Crossness Engines Model Engineering Day 2014
Sunday 22 June 2014
What is becoming an annual fixture went off successfully on Sunday 22nd June. The exhibition went well and we ‘flew the flag’ both for the club and the hobby. I have no attendance figures but there were a fair number of visitors who appreciated our work. They were probably not aware of the amount of hard work that so many — I must single out Frank, Tim and Felicity, Ralph and Sue, and Chris — did in making the whole day possible.
[Editor’s note: Rob Parker, from the Crossness Engines Trust, wrote to me, thanking us for attending. The total number of visitors was 617; not quite as many as they’d hoped, but still a good turnout. I quote from his letter: “Once again you presented an impressive display which attracted a great deal of interest.”]
The overall details are as last year, so I shall proceed with an account of the models shown. I confess I am writing this three weeks after the event, and not all exhibitors gave me details. You must forgive me for any omissions or errors. In no particular order:
He showed a model of the Pegasus rolling lift bridge in Normandy, along with an M4-HST High-Speed Tractor — a model of an US 18-ton military heavy gun tractor and personnel carrier. The working, steerable caterpillar tracks with suspension and radio control impressed visitors, as did the bridge. Both models represented the ‘serious engineering’ side of the hobby. They have both been fully written up by Alan elsewhere.
He had a selection of models mainly in yellow and zinc. Unfortunately I received no list, but many of the models were on display at the Vintage Hornby Train Show in May.
Douglas Windibank and Alan Wenbourne
Frank put on one of his excellent and comprehensive displays, comprising: A twin cylinder motorcycle engine inspired by the 1950s № 10 Set Supermodel leaflet; a 1990s dealers’ display model of a windmill; a 1970s dealer’s display model of Tower Bridge; a 1929 № 2A Meccano outfit in dark red and green; a 1960s № 5A Meccano outfit in light red and green; a nearly complete 1904 Mechanics Made Easy outfit, with all the parts laid out in a display case together with several items of Meccano literature.
Steam engines in yellow and zinc, in the form of twin beam engines.
A First World War Big Gun, in red and green from 1940s № 8 outfit manual, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. It had an opening breech, a ‘shell’ that could be winched up to it and screw mechanism to raise and lower the barrel. It ran on large made up wheels with flexible plate rims. Also shown was a petrol lawn mower.
John Gay’s Big Gun
A GMC DUKW 353 Amphibious vehicle universally known as the Duck — a beautifully detailed model in khaki livery. She also had a wheelbarrow and spade.
The Lightning Leap buzz-wire challenge, earning donations for Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre. Konkoly Spanish Knight with trotting horse on a rotating bass and a Maraca (working!)
Ralph and Sue Laughton
Live steam lorry powered by Meccano 1929 steam engine and fired on meths. I have always been partial to the smell of this since childhood (due, I hasten to add, having had a Mamod steam engine and Merit chemistry set with spirit burner!) It was fired up several times and ran slowly across the floor. This had the advantage of masking the smell of sewage, from the nearby plant, wafting in on the wind!
Ralph Laughton steaming up his lorry
Science Museum Beam Engine — a model from a book by the late Bert Love, I think by a Midlands Meccano Guild member. It basically reproduces the motion of a beam engine: one that is designed to lift ore, or personnel from a mine. It has a flywheel and working link motion so that the piston rod follows a straight line. It also has a dummy piston with a ‘door’ so that one can see the eccentric driven valve motion, and a governor, all operated by an internal electric motor and reduction gearing.
I managed to prod the recalcitrant gearing on my Super Universal Design Maker Meccanograph into action and ran off designs. I also showed a Safari Car, ‘Hornby’ gauge 0 crane truck and Huff-a bolt game.
Peter Clay adjusting his Meccanograph
Traction engine in red and a small beam engine, based on an Airfix Museum Models kit.
He came with a selection of models, including car and caravan, O gauge locomotive, mobile crane, etc.
Chris Warrell’s models
You can see more photos from the open day in our Facebook album.