Model Display

Alexander Tritt led off and showed us his model of an Aircraft
with Tug made from Junior (plastic) Meccano.  It was an interesting
model, nicely made and showing the imagination that only a 7 year
old possesses.

Next was
Doug Ward with a model in nickel of level crossing gates
(Model 6.1 from the 4-7 Manual of 1928).  Nice to look at but its
operation leaves a lot to be desired if the manual instructions are
followed!  Doug is embarking on a large crane and brought along
the two main side frames of the boom.

Sandra Hall got into the Christmas spirit with a freelance model of Santa on a horse drawn sleigh filled with lollies which were later handed our for all to enjoy.  It was a welcome seasonal gesture and a very attractive model as well.  Sandra’s other model was a Ferris Wheel in Junior Meccano.

Roger Hall has again been working on using electronic control modules (from Dick Smith’s) in Meccano models.  This time it was a controller that started, ran for 3 –5 min (adjustable), stopped for a similar period and then re-started.  Roger had it set up to control the motion of a baby ferris wheel and it was quite effective.  Another novelty model was a small car powered by a hand-held cranked
generator.  It certainly worked, but there must be easier ways of powering a model!
Roger also brought along the Set No 4 from the new Designer Set series to show us though he has not tried building any models yet.  This set costs around $80 and has been in the shops for only a couple of months.

Peter During had his Automatic Press from the 5 EL Electrikit Outfit of the 1970s as well as a small windmill powered by a Junior Powerdrive motor – a rather uncommon and (in my view) rather unsatisfactory motor.

Kimball Monger seems fascinated with mono-cyclists – in fact monorail anything! and demonstrated two of his latest fascinating creations.  The first was originally described by Bernard Périer in CQ.  Kimball had changed the design of the tower supporting the cyclist so that most of the structure was to either side rather than directly behind the cyclist thereby improving the appearance of the model (in
Kimball’s view! – I’m inclined to agree). 

The second model was one of Kimball’s own design – most
unusual but very interesting as are most of Kimball’s creations.

Tony Press had a model of an early No 2 Constructor Aircraft (biplane) and compared this with a replica made about 10 years ago by the late Ken Gordon.  Ken had done a remarkable job since he had never seen the model and had fabricated the parts using rather rough sketches send by a friend in Sydney.

John Hutchinson also brought along a model from a pre-war constructor outfit - a French Sports Car (quite unusual I’m told).  John also had a neat display stand for it but the only trouble was that the stand had been made for Binns Road cars and the wheel base of the French car was about 5 mm too wide!  Still, I’m sure you’ll agree it looks nice in the photo.

Film of South African Exhibition

Bill Inglis has been delving through his archives and came across a mystery film from South Africa made in the 1970s.  Bill had no projector and had little idea about the film, other than it was about Meccano.  It turned out to be a shoot of a Meccano exhibition put on by the Transvaal Meccano Club at Johannesburg in June 1973 as part of the Rand Hobbies Fair.  So Bill brought the film along and
Bruce Douglas his projector and the film was screened in Lindsay’s living room at the end of the meeting.  It was impressive display (organised by Peter Matthews who also did the film voice over) with many large and intricate models all operating.  It was also something of a marathon – 7 days and
35,000 visitors!
Meeting at Lindsay Carroll's December 14th 2003
Dandenong Show – 8-9 Nov 2003

Our Club had been invited to provide a Meccano exhibit at the Dandenong Agricultural and Pastoral
Society’s Annual Show, held at the Dandenong Showgrounds on the weekend of 8 & 9 November,
Jack Parsisson, Dave Denner, Kimball Monger, John Brand and Graham Jost took up the invitation. 

Set-up was on the Friday evening prior in the very large Exhibitions building, and for once
we had plenty of space.  This made a wonderful difference to setting out our displays properly around
a big open rectangle, which was demonstrably a very satisfactory layout for both exhibitor and viewer
– I hope our Annual Club Exhibition Chairman took note!

The Dandenong Show itself is on a grand scale.  The numbers of people passing though were very
large indeed – or so it seemed.  On the Saturday evening, it was not until near 9.00 pm that the last of
us finally managed to escape!  But the numbers of interested folk more than made up for any
tiredness that might otherwise have been felt.  The only sour note? – one of those noise-making firms
who think that louder is always better, and who were unfortunately not far from us and actually in the
same building.  Nevertheless, it was another enjoyable weekend of good Meccano “show and tell”!
World Vision Centre – 15-16 Nov 2003

The Annual Model Train Expo and Hobby Show was held for the last time at the World Vision Centre
on this weekend.  Next year the show will be held at a new venue at Brandon Park, and one month
later, during the second weekend in December.

Our Club has exhibited at this Show every year since it was first held in June 1998 – it must have
been good as there was another in November that year!  Our representatives at that first Show were
John Brand, Peter During, Ken Gordon, Graham Jost, Tony Press and Patrick Russell-Young – it was
a great WVC “first”!  In the years since, we have always had a place in the main hall itself, but this
year we were allocated a rather smaller space in the foyer - this meant that we each had to curtail
rather severely what we might otherwise have had on show.  The numbers attending might have been
down a little on those for previous years, but the fascination was still there.  The same five members
exhibited as for the Dandenong Show one week earlier.

I, for one, will miss the World Vision Centre.  Perhaps the new venue will be as good, but with good
lighting, sound-deadening floors and ceiling, effective air-conditioning, and with continuous tea and
coffee, morning and afternoon teas and lunch all provided gratis – I wonder?
The final meeting of the MMC was held at the traditional location of Lindsay Carroll’s on the usual balmy summer’s day – made to order you might say!  How many of us realise that having the December meeting at Lindsay’s is a tradition that dates back to 1986!  Thank you Lindsay for being a wonderful host once again. 

Attendance comprised 38 members, 5 family members and 3 visitors. 
After a brisk hour or so of model inspection, examining trading tables
and general chit chat, Mike Maloney our President called the meeting
to order at just after 2 pm.  After thanking Lindsay for hosting the meeting,
Mike introduced several visitors including John Stark and his Yvonne with
their children from Nelson in New Zealand.  They have been visiting Victoria
for the last 2 weeks – nice to meet yet another Kiwi!  John’s special interest
is clocks and he is something of a dab hand – have a look at the NZFMM
website.  His claim to fame is that he once lived in the same street as
Lindsay Bond a well known Meccano dealer in NZ who also amassed an
impressive Meccano collection during his lifetime.