Super model plan on which the model was based
Sue - cought in the act!
Gotcha! Sue is cought in the act...

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2nd – 4th July Skegness 2010

Where does the time go? It only seems like yesterday that we were in Skegness displaying our version of the Scottish Derrick crane. Last year we had our models ready to go as we had displayed them at Meccanuity a couple of months earlier. This year the normal late night scenario played out the day before getting to bed at 3am! 

Skegnes 2010
Model of Skegness poster by Mike Hooper

Non-Meccano things have been getting in the way of serious model building in recent months. The stark realities of the situation, back in May, caused us to drop the idea of exhibiting the model of the transporter bridge at Ironbridge. Instead a hurriedly constructed model of Tower Bridge was built, giving us plenty of time to complete the bridge for Skegness. Well, that was the theory.

We have a plan…

The plan is the Super Model Leaflet SML21 plan to be precise. This is the Suspension type transporter bridge very loosely based on the bridge at Runcorn that was demolished in the 60s. The model instructions are restricted to the pre-war contents of the ‘L’ set of 1936. Lots of compromises were made in scale and the gondola was propelled in a non-prototypical manner. Knit one ...

We decided that we would follow the basic outline of the original but add a few ‘improvements’ such as bracing the towers with strips instead of string and most importantly to attempt to allow the gondola to be self propelled. Sue got the job of hanging the gonddola and this picture looks more like somthing out of a WI meeting than a Mecano building session!

The self propelled trolley

The trolley went though many rebuilds until it worked properly. problems with gear meshing and stiffness in the gear chain were eventually solved by using tri-axels and plastic gears. Power pickup was by way of rods held in the plastic handrail clips from one of the the crazy inventor's sets clipped into thick plastic strips that spanned the bridge sides. Return was via the structure of the model.

The final design for the trolley

All this took far longer than we expected and the model was only just finished in time. We had to forego the automated running but this was not the end of the world.

The bridge and builders - Thanks to Jim Bobyn for the photograph!

On the road

This model is a Volvo-sized model, when assembled; it just fits in Sue’s car! All the rest of the stuff along with Sue’s version of the ‘T’ form Meccanograph, a couple of Multimodels built from the new 25 model set and the luggage was packed into the car and it was time to head north. As we were going away for several days Smokie was locked in the shed with a big bowl of munchies and left to fend for himself. We thought about freezing him but dismissed the idea as defrosting him in the microwave might singe his coat. As we were aiming to get to the hall just after lunch, there was no early start and therefore no stop on route for the traditional full English breakfast.  The three-and-a-bit hour journey takes us out of London via the Blackwall tunnel and the M11, a much easier route than having to get to the other side of town. The journey was non problematic although the last 40 miles are painfully slow having to follow winding arterial roads with low, camera-enforced, speed limits. We made it to the venue a bit later than planned as we had left London later than we had intended, after not getting to bed until the early hours the night before.

On arrival it was obvious that our VIP status had been down-graded. Our free parking pass of last year was entitled Artistes Pass, this year not only was the word ‘Artiste’ missing but they had a £5.00 price tag! Well, I tell you I was ready to go and sulk in the Winnebago until my correct status had been reinstated. It was only Sue pointing out that first of all I did not have a Winnebago to sulk in Ticket and that even if I did, all that would happen is I would miss out on all the fun. I relented and paid the fiver.

After finding a table and setting up our models it was time to book in to the B&B, sorry ‘Guesthouse’. This year we were staying in Skegness itself. The past couple of years have seen us driving in and out every day adding about a hundred miles to the overall tally. This year we made it up and back without visiting a filling station – a welcome economy with the cost of fuel at the moment. After a meal in the town and a few drinks in the club it was off to bed to be bright and full of beans for the three-day event. 


The show was a great success this year with lots of models we had not seen before. There seemed to be more people around as well. Skegness is always a good place to acquire more parts as there is usually a good selection of dealers, this year was no exception. First port of call was Stuart Burroll’s stand to spend some money with Mrs B as the man himself was constantly popping back to his workshop to knock out that special part…Sue was rather restrained this year apart from gathering a pile of Newsmags. I was a bit remiss as I only seemed to come away with a couple of unmade M&S 2008 biplane kits (the red ones), a bag full of Rocket engines, also red and a couple of boxed MO motor sets which also just happen to be red – can you spot a theme here?

Lighting set

Having got away with a fairly cheap weekend I was somewhat nervous to discover that Sue had found a boxed 1930’s lighting set that she was showing an unhealthy interest in. Ever since Sue saw all that 1930’s stuff of Malcolm Hanson’s at TIMS back in May, where she spotted one of the lamps in Malcolm's model of a house, her curiosity has been aroused.  Low and behold there on Mike Rhoades stand was a very nice looking set with a price tag to match! As far as I know, the little set returned to Yorkshire, but it was nice to see it and Sue agreed that is was not something we needed.

Treacle mine

Chris Shute and his fascinating all-Meccano model of the Wem Treacle Mine won the Issigones shield. A fantastic model that is well worth a look if you happen to see it at a show this year. The runners up were as follows:

2nd prize went to Guy Kind with his Lemniscate Crane

3rd prize went to Brian Caffer and his Juggler ball roller - Watch the video HERE

4th Prize went to Michel Breal with the HUGE rotary bucket excavator

5th Prize went to Howard Somerville with his Rope Works Engine Lots more photos can be found HERE

Now it is time to unwind and look forward to the TIMS meeting in August.



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SkegEx attracts people from all around the globe. Meccano Hunter Jim Bobyn from Canada, dressed for the part, as he began to strip the dealers of unusual items while the assembled crowd looked on helplessly
Plastic gears and tri-axels run nice and smoothly
Lighting set!
The lighting set Sue took a shine to...