Yet another excellent afternoon's entertainment for our third meeting for 2003.  Who said you couldn't have fun on a cold and wet winter's afternoon in Melbourne?  Altogether we had a roll-up of 40 - 33 members, 4 wives and 3 children.  At the start of formal proceedings President Mike welcomed us all as well as two visitors, Alan and Alison - Andrew Weaver's children.  He reminded us that the next Club meeting in August is the Annual General Meeting and that one of items of business will be to elect a Committee for the following year.  All Committee positions fall vacant at the start of the AGM, so all are up for grabs!  Anyone who may be motivated to participate in the new committee can obtain a Nomination Form from the Secretary.

Annual Exhibition
- 11 & 12 Oct 2003

Kimball Monger , the Coordinator reported that preparations are well underway - in particular the matter of Public Liability Insurance is in hand.  The main requirement now is for members to start building models to bring along.  Kimball is particularly looking for models from the Outfit Manuals and added that small models are very welcome.  (Kimball is a regular exhibitor at our outside exhibitions and his experience has shown that the public really identifies with such models - remember the customer is always right!)  Some members may be discouraged from exhibiting because they can attend only for one day.  Kimball's suggestion is that it may be possible to get someone else to look after your model on the day you can't come.  But if you can exhibit only for one day, approach the Exhibition Committee anyway.  A Model Entry Form is enclosed with the Newsletter - please return to Jack Parsisson by 11 Sep.

Outside Exhibitions
Jack Parsisson provided a run down on these activities.  Details of forthcoming expos are set out on the back page.  Entries are still open for the Show at the World Vision Centre in November.  Jack, Carol and Mike Maloney went down to Morwell on the June long weekend for a very successful exhibition (see Mike's report) and were well assisted by Arthur Kirkbright (who lives locally) with setting up etc.  The Latrobe Valley Model Railway Club was obviously impressed - they have sent the MMC a donation of $150.  This is most gratefully received.  Another expo (at Sandown) on 21 & 22 June was advised to the Club at short notice.

Model Presentation
Peter During led off with two of his recent creations.  The first was a tricycle from a No 1 set manual of the 1950s modified using a generous supply of Ezy-Bilt parts!  His second model was a mobile crane from a No 4 manual - an attractive model Peter.

Doug Ward showed off two mechanisms , a 4 speed and reverse gearbox and a rear axle and differential assembly.  The gearbox was designed by Philip Webb and was described in the IM about a year ago.  Doug found it to be straightforward to build and very satisfactory in operation.  His plan is to incorporate these mechanisms into a motor lorry described in CQ - perhaps to be ready for our October Exhibition?

John Brand fulfilled a childhood dream and constructed the truck from the 1950s No 8 manual, using a R/G No 8 he acquired a year or so ago.  Another very attractive model to look at, though John describes the design of the steering as rather agricultural given the limited range of parts in a No 8.

Roger Hall brought along a multi-ratio epicyclic gearbox and motor assembly obtained from Dick Smith.  The design is similar to the one Peter Dalliston demonstrated at the April meeting but is generally not as good - the output shaft must be bushed to fit Meccano and the mounting holes need to be modified.  Roger also produced one of the new Meccano sets (with flexible strips that will spring back after you curve them) - he had to go to Launceston to get it!  His other contributions were a 2.7 million to 1 worm reduction gearbox and a "Climbing Monkey" game.  (Turing the handle faster may not make the monkey limb faster because of the slowing effect of a governor on the input drive!)

Andrew Weaver demonstrated the crane for the 100th Anniversary Set - he has trouble with the legs continually slipping down.  His other model was a motor car from the 20 Model Set.

Barry McDonald' s contribution was another car , this time built from the contents of the Anniversary Set.

Mike Maloney has tried making a model of a solenoid operated engine using Märklin parts - but it won't work!  The core of the Märklin solenoid is much smaller than the Meccano equivalent which may be part of the problem.  (Well, you will insist in dabbling in the dark realms of non-Meccano Mike!).

Bill Inglis has improved the motor cycle (Motion Series No 50) that he showed in December by adding "trainer wheels" to keep it upright when moving slowly - all within the contents of the set.

Kimball Monger demonstrated that "small is beautiful" with a delightful model of an excavator in French Plastic Meccano that he had bought that day at a garage sale!  Kimball would like to see plastic models at our October Exhibition - they're a great hit with younger visitors.  Does anyone have Plastic Meccano?  If so, what about an exhibition model?

Peter Dalliston showed us the model built by his 7 year old grandson that has attracted so much interest on Spanner recently.  Peter posted a picture of the model and asked Spanners to guess what it was.  There were over 30 replies on my count - Meccanomen clearly enjoy a challenge!  [Answer:  The model is the Starship Enterprise ].

Tony Press has been acquiring rare Meccano (again!!) and had on display the "E" outfit of 1907 - the No 10 set of the day.  It contains sufficient parts to build a 16' model of the Forth Rail Bridge (see Vern's column) but its makeup is very different from sets familiar to most of us.  There are no plates, only wheels, girders and strips.  The last are similar to today's strips - similar gauge with rounded ends - but the hole punching is somewhat unconventional and they are covered by a very rough tin plating.  The girders are of the original "Mechanics Made Easy" type - lighter gauge tinplate with rolled edges and square ends.

Tony's other acquisition is a
No 3M set from 1971, packed in an enormous box (mostly polystyrene foam) and containing the (in)famous "Junior Powerdrive Motor", without doubt the worst motor ever marketed by Meccano.

Not to be outdone,
Mike Wright produced a No 8 set from about 1987 in unused condition (in a much smaller box than the 3M!).  When Marc Rebibio took over the Meccano factory in Calais in 1985 he decided to re-introduce the older style 1970's sets.  But there seem to be very few examples of sets larger than about No 5 or 6 about these days.
Meeting 14th June 2003