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Eltham Park Festival 2017

Report by Brian Leach

I arrived at about half past eleven and already our gazebo was almost totally set up. I helped with a couple of banners and quickly put my models on the table and we were off.

The gazebo had a red covering which gave the models a strange tint. Red plates became almost orange in colour. [It's also done strange things to the photos - Brian's green dinosaur has turned yellow! -Ed.] I am colour-blind but can still work out most reds and greens. Also the gazebo had restricted height. A divider from centre front to back was too low and quite sharp. Fortunately there were no accidents.

Our gazebo with the Make It With Meccano tables out front
Our gazebo with the Make It With Meccano tables out front

The weather just about held, with some sunny spells and only a few spots of rain between 2 and 3 o'clock. It was windy and the side of the gazebo often billowed inwards where I was sitting.

This was the first outing of the new 'Meccasaur', built by me in the few days before. It performed quite well, but its feet slipped a bit on the table top as it was on a slight incline. Meccasaur is not on sale in the UK which I think is a big shame. It can walk forwards, left, and right. It roars at passers-by. There is a room guard mode. You can ask it questions to which it nods 'yes' or 'no'. It is also programmable and can record sound. In general, the children liked it - I don’t think any were scared by it.

Brian's Meccasaur
Brian's Meccasaur

Also going down well were Chris's steam loco, James' 'Cylindricurse', Peter's Meccanograph, Adrian's pumping engine and Tim's Lightning Leap. Also the 'Make It With Meccano' workshop was very busy.

The festival was open from 12 noon - 5:00 pm, with the busiest period being 12 noon - 3:00 pm. Later on I wanted some food and drink. The open air BBQ was a disaster. I thought I had about a 10 minute queue but after 15 minutes the queue had only moved four spaces. I gave up and later went to the main canteen. Things were faster there, but it was still quite a wait!

Santiago's Cylindricurse ride
Santiago's Cylindricurse ride

There were plenty of stalls around and Chris spent some time at the St. Luke's stall (his church) and also participated (with James) in some 4-a-side Walking Football [we won 8-5 -Ed.]. Also, with the festival being run by the police, there were plenty of police cars old and new to look at.

Kids looking at Chris and Tim's static models
Kids looking at Chris and Tim's static models

Models on display:

Adrian Ashford: Pumping engine, cabin cruiser.

Brian Leach: Meccasaur, dice, Lullingstone Castle gatehouse.

Chris Warrell: Eiffel Tower, Daleks, steam locomotive on O gauge track, crash tender, mini block-setting crane, bike.

James Plicio: Cylindricurse fairground ride.

Peter Clay: Meccanograph, sports car, delivery truck.

Tim Surtell: The Lightning Leap, Spanish Knight, maracas, ice cream cart.

The whole gang's here! (From left) Peter, Chris, Adrian, Santiago, Tim, Brian and Felicity
The whole gang's here! (From left) Peter, Chris, Adrian, Santiago, Tim, Brian and Felicity


 

» This article appeared in the Autumn 2017 issue of SELMEC News.

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