The London Boat Show 4-12 January 2014 at the Excel Centre in Docklands

Article by Audrey Frank Manager of NCI Worm's Head Station

NCI stand at the London Boat show 2014Worm's Head Station was represented by Brian Rees and myself, manning the stand on Friday 12th. It was a lovely day and the journey there on the Docklands Light Railway was beautiful. Outside the Hall people in shirtsleeves could enjoy refreshments in the sunshine alongside the boats moored for inspection along the wharf.

Our stand was well laid out, with a map of Britain with all the NCI stations marked on it and a screen at the front running the NCI film on a continuous loop throughout the day. The film attracted a lot of passing trade and was a good way of reeling in the punters. People were interested– and surprised in some cases – to find out which was their nearest NCI. We did a lot of talking and explaining, rather like a day at the Lookout really (but without the view). Raising profile is the name of the game.

Although we were told that the footfall of the Show was down from last year we had good conversations and were pleased to find that a lot of people had heard of us already. But apparently we had missed out on most of the celebrities the previous day, when the lucky watchkeepers had a haul including the Princess Royal (but only by a strategic diversion tactic), Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (who introduces the NCI film), Sir Alan Massey, Head of the MCA, and the National Chairman, our own Alan Richards. However Brian, who stayed on later than I did, tells me he was able to entrap the tall blond Art Expert from the Antiques Roadshow!