Meccano Model Exhibition 2009

Saturday 17 October 2009
Eltham United Reformed Church
Eltham

It was 30 years since our very first exhibition and I was hoping for a good turnout of models. We had done so well the previous year that I didn’t want the members to let the club down. I needn’t have worried! Once again the hall was packed with models!

When Cathy and I arrived just before 8:00am some members were already in the hall re-arranging the tables laid out by the caretaker, John Swinburne. There was a slight problem in that the Russian language class was meeting in the smaller room and they required a few tables. There is a shortage of tables anyway and we normally have to press into action all sorts of odd shaped tables for the exhibition. Luckily we were able to get around the problem, but we were short of one of the square tables for the whole day. We were fortunate that Frank Paine brought his usual three heavy table tops and a couple of pasting tables and Keith Patey brought his two heavy duty folding tables. Without these additions we would have models displayed on the floor!

The crowd kept us very busy
The crowd kept us very busy

The first sight for the visitors after entering the building was Tim Surtell’s marvellous triangular exhibition logo in Meccano hanging on the wall, with Adrian Ashford’s windmill (with coloured lights) on a table beneath.

Tim’s sign with Adrian’s windmill
Tim’s sign with Adrian’s windmill
Ivor Ellard’s railway viaducts
Ivor Ellard’s railway viaducts
Tim Surtell lines up a shot of Ralf Laughton’s cranes
Tim Surtell lines up a shot of Ralf Laughton’s cranes

We had our biggest numbers since 1991 — very nearly 300 people attended. That includes all the accompanied children for whom we gave out tickets. This was up by 75 on last year and more than twice that of 2007. This may well be explained by our greater presence in the summer at the Great Get Togethers and the Old Bexley Church of England Primary School Summer Fete as well as leaving leaflets at these events and a number of local model railway exhibitions. We also had a decent plug in the News Shopper and Mercury free newspapers. I didn’t see any reporting of the exhibition despite the former sending a photographer along on the day.

A family have fun playing Keith Patey’s hockey game
A family have fun playing Keith Patey’s hockey game
Dick Watson’s bridge
Dick Watson’s bridge

As is now usual we held a raffle and there were a good selection of quality prizes, mostly donated by members, so thanks are due to all of them. Thanks are also due to all those of you who helped with the setting up and clearing away of the hall, tying up posters etc. and filling the various slots of the rotas.

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