The Arctic weather we were allegedly getting this weekend didn’t come, and a wet morning soon changed to a bright sunny, if quite cold, day. So rather than waste the day, we thought we would go out and have some fun. Toni, my wife, had read about a small Brick and Model Show in a quiet little village called Naphill on the outskirts of High Wycombe, about 45 mins away from us, so we got up and out into the wilds of Buckinghamshire…
After a quick lunch at the Golden Arches, we arrived at a small village hall in Naphill. The show was a very under sung affair, with a hand written billboard pointing the way into the hall, where a lovely lady greeted us and charged us a very reasonable £6 for a family ticket and explained where everything was. The hall was tiny, so you didn’t need a map to get around, but each room housed a small but interesting collection of toys, models and most importantly for us, LEGO. A collection of very well made and truly loved Dolls Houses adorned the first room, where an elderly lady, who was obviously still a big kid at heart, enthusiastically pointed out some of the finer points in the houses and shops on display. A toy shop, the swedish room, a car boot sale and even a pub with cheekily dressed dancers, all dolls house sized, filled the room and the kids loved looking at all the tiny details, especially in the toy shop.
The second room, the largest of the three was the main event for us, and as the kids went in they quickly headed over to the largest display in the room, a huge Fun Fair, with its own Ghost Train, moving rides, flashing lights and even its own burger stall and toilet block, all made from Lego. The builder of this awesome piece was Andrew Walker, the founder of www.namebrick.co.uk who engrave lego bricks, with well… words or names as the URL suggests. Andrew is also one of the builders in The Lego Ideas book, of which we purchased a copy and he generously signed for us. After a short chat with Andrew, and buying some of his name bricks, he told us that the fun fair was actually bigger and a large monorail that dipped up and down like a roller coaster was going to be added for the final display which can be seen at The Brick Show 2015 at Excel London on Dec 11th-13th. If you are going, I would definitely suggest you go and check out Andy’s work, and the great use of his engraved bricks in his MOCs.
A few other displays caught our eye, including a large MOC that had a collection of mines, pizza delivery guys, dinosaurs, knights, rock stars and so much more… There was a poster on one end challenging people to find a list of certain characters which kept the kids busy for a good 15 mins. Some smaller scale buildings also caught our attention, with some cool micro scale street and architecture pieces which were especially good. One guy had brought down his Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon Collectiors edition that he was in the process of building. He was well organised, with all his bricks in neatly arranged tubs and the instructions on his tablet in front of him, and he was probably about 50-60% into the build, which I later found out he had actually started at the same show a year earlier… A year on, he had returned to finish the job he started back in 2014… We wished the Force was with him and moved on, regrettably not getting the opportunity to see the finished build. Other displays included alternative building systems from the 60s that let you build houses and utility buildings, which although quite interesting didn’t have the same interest for the kids as the brightly coloured buildable blocks that are LEGO, or the trains moving around the show.
The next room greeted us with a large, large pile of all green lego 2×4 lego bricks and a sign declaring BUILD YOUR OWN. The kids took their coats off and got dug in, and then mum and dad joined them as we built dinosaurs and the obvious seasonal christmas trees. It wasn’t long before the kids got distracted by the large toy trains chuffing up and down a table the other side of the room, and after a quick chat with the gentleman tending the trains, they were pushing buttons and driving the engines themselves.
A quick coffee and cake break in the reasonably priced café next door, which actually served very good coffee, and we dropped back into the show for another quick look at the displays and for the kids to spend their pocket money on a small lego set each. Then it was back out into the cold, as we hit the A40 for our journey home, which was largely spent with the kids explaining how cool their afternoon had been and their favourite bits!
We didn’t expect anything big or grand from this small show that was neatly tucked away in a village hall in Naphill, but with reasonably priced entrance fees, enough interesting displays to keep our attention for a couple of hours, it was a great afternoon out for both kids and parents, with my own personal highlight being getting to chat with Andrew Walker and his amazing Fun Fair build…
For pictures from the show, check out the Gallery here!
Naphill Brick & Model Show, Naphill, High Wycombe, England
Some shots of the Lego Builds from the Naphill Brick & Model show!