…… not to mention Boats, lots of boats! Having been ‘tipped off’ recently that this weekend was to be the inaugural event of the Sumners Ponds Model Show, I felt duty bound to go along and have a look round, especially as it is very local to me and I do feel you should support local events when possible.
The event programme proclaims a profusion of “Boats, Planes, Trains and More. ” with trade stands and tractor and trailer rides to event areas, a barbecue and local ales. What more could you want? Fortunately the sun was shining and when we arrived shortly after lunch we parked the car in the field car park and walked down the small lane past the camping site and Cafe by the Lake to the show area and ponds. The ponds are quite interesting as they are man-made ponds primarily for fishing, set in tranquil meadows. The main pond, a sort of mini lake with an island and pontoon walkway was filled with remote-controlled boats – motor vessels, sailing boats and even a submarine! It was a bit like a mini Cowes Weeks going on! Many of the modellers who were sailing their boats had display tables set up with other models they had constructed and sailed on display fo public viewing. A lovely man who builds replica model lifeboats gave us a demonstration of one of his model lifeboats complete with authentic engine sound effects and explained what happens when a lifeboat is underway (apart from the obvious setting out to rescue a boat in peril).
Sailing yachts on the Sumners Pond
Boats were definitely the mainstay of this event, and there was an astounding variety craft ranging from beautifully handcrafted scale models to the downright weird and wacky!
Surfin’ USA; a Lego boat and detailed scale model lifeboats
Two Everglades style airboats with odd pilots – Mini the Minx and Aliens rub shoulders alongside beautifully modelled handcrafted scale model sailing boats
A walk round the show site revealed that maybe it didn’t quite live up to its promise of “much more”. The model train tent contained two very small OO-gauge layouts of amateur construction. I shall make no apology for that statement, as my husband is a keen railway modeller and spends a lot of time (and money) constructing very accurate and detailed scale model railways. The car area was also devoid of cars. Actually that is not totally true as a young girl was trying, unsuccessfully, to guide a model monster truck round the track. Walking round the back of the sailing pond we came across a small flock of Canada Geese who had obviously been displaced by all the boats! A 5 minute walk down a track led us to the area set aside for the Kite Weekenders and Horsham Flyers. Sadly due to quite fresh winds the Horsham Flyers weren’t flying their craft, although one brave chap did briefly fly a small helicopter as a display. The Kite Weekenders were a strange bunch! The top field had become home to a group of tethered kites including two inflatable elephants and a giant squid! On the gate was displayed a licence from the Civil Aviation Authority allowing them to fly their kites – I guess that is because we are very close to Gatwick Airport!
Here be Dragons and Elephants Flying (Kites), Licence and Helicopter display craft
Walking back to the main site, we passed the tractor and trailer which was supposed to be giving rides, but which was instead parked firmly in store-mode. The rest of the planes were on display on the ground beside the boating lake. Some of their planes were fabulous and it was a shame that the weather conditions didn’t allow for them to fly. I was very impressed with the detail of some of the modelling and also with the humour of some of the modellers!
Fantastic scale model planes, some quite inventive
“We all live in a yellow submarine” and a Tiger Tank
My favourite automata – as this little lady pedals her cycle, her boobs bounce – hilarious!
All-in-all this was an unusual event which could develop into something quite unique. On the plus side the weather was great, the displays which were actually happening were nice to watch and it was good to be able to chat to some of the owner/modellers about their craft. On the downside there could have been more cars and trains – I know the modellers are out there locally and perhaps more traders and better advertising would have increased the visitor flow. Still, it’s worth a visit next year…