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Thread: CLA - care to give a report for those who didn't go?

  1. #1

    CLA - care to give a report for those who didn't go?

    Didn't have the time off work or money to go this year

    Those who went care to update us ?

    Remember I went a few years ago when the going was good

    RFD's were too busy counting money on every stand

    Is that the same this year or am I the only one tightening me belt?

    I miss the fly casting pond and seeing Bidwell showing off his skills

    Just a few lines lads ..

  2. #2
    We went Friday - very hot weather for most of the day.

    Food was expensive, but it always is and its only once a year so i can live with that.

    I was mainly there this year to look/feel up a Blaser rifle and to get a custom build sorted with another smith there.

    John Bidwell - fantastic shooting and funny.

    All in all a good long day out but me and my two lads had a good time.

    PS: we watched some of the casting tuition on the lake - very Good.

    Just to say that Blenheim must be one of the best cared for estate's in the country - lovely looking place.


  3. #3
    I went yesterday.

    Still a lot of crap with no bearing on countrysports - an inordinate number of cushions for sale for example!!

    Gamekeeper's and Gunmaker's row were at opposite ends, and Gamekeeper's was all mixed up with land management stuff -forestry machines, gates etc.

    A good day for me, but I spent much of it doing business and catching up with old faces. Not convinced the value's there for a pure punter to be honest.

    That said, I didn't have time to watch any of the demos.


  4. #4
    I went on Friday. Arrived at 8am and left at 4.30, no major queing problems and well organised parking. Bidwell demo as good as always, and Mike Evans casting demo also good, although he spent more time with a salmon rod in his hand than a trout rod, which probabley indicates the clientele expected to be watching. Managed to speak to a Yank from Nightforce who was very helpful, and a German on the Blaser (Open Season) stand who again was much more helpful and knowledgeable than OS (not difficult!). I couldn't believe the cost of some of the clothing, you would need to re-mortgage your house for admittedly a beautiful set of tweeds. I didn't see any obvious bargins, but a keeper friend found some quality breeks on a sales rail. In all, I enjoyed the day, but still feel the Midland Gamefair is better, although I'm not sure we will find many bargins there either because the strong euro is costing us dear.

  5. #5
    Went for 3 days had a great time loads of good information to be had
    I know it is expensive but where else would you go for that amount of equipment in one place. But who's idea of a joke was the campsite 2 miles from the fair that took 20 minutes on a bus to get to the site.

  6. #6
    went sat , easy parking no q. some bargains to be had ,noticed lots of shotgun reductions ,dealers must have plenty of stock.usual country furniture /etc,not with the wife so that was usual -overpriced take a packed lunch and eat all the samples from the food village -simples.bought a new rifle /scope more than happy and some very reasonable hornaday ammo 30.06 100rds -105 .did q to get out about 40 mins

  7. #7
    Went on Sunday, excellent traffic management, wheels didn't stop turning until we were in our parking bay. Took my 9 month old labbie for the experience and spent the day dog wrestling as she wanted to say hello to every dog and every person!!! I always wonder about the value but it was a lovely day on a beautiful estate and if you take out the rubbish nothing to to with the countryside stands there was still quite a bit there to see. Being Sunday and especially towards the end of the day the prices were beginning to fall and there were some bargains to be had. I was tempted by the pair of Purdeys at 189k but had sadly left my SC in the car! Food was pricey but you'd expect that and I don't imagine the pitches were cheap, the quality was good though and I had an excellent hot pork sandwich. The only price that I thought totally over the top was 6 for a glass of Pimm's.

    Going out the traffic management was equally good and although we queued for a few minutes to feed into the traffic flow we were out within a few minutes. Previous Game Fair's at Blenheim were marred by traffic problems but I have to say there were no complaints at all about it this time. The other big pluses were the organisation and cleanliness of the loos and the plentiful dog drinking sites and taps to cool them off on what was a very hot day.

    One highlight for me was on an otherwise very poor BDS stand where I saw a Gold Medal fallow head measuring just over 186 CIC which I was told came from almost within sight of Blenheim and had the most massive palms I've ever seen on a wild buck.

  8. #8
    Hi Lads, Friday and Sunday for the Family. Half and hours drive and no traffic. Attempted both days to get to the NGO stand for lunch time, but each day was at the wrong end and too many interesting things to look at on the way (for wife and daughter anyway). Managed to have a chat with Chris in the NGO tent on Friday and sorry lads, the JCB is mine. Picked up a bit of a bargain on a Hand Made fly rod.. The reel and line to match it cost more. Apart from that, I bought a couple of radios as my old set is just that. Some re-loading gear from Norman Clarke. some polaroid glasses at no money, a couple of pairs of moleskin trousers and a hat. In between those two days, I was at a stag do with future son-in-law, so a pretty heavy weekend overall.

  9. #9
    Well we spent all day Sunday in Gunmakers row, Didn't manage to get past that. Not many bargains there. A lot of the reduced stuff must have come from the DFS sale because it was well over priced in the first place and the sale price brought it down from extorsionate to just over priced.
    I went to buy a Rivers West combo and just didn't like the overall package so left it. I went to the stand for the bloke who sells the clothes to special forces all over the world and bought a pair of trousers for 120. Guarenteed waterproof for 10 years etc etc. I then went and kicked my self for spending so much bloody money. If I smell a damp patch I will be after their blood. I must go beat my self up again.
    I did have a good look at the idleback chair. I'm really impressed. Something to consider buying later in the year. I would need to see if I could justify the money.

    There is a company who were promoting a Night vision unit. Basically a TV screen thet goes on the end of your scope to a small monitor. Asked him lots of questions but the guy didn't seem to understand the questions or maybe the Night vision. Or maybe he was avoiding answering. I was not sure that he had actually used it himself. Ideal seemed good but would want to test it before paying out 500 plus. I think it might suffer a narrow field of view and possibly the problems associated with didital NV. But I will await more info with interest.

    Spoke to the Yank about the NF scopes and he was doing the 1,000 yards out to 3,000 yards plus scopes etc etc and I said fine but as stalkers and pest controllers we generally would not really go beyone 250 yards, give or take so we would be paying out all that money for a function that I couldn't even see never mind use. so that is something to consider. He agreed that NF were data collecting to try to understand the UK market as they wanted to increase market over here.
    Weather was cracking, food was over priced, usual really. Good day.
    I can speak in-depth and with great knowledge about most subjects until some bugger who actually knows what he is speaking about opens his gob .

  10. #10
    Went Sunday, had a really good day, the missus got a good deal on wellies and a coat.....its amazing what deals a young lad will give when in the presence of a 6foot size 10 blonde(yes I keep her on the medicine or she might clear off)

    I've not been impressed with the stands since the year it got cancelled, whether its too expensive or they just can't risk it, but it seems to only be the big shops and all selling the same things. Theres not so many of the little boutiques for stalking(there was 1 or 2) or the sort of shops you don't find online. Its a shame!

    the air rifles were a laugh but pricey archery was good too!

    I manage to acquire free tickets, if I hadn't I would be dissappointed but considering that it was a good day

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