Meccano Show 2016

Saturday 29 October 2016
Eltham United Reformed Church

The weather forecast was perfect for our 38th Meccano Show on 29th October — mild, overcast but with no mention of rain — not good enough to entice families to the coast, but not bad enough to keep them indoors! The one factor that might have affected our visitor numbers was that the event had to take place during half term week to fit in with the dance school. This is the same school that effectively forced us out of the URC a year ago! Numbers were down from the highs of the last two or three years, but we still had an impressive 378 through the door. The money taken on the door showed that, of those, 273 were adults and 105 were children.

We’d hoped to get more accurate figures this year by simplifying the ticket issuing: instead of different tickets for adults, paying children and non-paying children, the idea was to issue everyone with a ticket, adults and children alike. Speaking to a couple of my friends who’d attended in the afternoon, it turned out out that only one had been given a ticket, so total numbers might actually be slightly higher.

Models in Sherard Hall
Models in Sherard Hall

We certainly put on a very good show, with every table full of models. Visiting exhibitors this year included Colin Bull with his Laxey Wheel model and local man, Kim Bowers, with a radio telescope, along with regulars Ivor Perrett and David Tracey. Spotted amongst the visitors were Bryn Jones and, clutching his copy of the SELMEC bookazine, Eddie Oatley.

John Cowdery (right) talking to a visitor about his models
John Cowdery (right) talking to a visitor about his models

The Make It With Meccano/Meccano Creative Challenge area was very popular as always; thanks to Tim Surtell for managing that whole aspect of the show. Two tables were available for the Challenge and one for MIWM. It had been found last year that the Challenge was more popular, probably because the young builders had the freedom to build anything from the parts, rather than following a set of instructions.

The Make It With Meccano table
The Make It With Meccano table

There were quite a few entries, especially in the under 12 age group, and so choosing a winner was a difficult job, but three were chosen, one in each age group, by Adrian Ashford, Tim and me. The winners were Tristan Cloarec (under 12 category), Edward Armitage (12–17 category — sorry about the poor picture quality; Tim’s camera went wrong!), and Yung Soo (18+ category).

Tristan Cloarec
Tristan Cloarec
Edward Armitage
Edward Armitage
Yung Soo (left)
Yung Soo (left)

Ralph Laughton ably managed the raffle, using his tried and tested Hainault Hangout technique — if you’re not sure what this is, just turn up on 3rd December to find out!

Cathy Warrell and Cathy Claydon spent the entire day serving food and drink to the exhibitors and public alike. They had to cope with a kitchen where the electric hot water boiler wasn’t working and the gas oven was unreliable! That didn’t stop them selling a range of rolls, cakes and drinks for the full six hours we were open.

Cathy Warrell (rear, left) and Cathy Claydon (rear, right) take care of keeping us all well fed
Cathy Warrell (rear, left) and Cathy Claydon (rear, right) take care of keeping us all well fed

Thanks, of course, to everyone who helped on the day, especially Ralph for ferrying of models and spare tables in his van, Tim for a lot of the publicity as well as arranging the Eltham Centre display in September, and Peter Clay for looking after the rotas and finance.

Models on Display

Sherard Hall

Peter Clay — Meccano lacegraph; Tractor and trailer; Army truck; 4-wheel drive car; Butcher’s wagon.

Andrew Couzens — Tractor unit with low loader; Tank on low loader; Spin Master Thunderbird 2; Eiffel Tower.

Terry Bullingham — Pegasus radial aero engine; Fairey Swordfish aeroplane wing.

Les Chatfield — Single deck tramcar; Seagull outboard engine; Ransomes MG2 crawler; Small battery-driven windmill; Petrol electric generator set.

Frank Paine — ‘Schools’ class locomotive; Windmill; Traction engine; Eiffel Tower; Vintage Meccano outfits.

Ralph and Sue Laughton — Ferris wheel; Meccano display stand.

Ian Sharp — Tractor from 1916 manual; Van and trailer.

Bob Palmer — Clock from 1930 manual; Andreas Konkoly Super Model 56 beam engine.

Colin Bull — Laxey water wheel.

Chris Fry — Bell ringing ball roller plus ten other static models of automotive, aero and construction industry vehicles; Pirate ship.

Kim Bowers — Radio telescope controlled by a Raspberry Pi.

Dave Taylor — Sales stand with around seven tables of Meccano spares.

Guy Loveridge — Thomas the Tank Engine.

Eric Smith — Crazy Inventors underwater discovery machine.

Ivor Perrett — Galileo’s Escapement (clock).

David Tracy — № 9 set sports car caravan; Konkoly Wilesco steam engine.

Richard Marsden — Bridge; American railroad car; Moon buggy; Face (his own); 4-speed gearbox; Catering truck (airport).

John Cowdery — Wind pump; Two helicopters; Light aircraft; Hunting dog; Motorbike; Scooter; Weight lifter; Pedal bike; Sprinters; Robots; Small aircraft.

George Foard — Aircraft models for airport.

Santiago Plicio — ‘The Spiralizer’ fairground ride.

Douglas Windibank — Yellow seaplane (Tin Tin set); Large and small robots; Glider; Mono-plane; Bi-plane with red wings; Small bi-plane in nickel.

Penford Room

Greg Clarke — Mobile harbour crane with grab.

Alan Wenbourne — Pegasus rolling bridge.

Chris Warrell — Pontoon crane; Lunar bug; Lunar lander; BMX bike; Airport fire tender; Eiffel Tower; Daleks.

John Clifton — Hammerhead crane; 8-wheel lorry; Spin Master 4x4; Evolution quad; Evolution crane truck; Empire State Building.

Cathy Claydon — United States Navy Ford 4x4 with bomb trailer.

John Gay — Car ferry; OO gauge model railway.

Dobell Room

Adrian Ashford — Lysander aircraft; airport foam tender; 0–4–0 saddle tank locomotive; Tug; Lorry; Windmill pump; Owl with flapping wings; Cabin cruiser.

Brian Elvidge — Jet plane; Jeep; Konkoly steam engine; Twin-engined plane; Single-engined plane.

Brian Leach — Wendy house.

Ted Muggridge — Meccano sales stand.

Tim Surtell — ‘The Lightening Leap’ buzz-wire game; Konkoly Spanish Knight; Make It With Meccano/Meccano Creative Challenge area.

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