Eiffel Tower
Our Eiffel Tower dawarfs the little Nano rounabout. Both models were on their last outing before being returned to the building stock!

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23rd October 2010 HTMC Meeting

Another local trip this one, and another run in the van as the Eiffel Tower is too tall to fit in the car. On the way we called into the Beckenham & West Wickham MRC’s exhibition in Orpington. Having been there the day before helping the guys set up we wanted to have a bit of a look around before we set off to the Meccano meeting. Lots of interesting stuff to see, but that is another story not for the pages of this website…

Roy Gosswell's fine looking fire engines

On arriving at St. John’s Church hall it was evident that we had made it just in time as the car park was beginning to fill and table space was disappearing quicker than Smokie on the trail of a preoccupied squirrel. Unlike last weekend, our arrival in the car park was a little less painful, plenty of room for our large model transporter parked inconspicuously amongst the Rollers and Bentley. I think it is only the orange light on top that gave it away…

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower may be a tall model but it is easy to set up. The only assembly required is to get the steps out and fit the flagpole on the top. This makes it very much a ‘plonk and play’ model. We also had our Nano roundabout making its final appearance before the scrap men move in and its parts are returned to the building stock. It was also the final appearance of the Eiffel Tower. Although this was not the intention, it proved just too flimsy to transport long distance without a fair bit of work. The trouble was it was loosing nuts and bolts at an unacceptable rate in the back of the van. I guess the vibration frequency must be just right for undoing 5/32 Whitworth threads. No matter how much we tightened it up it was all loose by the time we got to the venue and again by the time we got home. We had planned to take it to Ironbridge in November but without rebuilding and nail-varnishing all the threads it will never make it in one piece after 3½ hours of rattling about in the back of the van. 

Meccano Cabinet

This is the cabinet that Ian Sharp brought back to this meeting for Sue to take a look at.

Last time we were at HTMC Ian Sharp was showing his early Meccano cabinet. Sue took lots of pictures of it with the intention of posting them here. Somehow yours truly managed to delete them before Sue had a chance to file them. The less said about that the better. Fortunately for me Ian attended the SELMEC show last weekend and I was able to ask him if he would be so kind as to bring the box to the HTMC this weekend – he agreed and Sue got her pictures. 



There was a good turnout of people and models this time around. And some of the ones to catch our eye are shown here. Roy Goswell showed a couple of very impressive fire engines including a Morris Magirus turntable ladder that would extend to 7ft 6in – that was high enough to put out a fire at the top of our Eiffel Tower! GlobeTony ‘Number 10’ Parmee proved that he can build models other than 10 set creations by presenting a model of the Observation coach from the No.9 set of the mid 50s. Tony was also showing his sphere inside a sphere inside a sphere. Built as an exercise in using up all those 2½ and 5½ inch strips it certainly makes an interesting model. Turning the handle caused the globes to rotate at differing speed thanks to an epicyclic gearbox.

Ken and Vera Wright are relative newcomers to the hobby. Having managed to get a collection of part together and some more recent sets they have been busy building. Ken was showing a couple of his models including a fine model of a Harley Davidson in it’s own display case along with others.

Ken Wright built this very neat Harley

Furnace charging machine
Furnace-charging machine - an improved version of a 1950 manual model by Keith Patey

An interesting model, shown by Keith Patey, was based on a No.9 set plan from the 1950s. The furnace-charging machine was modified from the original instructions by making the base larger. Although the model looks simple at first glance, there are many handles and wheels to turn requiring an element of skill to successfully charge the furnace. Viewers were invited to have a go!

Richard Payn brought along his immaculate dark blue and dark yellow model inspired by Eric Taylor’s Iconic model. The outline of the tractor is similar to the original but it is fitted with a double differential steering system of Richard’s own design. 



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Richard's imaculate crawler tractor