A Wife’s View – Dianne Briancourt

"At least you know where he is"

Well, yes I do know where Steve is – in the garage, often working with caustic soda or paint or making parts with the lathe. So, I am not technically a ‘Meccano widow’, it just feels like it at times.

At home during the weekends, Steve spends all his spare time in the garage, making or restoring meccano. But in the evenings he builds in the living room, which is fine by me as long as it is all put away at the end of the evening. I knit, he builds and we can watch television together.

He does go to various club exhibitions throughout the year, but I go with him and we try to combine the meetings with family whom we will visit later. We have been going to Henley since our children (now all grown and flown with bairns of their own) were small, when the exhibition was in the Town Hall and we used to picnic by the river and feed the swans. Now we do a quick walk round, visit Mike Rhoades' and Dave Taylor’s stalls, have lunch and then I go shopping, whilst Steve spends hours talking to exhibitors. As well as all the shops, this year there was also a French market, a walking tour of Midsomer Murder filming locations and Costa Coffee provided a refreshing break. We also managed a long walk along the river. Henley is my favourite venue to visit.
We have visited Meccanuity, where this year I managed to read a newspaper, talk to two of my daughters via WhatsApp (no phone connection there, but Wifi) and visit the shop of the museum next door, during which time (45 minutes) Steve continued to talk to the same person he had been talking to when I got bored.
I do enjoy talking to some of the exhibitors – Sue (Sue and Ralph) is always interesting for me to talk to and a few years ago at Skegness, I did have a very interesting discussion with an American who was showing a computer program for controlling Meccano models.
To show willing, I have acquired, via a car boot sale, a very small modern Meccano box, which I will attempt to make up. That is provided I can get over my fear of tightening up the screws so much without washers that I damage the metal! Maybe Steve will have to supervise the building.
And, by way of confession, I have finally found something to enthuse about. Talking to Sue this year at Henley, I fell in love with the newest range of models.
Meccano Meccanoid G15  
• The Meccanoid G15 is 2 feet tall and the G15 KS is 4ft tall. They feature an easy programming option called "LIM" - Learned Intelligent Movement, where you program movements and sounds and play it back with a push of a button
• Record and playback animations, process voice recognition, and communicate with smart devices through Bluetooth®
• With a brand new free app, Meccanoid G15 and G15 KS can be programmed via Motion Capture, where the robots will mimic your moves

And now we have one, Andy (our Android), a G15 KS, which amuses our grandchildren, who like to watch him dance or get him to tell them some jokes.

You can see more about the Meccanoids, including the latest models on The official Meccano website.