On the Road - experiences of the Black Country
Last year, when I wrote a blog about my first ever show at Brick Express ‘22, there was talk
of nervousness, of anticipation, of worrying about how many people would be there and so
forth. There was still anticipation as the M5 wound inevitably to its understated conclusion
in West Bromwich, but the other concerns had been replaced by excitement, both at the
opportunity of showing in such a great place as the West Midlands (I have family there, so
am honour bound to say so ) and at the chance to gather with friends old and new as we
After a couple of days of sightseeing and visiting some of the aforementioned kin, it was time
for the show. One of the things that makes for a relaxed show for exhibitors is information
and the preparation for the Black Country Brick Show (BCBS) was exemplary. It might
seem like a minor thing, but knowing what the way in to the venue looks like, and where one
can park for unloading and afterwards, and so on can make a real difference to a person’s
day. The atmosphere on the Friday evening as we set up was brilliant, as acquaintances from
all over the country were remade and made anew and in the midst of it all, the amazing Paul
dealing with whatever we might throw at him with aplomb.
That sense of being in good hands carried on through the show itself. From the unusual quiet
that fell across the exhibition areas ahead of the show as nearly everyone munched on bacon
sarnies to the visit of the mayor and his partner, it was obvious that lots of thought had gone
into how the show would be run.
The show was very well attended by exhibitors from across the country and it was great fun
to meet up with people and make new friends as well as catch up with acquaintances. The
usual healthy balance of volunteers meant that we had time to wander around the show as
well and the builds were really amazing to look at - all sorts of inspiration and creativity
being shown. As a displayer of a build with many minifigs which didn’t have a secret pirate
hiding on it, I definitely benefited from having youngsters, in particular, staring at the build
for a long time!
The social was much fun - great food, great quiz and challenges and if someone doesn’t
develop a reality TV show based around the high-rollers of the goat auctioning world then the
schedules will be the poorer for it.
This was my first ‘away’ show, and other commitments mean that I won’t get to do as many
of these as I might like, but everything coming together so sweetly at BCBS means that next
year is already in the diary for me. Thanks again to everyone involved, and to GertLUGgers,
as ever, for being the brill bunch that y’all are.
NB: Thanks ever so much to our fantastic member Kunnagh for the eloquent words and also to our great Chair Emily Poole for the delightful pictures of the show.