ARACHNOPHOBES may be well advised to steer clear of the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre next week.
Over 50,000 spiders, scorpions and other insects will be on display at an event likened to ‘The Crufts of The Spider World’.
The British Tarantula Society (BTS) is staging its 31st annual exhibition, which will attract visitors from as far away as America, Asia and Europe, at the centre off the Fosse Way near Leamingtion on Sunday May 22.
BTS vice chairman Ray Hale said: “To be honest, it would be impossible to count how many spiders are on display but I think 50,000 is a conservative estimate.
“Our main aim is to educate people about these wonderful and yet truly misunderstood creatures.
“Visitors will be able to see and buy a variety of arachnids, scorpions, stick insects, beetles and other insects throughout the day, meet other enthusiasts and seek advice from experts on the best way to look after their new pets.
“We are expecting around 60 exhibitors selling spider-related items ranging from tarantulas and equipment to books, jewellery and T-shirts.
“There will also be all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies for the visitor to see. There’s even a guy who makes bug sculptures with a chainsaw.”
Society members are already busy preparing their prized spiders for a series of awards including Best Brachypelma Species, Best New World Terrestrial and Best Scorpion.
Ray, who has about 200 tarantulas at his home in Sussex, added: “The competition is always excellent and whilst intended as a bit of fun some people take it very seriously indeed. The society has had some great spiders put forward in the past. Dozens of BTS members spend months planning the event and volunteer their time on the day to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“This is an opportunity for like-minded spider keepers or people, who are simply interested, to find out more. Everyone is welcome to come along, as the exhibition is open to members and non-members. Academics will be on hand to answer questions; there will be competitions and a chance to meet some of the leading experts in the field.
“If anyone is interested in keeping tarantulas or simply want to see some of the largest spiders on the planet this is the place to come along to because we can provide expert advice and information to give a happy and healthy environment for their spiders.
Tickets, costing £5 (£4 children, under 5’s free), are available on the door. The event runs from 11am to 4pm.
Visit www.exhibition.thebts.co.uk for further details.
*THE NATIONAL National Vintage Communications Fair takes place at Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on Sunday.
Specialising in early technology and organised by the British Vintage Wireless Society, the fair will feature thousands of items such as early radios, television receivers, gramophones, telephones, classic valve hi-fi and all manner of electrical and mechanical antiques and collectables.