My Meccano History - Sam Medworth
I was recently delighted to discover my Membership Certificate for the Meccano Guild in an archive in my loft - dated 2nd October 1962!
I was then 6 years old, and had been introduced to Meccano by my Dad 3 years earlier when he used to build me simple models from his childhood nickel set 2. I was very pleased to receive a set 0 in light red and green for my 4th birthday, to which I added sets 0a and 1a using my pocket money. In those days you could build up to a set 10 in instalments by buying these add on sets.
My Dad was a woodwork and metalwork teacher, and his pupils occasionally used to bring him odd Meccano parts, sometimes rescued from dustbins by their dustman fathers! The trouble with this collection was that there were none of the "interesting" parts in brass that make more complicated mechanisms possible. However, this box accompanied me when we lived in temporary accommodation for 9 months; this kept me from going mad with boredom as a ten year old!
In later teens my interests veered towards geology and then biology, in preparation for a career in Medicine. I was parted from my Meccano during my studies, getting married and early parenthood, though it was carefully stored. However my wife re-kindled my interest when she spotted an advert for some second-hand Meccano in our local post office (sadly long closed).
This had a number of the parts I had been short of, so was instantly purchased. I remember making a model of Bertha, the factory machine that featured in a children's programme in the 1980s, for my young son. Around that time also, I heard of the annual exhibition of the SWMC in Long Ashton organised by Malcolm Hanson. In those days this was large enough to attract dealers, so my collection was extended further e.g. with a Ball Bearing (complete).
I was delighted to discover that there were adult enthusiasts who met regularly and exchanged ideas and parts, and have been a member ever since the early 1990s.
My son was into computing, and in his teens took on the project of creating our first website in 1999. This ran until BT withdrew their web hosting in 2010. Steve and Dianne Briancourt have painstakingly transferred much of the material to this site.
I am personally proud of introducing the Scrapheap Challenge competition to the club, including building the trophy! I have tended to want to push Meccano beyond the standard "engineering" models such as cranes and cars, as can be seen in some of the pictures on this site. The article on DNA is one such. I have plenty more ideas - watch this space!