Tony Evanson’s mini Ironbridge makes an appearance

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1st – 3rd May 2010 Meccanuity

Our Display

Friday morning and it is out of bed early to get the model of Tower Bridge finished. As luck would have it we can’t get into the part of the venue where we are until 4 o’clock so there is no panic. A nice leisurely drive up the motorway will be fine. During the course of the morning, the bridge gets finished and we pack Sue’s car ready for the journey. The only trouble with leaving at this time is that we don’t get to do the full-English justice on the way up there. Mind you, I will have four days of Caroline’s very nice B&B breakfasts to look forward to…

Our Regular B&B had trouble with its web presence so last time we were there I helped the owner get it sorted out no sooner was the site working properly than a booking was taken from Australia. The owner was delighted and I was please to of been able to help. Unbeknown to us at the time that booking was from Graham and Mary Jost booking so they could come and visit Mecanuity.

The drive to Ironbridge was a complete nightmare five and a half hours to cover what can be a three hour journey on a good day. We arrived too late to get set up so we had no choice but to seek out some of the other members. Now where could they be? After much deliberation over a period of a split second the words ‘The Meadow’ came to mind. I remembered that last time we were here a tentative booking had been made to eat there. On arriving at The Meadow to check this fact, we were please to find Mary Linder and company in residence. Our hunch had paid off. Mary said that Geoff Wilson had just gone back to his B&B and would be back shortly. We decided to do the same only to discover that Geoff was now booked in to our B&B as well. Not only that but Wendy and Rob Miller were also booked in. So we were set for a good weekend Meccano during the day, Food and drink in the early evening and then back to the B&B for a chat with like-minded people before bed.

Now this looks like fun - Boy racers and Meccano all rolled up in one! Rob Miller was entertaining the kids and adults alike

The next day it was time for a quick breakfast and then off to the venue to set up our display. All the bridge models were collected together in the smaller hall Called ‘Gadgetdom’ and we had a nice spot tucked away in the corner just next to the doors into the main museum. It was a good job we didn’t finish our transporter bridge as right next door to us was Bill Gardiner’s model of the same bridge! 

As well as the static model of Tower Bridge we also displayed my flying bi-planes and Sue had her replica dealer display Ferris wheel with her. As a talking point we showed set of the new Nano models and they were a big hit with everybody who saw them.

Tower Bridge
Tony Homden's huge model of Tower Bridge

There was a lot to see elsewhere in the halls. The bridge theme was well supported everything from Tony Evanson’s model of the Ironbridge built on a single 5½ inch flanged plate to Tony Homden’s enormous model of tower bridge clad with thousands of rubber Minibrix. Even though he had only bricked up one half of the model it was very impressive. Tower Bridge was a popular subject with several other interpretations to be seen.

Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge built by Dave phillips

There was a strong Southern contingent this year with the likes of first time Meccanuity visitors Alan Wenbourne with his prize-winning model of the London Eye. BridgeAlso making the trip for the first time were Ivor Ellard and Keith Patey with a good display of bridges making the most of the Erector braces girders both straight and curved. As well the first timers there were the usual motley crew of established Southerners, like us, who had made the long trek north into unknown territory...


Tony Clapperton gave a very informative talk and slideshow (with the help of Chris Shute as projectionist!) on the development and testing of this iconic aircraft. Having travelled on it , Sue was keen to hear what he had to say and was most impressed. But her trip out over the Bay of Biscay and back again paled into insignificance compared to the many hours Tony had under his belt. Tony’s mode of concord is on preferment display in the museum.

Tony's spectacular model flies on in Ironbridge

Collectors corner

Sue was impressed with Malcolm Hanson’s display of the four largest Meccano sets from the late thirties and early forties. The parts are all blue gold or red. A model built from its manual accompanied each of the outfits and the viewer could operate three of them. It was interesting to see the sets in their entirety but from my point of view I have mixed feelings. Part of me wants to preserve it so we can see it but there is a little bit of me that wants to tip it all out of the box and make something! See Sue's own reprort on this display HERE

Part of Malcolm Hanson’s dispaly of late 1930s Meccano - See Sue's report HERE

Jumping Flee

The competition this year was to build a jumping flee. Although Sue showed some interest initially neither of us could get excited over the challenge and let it pass us by. However those who did take part had a whale of a time but were over shadowed by John Reid’s supersonic flee that made it all the way to the end of the course!

Some odd the flees before the event

Measure once...
Careful measuring takes place under the watchful eye of the umpires

John Wins!
John Reid is presented with the winners trophy

Before we knew it, it was Monday evening and it was all over for another year. The models were back in the car and we were heading back to the B&B. We usually stay up in Ironbridge on the last night to save having to drive back with the holiday traffic. This time it gave us the opportunity to spend a pleasurable evening in the company of Mary and Graham Jost sampling the good food and drink in the local hostelry. After breakfast the next day it was time to take a leisurely drive back to London and Smokie. 

Lots more model pictures from the weekend can be found HERE in Bob Thompson’s gallery on the NZ Meccano website.


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Very nice radio controlled dumper truck

David Lacy's double decker bus is coming on a treat - can't wait to see this one finished...
Sue brushes up on her knowledge while looking after Keith Pattey’s exhibit - I will be asking questions later!