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Meccano Show 2016
Report by Chris Warrell
The weather forecast was perfect for our 38th Meccano Show on 29th October - mild, overcast but with no mention of rain - not good enough to entice families to the coast, but not bad enough to keep them indoors! The one factor that might have affected our visitor numbers was that the event had to take place during half term week to fit in with the dance school. This is the same school that effectively forced us out of the URC a year ago! Numbers were down from the highs of the last two or three years, but we still had an impressive 378 through the door. The money taken on the door showed that, of those, 273 were adults and 105 were children.
We'd hoped to get more accurate figures this year by simplifying the ticket issuing: instead of different tickets for adults, paying children and non-paying children, the idea was to issue everyone with a ticket, adults and children alike. Speaking to a couple of my friends who'd attended in the afternoon, it turned out out that only one had been given a ticket,
so total numbers might actually be slightly higher.
Models in Sherard Hall
We certainly put on a very good show, with every table full of models. Visiting exhibitors this year included Colin Bull with his Laxey Wheel model and local man, Kim Bowers, with a radio telescope, along with regulars Ivor Perrett and David Tracey. Spotted amongst the visitors were Bryn Jones and, clutching his copy of the SELMEC bookazine, Eddie Oatley.
John Cowdery (right) talking to a visitor about his models
The Make It With Meccano/Meccano Creative Challenge area was very popular as always; thanks to Tim Surtell for managing that whole aspect of the show. Two tables were available for the Challenge and one for MIWM. It had been found last year that the Challenge was more popular, probably because the young builders had the freedom to build anything from the parts, rather than following a set of instructions.
The Make It With Meccano table
There were quite a few entries, especially in the under 12 age group, and so choosing a winner was a difficult job, but three were chosen, one in each age group, by Adrian Ashford, Tim and me. The winners were Tristan Cloarec (under 12 category), Edward Armitage (12-17 category - sorry about the poor picture quality; Tim's camera went wrong!), and Yung Soo (18+ category).
» See all the Meccano Creative Challenge photos on Facebook
Yung Soo (left)
Ralph Laughton ably managed the raffle, using his tried and tested Hainault Hangout technique -
if you're not sure what this is, just turn up on 3rd December to find out!
Cathy Warrell and Cathy Claydon spent the entire day serving food and drink to the exhibitors and public alike. They had to cope with a kitchen where the electric hot water boiler wasn't working and the gas oven was unreliable! That didn't stop them selling a range of rolls, cakes and drinks for the full six hours we were open.
Cathy Warrell (rear, left) and Cathy Claydon (rear, right) take care of keeping us all well fed
Thanks, of course, to everyone who helped on the day, especially Ralph for ferrying of models and spare tables in his van, Tim for a lot of the publicity as well as arranging the Eltham Centre display in September, and Peter Clay for looking after the rotas and finance.
» This article appeared in the Christmas 2016 issue of SELMEC News.