I don’t go to Claymore every year, and I nearly didn’t go today. I didn’t really feel like it; but I thought I’d get out of the house, and find out where their new venue is and what it’s like. It’s no longer being held in the foyer of Meadowbank Stadium (nor has it gone back to Chambers Street, which is where I first remember attending).
I went to Edinburgh by bus, and slept part of the way while the weather got on with being dreich outside, in a particularly non-summery way. I got off in George Street, intending to catch another bus out to the location, Telford College on Granton Road. There was bus information provided, but as I looked at my printout, I thought “You know, I haven’t a scoobie where these actually depart from, especially with Princes Street up. I’ll walk part of the way, and if I get fed up I can always find a bus stop along the way.”
The weather had improved a wee bit, so I consulted my map and set off to boot it. I’d figured it was a bit further out from the centre than Meadowbank (and in a different direction), but wasn’t sure exactly how far. The route seemed straightforward enough though, and I reckoned it was probably a couple of miles, which apparently would take the bus 25 minutes. I didn’t think I could beat the bus, but it seemed plausible.
Retrospectively, Google tells me it was a little over three miles, and I did it in a little over three quarters of an hour, so I don’t reckon I did too badly. There wasn’t a huge amount of interest to see along the way, but I did get to cross Dean Bridge on foot. It’s always been intriguing when driving over it, with no chance for a more leisurely look. It was built by Thomas Telford in the early 1830s, and it still carries a lot of the traffic into the city centre.
The only other place of particular note I passed was Fettes College, alma mater of one Tony Blair. Now there’s a recommendation.
The space at Telford College turns out to be larger than at Meadowbank, and there were actually two halls in use. As a result, it felt like there were more trades stands, and there were certainly more demonstration games. However, I have to say I found less to be excited about in the way of figures this year than in previous years. In fact, I only bought three packs of figures from Scheltrum (the ones I bought are not yet on the price list there, at time of writing), and the rest was peripheral stuff. I did find myself looking at some Sudan figures from Perry Miniatures, but resisted. There were also some First World War figures of Scots in Lowland regiments, the sort with forage caps that you see quite a lot in Victorian and Edwardian period pictures of Scottish soldiers but never seem to see in miniature; again, I was a bit interested but couldn’t really justify them. I think they were from Scarab Miniatures, but I didn’t make a note and haven’t been able to find them online. Other items in Scarab’s WWI range look familiar though.
I walked back into the centre, and gave myself a blister, thereby proving that virtue is its own reward. If I’d known beforehand how much walking I was going to do I’d have worn boots instead of shoes, but hey ho. I also nipped into Henderson's on Hanover Street for a glass of melon, mint, pineapple and orange, which was expensive but just what the doctor ordered, as the day had got warmer as it went on.