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5th May 2010 Sue's hooked on nice looking Meccano...

Just because we are builders doesn’t mean that we do not appreciate a really nice collection, well at least I do. Ralph would no doubt have tipped it all out of the boxes and started building with it. To some extent I sympathise with that view but there are limits.

1939 car
Detail 1Detail 2Detail 3Detail 4

Malcolm Hanson’s display at Meccanuity

You can often find me looking at displays of old Meccano. I think it is the history behind it all that fascinates me. I have no desire to own a room full of it but I do like to see well-presented collections at club meetings and exhibitions. Last weekend’s Meccanuity show at the Enginuity Museum in Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, Malcolm’s display caught my eye. The presentation of all that nice looking Meccano and the big sets was a sight to see. Although, good some of it had shown signs of use and for me that makes it all the better. I hate to think of it just sitting there…

The boxers made from the No 8 set were great fun. Holding a button down set the two boxers off, around and around throwing punches in all directions. It was obviously a popular attraction as their antics had worn a ring of paint off the plate that made up the surface of the boxing ring.

WorkshopLikwise a finger on the button set the workshop machinery going. The piller drill and lathe are set in motion while the hammer rattles away without the need of the mechanic who is busy beating nine bells out of a Meccano coupling!

The sets

The display was created around the four largest sets available in the late thirties and early forties. These sets are in the blue / gold / red colour scheme of the period. tinsI don’t think I have ever seen so much from this period in one place. The small parts boxes were in fantastic condition and I can’t say that I have seen all of those before either. We have a few very tatty ones around that have been acquired in lots but nothing as clean as these. The little kitten looks like someone else we know!

7 box
No 7 box with tray removed
7 tray
No 7 lift-out tray


b box
No 8 box with tray removed


8 tray
No 8 lift-out tray


No 9 box with tray removed


9 tray
No 9 lift-out tray


No 10 box with trays removed

No 10 set tray
No 10 set shallow lift-out tray

No 10 set deep lift-out tray
No one to play the piano...


This 1930s house form the No 10 Set depicts a typical modem house of the era in shape although I think the some licence has been given regarding the colour scheme. The car is a very nice little model on its own and just fits into the garage. The instructions show a Meccano No 2 car kit posed in front of the garage. These were expensive toys in their day and I wonder just how many of these sets were sold and actually played with at the time.

The Models

To go with the display, Malcolm has made some of the models from the instruction books that came with the sets. From the 10 set The ‘Modern House’ looked just like an art-deco house although I think white and pastel shades would have been a bit more in keeping than dark blue and gold! I was particularly taken with the working table lamp from the early Meccano Lighting set and the other interior fittings, there’s even a piano in one room. On the roof Malcolm has added his own touch with sun-loungers and tables. A working factory was the chosen model from the No 9 set and a couple of boxers were fighting it out in the ring from the No 8 set. There was also a model of a flying plane that dropped a bomb on a passing ship made from the No7 set although I did not manage to get a shot of it for some reason. If anybody has some photograps of it, I would be grateful to complete the story.



Since I posted this news item Malcolm contacted me and kindly supplied a photograph of the missing model, built from the No 7 set, taken at Meccanuity. Malcolm also made a model of a tank from the No 3 set from rough, old parts to act as a target! He has shown it at a couple of shows now and says children up at least 70 years of age love playing with it!!

Malcolm sent me this picture of the No 7 set model that was missing from my report - Thank you!


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The table lamp from the Meccano lighting kit looks just right in this setting
...or lounge about. Perhaps the occupants have gone to a Meccano show!