London Transport Museum Meccano Exhibition 1983

Tuesday 27 December 1983 – Monday 2 January 1984
London Transport Museum
Covent Garden

This exhibition, held during the week just after Christmas, was very successful with a fine selection of models from the various clubs involved. Even though the coverage of the show by SELMEC and West London Meccano Society members didn’t go quite to plan there were still enough present each day to look after all the models successfully (if I have missed anyone from the following paragraphs my apologies but this was written from memory two or three weeks after the show.)

We occupied a room which had one end open to the museum, although entry for the public was via the refreshment bar. A few models were placed at this end, notably Noel Ta’Bois’ grandfather clock and trolleybus, a steam wagon by a West London Meccano Society member (I think) and a very large Westland Lysander aeroplane amongst others. In the room itself three rows of tables were arranged and Michael Edwards, who organised the event, had a large display with his tramway and about four tramcars taking up the length of the centre table. He, with his brother, also had remote-controlled Leyland single deck bus, vintage Austin car, bulldozer and excavator.

Our own club was well represented: Jim Arthur’s models included a Super Model dragline and traction engine and Adrian Ashford had his Merryweather fire engine on display. Noel Ta’Bois had (apart from those mentioned above) a Super Model block-setting crane, Wimshurst machine, Chronolog clock plus one or two small models. Quite a few of our junior members were there: Neil Carter brought a spacecraft and a forklift truck, Martin Clark had his clock with synchronous motor, Bill Lovell a model of the Bluebird car and (I think!) John Adams had a Super Model Loom.

John Westwood attended at the start of the week with his Gladstone pottery and he was replaced by Frank Pycroft with a centrifugal intermittent motion machine.

Les Maher brought a model of a tricycle, a rocking lightship was brought by David Smithers and Chris Warrell showed a swing bridge and Perrier bottle. Bryn Jones had his computer-controlled robot arm but replaced it, because electrical or radio interference made it impossible to operate, with a lorry built in Märklin.

More than half of our members named above do in fact also belong to the West London Meccano Society and so represented both clubs. Other West London Meccano Society members were Nick Rodgers with his trucker fleet, David Nye with a crane and Ron Stutter (can’t remember his model). Bert Halliday from Holy Trinity Meccano Club was there with a traction engine steam locomotive and two Meccanographs. There were also a number of models, including Stephenson’s Rocket from the Wellingborough and District Meccano Club.

The BBC’s Breakfast Time turned up on the Wednesday and spent all morning filming nearly all the models. The next day the edited four minute item was broadcast.

This exhibition made a nice change: There were a fair proportion of foreign visitors and it wasn’t very busy so there was time to have a chat with other members, despite occasionally being in charge of a number of people’s models.

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