Monday, 16 September 2013

The Midland Game Fair

The (allegedly) much respected Midland Game Fair has just passed us by. Its the  30th birthday of the never cancelled show at Weston Park near Telford. The park itself is nice but unfortunately its closeness to the M54 seems to attract a lot of the 5 fingered discount mob.
The usual suspect were there this year bar the usual ones who having fallen out on previous years have sworn never to darken their doors again. I'm happy with that, takings are as per usual down on previous years which is apparently to be expected but as some traders decide to sell at the only two events they do stock at prices so low that I could buy from them and still make a profit and wonder why the public stays well away from them for the rest of the year when their prices are sky high.
The usual oddjobs abounded;
I had my usual game of playing spot the "most inappropriately dressed fair visitor" but this year was sufficiently busy enough to be restricted to some limited perving at the usual batch of cute puppies being exposed to the public (usually far too young) and some happy faces despite the weather.
Ghost Rifle put in an appearance, unfortunately as per usual visitors land at just the busiest moment when the Tea lady is getting excited about selling her wares.
Sunday was the wettest and least busy of the days and despite the strict instructions not to drive in front of the stands just about everybody did. I drove in on sunday morning just in time to pull two caterers vans out of the mud (who said I didn't need a 4wd pick up?) and face the idiot trader from down the road.
Many years ago I was asked if I sold a Halti lead which worked by forming two loops which sat over the dogs head. I said I hadn't but had they considered using a slip lead making a large loop over the dogs head and twisting it to make a second loop. This second loop would fit over the dogs nose and have the same effect. They already owned a few slip leads and went away happy, neither of us had thought of it at that time. The lead they wanted actually had a stitched loop so it couldn't revert to a simple slip lead when the dog ceased to pull. This was in my opinion pretty poor and the dog wouldn't get the positive learning effects of the removal of the nose loop.

Over the last 6 or 7 years we have sold many 6 foot leads from our shop all down to this very simple improvement. We have for at least 3 years had a simple advert saying "does your dog pull? Have you tried the figure 8?"
So last feb at the shooting show one of the traders started to market a figure 8 lead and it turns out its the original "Halti style" with the sewn in loop. They have had all these years to steal an idea which we thought was pants ie the original lead and now they claim to have trademarked it and demanded we take down our advertising and stop selling anything named the figure 8.
Oddly enough the Tea Lady felt threatened by the pikeyish appearance of the roll up smoking toerag and asked for my opinion. Needless to say when he put in an appearance on the sunday claiming the same trademark rights I challenged him to prove it and when he couldn't I told him to fuck off!
Now as an uncouth ex serviceman use of such language isn't outside of my experience and I usually try and reserve it for a special occasion. Trust me this was one of them. I now await our next meeting with glee.
By the way for anyone interested the case of Victoria Beckham versus Peterborough Football Club Commonly called the posh proved that trademarking words or phrases in common usage is worthless. The figure of eight in ropes has been around longer than I have and a quick google search reveals something like 31 million responses just for figure of 8 dog leads. I feel secure that I will be selling these for a few years yet!
 

1 comment:

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Now I really wish I'd been there?
SBW