The past six months has flown by and here is a catch-up on what we have been up to...
A holiday in Scotland and the North of England at the end of May was squeezed in between exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show, the summer club meeting of The South East London Meccano Club (SELMEC) and a club outing. SELMEC is very active in the local community and supports all sorts of other events during the year. Sadly, most of the time we are otherwise engaged on one thing or another. This year an invite came along that we just could not refuse...
A day out at the sewage works...
|The ornate ironwork is being restored to its former glory stage by stage|
Okay, we are not totally bonkers. Crossness pumping station is the southern outflow of Sir Joseph Bazalgette’s answer to ‘The big stink’ London’s escalating sewerage problem of the 1850s. The government of the time made available vast sums of money to build the extensive sewer system part of which was Crossness pumping station. Crossness boasts the four largest rotative beam engines in the world one of which is fully restored, another is in the process of being stripped down and the other two are awaiting their turn. The place is a palace to Victorian engineering at its most arrogant. The interior was decorated to a standard that would not lookout of place in a grand hotel of the day. Money was obviously no object. Lots more information can be found on the Crossness Engines Trust website
|Hummm... That bloke looks familiar. The loom always attracts attention|
The event was a steam day and model engineering show. We (SELMEC) were invited to display a selection of Meccano models. We did and a good time was had by all. Sue and I took our partially restored Meccano hand loom and a clock based on some instructions, found in a 1930’s manual, along with a dealer display windmill. As usual, the loom attracted the most attention from children (of all ages), Mums and Dads. For more details of the loom, see HERE
|The restored pump engine is spectacular to see|
Sue is a steam engine and early architecture junkie. She was in her element there enthralled by the whole event. Not only are the engines really impressive, they are housed in Grade I listed buildings. If you get a chance to go, don’t think twice the place is fantastic and it would make a good day out for the whole family. There are modern facilities and sensibly priced refreshments are available.
For me the trade stands are my nemesis, I can’t resist a bargain. Several visits to the second-hand book sellers, during the day, increased our book collection. A great day out and I am looking forward to next year's event to be held on Sunday 23rd June 2013, 10:30am - 4:00pm more details HERE
The main event - Skegex2012
|Skegex12 - A birds eye view|
|Joe is delighted to get his conservatory back!|
Time to hit the road back to The Smoke but not before a trip on the Middlesbrough Transporter bridge. and while we were there a trip back across the river using the Newport Lift Bridge, a model of which Joe had just built, displayed and won a prize for at Skegx12. finding ourselves back on the wrong side of the river again we took a final trip back to the south side via the modern composite road bridge.
|Whitby - Fantastic fish and chips!|
The loom sat in the van overnight until we could work out the best way to get it ensconced in the Meccano room. Here at Laughton Towers It was no trouble to get it through the front door and we managed to get it as far as the dining room where it sat for a further period while we measured and planned how on earth we were going to get it up the stairs and into the Meccano room.
|The late Dennis Weston demonstrating his loom In Darlington, November 1999|
|Ta da! My pusher came third and I won a bronze medal...|
|A selection of models on display at the NELMC show|
|James Young and me!|
The NELMC show has always been a favourite of ours. We would usually attend as visitors but with my new role, as am official of the club, it was time to take part and exhibit a few of our models. Our dealer windmill has been show a couple of times this year so we thought one last airing was in order before it went back into storage for a while. We also showed our Steam Derrick and a selection of steam engines including our refurbished Mamod SP3 repainted in 1958 light red. This fills the gap in steam engine production and gives us an engine to use in models built in our preferred colour scheme of red and zinc.
|1958 steam engine. Maybe...|
The NELMEC show rounded of the year of exhibiting for us and now it was time to consolidate our Meccano activities and start looking towards 2013. It has been a strange year for us with no big projects completed but a few new ones begun. So that is it, a potted resume of what we have been up to lately and now all that is left is to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!