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Greenwich Great Get Togethers 2009

Report by Chris Fry, with additional notes on the Charlton Park event by Chris Warrell

Following an appeal by Chris Warrell for volunteers to display Meccano models at the "Great Get Together" events I signed up for the event at Blackheath Rugby Club, Eltham on 23rd May. Arriving at 8:30am and equipped with an Official Exhibitor notice it was possible to drive right up to our designated display area, which proved to be useful, if not invaluable, for some of us. We were also allowed on-site parking provided we left the right paperwork on display.

A general view of our stand at Blackhealth Rugby Club
A general view of our stand at Blackhealth Rugby Club

We were provided with a shared marquee, ample table space, chairs and electrical power from a nearby noisy generator – deemed too close for comfort by Frank Paine who craftily re-sited us to the other end of the marquee before other exhibitors arrived!

The Mayor tries out one of Frank Paine's models

The Mayor tries out one of Frank Paine's models

With our models arranged for presentation we received our first visitors before the gates were opened to the public at 11:00am. From then onwards we had a steady stream of interested visitors including the Mayor and his entourage. He seemed genuinely interested in our models and acknowledged having Meccano in his youth. His assistant suggested that if we send an invitation to the Mayoral office he might be able to attend our exhibition in October.

Since there were nine SELMEC members present, it was possible to make short excursions around the rest of the displays and stalls. There was a large stage with various live music acts throughout the day, simulated golf, climbing wall, bouncy castle and other inflatables, and too many other attractions to mention. The whole event was very well organised and I can't think of much that would have made our attendance easier. Best of all it didn't rain! We were able to promote the club exhibition with promises of a 'hall full of models' and exhausted our available supply of flyers. With luck we might have bumper attendance in October.

Five weeks later on 28th June, six club members turned up in Charlton Park for a repeat performance. This time there was no need to move to a better location, but we did have problems with a lack of power coming from a generator behind the marquee. The electricians made several attempts to correct it and luckily cured the fault well before the visitors arrived. This was another fine sunny day and the crowds were out in force.

We didn't see the Mayor this time but Clive Efford, our local MP, paid us a visit and he promised to publicise our exhibition. As before, we gave out all of our flyers, the last one going just as we were packing up.

Hopefully we'll be invited back next year.

A crowd gathers around Adrian Ashford's models at Charlton Park
Visiting shaman attempts to influence Brian Leach's fruit machine payout
A crowd gathers around Adrian Ashford's
models at Charlton Park
Visiting shaman attempts to influence
Brian Leach's fruit machine payout

» This article appeared in the September 2009 issue of SELMEC News.

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