Memories of a previous life... The Meccano printing machine - just had to give it a spin
Nice little motor gearboxes from Stan Leech

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5th December 2009 NELMC Exhibition

What a palaver…

If you live in London you will know what an Oyster card is for those who don’t look HERE For anybody using London’s transport network regularly they are probably a good idea. In an effort to do our bit for the environment we decided that it might be an idea to go to the exhibition on public transport – a novel experience for us. The fare from Lewisham DLR to Hainault underground station single, paying cash, is £3.20 each, using an Oyster card it is only £1.10!

Having acquired a couple of these cards a few years ago they were duly topped up with £10 each, Sue has used hers once, some time ago, and it now has £9.80 left in credit – Great!

To cut a very long story short, I could not get onto the Oyster website because they have changed the security since I was last there so it locked me out. After a long wait holding on to a call centre help line I got a new password and got onto the site. An hour later when I tried to log on again it would not recognise my new password and locked me out again! By 1.00am I managed to get back onto the site only to discover that if you have not used your Oyster card in two years you have to have it reactivated….

…Saturday morning we arrived in Hainault and parked the car!

Took a stroll along the road to the venue and paid the modest entrance fee to get in. By now it was about 11 o’clock and the hall was busy with Meccano people and visitors. After finding somewhere to leave our coats Sue was off with the camera snapping away. We like this Exhibition; we are not members of NELMC but are always made to feel very welcome. 

The venue must be one of the smallest on the circuit but for me that is not a bad thing, although I think a certain Meccanoman might disagree. Dave and Marylyn are squeezed into a little room with hardly space to breath – but it is cosy!

Greg Clarke's magnificent coal-face excavator

There were lots of models we had not seen before or at least not finished. Greg Clarke’s magnificent coal face excavator was now complete. I had seen the start of this model earlier in the year at a SELMEC meeting. We spent a fair bit of time discussing the finer points of Greg’s model while consuming a cuppa and a bite to eat.

Some really neat motors, fitted with high quality gearboxes, acquired from Stan Leech, power the model. As Stan was exhibiting his neat little model of a block setter (also powered by one of the motor/gearboxes) it was the ideal opportunity to acquire a few of these motors myself. Although it was a bit late in the day by now I managed to buy four and wiped out Stan’s stock. The motors are fitted with a 3mm diameter shaft so I will have to either make up some conversion pieces of get some special parts made with the correct size bore.

After a very enjoyable day out we returned to the car and took a leisurely drive home. The oyster card was useful for scraping the ice from the windscreen…


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Oyster card
TFL's Oyster card...

Block setter
Stan Leech's pint-sized block setter - click on picture for larger side view - CLICK HERE FOR MORE PICTURES!