EventCity in Manchester, the second largest exhibition space
outside London, played host to The Caravan & Motorhome Show from 17-20 January 2013. With over 200 exhibitors and more than 31,000 visitors expected to visit the four day show we decided to brave the snow and investigate what the fuss was all about.
We very nearly failed to get there. Not because of the inclement weather but because the sight of the shops at the nearby Trafford Centre was almost too much to bear. Suitably chastised by my partner, we continued to EventCity and joined the chaotic queue for the free car park. A short walk took us to the venue which was easily identified by the Eterniti BB-4 braving the freezing weather. A typically warm Mancunian welcome and complimentary bottle of Yakult set us up for a busy day ahead.
Visitors were greeted by the sweet smile of Bailey’s special edition Pegasus GT65 which was making its debut. Available in five layouts, the range was introduced to celebrate Bailey’s 65th anniversary. The range’s signature feature is an opening front vertical skylight which gives an amazing sensation of light and space. Before moving on from Bailey we spent a comfortable quarter of an hour in what we hope will be our next caravan; the Bailey Orion 400/2.
Having satisfied ourselves that the Orion is the caravan for us we decided to broaden our horizons and visit exhibitors which are not typically of interest to us but may be of interest to Cover4Caravans’ customers. First though we paid a visit to the Farmers’ Market where local suppliers drew crowds with samples of black pudding, cheesecake, biscuits and cheese. Naturally we had to buy a little something and were soon exchanging cash for salted caramel cheesecakes.
Back to broadening our horizons…we were intrigued to discover what £18,995 will buy in the static caravan market. We were astounded to discover this princely sum will buy a 3 bedroom unit. It was not the most beautifully furnished or decorated but nevertheless would make a perfectly comfortable holiday home. For those requiring more sumptuous surroundings these too can be found in a static caravan…at a price. There are some wonderfully idyllic sites and for those averse to towing statics are well worth considering.
Our next stop was the Hobby display with a range of opulently furnished caravans. Hobby offers a five model series and every caravan was crammed with people admiring the level of luxury on offer in these tourers.
John Craven was in conversation with Nigel Donnelly, Editor of Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome magazines, at 2pm. Having grown up with John Craven’s Newsround we secured seats to watch the interview. John was a lively, well-informed, engaging speaker and we were astounded when it was revealed he is 72. Long may he continue doing the job for which he has so much passion.
We made a point of visiting Eterniti’s display. The crowds at last year’s NEC show precluded us from properly inspecting Eterniti’s innovative product and we were desperate for a closer look. We were given a warm welcome by Adam who recognised us as Twitter followers. He took the time to explain the company ethos and potential future developments to us before leaving us to have a good look around. We asked how people had reacted to the external entrance to the bathroom. We assumed it was there to facilitate storing mucky boots or showering mucky kids. Wrong! It is actually to allow use of the facilities during rest breaks when towing; the slide out means the bed blocks the internal entrance to the bathroom whilst in transit. For those willing to clamber over the bed the caravan is available without the external bathroom door.
No show is completed without the usual plethora
of miscellaneous exhibitors; the type where you discover that one thing you just cannot live without. For me it was remote controlled colour change wax candles. Yes really. And I know exactly where they will be displayed when our Bailey Orion dream becomes a reality.
Photographs by Amanda Regan and Allison Regan