Meccano Model Exhibition 1983

Sunday 2 October 1983
Eltham United Reformed Church

This year’s exhibition certainly exceeded our (or mine at least!) expectations with visitors almost stampeding through the door! In the first hour 90 people paid their money, no doubt helped by the lack of rain and television coverage. Yes — this year we received a mention on London Weekend’s Six O’Clock Show on the day before the show. In all, 480 people came, which compares very favourably with the 310 last year.

The number of models was probably about the same — at least we filled all the tables.

The exhibition received some good publicity afterwards in two local papers.

Cutting from a local paper
Cutting from a local paper

In charge of refreshments, without which a lot of visitors would not have stayed as long as they did, were Cathy Warrell, Jean Warrell, Angela Warrell (Chris’s wife, mother and sister respectively!), Vi Palin and Joyce Ashford.

Mention must also be made (‘or else’, they said!) of our doormen, Martin Clark and Neil Carter who spent almost all day collecting the entrance money.

Thanks, of course, to everyone for helping!

Models on Display

Our President, Adrian Ashford, had his fine AEC/Merryweather fire-engine with 4-speed and reverse gearbox-powered by a 12V motor. There was also his equally meritorious GWR 1366 class pannier tank locomotive and an eight-arm octopus roundabout.

Geoff Davison, our Chairman, brought a number of small but well-proportioned vehicles: Articulated lorry; Spaceship; Clockwork tractor; Anti-aircraft gun and towing vehicle; Breakdown vehicle towing a truck; Tank transporter.

Secretary Chris Warrell had his Rye railway swing-bridge with completed abutments on display.

Jim Arthur had some super models consisting of a bulldozer, the Prince William steam roller, a T-type bus and showman’s traction engine as well as a Supermodel 36 derrick crane, a big Ferris wheel and a giant dragline.

David Smithers had a small block-setting crane (made from a 1940 set), a gorgeous lightship and his monster derrick crane which towered above all else.

Harrun Degia and friends had a really impressive set of fairground machinery driven by real steam with a 5’ long countershaft.

Bill Lovell was there with his power-steered Scammel-Nubian crash tender powered by a Marx Hectoperm through a 6-speed forward and 3 reverse gearbox.

Frank Palin provided his tracked trench excavator (to the late Geoff Cole’s design) and a neat Meccano graph (1978 № 5 set), a touring car (from the March 1962 issue of Meccano Magazine), a grand prix racing car and a flat bed lorry.

Joyce and Eric Schoolar had an excellent plastic fairground wheel, a south-seeking chariot and a Meccanograph.

Robin Lake brought a mobile crane scaled up about 4:3 from the 1929 model with auto-braking on winches, differential trolley and accelerator (via resistance on board); and a clockwork model of a Ligier (French) car together with a mock-up model of a gear-cutting machine. Also a selection of experiment and demonstration models borrowed from South East London College which included epicyclic trains and an electric gyroscope.

In the corner was John Longbon with a tall tower crane — a super job — and his regular supply of Meccano on offer.

Other clubs, notably West London Meccano Society, supported the exhibition and it was a pleasure to see Bert Halliday, among others, who exhibited a rectilinear Meccanograph, a magnetised ice rink, a clockwork 4–6–2 tank engine, a large block-setting crane, a tank, and other models, like the tram, of equal merit.

In conclusion, a ready welcome to Bert Love and his wife, who brought to the exhibition stacks of Meccano for sale and two beautiful models of a helicopter and a star wheel.

Ike Ascher brought a steam power plant, which was much modified from a 1920s-1930s Gilbert Erector design for their ‘9½’ set. The model was almost entirely built from Meccano parts of various styles and colours and powered by a mains motor originally used by Meccano for shop window displays. The features included two vertical and horizontal pistons, governor and flywheel.

A centrifugal intermittent motion machine, based on the one in the September 1975 issue of Meccano Engineer, was brought by Frank Pycroft. The drive from a clockwork motor was used to actuate the control level of a P. D. U. which turned a propeller.

A railway breakdown crane was brought by Melvyn Down. It had a 7½” turntable based on a design in one of the books written by Bert Love. Outriggers were provided and the brakes were operated by hand.

Peter Clay’s model was a Bradford tramcar of 1898 vintage. He had based it on instructions in the June and July 1968 issues of Meccano Magazine but modified to represent the prototype as closely as possible. The seats in the open top were made from Stokys parts to improve the appearance. Power to the two P. D. U. s was from an overhead wire.

Martin Clark — Clock powered by synchronous motor.

Gareth Dean — Fairground roundabout.

Bryn Jones — Lorry chassis made from Märklin parts.

Richard Farr — Articulated lorry.

West London Meccano Society

David Nye — Hammerhead Crane.

Ron Stutter — West German tank and single deck bus.

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