Tuesday, 6 December 2011

NSCC/Hornby Weekend 2011

I attended the National Scalextric Collectors Club annual Weekend at the end of November.  I joined the club towards the end of last year so this was the first opportunity to go along.  The weekend was hosted at Pegwell Bay, just outside Ramsgate, in a hotel with comfortable rooms and excellent food.

There were around 70 members there - a mixed group from across the UK and several European countries - and we were grouped into a dozen teams named after British racing drivers, and issued with matching polo shirts.

On Saturday morning, six of the teams competed on a 6-lane analogue track, with the other six running six cars on a two lane digital track.  My team (Team Button) started off on the analogue track.

As the first race was about to start, the saloon cars were suddenly removed and replaced with lorry cabs...

...but fortunately the saloon cars came out after the first heat.  In the afternoon, we visited the Hornby Visitor Centre at the site of the old factory (all manufacturing these days done in China).

The visitor centre included a small museum on the history of Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix and Corgi.  A few of the highlights...

A side door was then unlocked so we could buy items at reduced prices.  There were boxed sets that were quickly snapped up but disappointingly no cars.  I bought just 8 pieces of track as I've been thinking about replacing my cross-over pieces with normal corners.  This may remove some tension in the racing but it also reduces the chances of cars crashing into each other and slow-moving cars getting stuck on the cross-over join.  I'll swap the track pieces over and see how it goes.

Also that afternoon, we had a Q&A session and a heads-up on new products from Adrian Norman, Consumer Promotions Manager for Scalextric.  After dinner there was a raffle - sadly nothing won by me - and a minor auction, where I watched the bidding open-mouthed.

On Sunday morning, the teams swapped tracks and we raced Ford RS200s on digital track.  This was the first time I'd raced on a digital track where multiple cars run on the same lanes but can't switch lanes at sections rather like railway points.  It was good fun but too much slamming into the back of other cars - I'll stick with analogue.

I've posted a short compilation video of the racing on YouTube here.

During Sunday afternoon, there was a major auction.  By this time, I'd seen how much some of these guys were prepared to pay for cars and prototypes, so I walked along the cliffs down into Ramsgate instead.  The weather was fantastic and I enjoyed wandering around for a couple of hours.

We were presented with our commemorative car (subject of the next blog) and a poster (see below - now up in the loft) and then I made my way home.  I enjoyed the weekend - the racing was fun and good-natured, the people were friendly and I started to understand the mind of keen collectors.  But although I enjoy collecting small numbers of affordable cars, I think I can keep it under control.

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