Winter 2021 Newsletter
Winter 2021 Newsletter
This was one of our informal quarterly meetings where our members showed off their latest Meccano creations.
At around 2:00pm we had a short committee meeting, followed by the Model Tour in which members were invited to give a short talk about their models — in particular their entries for the Secretary’s Challenge!
On 21st August I arrived at Charlton Park (the site of Together 21) after a smooth journey via two trains and buses from Brighton. I met Peter in the park. He had a very heavy carry-all which I placed on my shopping trolley and we made our way to the marquee.
Tim was already hard at work setting out the tables and laying power sockets. Chris Warrell arrived shortly after. Santiago was expected but home problems prevented him attending.
Models on show were a giant robot, floating wind turbine, and a very attractive 0–6–0 industrial locomotive built by Chris Warrell. Peter bought a rather Sentinel-like lorry and his neat hand-driven Meccanograph, while Tim showed his diabolo player, Spanish Knight, unicyclist and of course his spectacular Lightening Leap steady-hand game.
We soon had our models set up, except for myself. I had brought my Sussex post mill plus my vertical ball roller. Unfortunately my mill would not run and so Tim kindly loaned me his soldering iron to repair a broken wire (thanks Tim) and with that we were all ready for the opening!
This was the first public event our club had attended for almost two years. The park was divided into zones, with SELMEC being in the Kid’s Zone. Each area had a stage with a variety of acts, plus food and community stalls.
The weather was not great, with regular heavy showers, and for the first few hours we only had a couple of visitors. However this soon improved and a busy time was had by all, helped by visitors walking back from the Kid’s Stage in the adjacent tent. Tim’s ‘Make It With Meccano’ workshop was as popular as ever, as was his Connect 4 game and the unicyclist. My ball roller tower garnered some interest too.
Two models Made With Meccano!
In short, a very pleasant day which we all enjoyed, but felt our tent should have been closer to the main part of the fete. I would certainly like to help out there again with another SELMEC exhibition.
On Sunday 15th August Brian Leach, Guy Loveridge, Santiago Plicio and myself were back at Foal Farm in Biggin Hill for their annual Country Festival. We were relocated from our usual spot to a new ‘kids area’ opposite reception which also featured a face painting stall and a bouncy castle. Fortunately we were able to run power for our models from the nearby staff room.
The day began overcast and there were short drizzly showers which meant we had to cover the models with tarpaulins a few times (Foal Farm lent us a very large one for this purpose), but by midday the sun had come out.
The new location meant we got a lot more visitors passing by our models than usual, and many more of them than in previous years also stopped long enough to build a model at the Make It With Meccano workshop table.
Our stand, with models from Guy Loveridge, Santiago Plicio and Tim Surtell
The Make It With Meccano table
Drawing in visitors was Guy’s granddaughter clock, positioned in front of our tables, along with Santiago’s dancing men. I had my usual Lightning Leap game raising funds for Foal Farm, plus my smaller models, while Brian had his model of Nunhead Signal Box and his walking, roaring, dinosaur.
Brian Leach about to demonstrate his dinosaur
August was an unseasonable month and the 29th was not an exception, but at least there was no rain and a little sun.
I picked up Tim at 9:15am from his house and set him off in the park with James already there. I had to go to carry out something else, but when I got back at 11:15am everything was up. We had a generator and a large marquee, though the Make It With Meccano workshop was outside. At first it wasn’t too busy but soon we had a lot of the public present.
The main interests were the Lightning Leap, Meccasaur, Chris’s robot, Frank’s traction engine and Santiago’s fairground ride. Les’s ping pong ball roller was troublesome and he retired it, but later on ran it with just one ball.
Chris divided his time between our stall, St. Luke’s Church’s, and a stall for an art group which he is a member of. The police were there and showed various cars through the ages and an electric car they cannot use because it does not have the correct instrumentation to record the driver’s actions during a chase!
Come about 3:30pm it was quietening down so I distributed some Meccano exhibition leaflets while wearing a Toy Story Rex inflatable costume (perfect social distancing)! The kids were either interested or bemused, but did take the leaflets. At about 5:00pm we started to pack up and left the park shortly before 6:00pm.
Main Models Shown
Santiago Plicio: Plate Spinner fairground ride.
Peter Clay: Meccanograph; old car; modern dragster.
Chris Warrell: Rogue-Bot; wind turbine.
Models from Santiago Plicio, Peter Clay, Chris Warrell and Frank Paine
Frank Paine: Tower Bridge; motor car; traction engine.
Brian Leach: Nunhead Signal Box; Ferris wheel; windmill; Meccasaur; one direction mechanism.
Models from Frank Paine, Brian Leach, Les Chatfield and Tim Surtell
Les Chatfield: Jeep; ping pong ball roller; minimoke.
Tim Surtell: The Lightning Leap; The Spanish Knight; unicyclist; maraca; spider’s web; Connect 4 game; cup holder.
Les Chatfield demonstrates his ball roller
Our first exhibition at Falconwood Community Centre was a great success, with every available table filled with models from 18 exhibitors, which included two guests: Paul Leech from NELMC, with his car transporter, and Andrew Tickle, who brought along some of his late father Bill’s working agricultural models.
The stage was dominated by Ted Muggridge’s impressive crane (which took him several hours to assemble and dismantle!) along with his parts for sale.
Andrew Tickle with his father Bill’s agricultural models
Ted Muggridge’s crane
Viewed from above…
We were a little worried come opening time as nobody was queuing to enter, but over the next half hour visitors began to arrive and soon the hall was busy. Early indications suggest that the show has been successful financially.
The two Meccano Creative Challenge tables and the Make It With Meccano workshop tables in the centre of the hall were occupied all day, and we had 20 Challenge entries. The winners (as judged by Chris Warrell and Brian Leach) were Hanna Serwinska, 9, and Sofia Ramus, 7.
You can see all the Meccano Creative Challenge photos in our Facebook album.
I’d like to thank everyone for helping with the chores, and special thanks go to Cathy Claydon and Chris Warrell for running the refreshments, Peter Clay for managing the paydesk, Frank Paine for running the raffle, and Brian Leach for transporting tables and equipment.
A view over the hall from the stage
Ted Muggridge: Manitowoc 8000–1 crawler crane.
Cathy Claydon: Volkswagen Type 82 Kübelwagen; lorry.
Greg Clarke: Cable car; dragline.
Greg Clarke’s cable car
Alan Wenbourne: Heatherwick’s rolling bridge; Mars rover; M4 high speed tractor; Morgan 3-wheel car; Cletrac tractor; DSG auto transmission.
Tim Surtell: The Lightning Leap buzz-wire game; The Spanish Knight; unicyclist; diabolo player; Connect 4 game; maraca; mug; shopping trolley smartphone holder; spider’s web.
Eric Smith: Locomotives including the Baltic tank locomotive and the Golden Arrow.
Eric Smith’s locomotives
Les Chatfield: Indian Patiala State monorail train; V8 engine; Series 1 Land Rover.
Bill Tickle (exhibited by his family): Bulldozer; combine harvester; tractor.
Paul Leech: Car transporter; tunnel digger; mini excavator, tractor; caterpillar tracks.
Paul Leech’s car transporter
Guy Loveridge: Granddaughter clock.
Frank Paine: Tower Bridge; car chassis (Supermodel); traction engine (Supermodel); Blue Bird car; № 0 Aeroplane Constructor seaplane.
Ronan Carroll: Digger.
Ronan Carroll’s digger
Andrew Couzens: Space 1999 Eagle Transporter with laboratory pod and ultra probe command module; moon buggy.
Brian Leach: Obstacle game; kangaroo; Meccasaur; Nunhead signal box; windmill.
Santiago Plicio: Galacticus fairground ride.
Santiago Plicio’s fairground ride
John Gay: Sports car.
Peter Clay: Meccanograph; Jeep; sardine tin; delivery cart; car.
Chris Warrell: HR1 tramcar; Rogue-Bot; Hungerford Bridge; floating wind turbine; bike.
Models from John Clifton, Chris Warrell and Peter Clay at the front of the hall