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9th October 2010 Westminster School charity day

Peter and his cranes
Peter puts the final touches to his model before the doors open

Sue and I have found a great place to park, in the centre of town, right next door to Westminster Abbey – and I didn’t cost a penny. Not only that we got a free lunch too! 

Anyone who lives in or around London will know that driving through the centre can be a nightmare, trying to park anywhere in the centre is fraught with danger of getting it wrong and ending up with a parking ticket or worse. You can understand our initial reluctance to the idea of attending a school fundraiser in such a place. As it turned out our trepidation was unfounded.

Peter Goddard asked us earlier in the year if we would join him in putting on a Meccano display at Westminster School. His connection with the school was that he had worked there until he retired. Judging by the warm welcome he was receiving he was obviously a popular member of the team and this courtesy was extended to his crew of Meccano men and women.

It was a small display consisting of Peter himself showing his Latest creation; a huge model of the giant crane of Zeebrugge. He also had his Railway breakdown crane with him, which was making its last appearance before its appointment with the breakers yard! More information on Peter's models can be found on his website HERE. Apart from Sue and me, Allen Berman and Alan and Leslie Wenbourne were also taking part. 

Ralph and Sue's display
Our dispaly for the afternoon

Sue and I dusted of one of our French display cranes and set that running at one end of our display while at the other end Sue had Replica of the Binns Road display model Ferris wheel. Between the two, we spent the afternoon making patterns with Sue’s Meccanograph and chatting to the visitors.

Allen's Excavators
Allen Berman's impressive Excavators

Allen Berman had his huge dragline, built almost entirely from restored Meccano and his version of the Super model steam excavator fitted with a vertical boiler steam engine built by himself. However, for indoor operation the model is fitted with an electric motor. I have seen this model in steam at Henley in 2009 and most impressive it is too. An article on how Allen restores his Meccano can be found HERE (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Rollup bridgeAlan and Lesley Wenbourne were showing the fascinating model of Thomas Heatherwick’s rolling bridge, a computer operated VW gearbox and a selection of M&S models.

The weather kept fine, which was good for all the outside events that were taking place in the courtyard and a pleasant atmosphere prevailed as the afternoon drew to a close. It was a different way to spend a Saturday afternoon and after packing our models back into the car we battled the Saturday afternoon traffic out to the South East and back onto home ground in time for a relaxing night of indulgence by way of a take-away supper, something that is nice to do once in a while…

…Now it’s time to get building – SELMEC show is next weekend! 



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There was a good display of O gauge trains to be seen too - but that is another story!