Meccano Model Exhibition 1990

Saturday 31 March 1990
Eltham United Reformed Church


Saturday 31st March 1990 saw the club’s 12th annual Meccano exhibition staged, as always, in the Sherard Hall, Eltham. 26 exhibitors showed something like 80 or 90 models of various sizes, and all of a very high standard. We had support from other clubs as well to make it a really first-class show and our thanks go to them for filling what would otherwise have been a few empty tables.

This was our second year having an exhibition in the spring, and it’s difficult to know if it was a wise decision or not. Both have had slightly low attendances — approximately 280 this year — but with the very good weather we’ve been having lately families have been heading for the coast. Next year we’ll hold the exhibition at a service station on the M2! (Only joking!)

General view of the Eltham United Reformed Church hall
General view of the Eltham United Reformed Church hall

The Models

This is a list of who and what was there, with some omissions, in the order that you might tour the hall, i.e. starting by the entrance and travelling clockwise around the outer run of tables to the stage, and then returning clockwise around the centre block of tables.

Jim Arthur — Ferris wheel and, elsewhere in the hall, a showman’s traction engine by the name of ‘Hercules’ and a 105mm howitzer, scaled up from a Dinky Toy.

Robin Lake — A selection of models and mechanisms: level-luffing crane; pause mechanisms; limited slip differential; 4-speed and reverse gearbox; Meccanograph; level-luffing investigation and a small strip bending machine.

Chris Warrell — Small block setting crane, small model of a 20 ton railway breakdown crane and two Aeroplane Outfit models.

Peter Clay — Meccanograph.

Melvyn Down — Warehouse lift (incomplete).

Eric Humphries — An ‘Aerosubmobile’ — the ultimate driving experience!

John Cowdery — Clockwork tractor and a Foden steam wagon.

Roger Marriott — S. R. Schools Class 4–4–0 locomotive and tender, an orrery and a robot.

Chris Warrell’s daughter Emma (aged 4) with Roger Marriott’s giant robot
Chris Warrell’s daughter Emma (aged 4) with Roger Marriott’s giant robot

Francis Paine — A large display consisting of the following: Dealer’s display model of Tower Bridge, with raising bascules and flashing lights; Eiffel Tower in 1930s red/green based on 1920/30s manual design; Aeroplane Outfit models; Supermodel leaflet traction engine in 1930s red/green, pulling a tree trunk; 5’ long ‘waterline’ model of battleship HMS Royal Sovereign in nickel and 1930s red/green; light red/green seaplane; various vintage sets, including a 1912 ‘Royal Meccano’ set.

Oliver Paine — Approximately half size block setting crane built by this eleven year old.

David Smithers — Steam plant and workshop (electric powered); 2-cylinder steam engine with single crank, based an a model seen in the Science Museum.

Eddie Oatley — 120 ton hammerhead crane to 1:60 scale based an actual crane at HM Naval Base, Rosyth, Scotland.

John and Steven Gay — Unpowered three wheel lorry (mechanical horse) and an SML railway breakdown crane in red/green.

John MacDonald — Eight-wheel drive wrecker in Army green, the prototype being built by the Sterling Motor Company, USA in 1945–7; 1938 Auto Union racing car (German) in red; M26 ‘Pacific’ tractor and trailer carrying a tank based on a Chieftain 900, both in Army green; German tracked motorcycle (Kettenkraftrad) in Army green.

Stan Bedford — Running along the front edge of the stage was his Listowel & Ballybunion Railway trestle monorail.

Christopher Gould — Steam-powered funfair roundabout.

Adrian Ashford — Coles mobile crane.

A. N. Other — Two white spaceships (although the term UFO would be more appropriate here!)

Bert Halliday — Meccanograph; 4–6–2 locomotive in black, on Hornby track; roulette wheel and dragster.

Bob Brooker — The ultimate in plate bending — Morris Minor two-door saloon re-sprayed in light blue; red Jaguar E-type roadster with blue/gold ‘upholstery’.

Leslie Maher — Eight wheel tipper lorry and American style car, both in red, with full remote control; tricycle.

Jack Beadle — Large rotating fun model with lights; ferris wheel; horizontal steam engine; beam engine; train built by girls from Penwortham Junior School, Streatham, London where Jack gives them Meccano model-building lessons.

Ivor Ellard — Workshop with belt drive from overhead shaft; beam engine; various 1930s cars; locomotive with train; elsewhere were four aeroplanes (one from an Aeroplane Outfit and three from standard Meccano) and trundling around the floor was a remote control tank in grey, based on a Chieftain.

Richard Greenwood — He had built models which had been designed by others: Mike Cuff’s bouncing ball machine; Cut Your Own Gears machine (T. V. Vollenhoven) and an Andreas Konkoly clock.

Nigel, Stephen and Martin Pope — Meccano vs Lego demolition crane — see if you can knock the Lego house down; horizontal steam engine based upon 1920s design; various small models: guillotine, helicopter, mouse trap, submarine, chain saw, electric drill, two skateboards, scooter and a lathe.


As anyone who has been involved in an exhibition will know, there’s more to organising one than meets the eye. Those who helped were:

  • Printing and tying up posters — Ralph Laughton.
  • Booking hall, tying up posters — Peter Clay.
  • Arranging tables etc. the previous evening — Peter Clay, Harrun Degia, Adrian Ashford, Nigel Pope (who brought extra tables), Stephen and Martin Pope.
  • Financial wizard and car park attendant — Keith Patey.
  • Refreshments — Jean Warrell assisted by Ivy Bedford, Angela Crowell, Win Parker and Val Speed.
  • Door rota — various.
  • Arrangements, publicity and some of the above — Chris Warrell.

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