A Call to Muster 2014 - the show leaflet, the show programme, the show report & accounts

A Call to Muster 2014 - Saturday 22nd March 2014 at Southlands Leisure Centre


a) The show leaflet:




b) The show programme


1) Programme Front and Back Cover:




2) Inside the Front and Back Cover:




3) The Layout Map:



4) The Traders etc. List:




D1 Unable To Attend - Generals and Kings

D2 30mm Seven Years War - Independent Wargames Group

D3 15mm Ancients - Romans v Early Saxons - Tyneside Wargames Club

D4 15mm Second World War - Redcar Ironbeards

D5 10mm Second World War - Section 8

D6 25mm El Cid - 11th Century Spanish v Moors - Westerhope Wargames Group

D7 32mm Fantasy - Brompton Bankers




P1 28mm Sci-Fi Skirmish - Crucible of Lead

P2 28mm Wild West Cinema – Something To Do With Dice

P3 28mm Old West Shoot Em Up! - Guisborough Gamers

P4 28mm Second World War - Independent Wargamer

P5 1/144 scale First World War - Aerodrome (UK Wing)

P6 28mm Fantasy - Stalagbite! - Midlam Miniatures




M1 Sc-Fi & Fantasy Models - South Lakes Sci-Fi & Fantasy Model Club

M2 Assorted Models - Washington Model Club

M3 Assorted Models & Model Making Displays - IPMS Cleveland

M4 Military Models - Darlington Military Modeling Society




R1 ACW and Custer Era (1846-76) - Lonestar Old West Re-enactment Group

R2 WW1 - Durham Pals

R3 Armed Forces Items from the Falklands War & BOAR – Forces 80




1 Colonel Bill's Wargames Depot – The Depot for an expanding range of wargame products

2 Northumbria Games Ltd – The Boardgames Specialist

3 Pete's Bases – Bases of many sizes

4 Sentinel Scenic - Specialist in unique, bespoke, Wargaming Scenery and terrain for use with historical and fantasy wargames

5 Eagle Figures – Wargame figures from a number of periods and scales

6 Crucible of Lead - Figures from various periods/Sci-Fi

7 MTFG Hobbies – Models, Trains & Fantasy Games

8 Northumbrian Tin Soldier Ltd – A new trader attending his first show

9 Waugh Games – A Wide Range of Wargames figures and equipment

10 David Lancaster Books – Military History Specialist

11 Lesley's Bits Box/KR Multicases – The names say it all

12 Pendraken - 10mm Wargames Specialist

13 Minibits - Supplier all those little bits and bobs you need to get your miniatures on to the table

14 Halifax Modellers World - Large and Small Scale Kit Retailer

15 Victorian Toy Soldiers – 54mm Toy Soldier style figures

16 Midlam Miniatures – A range of Fantasy Products

17 Four A Miniatures – Fantasy miniatures manufacturer

18 Solway Crafts and Miniatures – General Wargaming Supplies

19 Games of War – 28mm Wargame Supplies

20 Miniature Men & Components – Games Workshop & Historical Figures

21 Warlord Games - Large range of metal & plastic 28mm figures

22 Worley Books - Quality Books at Affordable Prices




B1 Marching in Colour - Professional full-time artist specializing in painting wargaming miniatures. All scales and periods catered for - 6mm, 15mm, and 28mm

B2 Bring and Buy Stall - Run by Mr Charlie Whitehouse

B3 Vectis Actions Ltd - staff will be available to offer auction valuations for any military/civilian collectables brought in

B4 Specialist Games Trader – Online Retailer

T1 Tombola Stall - With Modeling and Wargames Prizes




c) The show report & accounts

A Call To Muster 2014 – The Organiser’s Report


A Call To Muster 2014 (ACTM2014) was probably the most difficult show we have ever organised, and it was our 40th show. The difficulty was caused by trader turnover. We knew from experience that we would loose traders after our 2013 show but never expected to loose for one reason or another 12 traders out of 27 or 150 trader frontage out of 342 trader frontage. We were thus faced with a considerable challenge to find replacements, made more difficult by the fact we were unable to attract a number of current traders who attended our last show in Stockton. The scale of the challenge was such that at one point we thought we would not be successful and that it would be terminal for ACTM2014 and future shows.

Thanks to the help of Leon from Pendraken and from our decision to introduce a new class of trade stand aimed at traders who are new to the hobby or to traders who do the majority of their business online we decided that the show had a chance of going ahead – just as well since we were already committed to our magazine adverts campaign. Then early in the New Year we had a stroke of luck. We received a sizeable donation from a wargamer, given on the strict understanding that we would never reveal the source – a stipulation that we will honour for the rest of our lives, so do not ask.

The final problem occurred on the day before the show – and it was not the loss of a large wargame at the last minute. As a result of reductions in local government spending the opening hours of the Southlands Leisure Centre were reduced as compared to the previous year and we were thus under pressure to complete the table setup quickly so the staff could lock up the building – other than staff we were the only ones in the building at the point setup started. The result of the pressure to complete table setup quickly was that mistakes were made and we apologise to those affected and hope that the mistakes did not spoil their day.

What Were The Good Points

In our view the good points were as follows:

1)     We were very grateful to traders and others for their generosity with tombola prizes including the trader - Dashing Dice Games – who was unable to attend the show but still gave us a tombola prize.

2)     The displays put on by wargamers, modellers and re-enactors provided quality entertainment for people attending the event.

3)     The attendance of Vectis Auctions Ltd was something that we have never seen at a show of this kind before and was thus an additional attraction for our customers.

4)     On the day we received a number of complementary comments from customers, traders and exhibitors – so we must be doing something right.

5)     After the show we were able to obtain some photos taken by our local newspaper, which we have been given permission to put on the show photos page on our website – which we will be uploading shortly.

What Were The Bad Points

In our view the bad points were as follows:

1)     We did not attract as many customers as we had hoped even though we had more than doubled the amount we spent on hobby magazine adverts, with multiple adverts in the main magazines. Disappointingly our attendance was effectively unchanged from the previous year.

2)     We did not attract as many customers as we had hoped even though we had considerable increased the amount of online advertising we did, with multiple posts in the main forums.

3)     We could not attract as many wargames as we had hoped or had been able to attract last year.

4)     Our attempt to advertise the show through local media was completely unsuccessful – we know from our experience with Stockton shows that getting local media interest was becoming increasingly difficult but it is now clear that local media is not interested in good news stories.

5)     The lighting was poor making the taking of photographs difficult.

Did We Achieve Our Objectives In Staging The Show

The best way to determine this is to score each objective in sequence:

1)     Show off the hobby that has given us so much pleasure for nearly 50 years – The event appeared to bring enjoyment to the people exhibiting the hobby and to the 250 people who came through the door. It was a pity that the attendance figures were considerably less than we had hoped.

2)     Provide a vehicle through which the hobby could grow in terms of merchandize – With our 22 traders and the Bring & Buy there was a wide variety of products for people to buy. In addition our programme advertised other hobby events elsewhere in North East England possibly boosting attendance (and spending) at those events.

3)     Provide a value for money experience for customers coming through the door – We believe that our long established policies of low admission charges, a quality programme and variety of things to buy, see and do is the best way to give customers attending our shows a good memory of the hobby and encourage new entrants. Again it was a pity that the attendance figures being considerably less than we had hoped, being effectively unchanged from the year before.

4)     Raise money for one of our favourite charities - the amount raised was around £160 (details attached) and it has been donated to the Royal British Legion. The amount was less than we had hoped but the shortfall was basically down to the effect of the lack of numbers through the door. NB The amount is considerably less than 2013 as the amount raised that year was artificially high due to the receipt at the last minute of two trader booking fee.

If you have any feedback – good or bad – on our 2014 show please let us know - we are not too old to learn, even after 40 shows.

So the big question is – do we do another show next year? We have already said that if we do another show then it will not be at Southlands Leisure Centre, As for the rest, such as moving to the new venue of Smoggycon/Battleground, the jury is out on that, there is a lot to consider and we have a feasibility study to complete before we come to a decision. If you have any advice or suggestions for us to include in our feasibility study then please let us know – they are most welcome and thank you in advance.  

A Call to Muster 2014     A Call to Muster 2013 Change
Income and Expenditure Accounts   Income and Expenditure Accounts Year on Year
  £ p £ p £ p £ p £ p
Trade Stands   1,558.00   2,052.00 -494.00
Admission Charges   241.00   243.50 -2.50
Tombola Receipts   96.90   73.40 23.50
Donation from a wargamer   200.00   0.00 200.00
Bring and Buy Stand   36.00   36.00 0.00
    2,131.90   2,404.90 -273.00
Hire of Hall & Tables 800.00   864.00   -64.00
Insurance 164.00   164.00   0.00
Printing - Leaflets, Letters, Programme etc.. 354.63   528.22   -173.59
Magazine Adverts 618.00   257.00   361.00
Other Expenses 34.00 1,970.63 148.78 1,962.00 -114.78
    161.27   442.90 -281.63
David R. Clemmet & Thomas Davidson        10/04/2014     19/04/2013  


  If you have any comments on the show then you can either e-mail us at dclemmet@btinternet.com or leave a message on our show answer phone (01642 885406) and we will get back to you.


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