The first weekend in July has been a fixture in many diaries for nearly forty years – that was when people from all over the UK and far beyond gathered in the Embassy Theatre, Skegness, for a vast display of Meccano models. Recently the date has changed to late June, but the show rolls on.
This year I made it there on the Saturday of the three-day event, my journey limited only by the usual thin-wheeled driver whom I encountered on the Lincolnshire border who clearly thought the speed limits signs were in kph rather than mph!
But the show was worth it – a chance to catch up with old friends and to see their latest models. The final vote by exhibitors on the Sunday ranked the best as
1) Terry Allen, Pickard Racing Car
2)Richard Smith, Duchess of Devonshire Locomotive
3) Becky Picking, Sitting pet dog
4) Ian Mordue, Fairbairn Crane
5) Chris Bates, Bristol Dockside Crane
All good models in their own way but I was particularly delighted by the last one, seen below in grey. I’d admired it and chatted to its builder, and introduced myself as the the designer of the original Mecano model and the author of the Model-plan based on it from which he had taken his inspiration. That was thirty years ago!