Meccano Model Exhibition 2009

Saturday 17 October 2009
Eltham United Reformed Church

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.

Models on Display

Jim Arthur — Ferris wheel; 108mm howitzer; Selection of small engines.

Adrian Ashford — Routemaster bus with front entrance; Empress of Britain liner; 1954 № 6 outfit windmill with lights (sited in the entrance to the hall); Tractor and trailer; Chariot and driver; Archimedes ball roller; Improved refuse wagon from 1954 № 7 set; Re-modelled low loader from the same set with a № 5 set excavator.

Geoff Carter — 30-model set tractor, as sold by M&S as a 1-model set; Motorcycle with twin front wheels, from the current Design 1 set; Racing motorcycle, from the 1990s Dynamic set; Biplane, from the 1-model M&S set; Downhill Racer, based on a design by Roger Le Rolland, using spanners for the chassis (between the biplane and the tanker); 3 models from the Bernard Périer’s Zkwyx Meccanaut book: Archie, the caterpillar soldier, the Robot Butler and Jog-Dog; Three other models designed by Bernard Périer: 1:80 scale articulated tank lorry, Bugatti and Boeing ‘Sea Knight’ helicopter; 1918 Bates ‘Steel Mule’ tractor, a model designed by Bruce Geange; Sopwith Camel, from a M&S set; Rolls-Royce ‘Silver Ghost’, a model designed by John Herdman.

Peter Clay — ‘Ultrasupervariograph’ Meccanograph, now motorised (the model was kept running producing ‘take-away’ designs); Hand operated foundry crane, rebuilt in the January 1967 issue of Meccano Magazine; Goliath Pionier 3-wheeled German car; Motorbike from Calais ‘one model’ set; Woodpecker, that pecked its way down a tree trunk (axle rod!); Small tractor from M&S set; Travelling chess and draughts set; Simplicity sports car; Dad’s Army butcher’s wagon; Chinese south-facing chariot with unusual mechanism running on half-inch pulleys and tyres; 3 larger ‘robot in a tin’ set models.

John Cowdery — The owl and pussycat in a pea green boat; Dancing figure; The band; Foden 8-wheel lorry with 4-wheel steering; Electrical mechanical horse; Various small models.

Ivor Ellard — Railway viaducts and bridges with a selection of trains.

Brian Elvidge — Skyrider fairground ride, modified using a different electric motor, wider cars and large axle system; Road compactor from the July 1969 issue of Meccano Magazine, modified with a modern electric motor and changes to the steering system; 1962 Set № 3 1950s MG car; Metal robots collection.

George Foard — Ball rolling machine; Unicyclist and double unicyclist.

Simon Greatrex — Mamod workshop powered by a horizontal steam engine.

Stuart Jones — Absent from the exhibition but his Mechanoids models were there.

Ralph Laughton — French crane display models.

Brian Leach — Fruit machine.

Frank Paine — A dealers display model of a Ferris wheel with coloured lights; Super Model Leaflet 1 motor chassis; Small beam engine; ‘Schools’ class locomotive and tender based on the post-war № 10 set Special Model Leaflet; Dealers display model of Tower Bridge with coloured lights and raising bascules; Dealers display model of Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’; A simple horizontal steam mill engine; Super Model Leaflet traction engine and a twin cylinder Mamod steam engine as a base for a Meccano crane; A selection of six different vintage Meccano outfits dating from 1913 up to the 1960s, together with Meccano literature and display material.

Keith Patey — Hockey game from the December 1950 issue of Meccano Magazine.

Ivor Perrett (visitor from Runnymede Meccano Guild) — Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird racing car from a 1950 № 6 manual.

Eric Smith — Two trams running on twin 3’ long tracks. They have 3–6V motors and trolley arms for overhead current collection.

Tim Surtell — 2009 exhibition sign which was also used on the SELMEC website and in the promotional video.

David Tracy (visitor from Runnymede Meccano Guild) — London taxi from the № 7 manual from 1956; Streamlined sports car from the 1956 № 8 set, similar to early Jaguars; Racing car typical of the type to be seen at Brooklands.

Chris Warrell — HR1 London tramcar on 10’ of track; Mathematical Bridge; Various cars, robots and other small models.

Dick Watson (visitor from North West Meccano Guild) — Anna and Chris’s folding bridge, computer controlled; Bernard Périer’s ‘John the Navvy’.

Alan Wenbourne — Mini London Eye.

Douglas Windibank — Radar scanner; Braced girder lorry; Spanner garden seat; Tank; Troop carrier; Field gun and limber; Steam lorry; Sea bed walker; Motorised digger; One-man hover craft; Red Arrow; Two small space models; Ferris wheel; German Eitech set; Plastic Meccano puzzle.

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