Despite all the prophesies of gloom, this year’s London International Boat Show proved to be more upbeat than anticipated. The range of Companies displaying their wares seemed as wide as ever, and the less dominant position of some of the largest UK boat builders allowed other exhibitors to make more of an impact. This year, the event was only open to the public for 5 days (January 10th -14th) – half its previous length. This was an attempt by the organisers to see whether the Show could be made cost-effective after years of declining support by exhibitors, faced with the conflicting demands from other early-season European Boat Shows. Once again, the Broom Owners stand served the Club well.

 

 Thanks must go, as always, to John Goode (Nautical Adviser to the National Boat Shows) for arranging the provision of a free display space for the Club. He is a good friend to the BOC and works hard behind the scenes to get the best possible provision for us. Thanks, too, go to David Harrison for assembling the stand and to Don Walker for assisting him in, and for organising the roster of members to man it throughout the Show. The display includes a number of photographs of Broom boats of all ages, something that often captures the attention of passers-by, even those that are not familiar with the marque.

As at the 2017 Show, the Club was offered a half-hour slot on the main stage allocated for talks by members of the boating fraternity. Chairman Gill Oldham used this opportunity to talk to her PowerPoint presentation highlighting the origins and development of The Club and its relationship with Broom Boats Ltd and members of the British Marine Federation in general. Such an event helps to promote the image of the Club as a thriving and influential organisation.

Despite (or perhaps because of?) the shortened period during which the Show was open, the numbers visiting the stand were higher than last year, with about 100 people coming to say ‘Hello’ and at least 8 new members being recruited. It was encouraging to see that at least some of those applying for membership were from a younger generation!

As last year, Broom Boats did not have their own stand at the Show, but exhibited a 35 coupe model on the Tingdene Marinas space. On Thursday evening, the Club held its now-traditional Members’ reception.


The Club is grateful to Neil Mallandain and Guy Girling of Tingdene Marinas for hosting the event on their stand, and to Broom Boats Ltd for sponsoring the finger buffet and drinks. A good time was enjoyed by the 40-or-so members who attended the event along with some Broom Boats’ and Tingdene Marinas’ staff. Linda Varney and Celia Cotter once more carried out sterling work by supplying and setting-out the victuals – a task with which they have become well-practiced over the years!

This new-style London Boat Show was obviously an experiment on the part of the organisers to see whether a shorter Show was viable. Certainly, from the Club’s point of view it proved to be a success. Let’s hope the Show’s organisers feel the same way!

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