighted with a free upgrade to the vehicle - unnecessary but nice!

After minor delays on the A14 due to construction work between Cambridge and Huntigdon we just managed to visit the RAF Museum in Cosford. Since the innovations in this museum were limited, this was done relatively quickly and we were able to move into the rooms in our hotel "Buckatree Hall Hotel" at the foot of the Wrekin in good time.

This was the first time we had booked at this hotel - and it was a very good decision. The rooms were great, the food - both in the bar and in the hotel restaurant - was very good. The range of local drinks (beer, whisky, etc.) was very exclusive and appealing. So we didn't have to start any experiments in terms of "English haute cuisine"

On Saturday there was an early breakfast, since the first IPMS members who were allowed to enter the hall wanted to be there at 9:00 am. Somehow this was extremely difficult this year because an unprecedented number of members wanted admission. For the first time in many years, the organizers were probably overwhelmed with this amount. Additional entrances had to be opened to get the crowds out of the parking lots in time. This influx did not stop when the "Not-Members" were allowed into the halls.

But now it started - in the halls, as always, there was a large number of dealers and exhibitors from all over the world. Well prepared, the "wanted items" were bought in advance before going into the uncontrolled hustle and bustle of the crowd. With the stream of thousands of   visitors, you could drift from one stand to the next. With our hands full of bags and our purses "almost empty", we left the hall at 6:00 p.m. and headed for the hotel.

A few drinks and a great meal rounded off the day. We were able to make great contacts with model builders from Greece and England. We already knew our friends from "Norfolk" from the Park Inn and it was a big hello when we saw each other here for the first time.

On Sunday the process was actually the same - except for the stream of visitors and the "remembrance day" that was held - which was again held with dignity. On this day it was really pleasant and you could take photos and also get one or the other bargain. You also saw a lot of new things that you couldn't see on Saturday due to the crowd. The competition area was also very easy to walk on that day. No crowds and stress.

After the hall closed, we decided to make a small trip into the area. We drove to the Wrekin and also to Wellington to see these really beautiful places. Back at the hotel we booked our table for dinner and a nice end to Telford.

Monday after breakfast we headed towards Stansted. We were lucky that day, as we still wanted to visit the RAF Museum in Duxford, it was great that there were no delays on the return journey. As soon as ever we were in Duxford. We were able to enjoy more than three hours and marvel at many airplanes and vehicles in a great atmosphere. The highlight was a flight of a Hawker Hurricane "Shark-Teeth" livery and the landing of a "CH-47 Chinook" of the Royal Air Force was not without. We were also able to observe the unloading process of an AH-64D2 Apache helicopter. This will be on display in the museum for a while.

At 6:40 p.m. we started our return flight to Salzburg with Eurowings. We landed earlier than planned after a relaxed flight (the plane wasn't even half full) - everyone could sit where they wanted - in Salzburg.

 

At 11:00 p.m., everyone wallows at home.

End of a great and interesting weekend.

Gottfried

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