London Gaming Market Hits the Spot

Today was the first of hopefully many more London Gaming Markets, which was held at the Royal National Hotel.
I have been to the Hotel before on a few occasions when they used to do the Comic Expo but this was a new thing entirely. I expected it to be busy but oh boy was it rammed!
There were people of all ages and backgrounds and it was heartening to see so many female gamers, a high percentage of gamers are females bur not they are not always present in events so it was great to see such a large female turnout here.
The Market itself took the space of 2 halls, with one focused on retro gaming and systems and the other more focused on board and card games like Magic or Dungeons and Dragons.
The main hall was packed tight with sooo much stuff to buy, it wasn't all just games either. There were perler bead stalls with amazing 8 and 16-bit art pieces, t-shirts, fanzines and magazines.

There were also many systems set up around the edge of the hall so people could play for free including Micro Machines 2, Goldeneye, Mega Bomberman, Mario Kart on the SNES and R-type. My cousin and I played R-type as we have fond memories of this game from the arcade and Master System. It was great to see lots of children playing on the games that their parents probably played in their youth.
To be honest if I didn't have priorities (family) and a spending limit (£80) I could have bought so much more but as it was I bought Super Mario World and Allstars on one cartridge for the SNES, a see-through Gameboy Colour for my wife's nephew (I know he was interested in getting one when I saw him a few weeks ago to play Pokemon) and a signed Sonic 2 art print by the game artist who drew the iconic image in 1993, Duncan Gutteridge.
As a whole the Gaming Market was brilliant,
It was all very busy and polite, lots of different games and systems represented... But I still had no luck in finding Thunderforce V on the PS1; my white whale. I could eBay it but I like the thrill of finding it in the wild. Oh well, maybe at the next Gaming Market!