Meccano Show 2014

Saturday 25 October 2014
Eltham United Reformed Church

Our 36th Meccano Show on 25th October was another great success. We had slightly fewer visitors this year — somewhere between 420 and 480 — which is probably due to coinciding with the school half term holiday. The somewhat vague total is due to the fact that the tickets issued didn’t add up to the money taken — it’s in our favour, so no real worries there! It’s quite likely that the wrong ticket, or no ticket, was issued for a number of visitors. Despite all this (and no matter which of those numbers you choose) the show still makes the top five in terms of visitors.

Our membership put on another good show of models and, as before, all available space was taken up with 31 members and three guests exhibiting. There was no need to borrow extra tables this year; enough folding tables were provided by members.

A new feature this year was the Make It With Meccano area. We’d tried this out in the summer at the Great Get Together and it proved to be very popular with the kids. Ralph and Sue Laughton, who are now working for Meccano on an agency basis, suggested doing the same thing at the show. The same Meccano kit was provided and a single table was used so that two children plus a parent each could work on a model at the same time. This was flanked by a couple of tables with Meccano merchandise displayed on it. A large banner (from Meccano) was draped behind this which gave a focal point for the stand. Tim Surtell was on hand to help and hand out certificates to participants, although every time I visited the stall Sue was in charge of matters. In all, around 26 certificates were handed out. In addition, all children who visited the stand (whether they took part in the model building or not) got a free bag of parts to make a single model: either a (very small) helicopter or aeroplane.

Sue Laughton helping kids in the Make It With Meccano area
Sue Laughton helping kids in the Make It With Meccano area

In addition to the Make It With Meccano session, Viv Endecott was doing something similar for very young visitors using her collection of plastic Meccano and handing out sweets as prizes.

Viv Endecott’s with her collection of plastic Meccano models
Viv Endecott’s with her collection of plastic Meccano models

This year’s competition was the Bicycle Races: our own version of le Tour de France. As with previous years, the races took place in the Dobell Room. A string of paper bunting provided a barrier along both sides of the track.

The first race, at 11:30am, was the Powered Race, with the prize being the Yellow Jersey. There were only three entrants so there were three heats, with two competitors in each. The first heat was between Les Chatfield and Chris Fry and the second between Chris Fry and Brian Elvidge. Chris won both of these and so was declare the winner. He was presented with a yellow T-shirt — the closest we could get to a Tour jersey — adorned with the Bicycle Races logo, which had been very nicely printed by a local firm (J K Clothing). There was a play-off for second place which Les won. All three entrants had opted for a pair of low profile tyres on the large plastic geared hub, given that only two wheels were permitted.

Chris Fry with his winning entry for the Powered Race
Chris Fry with his winning entry for the Powered Race

In the afternoon at around 3:00pm we held the Green Jersey race which was for unpowered models, but still with just the two wheels. Three MDF ramps had been provided (at a 1:3 slope) so that we could race three models at the same time. The competitors in this race were Viv Endecott, Jack and Sam Edwards, Les Chatfield, Chris Warrell, Chris Fry and Brian Leach. Brian Elvidge was to have taken part as well, but found that his model didn’t work as intended so he withdrew from the competition. This still left seven competitors in the race, but with Viv and Jack each submitting two models, there were three heats, the winners being Viv Endecott in heat 1, Jack Edwards in heat 2 and Chris Fry in heat 3.

In the final race Chris Fry, once again, was the winner! He’s now got a green and a yellow T-shirt, both of which are too big for him!


Thanks are due to everyone who helped out in advance and during the day. Some members were on more than one rota. I can’t name you all, but I think that every member who attended helped out in some way.

I’ll just add my thanks to the two Cathy’s (Warrell and Claydon) who provided and served food all day, and also to Michelle O’Brien who helped all day in the kitchen since she had no model to look after, and members who brought food.

Thanks, of course, to Peter Clay, who organised the rotas and counted the money at the end of the day. Thanks also to Ralph for transporting me and all my stuff to the hall. Without everyone’s help the event wouldn’t take place.

Models on Display

Sherard Hall

Peter Clay — Super Universal Design Maker Meccanograph; Safari car; Railway crane on Hornby Trains O gauge track; ‘Huff-a-bolt’ solitaire game; Dad’s Army butchers wagon; Evolution quad bike; Mini (Minnie?) mouse complete with whiskers.

David Tracey (visitor from Runnymede Meccano Guild) — London Transport ‘TD’ single deck bus; Dockside crane from 1969 № 9 set; Forklift truck from 1949 № 9 set powered by E20R motor.

Ivor Perrett (visitor from Runnymede Meccano Guild) — Spinning wheel based on a March 1960 Meccano Magazine model; Hand operated Meccanograph from Supermodel instructions.

Nigel Lynn — Ferris wheel in Metallus/Märklin.

Ralph Kinmouth (visitor) — A variety of small models.

Ian Sharpe — Steam excavator (Super Model Leaflet 19a) with Meccano steam engine; Aeroplane with early tapered corrugated wings; German 3-engined plane; Trix tractor.

Frank Paine — ‘Schools’ class locomotive in post war red/green Meccano, based on the 1950s Special Model Leaflet design, but with improvements, motorised with push button for visitors; Eiffel Tower in pre-war dark green Meccano, with coloured lights and a № 0 Aeroplane Constructor seaplane suspended at the side of it; Freelance mill engine in post war red/green, with push button operation; Traction engine in pre war red/green, based on the 1920s Super Model Leaflet, also with push button operation; Two small Meccano outfits, one dating from 1913, and the other (completely unused and still strung) from the 1950s, together with a selection of Meccano literature.

Ralph and Sue Laughton — Meccano display stand and Make It With Meccano session.

Tim Surtell — The Lightening Leap; Spanish knight.

Dick Watson (visitor from North West Meccano Guild) — John the Navvy (frequent visitor); Variable speed gear from Mechanisms manual; Beam engine with Pickard’s patent mechanism; Geog Eiermann’s weird clock; Hand-cranked monorail vehicle.

John Cowdery — New Meccano helicopter; Sprinters; Motorbike; Space dog; Robot family; Light aircraft; Push bike; Another helicopter; Bugatti; Red Arrows aircraft; Harrier jump jet; Rising swingers.

George Foard — ‘The Bat’; Balancing cyclist; Pendulum device; Lappins Crazy Toilet; Space Chaos vehicle; Motorised sand buggy.

Eric Smith — Grab loader from № 6 set with modifications, with four hand controls for jib, grab, luffing and slewing.

Santiago Plicio — Degenerator fairground ride.

Ivor Ellard — Steam plant; Meccanograph (his Meccanograph patterns raised £29.45 during our exhibition, which he sent to the Farleigh Hospice in Essex).

Keith Patey — High speed steam engine (designed by Andreas Konkoly, with instructions by Nick Rodgers from Runnymede Meccano Guild), modified by Keith.

Andrew Couzens — Articulated low loader with American tractor and bulldozer; Forklift truck on flatbed truck; 4–6–0 steam locomotive and tender on Meccano track.

Chris Fry — Railway breakdown crane, Locomotive, Guard’s van, Track, Buffer stops and loading gauge; Chopper motorcycle; Exoplanet orrery; Bus shelter; Collection tin; Wind turbine; Telescope and tripod; Double-acting ratchet mechanism; Peloton (group of cyclists) plus prize winning bicycle race entries.

Stuart Jones — Moon scene: Diorama featuring various models from Meccano Liverpool’s last Space sets to French small kits and three hyperspace models.

Greg Clarke — Seajacks Zaratar wind farm installation vessel. The model is 60% complete and features four geared mini motors for elevation via rack and pinion.

Les Chatfield — Crewe Works 0–4–0t shunting locomotive and tender ‘Wren’; Ping Pong Pandemonium ball roller tower; Ransomes MG caterpillar tractor; Herbert lathe; Mechanical hacksaw and a circular saw using the original Meccano saw blade and saw bench (running in reverse for safety during the exhibition); Two bicycles for the SELMEC Tour de Eltham.

Dave Taylor — Vast collection of spares, sets and literature for sale.

Penford Room

John Gay — Hornby Dublo 3-rail layout; Dinky Toys working roadway; Dump truck.

Cathy Claydon — WW1 Rail gun with replica 1930s gun barrel; ‘Ole Bill’ B-type bus in army colours; Other military vehicles.

Adrian Ashford — Tug; Performing musicians; Tractor and trailer; Tandem roller; Industrial 0–4–0 tank locomotive; Windmill pump, modified model 3.19 from the 1954 № 3 Outfit with electric motor; Owl, from the June 1957 issue of Meccano Magazine, modified to make its wings flap; Re-build of a London Transport pre-war single decker TF Green Line Coach, which he originally built in 1975!

Chris Warrell — Three Daleks; Coles-type yard crane; Bicycle; Tinned robot; Hunslet narrow gauge 0–6–0 locomotive and wagons on Hornby O gauge track; Bicycle race entry.

Thomas Greatrex — His shop with publications and small selection of parts.

Dobell Room

Brian Leach — Improved pinball machine; Bicycle race entry.

Douglas Windibank — Single deck tramcar; Space rocket; Army Meccano troop carrier; Army Meccano tank; Field gun and limber; Florida Everglades hovercraft; Land yacht; Red Arrows jet plane; Forklift truck; Spitfire; Tipper truck; Cable car; Robot; ‘Tin Tin’ seaplane; Garden swing seats; Mogul breakdown truck; Renault F1 racing car; Blue friction drive car; Steel Tec Harley Davidson motorcycle; Various small aeroplanes and cars (quite a list for one suitcase!!)

Brian Elvidge — Powered bicycle competition entry using a № 1 clockwork motor; Unpowered bicycle for race (had to be withdrawn due to a technical malfunction with the wheels bearings — he’d used Electrikit recessed low friction bolts and pointed axles; Freelance platform crane; Konkoly compact steam engine, a modification of Nick Rodgers’ version; modified Super Models Leaflet 8 fairground carousel; Tractor with Dinky trailer/manure spreader.

Viv Endecott and family — Plastic Meccano building session; Multiple bicycle race entries.

Guy Loveridge — Railway breakdown crane.

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