Meccano Model Exhibition 1985

Saturday 19 October 1985
Eltham United Reformed Church

It was certainly a packed show this year and late arrivals had difficulty in finding any space for their models — room was found for all, however. Most of our own members were exhibiting and there were also visitors from other clubs: Nick Rodgers and David Nye from West London Meccano Society, James Woolfall from North East London Meccano Club, Bert Halliday from Holy Trinity Meccano Club and John McDonald from North Midlands Meccano Guild.

As in previous years tables had been set up the night before by a small willing gang. Thanks to them, but special thanks should go to the caretaker who allows us to do this every year and this time quite happily took delivery of ten hired tables at the hall. Keith Patey very kindly brought four tables on the day as well. These extra tables were all quickly filled with models and I shudder to think how we would have coped without them.

There were six women making and serving the refreshments: June Adams, Ivy Bedford, Vi Palin, Angela Warrell, Cathy Warrell and Rosemary Warrell. (Joyce Ashford and Jean Warrell were unable to help this year because of back trouble and a minor operation respectively which I trust they will both speedily recover from.) The quality of food was as usual very high with a selection of filled rolls, homemade cakes etc. and beverages. I’ve been told that some visitors take one look at the spread and decide to make it their lunch! (there’s a pun in there somewhere). Each of the ladies was given a book token in appreciation of their services.

The attendance by the public was down a bit this year: 377 altogether which is only slightly more than at our very first exhibition. For your information the attendance since 1979 has been as follows: 366, 345, 316, 311, 480, 523 and finally 377.

I know for a fact that in the two previous years we had some free plugs on London Weekend Television’s Six O’Clock Show. I would be interested to learn if we had any similar free advertising this year. The entrance charge was substantially lower this year and with increased costs as well (hired tables, posters more expensive etc.) we made a very slight loss. Just a drop in the ocean, though, compared to what we’ve made these last few years.

We had some good coverage in the local press after the exhibition with your Secretary and Jim Arthur with one of his models on the front page of the Eltham Times. In two other papers were pictures of James Woolfall of the North East London Meccano Club and his robot head.

Following on from an idea proposed last February, a friend of Jim Arthur was busy making a video of the exhibition. I don’t know how he got on but it will be very interesting to see the results — hopefully at the next meeting.

Models on Display

Harrun Degia — An interesting collection of small-scale machine tools including a vertical drill, a milling machine, a lathe and a circular saw. Driven by countershafting at the exhibition.

Les Maher — Fully remote-controlled 3’ long eight-wheel lorry changed since the previous meeting from rack-and-pinion to crank steering; a great improvement. The windscreen wipers have a straight sweep based on four-bar parallelograms.

Jim Arthur — Automatic action grab crane; NS bus, Showman’s traction engine; Steamroller; Lifeboat; 1935 fire appliance; 1:12 scale railway service crane.

David Myford — Working hand loom producing very attractive patterned material, and a heald making machine.

Frank Palin — Huge transporter bridge based on a 1949 № 10 set design with lengthened span consisting of newly painted red braced girders. The size of this model necessitates it being made in several sections for quick assembly.

Joyce Schoolar — Bond Bug in nickel and red (from the February 1971 issue of Meccano Magazine) and bridge-laying tank (from the December 1969 issue of Meccano Magazine).

Eric Schoolar — Konkoly sailor (from the June 1972 issue of Meccano Magazine) and Meccanograph.

Noel Ta’Bois — Three copies of a puzzle involving various strips and a piece of string; Wimshurst machine; Grandfather clock; Chiming wallclock; Universal heliochronometer.

Adrian Ashford — Mechanical horse and trailer based on the model from the 1954–61 № 9 set manual but improved with the use of a differential on the back axle. Built in authentic light red and green parts, blue wheels and grey tyres, and driven by a № 1 clockwork motor.

Peter Clay — A Pacific heavy ten-wheel haulage tractor chassis with novel reduction drive between the twin axles.

Stan Bedford — Sorry not to include all the interesting details supplied of an 0–3–0 twin locomotive of the Listowel and Ballybunion Railway (1886–1924). Built by the Hunslet Engine Co. to the design of a Frenchman, Charles Lartigue, it was bristling with valve gear and other details.

Robin Lake — Dockside crane based on a photo taken in Boulogne harbour; Longrunning clockwork roundabout; Meccanograph; Miniature stopping lift system based on the principal of a manual model.

Eric Humphries — Intermittently illuminated double Ferris wheel driven by interesting epicyclic gear and bevel combination; Fairground traction engine with battery-driven PDU.

Anthony Kaplan — Dockside crane from a № 5 set manual with three motors; Breakdown truck with under-wheel lifting gear and car; Old fashioned fire engine; Articulated lorry.

Arthur Adams — Twin cylinder steam engine (Super Model № 32) with flanged ring (167b) and other small modifications.

David Smithers — № 7 set gas engine, slightly modified.

Richard Threlfall — Automatic racer, modified from an early manual model; Spring-powered pistol with improved trigger mechanism — claimed to have range of thirty feet, and to be pinpoint accurate up to five feet.

Phillip Edwards — 1:8 scale Caterpillar 235 excavator, fully operational and computer-controlled.

Ike Ascher — Steam engine modified from a 1930s Märklin manual and based on illustrations by Andreas Konkoly.

John Westwood — A version of Keith Cameron’s model of an American Avery traction engine (1912) with double cylinder engine under the boiler.

Neil Bedford — Humber armoured car chassis and small radio-controlled half track.

Gareth Dean — Small crane; Small lorry; Windmill; Hovercraft, based on a picture in the Big Book of Machines.

David Ross — Horizontal single steam engine; Mill engine with Gooch’s link motion, governor and sun-and-planet crank.

Geoff Davison — Double-decker bus constructed using a picture in the December 1980 issue of the Midlands Meccano Guild Gazette; A mobile crane after Keith Cameron’s model in the October 1980 issue of Meccano Magazine; A Ferret scout car; Sports car; Stock car.

Frank Pycroft — Experimental Meccanograph producing 5-peak patterns.

Fred Pragnell — Blocksetting crane.

West London Meccano Society

Nick Rodgers — Impressive illuminated fairground octopus and four mini models comprising a ready-mix concrete lorry, a skip truck, an oil tanker lorry, a farm tractor with implement and a breakdown crane.

David Nye — Meccanograph set in a boat structure; rather novel.

North East London Meccano Club

James Woolfall — A very original well shaped life-size human head moving to command with moving eyelids.

North Midlands Meccano Guild

John McDonald — An excellent Leander class frigate with everything ‘going’; Fieldgun and support lorry; Racing car; Two-cylinder steam engine.

Holy Trinity Meccano Club

Bert Halliday — A new Meccanograph, simple but producing exquisite patterns, with previously exhibited roulette wheel and ‘fan in the air’ optical illusion machine.

Several purveyors of new and old Meccano were present amongst whom were our own John Longbon and his wife and the ever welcome and much travelled Bert Love and his spouse. Near the entrance was Mick Burgess with his brassware replicas, and tucked away was another of our members John Westwood selling copies of his illustrated book Meccano Collecting. This can be obtained for £2.00 post free from the author, The Malt House, Church Lane, Streatley, Reading RG8 9HT.

My apologies for any omissions or mistakes in the above.

I would just like to thank everyone for turning up with their models, especially those from other clubs who support us every year. The way things were this time we’ll need some extra space at our next exhibition — perhaps one of the adjoining rooms could be pressed into use. We can all now look forward to our eighth exhibition!

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