Meeting at Jack Parsisson’s 14 Feb 04

by Graham Jost with photos by Peter Dalliston, Dave Denner,
Jack Parsisson and Tony Press.

Whew – it was hot – REALLY HOT!  The thermometer on Jack’s back verandah exceeded the predicted 41ºC well BEFORE the meeting began!!  So we all very sensibly opted for the shade surrounding the back lawn for our meeting proper.  The attendance was pretty good considering:  25 members, two family members, and three visitors.  As usual, the first hour or so saw intense model inspection, chit chat and of course trading.  In fact so intense was all this that the meeting proper did not begin until 2.20 pm.

Mike announced two new members, David Lawrence from South Carolina (USA), our second
international member and
Alan Towsey from NSW.  Both are retired, with a long association with Meccano.  This brings our current membership to 73, which now includes two overseas members.

Jack reported briefly on the one outside exhibition that we have held since our last meeting – at the Gippsland Heritage Park at Moe over the weekend of January 17 and 18 (more later on this page).

Graham reported that there are still some copies of our 2003 Annual Exhibition Magazine available – get in quick before they all go!

Dave Denner drew attention to the ex-Doug Wilson (a former MMC member) model exhibition now on permanent display in Marysville.  For details contact Dave if you are interested (but, using the ABC vernacular he remembers that “a charge applies”!)

Callum Hiscock was first up with his model motorcycle.  This was a model of his own design, but its interesting characteristic was that it was made of wooden “Meccano”.  Now this is a first for our Club, Callum! 

Alexander Tritt was next, and he had also produced a motorcycle (motor scooter?) after the
single photo on the rear cover of the 20-model manual.  Well done to both these very young
modellers for their fine efforts.

Dave Denner demonstrated his Renault F1 remote controlled racing car – the one the Poms couldn’t motorise or steer by the steering wheel!  Well done, Dave – you showed ‘em!!  This is a fine model, after one specially available in kit form in Europe from Renault dealers, and to be available here later this year.  Dave has had significant international success since Jack publicised Dave’s effort on “Spanner” recently – it is to feature in the Runnymede Newsletter, the International Meccanoman AND CQ – now this last is a REAL feather in your Meccano modelling cap, Dave.  Well done indeed.

Peter During demonstrated his latest Ferris wheel – I’m not sure if this is a new one, Peter, but the flashing lights worked a treat.  Jim Osborne rendered Peter some assistance in this regard.

Graham Russell had modelled TWO motorised T-model Fords, in TWO colour schemes (Eh! black and black?), one new, and one (much) older.  These really looked the part, though Graham had succumbed to a dash of non-Meccano improvisation.  I’m not sure why – they really don’t need that contamination!

Sandra Hall demonstrated another of the models from the current “Ferris Wheel” set, a fairground ride.  It is a neat model, Sandra.

Roger Hall followed with a solar powered pterodactyl using “Constructor” parts.  In view of the
intensity of the solar radiation that afternoon, I’m surprised it didn’t take off, but a dash of binding in the works might have been the explanation.

The final model on show was from one of our more confirmed non-builders – or should I say more confirmed collectors –
Tony Press !  This was a real beauty, a reproduction of the 1909 Wright Flyer as illustrated in a 1909 Meccano Manual.  With a wingspan of some 3’, the scale is approximately 1” to 1’.  Tony had motorised it, a small motor hidden in the “engine” driving via straight and crossed chain drives to those first Meccano “flailing spoon” type propellers, the drives ensuring contra rotating propeller rotation direction as per the original – I was impressed with the smoothness of the lightly-oiled crossed chains operating within that restraining sleeve piece.  Forward elevator and rear rudder and wing tip warping were faithfully reproduced, along with Frank’s advice, in those early pre-flexible plate days, of using cardboard if you must – in this case the wings, rudder and elevator surfaces.  Although there was no danger of it taking off, it did operate with a delightful hum – lost I suppose in an exhibition setting, but lovely to hear – I wondered whether the stiff cardboard surfaces might have been operating as sound amplifiers to add to the framework vibration?

In closing the meeting and before we all descended on afternoon tea and more cool drinks
thoughtfully provided by
Carol , Mike thanked both Carol and Jack for their hospitality on a day, the warmth of which was not of their choosing!
Our first "gig" for 2004 was to be at the Gippsland Heritage Park (formerly "Old Gippstown") in Moe ,
about an hour-and-a-half's drive from Melbourne, as part of their Annual Hobbies Expo. 
Kimball Monger, Dave Denner, Jack and Carol Parsisson, Peter Dalliston and Graham and Mary Jost fronted up for this show, and what a beauty it turned out to be.  A very gentlemanly opening time of 11.00 am meant that provided we set out from home at a reasonable hour, there would still be plenty of time to set up before then - and even have a quick look around this very comprehensive establishment.  This was in fact the fifth annual models show to be staged at the site, and management is both keen and pleased to see it growing from strength to strength each year.  It included displays of model powerboats, aircraft, cars, sailing ships, plastic scale models, the Gippsland Model Engineers, trains, trucks, radio-controlled everything and even dolls houses and furniture!  Jack and Carol had already
come down the night before to make sure that things would be all shipshape and ready for our show. 

Then, after we were all set up, and come 11 o'clock, the fans began to appear - in quantity - and thus it continued throughout the day.  We were in the old Tynong Theatre, which is one of the very many buildings that have been moved to the site for their preservation.  As this building is rather compact, it is actually rather cosy - and we had it all to ourselves!!  The first day's show concluded at 4.00 pm, after which we had been invited to a most enjoyable evening barbeque, even given an occasionally rather chilly wind.

We all stayed in town overnight, so it was an easy start to Sunday, with the doors opening at 10.00 am.  This was preceded by a hearty breakfast on site, doubtless so that we would all be in fine form for the day to come.  And as before, a constant stream of interested visitors enjoyed our display, and with the day finishing this time an hour earlier at 3.00 pm, we were all back home again well and truly before the day was done.

This was one of the most enjoyable of the outside shows some of us do each year, and in view of the many favourable comments made, it is quite likely that we will be invited back again next year.  For those who have yet to experience the enjoyment and camaraderie of such a Meccano activity, mark this opportunity down as one you might like to try.

Graham Jost
Photos Peter Dalliston & Jack Parsisson