2019 October

Our October meeting with our AGM was once again held in the Parish Hall in Tockington.  It was a reasonable turnout despite the foul weather, including two new members Mike, and Ian  who was also selling a range of brassware and gears. A short video of the moving models can be seen on YouTube. (Steve apologises for the poor quality of the video this time.)

Many thanks to Dianne and Lynn for the excellent catering to keep us all fed and watered.

Neil Bedford  brought along his now completed Darjeeling Himalayan Railway which operated in West Bengal. This model takes its electrical power through the track which requires the internals to be electrically isolated. He had seen such an arrangement before and thought 'how hard can it be?'. The answer is, apparently, quite hard, but Neil has resolved all electrical issues and the only problem is keeping the train reliably on the track, especially as it passes over the points. The model has a wooden post mounted on the top which, for the real train, was used by the crew and passengers to lever the train back onto the rails after its frequent derailing.

The spotlights, front and rear, turn on as appropriate to the direction in which the train is travelling. He made particular point that the smallest crank on the wheel drive connecting strips uses the quarter inch spacing from the latest Meccano Evolution parts (seen circled in red). Of the three figures riding the train the front man's leg nonchalantly swings back and forth, the man on the top swings his arm up and down to break the coal and the driver in the cab appears to move the forward/reverse lever with his arm. All this can be seen in the video. The train automatically reverses direction once it reaches each end of the track but the points are currently manually controlled.

Richard Smith displayed a Ferguson T20 tractor currently under construction but already beautifully mounted on a wooden plinth. He is writing the model build instructions for the Midlands Meccano Guild to publish. This working model has forward and reverse drive. The Reverse drive is half the speed of the forward drive, with the rear wheels driven by a differential. There is also differential wheel braking in the drums of each wheel. At the rear of the tractor there is a three point up/down lift mechanism and a power take-off shaft to drive other appliances. Interestingly, Ferguson battled Henry Ford in the courts over the subject of tractors and won.

Detail to show left hand wheel drum brake.

Steve Briancourt's USS Missouri had its last appearance at a club meeting (for now). It had only previously been displayed in its completed state at other exhibitions.  Despite the many times this has now been transported, assembled and disassembled it remarkably still functions every time, even though several nuts, bolts and washers have been found languishing in the car.

The Issigonis Shield won at Skegex 2019 was proudly displayed beside the ship.

The USS Missouri won the Malcolm Hanson Trophy this year as voted for by the members attending the meeting. For more photos see 2019 Malcolm Hanson Trophy page.

Steve also brought a 1950's Dealers Display Cabinet, including the parts picture that is normally found slotted into the front of the cabinet, but which for the time being is in a picture frame.

Lastly, he showed a pristine example of a Mamod SE3 steam engine with its original box. This looks like it had only been fired twice as an original box of 3 fuel pellets only had two missing. It also has the original funnel seen in the picture dropped into the smoke stack!

Barry Winslow showed four shop display models (only two illustrated). These are quite old but still fully functioning, however, some of the bulbs have been replaced by more modern types. He informed us that some of the original Meccano shop display models were assembled by the women working in the factory during their lunch times or at home to earn extra money. The 12V power supplies for these models are still from the original transformers. Barry would like to find some more of these historic models to further his collection of them.

Pete Evans  displays some of his extensive collection of vintage Meccano products.

This included Elektron Electrical Experiments, Inventor's Accessory Outfit, Motor Car Constructor and Aeroplane Constructor kits with assembled examples of both of these.

Pete also showed a partially built model of a Euclid R-105 Dumper Truck. The scale was based around the available size of the tyres and his original scaling sketch can be seen next to the truck. The front half of the truck articulates relative to the rear half driven by clever use of two screwed rods acting as rams. The rods are on either side of the truck's centre line and are each driven by a small electric motor simultaneously with one pushing and one pulling. This provides the effort required to slew the two halves relative to each other.

David Jenkins displayed some assembled components of a block setter crane which comes with a part-work published by Hachette part works marketed in France by Journaux Francais journaux.fr/meccano.  The components are beautifully finished in a powder coating, and include a geared roller bearing. He is halfway through collecting the part works out of a total of about 120. The crane is yet to be offered for sale in the UK.  There was, however a trial run of the first couple of issues only, in certain parts of the UK.  Spinmaster refused to let Hachette use the 'Meccano' name, so the project was stalled.

Also being shown by David were a boxed tower crane set, a model of Concorde and a staff car. The seaplane and the red jeep were both from the 'Tin Tin' series.

Rob Curling accompanied by his wife Angie had his beam engine running very smoothly.  More has been added to it since it was last displayed but it is still not quite finished. He had to check on a few aspects like phasing in of the beams and flywheel rotation direction. It now runs at about 30 rpm with the beams phased at 180 degrees. There is a Watt's linkage on one side at present to be repeated on the other side. Notably, the flywheel rings are not standard Meccano but are the same diameter as Meccano channel segments when assembled.

Chris Bates' AEC 508 Tanker Lorry from the 1930s is being modified as a foray into radio control. The previous underpowered electric motor has been replaced by a powerful 2 amp motor which is more than adequate for the task.  The steering is driven by a micro motor but is now operated by radio control, although in true Meccano tradition it played up during the demonstration.

Andrew Jefferis built a Pontoon Crane from plans published as a super model for an 'L' outfit. This is able to swivel and luff, driven by two E20R Meccano motors.

The K2 lorry built by Alan Perry is based on his father's lorry which Alan used to drive many years ago. You can read more about this personal connection on our 2019 January meeting page.

He also had an original model plans book covering sets 00 to 7 including standard mechanisms.  On the flyleaf was a note hand written in 1935 from Meccano Ltd to F E R Nunn who seems to have often written to the magazine with suggestions and also had some prize winning entries to the competitions run by Meccano.

David Miller has just started building a small gantry crane specifically for children to use in conjunction with his large 'O' gauge train layout. The crane enables containers to be hoisted from a train to the road.  He still has to some mechanical aspects to resolve but the end product should give pleasure to children when playing with the layout.

As usual, Greg Worwood accompanied by Marion put on a splendid display of moving models. The carousel was originally intended to be the number 8 supermodel version but as with many published Meccano plans it did not work properly, so he built one to his own design.

The man on the Penny Farthing is intended to be positioned on top of a model of the  Ironbridge. Interestingly, the arms and legs incorporate parts from the Meccano X series (which look similar to Trix) but nicely repainted from the original finish.


Marion, who accompanied Greg, brought some small plastic Meccano models that she has built.

Philip Bond's model was of a 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive from a Meccano magazine plan. The original plans had this sitting on an 'O' gauge track with the loco driven by a Meccano clockwork motor. It became apparent during building that with the motor inside the frame, the model was too wide to sit on an 'O' gauge track, so he built his own track to match the loco.

He also constructed a sports car using new flexible strips. This was of his own design and includes rack and pinion steering. The Spinmaster equivalents can be seen pictured alongside the model.

Sam Medworth demonstrated his traction engine modelled on one built by Fosters of Lincoln. These traction engines were workhorses of the day, pulling their loads behind them. This one also incorporated a winch on the rear for operating a crane or other devices.

This is Sam's first outing into scale modelling. It is approximately 1/15th scale. The power source is a Meccano power drive motor using one of the lower gearing settings. This is sufficient power to move the traction engine slowly.

Ian Henwood is a long time experienced Meccano builder and exhibitor. He has now joined us and he brought along a functioning fruit machine. If you feed in 10p coins and press the button you actually have a chance to win something in return. The coin slot even has a fool proofing feature to prevent the money being inserted prematurely. He built this machine a long time ago but it still works well.

Ian also supplies brassware and speciality gears.  He brought a selection to sell as seen in the photos.

The afternoon was very enjoyable with good company and good food. Our AGM was held mid-afternoon with no changes to the committee. Dianne was voted in as an honorary member in view of her commitment to the website. A few other Meccano items of interest were on show, including a selection of Meccano lots and Magazines for sale.