Monday, 25 June 2018

Lakeland interlude

Once again Steve and I attended the Phoenix show at Rheged near Penrith over the weekend.  This year we were joined by Alasdair who had made a foray south over the border.  Phoenix is a small local show, very well organised by the local club (West Coast Gamers) and offers a mix of local and national traders to wargamers.  The venue is light and spacious which greatly improves the environment in the vicinity of the Bring and Buy.  Both 'system' (Bolt Action, x wing etc) and period ( ECW, Napoleonic etc) products were on offer and the games ranged from c8 ft x 6ft to card table sized.  For those who like competitions there were Blood Bowl and Magic; the Gathering events on offer.

Major benefits are the plentiful free parking, an assortment of shops/cafe for wives and partners and  proximity to the incomparable Lake District scenery.  Looking at the other gamers attending I am sure that their day would be a couple of hours at the show and then a trip to Ullswater, Keswick or some other local attraction.  Here are a few photographs of some of the games on offer

The hosts put on this ACW game in 25mm, looking at the scenario book being used, I think it was the first day of Gettysburg

Next to them were the Annan club with a Caribbean pirate game featuring nicely modelled ships

Finally, there was a French and Indian Wars skirmish game in 54mm by the Dumfries Club

The larger figures looked really good and as the gamers pointed out you only needed about 6 figures a side for a good game. 

As Norm pointed out in his replies to comments on his recent post about his visit to the show it seems that the organisers plan to hold the show again next year.  I hope they do, it offers a really good opportunity to mix our hobby with a family outing.

On the Sunday we had a trip to Silloth, a quiet town on the Cumbrian coast, north of Maryport.  It is a bit off the beaten track, only accessible by 'B' roads, but it does have one major attraction (at least to wargamers), the "Soldiers in Silloth Toy Soldier Museum" (link ).  This little gem of a museum displays thousands of toy soldiers, metal and plastic, including Britains, Timpo, Lone Star and Elastin.  There are ancient Egyptians, Crusaders, Redcoats and WWII represented and dioramas too.

Here are a selection of the photos I took

Unbelievably, entry is free, (though donations are welcome)  If you are anywhere near Silloth, it is well worth a visit, though check the opening times before you travel.

To round off the day, we visited Carlisle Castle, which is hosting the "Weeping window" exhibition of red poppies.  Whilst the poppies are there (until 8th July) English Heritage has waived the entry fee for the castle.



  1. I MUST attend this show. Its not that far away and the group deserves as much support as it can get. It looks a nice show.

  2. The Toy Museum and Carlisle Castle look superb ways of extending the weekend.

  3. The 54mm look very tempting, well done for visiting the weeping window on another lovely day