VW Surfer
I found this on Peter and Tina Sleaford's display, built by their daughter, Steph - It's my Beetle with wings! The addition of a roof- rack and surfboard give it a fun look
BT Tower
Colin Bull's BT tower. The restaurant revolves just like the real thing did when it first opened. It has been closed to the public since 1971
Last time out for our funicular railway before the demolition men (and women) move in - READ THE ARTICLE

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8th November 2008
TIMS Meeting in Ironbridge

Other than a visit to the North East London Meccano Society Exhibition on the 6th of December, this is the last Meccano outing of the year for us. We like the Telford and Ironbridge Meccano Society (TIMS) meetings. Maybe it is the venue or just the fact that it is a part of the country that is relatively new to us. Being a three hour drive, we usually set out early the day of the meeting to get there for setting-up at 9am… Yes, I know that means leaving home at 5am by the time we have had a stop for the customary fry-up.

We loaded my car and set off in the direction of the Blackwall Tunnel. That’s about 15 minutes from us at that time of a Saturday morning. What really grates is having to drive at 40mph on a deserted three or four lane dual carriageway. These roads used to be 70mph not that long ago, OK, slow it down a bit, but 40mph is daft… I digress, getting through East and then North London was a breeze and on the motorway with no hold-ups.

Dave Harvey's Generator with realistic sound affect

We arrived at the venue in plenty of time to set-up and have a look round at the other assembled models. The first thing I saw as we walked in was Ken Senar’s huge electricity pylon, all 11 foot, 6 inches of it!  I have to say this was my favourite of the models on display. Ralph, on the other hand was far more interested in Dave Harvey’s model of a diesel generator that sounded just like the real thing.

Don's Loco
Don Boycott's clockwork loco - all built by touch alone

While going around taking photographs of the models, with my camera and a very nice lens (Nikon VR) that Ralph thought he bought for himself, I spotted Don Boycott had finished setting up his model of a train. When you think, Don can’t see what he is building he makes a fine job of his models. Don and I did a tour of the hall, I gave him a description of the model and it’s colour and Don confirmed what I was telling him with his hands. When we got to our model he was keen to point out the missing bolts!

Must have a go at building one of these one day...

... and one of these!

The Meccanographs were fascinating. I think I might put one of those on the growing list of models for the future. Talking of which, Ralph seems to be going through a silver phase at the moment so our red/green number 10 is sitting there begging to be used. A few months ago we purchased a job-lot of books and literature. Amongst the haul was a set of number ten set instruction leaflets.

One of these caught my eye and at the time I thought it would make a nice model. It was the combine harvester. I remember my dad having one just like it when I was little. It was the horizontal grain tank that was so characteristic of its type. By the time I had met Ralph it had been replaced with a more modern version with the square tank – just like the Matchbox model. This memory was highlighted by Tony Wakefield’s super model. Another ‘must build one day’ to add to the list.

Colin Bull's Funiculat Railway
The 'other' funicular railway

It’s like buses, you know how you don’t see one for ages and then two come along together… Well, that’s what happened on Saturday. Not buses but Funicular railways. Colin Bull (he of huge Titan blocksetter fame) was showing his fine funicular railway that featured automatic operation and opening doors. It was rumoured that some of the passengers got stuck in the cars as the doors were a bit sticky – The chief engineer was unavailable for comment, although he was seen making his way to his car muttering something or other…

Finally, it was the last outing for our funicular railway before the recycling department takes over. It’s parts are earmarked for the biggest model we have ever attempted a roughly 1/48 scale (according to Ralph) of the observation wheel built by George Ferris for the Colombian Exposition also known as the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Looks like his nibs will have to get his vehicle out – it ain’t gonna fit in mine honey! 



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Pylon built by Ken Senar - now that is what you call a model!

Bill Gardiner setting up his display that is always a hit with the kiddies, big or small !