Malcolm Hanson – a short history

Malcolm was a born in Bushey, Hertfordshire in 1948 and lived in Hendon, North West London through his youth.  He first attended St Mary’s, Secondary Modern where at 17 he did well enough in his ‘O’ levels to move on to Hendon County Grammar School. There he achieved ‘A’ level passes in Pure Math, Applied Maths, Physics and Engineering Drawing. These earned him a place at Bristol University where he read Pure Maths and Philosophy. After training to be a teacher he taught in schools, mostly in the Bristol area, for 29 years before becoming a senior lecturer in maths education at Bath Spa University.

Malcolm’s interest in Meccano was sparked by the gift of a No. 8 set by his parents and he built this up to a No. 9 by the time he was in his teens. When teaching in Midsomer Norton in the early 80’s his head of department, a Dinky Toy collector, suggested he could revive his Meccano hobby by going to the next Gloucester Toy fair and seeing what was on offer. There, on a dealer’s table, he spotted his childhood dream, a medium red/green No. 10 in its oak cabinet!  He bought it. This Meccano passion developed over the years and expanded to an interest in building systems generally. He started to collect sets, display models, dealer cabinets and related documentation until he had a huge collection and a very wide knowledge of his subject. He was never content, however, to keep his knowledge to himself and spent much of his leisure time “spreading the word”. He put on exhibitions in museums and anywhere where modellers met and gave talks to schools, scouts and clubs such as Probus. He was a major contributor to the NZ Meccano site and a central information source for the Meccano hobby. In addition, Malcolm was always willing to spend time with anyone with a query and help in any way possible.

Back in 1984, Malcolm decided to try and locate like-minded Meccano enthusiasts in the Bristol area and this led to the founding of South West Meccano Club. His efforts and the successful outcome are documented on our History pages. 

Malcolm passed away in 2016 and his extensive collection has since been sold. However he is still well remembered in the club, not least by the annual trophy named after him. Some of his vast collection of photos, some newspaper articles and some posters for early exhibitions can be seen on Malcolm’s Photos page.