A mini memorial trade show at The Blast Shop – 21-22 September

The Blast Shop

This is the Tripod Gantry The Blast Shop introduced at last year’s Tradex. Handles adjust the legs so headstones can be positioned on dowels with ease. It is aluminium (so lightweight) but strong. It fits into the back of a Transit and has wheels attached for easy manoeuvring through a cemetery when folded. You will be able to try it out at The Blast Shop open days on 21-22 September.

Although the next NAMM Tradex is not until 2025, The Blast Shop, which regularly exhibits at Tradex, is having open days that are a mini-exhibition at its premises in Pendlebury, Manchester (M27 8SS), 21-22 September. They are full days from 9am to 5pm.

When The Blast Shop held its first open day in 2015 it only expected it to be one day, but so many people wanted to attend it was extended to two days. All its open days since have been two days – although there has not been an open day since before the Covid lockdowns started in 2020.

This year, three presentations are lined up for each day. They concentrate on ‘The Customer Experience’, with the first one looking at how information gained from feedback forms can be used to implement new processes and technology for increased customer satisfaction.

The second presentation is of MOMS – The Blast Shop Memorial Order Management System. The demonstration will explain how Google is used to increase a presence online.

The third presentation will be more interactive, dealing with training and development. The Blast Shop wants to know what courses masons think would be useful as well as talking about current courses and those planned for the future.

There will also be a discussion about stains and how Stone Clear products are suitable for stain removal as well as stain prevention.

As with any such event, a main benefit is the opportunity to talk to fellow masons as well as The Blast Shop staff. It will also give masons a chance to try out products for themselves – like the Memorial Designer software package; blasting and painting PhotoBlast stencils with the dustless Goldmann machines; and the Tripod Gantry that allows you to manoeuvre memorials into position so easily with the turn of a handle on each of the legs.

But it’s not all about The Blast Shop. There are also other companies showing their products. Memorial wholesaler Odlings will be showing its memorials in the main warehouse, while C J Imports will show its memorials in the rear stock room next to the dustless demonstration area.

Armorgard will be outside with the electric sack truck it now sells after buying MGB Easy Handling. Next to it will be the Tripod Gantry that The Blast Shop introduced at last year's Tradex exhibition and which Rob Critchley, The Blast Shop proprietor, described as "a cool new lifting device".

Hodge Clemco will have a blaster and PPE (personal protective equipment) package; Graphtec will be supporting The Blast Shop, which is one of Graphtec's distributors, talking about its masking tape cutters; PFM Design Consultancy will cover all matters to do with drilling; and the National Association of Memorial Masons (NAMM) will be represented.

There will be bargains aplenty, with staff in the Blast Shop offices throughout each day delighted to take your orders.

And they could be long days, so tea and coffee will be available throughout and lunch will be served from midday until 1:30pm.