In thinking about taking inspiration towards the theme of making a new model, I remembered an old model of mine of which I was particularly fond of. This was my interpretation of an old classic of yesteryear’s fairgrounds, The Whip, which was enclosed in a roofed structure like many of the rides of the time, with the Dodgems being another similar example.
I don’t know exactly why I like the shape so much, but I decided that I would set my new model in another similar-shaped construction and began to create the shell before I even knew what kind of ride it would support.
By now, after so many years of creating fairground ride models, I have almost become more interested in the aesthetic dynamics of each model than I am just about the ride’s originality, and in this way, I just got started building the housing unit first.
It took me about eight days to build the shape I had in mind, and only at that stage did I start to think of what it should feature. Instead of another exhilarating thrill-seeking ride, I decided on a simpler docile attraction for younger families.
With that I also thought that the model could maybe house more than one attraction and how that would be the appeal, perhaps like the classic compendiums of games where the collection as a whole is a bigger attraction than any one of its games.
With the stadium shaped like a small arena and the compendium of games idea, it made me also think about slot machines and video game arcades and how perhaps my model could represent the fairground version of a sort of cross between the arcade and the compendium ideals, and so I decided that the model should feature at least two rides along those lines.
The idea of a twin ride experience inside this Meccano arena started immediately after and I worked on it continuously around the usual life commitments at home, but eventually I completed the current version of my idea with the necessary alterations to house motors and drive mechanisms etc. and then all the embellishments and lights that you can afford the luxury of adding only once you have firmly set the fixed shape and theme of the model.
The result is neither a compendium or an arcade but a kind of fairground stadium merged alternative of the arena of the mind’s eye, and is in tribute to them all and the childhood nostalgia they bring me.
The Arcadium — a Meccano themed ride down memory lane!