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Vintage Hornby Train Show 2017

Report by Peter Clay

As in previous years SELMEC provided a Meccano exhibition on stage at Adrian Ashford's annual Hornby Train Show on 16th May 2017. Four members as below contributed. It's easy to fall into the 'John brought a blocksetter' style of reporting, but we are entitled to credit for what we showed, so here goes...

As a viewer stood on stage, from left to right:

Tim Surtell was supervising 'Make It With Meccano'. Not as many people took part as in other venues - three certificates were issued, and about five people took part. Tim showed his Spanish Knight; an ice-cream cart; a section of our forthcoming tube map; his YouTube 1000 plaque; a single maraca (still 'in tune'!); demo of servos from the Spin Master robotics sets showing how wobbly they are (the parts, not Tim's construction); Arduino control of motors via MECControl; Spin Master car with good suspension. Apart from that Tim also set things up at the start, putting up our club banner and posting up exhibition notices, which were also made available to the public.

Tim shows off MECControl on his laptop
Tim shows off MECControl on his laptop

Chris Warrell had a selection of attractive models which went down well with spectators. His three little different-coloured Daleks were instantly recognisable by all ages! Also one large and three small robots from the sets of a few years ago were popular. He also showed a bike, fire tender, lunar rover and a restored mini-blocksetting crane. He still found time to go to the North East London Meccano Club meeting in the afternoon!

Chris's crane
Chris's crane

Brian Leach's challenge model of Lullingstone Castle gatehouse was very appealing. Built entirely of strips and zinc parts, the back (not seen by the public) was unfinished pending the acquisition of more Obtuse Angle Brackets. This kind of model swallows up such parts. Of interest was the use of strips which can only be placed side-to-side so many (six?) times when one must be stood off with washers. One solution Brian found is a repeated narrow strip-flat girder x 2- narrow strip sequence. The things you learn from fellow-modellers! Brian also had a one to 3125 step-up mechanism (for those able to move the Crank!), a caster steering unit from the Mechanisms set and a dice (correctly spotted but not loaded!)

A visitor tries out Brian's 1:3125 mechanism
A visitor tries out Brian's 1:3125 mechanism

Peter Clay showed his new designing machine which was an experiment of his own design in order to see if it worked well enough to take any further (it did). Also shown: Tractor and trailer; army truck; Hornby O gauge railway crane in honour of the venue; Dad's Army butcher's wagon and a new delivery truck from the new 60s No. 1 set manual. Building the latter and strengthening it took more hours than I'll say.

Peter's designing machine
Peter's designing machine

Adrian tells me the number of visitors was down compared to previous years, but the show still went well with four working layouts and a good deal for sale. Adrian’s superb organisation was evident throughout. I saw several 'old friends' among the visitors including Frank Paine, James Dowswell and Clive Baldwin.

My apologies if I’ve missed anyone out, or any models.

Brian with his model of Lullingstone Castle gatehouse
Brian with his model of Lullingstone Castle gatehouse



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

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