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Midlands Meccano Guild

(Author: Bob Thompson)

92nd Model Report

Midlands Meccano Guild

 

92nd Meeting

Saturday 30th March 2013

Model Report
by
Mike Cook

It is two years since I last wrote the model report, so I am a little out of practice. I am also most grateful to Mike Walker who took over the task in my absence. My difficulty arose when my publisher asked me for a third edition of my book on Flight Dynamics – a huge task which I had definitely not planned for in retirement! That is now behind me I am pleased to say, so I think I can now move on from where I left off. Comparing notes, I find that in those two years, sadly, we have lost some members, a few have moved on and some new faces have joined. The good news is that things seem to be as industrious as ever judging by the number and variety of models at the meeting. The remedy for the prolonged cold winter has obviously been to get on with some model building! The day of the meeting was also cold and grey, so what better way to spend our time on such a day – in a warm hall, in good company and with lots of interesting models to investigate. As always, my apologies to those I have misrepresented or overlooked in some way.

So without further ado, the first models on my tour were two clocks built by the late Jack Partridge. The first, now owned and presented by Roger Marriott was the familiar Electric Chiming Mantle Clock, published as MP112.

 

The second was Jack’s rather more substantial Arnfield Clock, now owned and presented by Tim Martin. This splendid example was originally derived from a model designed by Michael Adler. The fundamental principles on which the design is based are the traditional Huygens chain drive mechanism, which automatically rewinds every 15 minutes, and the modern and highly efficient Arnfield escapement mechanism. Since acquiring the clock, Tim has included a number of additional functions and has “prettied up” the case to result in a fine looking and useful model.

 

Next, was a nice little fire engine built by George Illingworth. I have long since lost count of the number of fire engines George has built over the past few years! (36?) The model is representative of the Dennis 30cwt General Purpose Fire Tender together with a matching trailer pump. The scale is in keeping with George’s other models, this example having an overall length of about 15”, no doubt determined by the use of two inch wheels with tyres. A carefully chosen colour scheme utilising red, black and silver parts made for an attractive model – the removable ladder was made up from ancient gold coloured strips.

Alongside was the usual most attractive display of Meccano items presented by Roy Whitehouse. First, a splendid 1939 No.10 outfit originally owned by John Pentney. This outfit is in superb condition, comprising red, blue and gold parts fully strung and set out in the original green storage cabinet. Serious nostalgia stuff this! Roy also brought along a small (working) mains electric clock, the type with a rotating pendulum, which was originally built by the late Les Gines. It was nice to see Les remembered in this way.

Ken Wright brought along a nice little model constructed from one of the newer single model outfits recently given to him as a present. The model is from the TinTin “Unicorn” Sailing Ship outfit. The hull and stand are attractively coloured, brownish below the water line, white and blue above the water line. Three masts carry a full set of sails made from flexible white plastic material. The model measures about ~18” long by ~18” high by ~3” wide. This is an attractive and unconventional model for Meccano and of course, it goes without saying that it was expertly assembled by Ken.

Next were some historical Meccano display items brought along by Jim Gamble. Described as two very rare dealers display cabinets, and both are in fine condition. One cabinet relates to the early nickel period and it is nice to see a representative range of parts from this period fully strung for display. The second cabinet was to the same standard pattern, but includes parts from the later blue-red-gold period. Needless to say, this presentation is extremely enticing when shown off in this way. Meccano certainly knew how to promote their goods in the early days!

The next big dose of nostalgia was set up next door by Tom and Matthew McCallum. Their collection included an early display card and a fascinating full page advert from the Daily Mail dating from 4 December 1920 – just a few days before Christmas! In todays’ world it is unusual to see the front page of a newspaper given over in its entirety to advertising a single product. It must have had a big impact at the time. The page is in remarkably good condition and was framed to keep it that way. A major feature of the advert was a model of a tower crane and to complete the picture Tom and Matthew had built the model in the appropriate period parts and which was standing alongside the advert – a nice touch.

Now, fast-forward to the 1960s, the period from which their other model originates. This was the dealers display model of a twin cylinder marine engine immaculately presented in a pristine light red and green colour scheme. The model was running very smoothly too. Full marks to Jim, Tom and Matthew for a colourful corner of the hall.

Paul Hubbard is, perhaps, the only member who actually brings his constructional projects to the meeting and works on them during the meeting. On this occasion I found him busy on the structure of a Terror Tower fairground ride model, his latest Meccano project. He also brought along a large Fairground Roundabout model set up to run continuously for display. Built mainly from red, yellow and nickel parts the model is about 30” diameter by about 18” high. A collection of smaller models from current outfits completed Paul’s presentation. Notable were several small models of the Red Arrows Hawk aircraft, a pair of which were included in his large roundabout model. Continuing the aircraft theme,

Sid Beckett brought along a small model of the Westland Lysander, an aircraft favoured by the wartime SOE for clandestine operations, and Sid had painted his model with the night time camouflage scheme. The Lysander model has a wingspan of about 24” and Sid showed me that the propeller was driven by a small electric motor through an unreliable drive arrangement. Inspiration for the model came from a 1940s book on military topics which Sid also had on show as evidence!

Then for something rather different. Brian Compton’s model was of an Automated Rolling Bridge Road Coal Loader and Un-Loader. The model was inspired by the Coal Loader and Un-loader described in the CQ special publication by Oscar Fontan and Keith Cameron. This is a large model sitting on a base about 2ft square and Brian’s version looked splendid in its immaculate mid red and green colour scheme. The model relied entirely on its electronics for its automated cycle of loading, unloading and shifting “coal” around continuously. A fascinating model to watch in action – as many did for some time.

The next model was even larger – a continental “Star Flyer” fairground ride in construction by John Molden. So far, John has built the lower base support comprising two wheeled chassis’ which couple together to form the base on which the ride is assembled. The model is built using mainly mid red and green parts, it is typically mechanically complex and it is big – about 4ft 6” overall length by about 10” wide. When surmounted by the ride as well, the model will be very large indeed, but that is what John does so well as we all know. This will certainly be a model to look out for in the future – it will be difficult to miss for sure!

Getting back to more typical Meccano models, John Reid’s offering on this occasion was a pair of interesting military models. First a model of a 7-inch/7 tons R.M.L. gun on a Moncrieff carriage. The concept was originated by Capt. Moncrieff of the Edinburgh Military Artillery and dates from about 1858. The gun which John has modelled, at a scale of approximately 1:12, dates from 1888. The main principles of the idea are; to obtain cover for the gun detachments by enabling it to recoil below a solid parapet for loading, and to store the recoil energy for raising the gun from the loading to firing position. To achieve this, the gun is mounted in a carriage attached to an elevator or, in some applications, in an elevator direct. In either case, the gun recoil raises a counterweight. The elevator arrangement is such that it rolls back along the top of the platform on recoil, the counterweight producing an opposing force to halt the recoil. The gun is held in the lowered position for re-loading by racks and brake gear, and is raised from the loading to firing position by the force of gravity acting on the counterweight, when the brake is released.

John’s second model was his interpretation of the Meccano Super Model SM37, Howitzer, Limber and Tractor. Changes to the howitzer include a re-designed firing mechanism, wheel brakes and wheel girdles for operations in muddy conditions. The limber was completely re-designed to be more representative of those used in the first world war. Modifications to the tractor resulted in what John called “a house brick with rounded ends”! Instead he produced a six horse team which he thought would be more representative of the period.

Dave Phillips brought along another of his lovely models constructed entirely from restored parts. The model was of a Garrett Steam Wagon dating from about 1901. The model was looking really good in its mid red and green colour scheme and was mounted on a wooden base plate for display purposes. Dave has produced 4~5 fine models in this way over the last few years, but he has recently sold them all as he is about to move from a decent sized house to a rather smaller retirement flat. Whilst chatting to Dave, and true to his word, Matthew McCallum appeared to take delivery of the steam wagon. Matthew explained that he has acquired all of Dave’s models so I hope we will get to see them again from time to time. The good news is that Dave has kept his Meccano collection and will be building models in the future, but they will be dismantled rather than stored.

Curiously, I then came upon a second coal loader and un-loader model, but this pristine example was built by Roger Marriott. Also based on the CQ special publication and much of the technical detail was provided by Brian Compton. Mechanically and electronically, Roger’s model is very much the same as Brian’s model. The obvious difference is the arrangement of the large mechanical sub-assemblies comprising the model. However, this model too was set up to run continuously for display purposes and apart from the reluctance of the “coal” to what it was told to do, its operation was pretty much faultless. Another very fine example of the model builders art, also constructed in immaculate red and green parts and fascinating to watch in action.

The adjacent model was also another supreme example of the mechanical complexity that can be achieved with clever use of Meccano. I refer of course to Ken Senar’s French Knitting Machine, or Automatic Tubular Knitting Machine – I am not sure which is the correct description. Ken has perfected the machine such that it will now run continuously, with little attention, to produce a knitted tube of consistently fine quality. No mean achievement that! The latest machine has eight needles, rather than four as in the earlier version, it is powered by a single motor, a cop feed directs the wool to the knitting head and the output spills down a chute at the front of the machine. The performance of the machine is almost at a commercial scale as it can produce feet of output in a very short space of time. Another splendid display model which is also fascinating to watch in action.

And now for something rather more traditional – the Combine Harvester built by Richard Gilbert from the No.10.13 instruction leaflet. This attractive model was nicely made, using correct period mid red and green parts and was mounted on a base board for display purposes. I think most members agree that this is one of the more successful models in the No.10 outfit leaflet series.

Next, I came to a pair of smaller models built by Tony Knowles. First was the diminutive Tommy Tortoise, designed and described by Mike Hooper in CQ 98. Tommy was towing a small trailer filled with sweets, no doubt to attract youngsters (and the not so young!), and could shuffle along at a steady pace or, at the flick of a switch, he could move at a most un-tortoise like pace.

Tony’s second exhibit was a small beam type pumping engine constructed from Technico, a 50 part Swiss system dating from 1933. The system was never developed and it had faded into obscurity by the mid 1950s. Hole spacing is 11mm and the tiny nuts and bolts are approximately 3/32” BSW, or similar. Technico had two patented features. First, struts of different lengths could be made up from U-girders which slide inside one another, and are then bolted to slightly larger slotted U-girders. Secondly, it has three circular parts which could be used on their own or in combination to make up drums and wheels of various types. The only parts not used in this model are a 75mm diameter flanged disc, a rod coupling and a small loose pulley. Since Technico never had a compatible motor, Tony fitted his pumping engine with a small geared commercial motor for display purposes. As I recall, most of the parts are painted black or left unpainted.

In my last report I described a superb model of a 1932 Bugatti Atlantic Coupé in the course of construction by Terry Allen. At that time only the rolling chassis and engine had been completed. Two years later, and the model is now at an advanced stage of construction. In order to replicate the extreme compound curves of the prototype, Terry has modelled the structure almost entirely in polished zinc plated strips which have been carefully shaped and fitted. The model is about 24” long and it incorporates a lot of mechanical and structural detail, and is a supreme example of the patience required to build such an ambitious model. We have all seen cars modelled in Meccano in the past, but I do not think I have ever seen a model with such dramatic styling as this which has been so successfully reproduced. This has definitely got to be a model to look out for in the future, and by the next meeting it should be pretty much completed.

By way of contrast, John Palmer usually brings along rather smaller simpler transport models. On this occasion, he brought along the Electric Articulated Lorry built from the 1950s No.6 outfit instructions 6.12. Quite an attractive little model built in period red and green parts. John also brought his part completed model of the Electric Mobile Crane built from super model instructions SM20. This is an interesting model which rarely gets an airing these days.

Tony Wakefield has been busy over the winter months building a 1:4.4 scale model of the 1275s Austin Mini Cooper car. This is a carefully crafted space frame type model set up on a stand in order to display the mechanical detail. The model is quite large, perhaps ~24” long by about 12” wide – big enough to accommodate representative working mechanics. A novel feature was demonstrated by Tony; with the bonnet up, the engine can be lifted out to reveal the gearbox underneath and where he pointed out the difficulty of getting all the gearing in to the available space. Not quite completed, this is a nice display model to which many of us can relate.

Also on the transport theme, the next model was the large Double Deck Bus built from the No.10 outfit instruction leaflet 10.5 by Dave Bradley. This large attractive model of a modern bus was made up from yellow and zinc plated parts with a few modifications. Most appropriately Dave fitted the model with large tyre wheels, which look so much more authentic, and he had improved the interior floor and seat fittings. As with some of his previous models, the bus was also fitted with a radio control system and when I saw it, Dave was taking it for a run around the hall. Hours of fun to be had there!

I haven’t seen a Ping-Pong Ball Roller for a while, but Roger Burton obliged by bringing along a simple example built from instructions by Alan Partridge and first published in CQ56. Nicely presented in red and green colours the model quietly went about its business by shifting some curiously coloured orange-pink ping-pong balls through the endless cycle of rotation. To add to the entertainment, balls frequently escaped from the machine only to be rounded up and returned to the machine at regular intervals.

On an entirely unconnected theme, Roger found that the Treadle-Driven Sewing Machine model by Margaret Massingham as published in CQ99, stirred past memories of the clothing factories in the Manchester area. So he was motivated sufficiently to build one, which was also doing its stuff at the meeting. This is a nice compact novelty model which performs well and certainly conveys the correct impression of the lady treadling away at her sewing machine.

Another very fine vehicle chassis model has been constructed by the expert Terry Pettitt. His new model is of the 1950s Leyland Martian heavy vehicle, originally developed for military use, but later used in civilian applications. The model was built to a scale of 1:9 and was presented as the bare chassis only. Terry had some difficulty obtaining information about the vehicle and is indebted to John MacDonald and to Bob Thompson, both of whom were able to help. The model incorporates a dummy engine, hiding an electric motor, which drives via a clutch to a four speed and reverse gearbox which, in turn, drives into a three speed gear box having step up, 1:1 and step down ratios as per the prototype. The drive from the final gearbox is then taken to the front and rear axle assemblies.

The front axle is pivoted and incorporates a differential, with lock, driving through constant velocity (CV) joints to the wheels via 4:1 hub reduction gearing. Terry later discovered that the drive to the front wheels in the prototype used bevel gearing concentric with the king pin rather than CV joints. So in the model these are built up from a large flanged wheel fitted with four short threaded pins mounted on the differential half shaft, the output consisting of a collar with two bolts, each supporting a plastic collar, which then engage with the threaded pins. The entire assembly is quite compact and works very smoothly. The rear axle assembly incorporates a lockable differential driving through half shafts to a concentric pivot point for the walking beam assemblies. Each wheel is driven by a train of 57 tooth gears and a 4:1 hub reduction gear. All that remains to complete the model, is to fit the control for the differential locks, and Terry is hopeful that he will be able to use the new Bowden cable parts for this.

Terry Wilkes brought along an up-dated and improved version of the Railway Service Crane built from the No.10 outfit instruction leaflet 10.1. The model incorporates quite a number of modifications and improvements including a neat homemade swivel hook which is rather more in keeping than the standard Meccano offering. Carefully constructed using yellow, blue and zinc coloured parts this is an attractive well presented model.

The next model was also a railway subject; a 1920s Steeple Cab Bo-Bo shunting engine built to an approximate scale of 1:12 by Brian Edwards. Brian informs us that the prototype was built by Hawthorn-Leslie and Co. of Newcastle for the Lancashire Electric Power Corporation. The model was built in Brian’s trademark colour scheme of mid red and green parts. This is a substantial and nice looking model, with lots of detailing and having an overall length of about 24”.

It was obviously a good meeting for railway subjects as the very next model was yet another Railway Service Crane based on the No.10 outfit instruction leaflet 10.1. This variant was built in mid red green colours, it had also been substantially modified and the builder was Tony Brown. Motive power for the model was a restored 1929 Meccano steam engine which Tony told me could be run as a steam engine or powered up with compressed air – either way it produces enough power to drive the model. Tony’s write up gave me some idea of his modifications. The gearbox was redesigned to allow the engine to run in one direction only, and reverse was separately engineered into each movement. The main slew bearing was replaced with the smaller (and quite rare) post-war GRB, of which only a small number were ever produced. As a result of these changes the slew drive was significantly modified in order to get it into the space available. The base truck on which the crane is mounted was also modified to improve the deployable support arms as the original model design was inadequate to properly support the crane in action. All in all, quite an interesting variation on the standard model.

The next model on my tour was a very large railway bridge built by Robin Schoolar, a model that I reported on two years ago during its earliest stages of construction. The model is now more or less completed and is based on the Delftshavense Schie Bascule Rail Bridge, which is not far from Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Most bascule bridges are set at right angles to the feature they cross, which requires archways though the towers to allow traffic to pass over the bridge. This crossing was already on a skew alignment which the designers had to accommodate. The Dutch turned the skew to their advantage with an innovative asymmetric design offsetting the tower to one side of the rails. Robin has developed the model to a “Double Dutch Bridge” with two opposed lifting spans, each carrying two parallel tracks to match the prototype. The model now has a fixed span on one side to give an enhanced appreciation of its scale and scope, and one side also has handrails and a spiral staircase. The model has consumed vast numbers of flanged sector plates (134) and even more fishplates! Robin modelled the bridge largely in yellow parts to match the colour scheme of the bridge as originally constructed around 1990. It has since been repainted in white, but Robin has insufficient white parts to build it in that colour scheme! The scale is around 7mm per foot (1:43) to suit the PECO O gauge track used in the model. The lifting sections of the bridge are balanced by a 7Lb lead counterweight such that the model takes minimal effort to operate. A small red plastic cased Meccano motor running on only three volts provides ample power to lift the bascules.

Mick Burgess seems to have made the upright piano in the corner of the hall his own for the purposes of showing off the smaller models he usually brings to the meetings. This is an ideal location for his models, since most are relatively small and are often constructed from standard outfit instructions or other well known sources, such as the Meccano Magazine. On this occasion, he brought along no less than four attractive, familiar models for our delectation. His first model was the Racing Car, model No.4.20 from the 1954 series manuals, although variations of this model can be traced back to 1937. The model was constructed using 1954 series parts with, then new, slotted holes. The back end has been modified to use four triangular plates and a flat trunnion, and the drivers’ seat has a flat trunnion added to give more legroom. Built following a discussion about the model on the New Zealand forum. The model is not too difficult to construct but much plate bending is required and the rear axle is overly complicated.

Mick’s second model was the Sports Car, model NM12 from the More New Models leaflet No.6. This model was built more of less as described using 1960s light red and green coloured parts. Minor changes made include a lowered windscreen height, the addition of a spare wheel and the model does have working steering.

The third model was the lovely little representation of Sir Malcolm Campbells Bluebird car. The prototype achieved a world record speed of 301.15 mph in 1935. The model was originally designed by Bernard Périer as featured in CQ59, and the original model was built using yellow and zinc coloured parts, which somehow do not look right. So Mick built the model using reversed blue-gold plates in conjunction with 1978 period dark blue strips and girders, plus a few “specials” cannibalised from damaged parts. To improve the fidelity of the model, Mick made a number of modifications and additions including air brakes over the rear wheel arches, an air intake ahead of the engine, exhaust stubs, a shaped fairing over the front wheels and a part glazed windscreen. The model is not powered but does have working steering. The union jack stickers on the tail fin were obtained from the 1979 Army Combat set. To set the model off properly, Sir Malcolm is represented by a figure from a current plastic Meccano outfit. And finally, Mick’s fourth model was the Motor Coach, model No.9.8 in the 1949-53 No.9 outfit instruction manual. The model was constructed using the correct period mid red and green coloured parts with a few modifications to enhance its appearance. For example, the seats were made from blue-gold flexible plates and the hub caps were recovered from rusty wheel discs polished to a bright metal finish. The coach body of the original model was made up from perforated flat plates and Mick has replaced these with flexible plates to reduce the perforated appearance of the model. The model has working steering, opening door and boot lid and the rear wheels have some articulation to enable the model to negotiate uneven ground. This is a heavy model, but the No.1 clockwork motor has sufficient power to propel it over a smooth surface. Mick found the original instructions to be quite accurate for a change, but the tricky areas of construction were the roof corners and boot panelling. This is a really nice looking model and is most evocative of the coach I went to school on in the early 1950s!

Alan Covel is still building supersize vehicle models in immaculately presented yellow and zinc coloured parts. He brought his fourth, and largest to date, Morgan three wheeler to this meeting. The prototype for the model was the 1930s Morgan Super Sports car. Alan chose a scale of 5:8 for his model, a little over half scale, no doubt determined by the 16” diameter bicycle wheels he uses for these large models. This latest model is impressively large, measuring about 6ft long by 33” wide, and the detailing, especially around the V-twin air cooled engine is very good indeed. Since Alan is fairly slight of build, he entertained us in the now familiar way by just squeezing into the model, which could easily carry his weight. This must prove something, but I am not sure what it is! Alan must have had a few parts left over as I found a diminutive little box truck nearby, which I was told was made by him – but I am not sure about this either.

It appears that Paul Brecknell has been working rather slowly on a model of a Bucyrus Excavator for some time now. He brought along the crawler base and turntable, which looked to be reasonably complete to me. The tracked base measures about 12” long by ~10” wide and has tracks made up from 2½” flat girders. The turntable is the fairly standard 5½” diameter construction. All in all, a well made and pretty robust construction for the super-structure when it arrives. Paul also brought along the extending digger arm for the excavator, which I regret to say I did not have a proper look at. Made up from girders and flat girders this required considerable patience and skill to set up in order to achieve the essential precision for correct operation. This is definitely a model full of engineering promise, and one to look out for next time.

Alongside, was the beginning of another earth moving machine, this time by John Hornsby. John has started work on the Dragline model, SM27, and so far he has built up the undercarriage. I always think this is an interesting model and we have seen a few examples over recent years, so I look forward to seeing another interpretation in due course.

Now for an assortment of heavy duty vehicles of various kinds. First, I came upon a nice heavy duty chassis built by Richard Payn. I have little information on this model other than it is a Scammell Explorer, measuring about 15” long by about 7½” wide, and it has a single pair of driven front wheels and four driven rear wheels. The mechanical components all work of course and it has a relatively “simple” gear box and clutch. Since this model is still in construction, I am sure we will see it again at the next meeting.

Next was a very much bigger model chassis of the Tatra 8×8 Pipe Carrier, under construction by John Ozyer-Key. This chassis measures about 3ft long, or more, and everything about it is very detailed and massive. This is a seriously heavy weight vehicle which carries a rear mounted crane for shifting large pipes around. John gave a me a brief run through some of the chassis mechanical details which include; a six forward and reverse speed gearbox, 8×8 drive through seven differentials, of which two are lockable, and the wheel hubs each have 2:1 reduction gearing. The axle and inter-axle differentials are of the in-line Tatra type, steering is on the front four wheels and all eight wheels have independent swing arm suspension. The steering is power assisted by means of a cord operated ram. The stabilising outriggers will eventually be powered in and out, and up and down, but will be controlled manually. The model is being fitted with radio control, in common with John’s earlier models, so just about everything in this complex model will be remotely controlled. John still has some way to go, so this is yet another impressive model to look out for at future meetings.

The last of the large and mechanically detailed vehicle models was an American logging tractor with trailer constructed by Mark Rolson. This model was nicely presented having made use of a consistent yellow and green colour scheme, but most impressively, the model has a total of 18 large tyre wheels! Size wise, the tractor unit is about 18” long and the trailer adds another 4ft or so. Mark also brought along a rather more compact model of a Ford County tractor based on a design by John Ozyer-Key published in the Sheffield MG magazine. As might be expected, this model also bristles with mechanical detail. Of particular interest is the way in which the hydraulic functions have been mimicked mechanically – when powered the model runs very quietly and the “hydraulics” operate very smoothly.

I think John Rix is a new(ish) member, however, he certainly “knows his stuff” as he brought along a very nice Fire Engine, which was originally published as model of the month in MM for July1956. The model was designed to be within the scope of a No.8 outfit and John had constructed it using correct period mid red and green parts and, typically, he has also made some modifications and improvements. Few Meccano modellers can resist this temptation! The overall size of the model was approximately 18” long by about 7½” wide.

Lastly, it was nice to see John and Cynthia MacDonald again in their familiar corner. Unusually perhaps, John brought along a non-military model for a change. A modest Skip Truck was his offering on this occasion, and it had been built with the usual skill from, what appeared to be largely restored parts in a red and black colour scheme. The model measured approximately 18” long by about 6” wide and as ever all of the mechanical detail works, right down to the lights! And that, my friends, concluded another very successful and interesting meeting.

However, I must not forget our resident traders, John and Linda Thorpe and Mike Rhoades who manage to keep the supply lines moving for those of us who like to buy a few more parts and other items whenever we get the chance. I must also mention Bob Thompson, “Bob the Photographer”, who was very busy throughout the meeting sitting behind a wall of computer electronics and who managed to get a photographic record of the meeting onto the New Zealand Meccano website before the day was out. Quite an achievement I think. Not only that, but by the end of the meeting he had also made a start on cataloguing the builders and their models from the photo archives of previous meetings maintained by some of our members. In due course this will become a splendid resource as well as historical record, but I hate to think how much of Bob’s time will be taken up doing this. As ever, I am grateful to those members who were good enough to give me some written facts about their models, it really does make my job easier and it makes the report more interesting for my readers.

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