I went to the London international boat show on Monday in Londons Dockland (supposed ponsey up an coming area in londons old dock area) upon arrival we were greeted by a young overweight (I can talk) security gentleman who directed us to the potters bar park and ride as "thats all I can offer you" for parking (wasn`t really Potters bar which is about 25 miles away but it might just have been) so we ignored him and drove around him and parked in the exhibitors car park followed my much shouting and threats but he didn`t bother to follow us as the exertion probably would have finished him for the day.
The Excel center (where the boat show is held ) is massive and much bigger that the earls court centre where it used to be held. (most people prefer Earls court). As we entered the show there was a well dressed young man with a placard saying something about the evicting of house boat owners on the Thames somewhere (a sign of the time I`m afraid) and he had a policeman talking quite sharply to him. I felt sad that a solitary person appeared not to be allowed an opinion in front of a show where money isn`t really a problem to the visitors, and this guy and his family were having their mooring taken away what is the UK coming to? I split from my mate as he had other priorities and we agreed to meet up later for lunch. I strolled around looking at the same equipment as I had seen at the southampton boatshow and rather boored I sat down and out designated meet place and my mate rang me to ask where I was as he was at the meeting place, I explained to him that if he looked five degrees to his left and down to the floor he would see me. I was sitting in front of where he was standing he could have placed his hand on my shoulder :o)). We laughed and discussed the real futility of coming to this show any more. we ate beef sandwiches which cost £13.50 per head and were joined by a couple who turned out to be the Managing director of an international electronics company and his Pa we had a great chat about how the show was going downhill and how he thought that when the agreed five year period was up it would move back to Earls court. he told us that he is represented at most of the boat shows around the world usually wisiting them all during each show at some time (what a job) We ate up and bemoaning the catering facilities we left to explore a Royal navy frigate.
Being searched first we climbed a long boarding ramp and was greeted by a 12 year old sailoress who very kindly directed us to the bow where we were allowed to visit the rest of the ship over five floors with access up and down almost vertical ladders. I should have rememberd these from previous experience. That over with we chatted about how young the sailors were and how they didn`t deserve to be injured and killed until they were at least out age :o)) so it was back to the carpark and sit in traffic for two hours. It doesnt change in london. it took us an hour to get over the queen Elizabeth bridge and another hour around the southern stretch of the M25 motorway to where I live.
A long and booring day was experienced! but it had to be done! I dont think I will go again, I will however visit the Southampton boatshow which is very similar but more outdoors although very weather dependant.