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Meccano Show 2010

Report by Chris Warrell

Our annual event, billed for the first time as a Show rather than an Exhibition, proved to be another fantastic day. Tim Surtell had bought some new advertising banners. One of these had been tied to the church's own board since the previous Monday, advertising the Show as being on 'Next Saturday', this being substituted on the morning by a similar banner with 'Today' in its place.

The Meccano Show logo in Meccano

Once again the hall was packed with models from, not only our own members, but a number of visiting exhibitors. We made use of three new circular tables that the hall now has and, together with a number of tables brought by members we were able to just about fit everyone in. We might have to hire a third room next year! Luckily the Russian language class only required a few of the small tables, so weren’t too deprived this time.

Tim had also produced a Meccano version of the new Show logo (seen on all the posters and the new banners) and this was the first sight to greet the visitors after entering the building.

As usual, we had a good mix of large and small models on show with Ralph and Sue Laughton's Eiffel Tower and James Plicio’s fairground ride dominating the main hall. In the refreshments room we expanded the number of exhibitors to six with Alan Wenbourne's London Eye in one corner and Allen Berman's giant crane in the other. To add a bit of variety John Gay was in the same room with a 00 gauge model railway layout. At the other end of the scale we had both Geoff Carter and Douglas Windibank turn up by public transport, each with a suitcase crammed full of small models.

Although it seemed to me that we had more visitors than last year the ticket count showed that it was about the same with 283. It was very busy all day, and we even had several people waiting to go in soon after 10.00am — half an hour early. Our advertising (which is all free by the way) certainly paid off along with all those summer activities that we've attended.

We also had a decent plug in the News Shopper and Mercury free newspapers. The Mercury sent a reporter and a picture and caption appeared on the front page of the following week's edition.

Newspaper article

As is now usual we held a raffle and there were a good selection of quality prizes, mostly donated by members, so thanks are due to all of them.

Thanks are also due to all those of you who helped with the setting up and clearing away of the hall, tying up posters etc, and filling the various slots of the rotas, especially Greg Clarke who didn’t have a model but turned up anyway and generally helped out. Peter Clay needs special thanks for making sure that the various rotas were filled and spending all that time at the end, when most of us are hastily packing our models away, counting all the money and double checking the ticket numbers against income.

One of the highlights, as always, was a visit to the refreshment table. There was a good selection of food, masterminded by Frank Paine who made the rolls and brought various other items along, as did some members. Cathy Warrell made a number of cakes and was in charge of the serving of food, assisted this year by Cathy Claydon and Lucy Warrell.

For the last couple of years Tim has been filming the exhibition on a small camera, but this year he brought a friend along with a professional video camera. She and Tim spent the whole day going round most of the Show recording the models and getting comments from various exhibitors.

» This article appeared in the January 2011 issue of SELMEC News.

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