10th October 2002
At Richard Smith's in early October, The venue itself proved of absorbing to those with an interest in engineering as it had its own mill with waterwheel!
Richard showed us the progress he had made on making a block setter out of late 70's dark blue and yellow parts. Sticking to his high standards he had set himself the challenge of building the model so that all the moving axle rods were journalled on bossed parts.
David Northcott brought an intriguing demonstration model along which showed that with ingenuity just about any gear ratio can be achieved in Meccano. This particular example was of a 13:1 ratio and employed an epicyclic arrangement that could easily be changed to give 11:1.
Ron Garside was still pushing on with his project to build Supermodels from nickel parts. This time he had the travelling gantry crane which worked very effectively.
David Miller had a model he had built especially to please his five year old grandson. This meant it had to look eye-catching and be easy to "drive". David went for a fire engine that worked impressively well yet was easily operated.
New member Richard Mackeriell came with a model car constructed from a modern set. This demonstrated the new triangular cross section axle rods that mean wheels and gears etc no longer need relatively expensive bosses to hold them in place. These seemed to function well but only time will tell if they will still be useable in eighty years time as Ron's parts were!
Malcolm brought some of the goodies he had acquired as a result of the Thornbury exhibition. These included a beautiful 1932 No. 2 Constructor Car, a Meccano No. 1 oil can of the same period (why do these seem to be much rarer that the No. 2, K oil cans?) and a pair of late 30's boxed electric motors.
11th July 2002
Mervyn had more aircraft models including a lovely one of a WW1 De Havilland Airco D.H.4 Eagle VIII biplane.
Ralph had been busy on the tracks again and delighted us with a Union Pacific 4-12-0 loco of giant proportions.
Sam had a model that exploited the new style of caterpillar tracks which Meccano now produce and which are vastly superior to the early ones of the 70's. He also brought a very nice copy of a mid-30s L set bound manual which combines an 0-E and an F-L manual with 'Meccano Mechanisms' and 'How to Use Meccano Parts' manuals. As Malcolm was missing one of these for his own L set some frantic negotiating ensued after which we both ended up with what we wanted!
David Northcott abandoned the Bugatti camp on this occasion and brought a model of a 30's Morgan 3-wheeler.
Tony Lavender had a model of an ingenious mechanism designed to offset the crankshaft slightly on an internal combustion engine and avoid a directly vertical motion of the shaft at top dead centre. He also had a very interesting 30's K set green enamelled cabinet. This style of cabinet had first been used with the late 20's No. 6 outfit and with the demise of the K set in 1937 was used for the new No. 9 set. In fact Malcolm dug his No. 9 set out of the loft to compare the two and they only differed in lid depth! Unfortunately when Tony bought his set he discovered that the parts inside had been repainted in a hideous thick paint.
Malcolm showed a set of all 12 of the models designed for the Bayko set No.15 which was produced by Meccano in 1962. He also had a 1926 Meccano America No. 2x set which was sold in the States complete with electric motor and which was acquired through Ebay along with some lovely literature advertising the 'New Colored Meccano' of the time. Finally he showed a Bx Plastic Meccano set of the late 60's. This was intended to convert a B set to a C set but having trawled through all the literature of the period he could find no mention of its existence!
Mervyn brought 3 of his vintage car models, a version of Lindburg’s ‘Spirit of St Louis’ and one of Hungarian modeller Konkoly’s amazing devices. This one was a sort of hand cranked musical box.
Richard did not bring his crane but instead came with a demonstration drive unit featuring steering and independent suspension.
David Northcott came with a sort of ‘anti-model’ that would have made ace loco builder Ralph Clark wince with anguish. David used to frequent the Barry scrap yard where many a fine steam loco used to be found rusting away. Some years ago he pictured a decomposing BR 2-10-0 and has now built a model of the decaying heap from suitably sad looking parts!
Sam took up the challenge of starting with a modern ‘one model’ set of a car and making something completely different from the parts. This he managed with a convincing looking model of a submersible complete with searchlight.
Roger Baker made up for his long absence by bringing a host of rare goodies, all by Marklin. There was a 1923 clock kit, a Marklin’s own version of the huge Trinity clockwork motor they made for Meccano in the ‘teens’, a very unusual ‘Minex’ set, only produced in 1939, which was a sort of ‘half scale’ Marklin construction set and finally lots of lovely looking HO gauge toy train items.
Malcolm brought a ‘ball bearing’ clock driven by a synchronous electric motor and two versions of the Electrikit, one made in Liverpool and the other an original French set from the Bobigny factory.