REVIVAL set to return after Winter Warmer success

Just part of the REVIVAL Winter Warmer (pic by Johnnathan Taylor)
Just part of the REVIVAL Winter Warmer (pic by Johnnathan Taylor)

Popular British retro gaming and computing event REVIVAL looks set to return in the New Year with all guns blazing, according to chief organiser Craig Turner – not surprising, judging by positive comments coming from the crowds attending their latest show.

After the success of last weekend’s smaller, but still beautifully marked, REVIVAL Winter Warmer event held at a leisure centre near Wolverhampton, the volunteer-supported exhibition and gaming extravaganza is heading onward and upward into 2016!

The popular combination of vast numbers of arcade machines, pinball games and legendary home consoles and computers made available for use at events by the organisers, exhibitors and supporters, combined with retro traders, plus talks and star guests at their bigger events, means REVIVAL has never had much difficulty getting gamers and geeks through the doors.

At ground level, gaming galore! (pic by Lee Mather)
At ground level, gaming galore! (pic by Lee Mather)

Putting on a major event of this kind on a small budget is never a simple affair, however, and it’s a lot of hard work as well as fun, as Craig Turner, of Turnarcades fame, said recently:

“After a tough first few events that went beyond our expectations and became a little harder to handle, future plans for REVIVAL were uncertain last year. After a major change early this year though and thanks to our dedicated team of die-hard enthusiasts, REVIVAL Winter Warmer has been solidly organised and was well-prepared well in advance this time. It was never certain though that we would again be in a position to return to full form. The primary decider was always you, the gamers, that buy the tickets and share in the hobby with us…

“After crunching the figures, I am pleased to announce that despite initial reservations about moving venue and trying a mid-sized event, ticket sales have been strong since day one and I can officially confirm that REVIVAL WILL RETURN IN 2016 not only with a full-scale event in Wolverhampton, but plans are underway for two additional events with a different focus that will be going outside the Midlands to reach gamers around the country!”


REVIVAL has always been an event by gamers, for gamers and the organisers have been keen to stay true to their retro-gaming roots, which has aided in their success, as Retro Computing News found out at last year’s massive REVIVAL event at Wolverhampton’s Dunstall Park racecourse.

Last weekend bodes well
The REVIVAL Winter Warmer team, organisers and volunteers
The REVIVAL Winter Warmer team, organisers and volunteers

Mr Turner, speaking after the well-supported Winter Warmer weekend, said:

“Our first show in over a year REVIVAL Winter Warmer 2015 is now over and based on feedback so far, was an overwhelming success! With a sellout crowd on Saturday and an unusually large Sunday crowd too, we doubled our expected turnout with a head count just short of 700 people over the weekend. A huge thanks to all who attended; visitors, staff and guests who all contributed to an unrivalled atmosphere that our events have always been renowned for!

“Such an event wouldn’t be possible without a well-balanced team of true retro gaming enthusiasts that make up our organisers, floor staff, setup volunteers, exhibit contributors and entertainment. I would like to say a huge thanks to all of my family and crew who helped make Winter Warmer what it was and committed their efforts to bring every attendee a great time – it couldn’t be done without them. Allow me to introduce our main team [pictured above, Ed.] for last weekend, and thanks to the miracle of powerful high-resolution image editing, been able to seamlessly blend in one of our main team members who was unfortunately on a logistical errand while this shot was taken.

“Be sure to give props to these guys if you see them again or have any stories to share from the event!”

Well, we can’t say fairer than that, and despite the illness that sadly kept our editor Stuart Williams away from this year‘s Winter Warmer, Retro Computing News is already looking forward to covering next year’s REVIVAL event in person, so watch this space!

For more information and to keep up with these events, check out REVIVAL’s official website and the Facebook page.


All images courtesy REVIVAL and individual photographers.

Micro Mart marks 30th Birthday

Micro Mart 30th Birthday issue
Micro Mart 30th Birthday issue

The UK’s only weekly printed computer hobby magazine, Micro Mart (perhaps better known by retro fans as the original Micro Computer Mart, back in the day) is celebrating its thirtieth birthday in its current issue, number 1,390!

Micro Computer Mart was launched in November 1985 as a fortnightly publication consisting of classified advert listings for the computer trade. The magazine soon expanded in editorial content to include articles and reviews from many realms of computing, at a time when the market was still full of quirky and diverse hobbyist, home and business systems and before the current domination by IBM-compatible clones, Apple and tablets. It became popular with both amateur and professional system builders. In 1991, due to reader demands, Micro Mart moved to a weekly format.

On 14 November 2002 (issue 723) the magazine moved to a full colour format, having previously been printed (internally at least) in black and white. At this time, Micro Mart also expanded in content.

Happy Birthday!

This past week’s special issue (dated 26 Nov-2 Dec), apart from the usual preponderance of hardware reviews and specialist features, is a little chunkier than usual, celebrating as it does the magazine’s birthday, mainly with two special features. The first is an article by James Hunt entitled ‘Personal Computing: 1985-2015’ which is about the huge rise and gradual decline of the IBM compatible computer (an interesting overview, if rather dismissive of the many other hobby machines which actually made the home computer revolution). The second, ‘The Writer’s Tale’, is a personal reminiscence by Mark Pickavance about his years as a computer journalist and particularly his time as a contributor to Micro Mart since 1993. There’s also a one-pager by David Briddock highlighting some events and figures from the year of Micro Computer Mart’s birth.

Back in the day

I must admit I remember the good old days of the original Micro Computer Mart in the 1980s with great fondness; I actually penned a few articles and reviews for them in 1987-1989, when their first publishers, MicroMart (UK) Ltd, were based in Olton, Solihull. I still buy the occasional copy today, usually when I spot something of particular interest in the intermittent retro columns. This time around, the mag includes a remembrance of ‘Chuckie Egg’ on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum by David Hayward and a ‘Retro Round Up’ by Dave Edward of a pretty average-looking load of modern 8-bit games.

Despite today’s apparent declining interest in ‘home’ computer magazines (apart from those covering Linux and the Raspberry Pi…), and the loss of many major monthly titles over the past three decades, Micro Mart still manages to maintain its niche on the shelves of major newsagents, albeit often thinner than it once was, and that resilience is certainly something to celebrate after all these years.

Happy Birthday, Micro Mart!

Stuart Williams