Martin Arnold’s Meccano History part 2

In 2014, following a short illness, I became a Meccano boy again and dusted off my 1970's 9 set. I noticed that some of the parts had perished (tyres and bands etc) and that the set did not have the required number of screws to build some of the 9 set models. This was a huge disappointment until I discovered that there were numerous Meccano clubs and dealers selling much needed replacement parts. Subsequently, I joined the Henley and Runnymede clubs in May 2014. I also attended the SWMC open day on 3rd of May as a member of public and was amazed at the wonderful models on show.  I became a formal member in July 2014.

I probably have a 10 set equivalent plus a few more parts. I like vehicles and stationary steam engines, particularly in red and green Meccano. I tend to rebuild models to incorporate improvements as I gain knowledge and experience. I have realised that my old 9 set used to be the 8 set in the red and green era. I now enjoy building the proper 9 set models as they offer the right amount of complexity for my current skill level. I am also fond of the Konkoly Supermodels models which have been among my most successful builds.

For me, a Meccano model should be aesthetically pleasing and functional and I am never satisfied with myself unless these requirements have been met. However, I am always looking at easier ways to make a model work in the most efficient manner. Sometimes, I have given up on some models which have tried my patience and sanity. This has led to my mantra "no model, no problem".

I appreciate the benefits of being a member of Meccano clubs and the exchange of ideas/advice that this engenders. I have also formed valued friendships within the Meccano community. I particularly enjoy the Meccano meetings/exhibitions and have been pleased to support the SWMC in respect of its extra curricula events, Thornbury and the MShed come to mind. However, 2020 has been a different year which necessitated the use of Zoom meetings and I am indebted to the committee running these meetings and successfully keeping Meccano alive and the membership together.

Meccano is in my blood and I am already anticipating my next model, whatever that maybe. Long may the Meccano hobby continue.

I should like to end this piece with a horror story that will chill the bones of any Meccano man to the core. It was one Sunday afternoon and the clouds were dark outside and full of menace. I walked into my bedroom where my best ever model (the Konkoly Wilesco Engine) was proudly displayed on the top of my chest of draws. To my horror,  I observed an infernal wet object hanging from my model. I asked my wife what it was doing there and she happily replied that it was her shower cap drying and that it should be fully dry the next day: that was alright then. I can happily report that after a thorough examination of my model the next morning when the chilling item was removed, no rusting of parts was evident, phew!. So beware, you never know when your prized model may be at risk from dark forces.