Meccano Model Exhibition 2006

Saturday 14 October 2006
Eltham United Reformed Church

Our 28th annual Meccano exhibition was, by any standard, a great success! I received a sudden flurry of application forms and emails from members (plus one visiting exhibitor) up to a few days before the event and, not being one to say no, I let them all come in! Consequently we had more members exhibiting this year. It was a bit of a squeeze to say the least, but there were no complaints — not to me anyway.

Most members were happy to have less space than they requested — Frank Paine brought some boards for extending tables, Harrun Degia brought his own table and Chris Smith managed with one of the low coffee tables.

A general view of the exhibition
A general view of the exhibition

There was a good turnout of visitors this year as well. We sold 80 adult tickets and 38 concessions. Allowing for the fact that accompanied children were admitted free, this could translate to anything from 140 to 160 or 170 — well up on last year’s total of a little over 100. It was certainly busy all day; we even had a few visitors arriving early; always a good sign.

The higher turnout could have been inadvertently helped by the Mercury free newspaper who wrote that the entrance was free to all! One or two people did turn up expecting to get in for nothing! Anyway, we’re more than happy to get any free plug in a newspaper — so long as they get the date and venue correct. No reporters turned up, so there was no post-exhibition publicity this time.

The refreshments did well this year, helped by Cathy and Rosemary Warrell volunteering to serve all day, with help from some of the members on a rota basis. They made about £78 for the club. John, the hall caretaker, didn’t want us to use the lobby again because some food and drink ended up on the carpet, but he allowed us to use one of the additional rooms — at no extra charge! It worked a lot better and left the lobby free for taking entrance money and general circulating. It also meant that we were able to display a model there as well — Keith Patey’s oil tanker ‘Spyros Niarchos’ fitted nicely on a pair of low tables.

Rosemary and Cathy with their table of goodies
Rosemary and Cathy with their table of goodies

Once again we held a raffle which was even more successful than last year’s. We sold just over 100 strips of tickets at £1.00 each, mainly due to more vigorous selling techniques. There were plenty of prizes thanks again to ex-member David Whitmore and members Geoff Carter and Geoff Davison.

Since the meeting I received two membership applications and the following e-mail from visitor Ron Meggs, which is reproduced here in full:

Hi Chris,

I just felt moved to thank you and your club members for the exciting and enjoyable day out your recent exhibition gave my grandson, Joshua and me. I appreciate the work and effort that is needed to make these things happen and we both thought the results were excellent.

Joshua, who is almost 7, is a Meccano ‘nut’ and I took the opportunity to augment his set with some purchases at your event. He is already planning what components he hopes to receive as Christmas gifts. It’s good to see the next generation still appreciating such an exceptional toy with all its learning skills and engineering knowledge. It is clubs like yours that keep it alive.

Thanks for your work and a super day.

Ron Meggs

It makes it all worthwhile!

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