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Clarification of Dates

Important — please take note!

Hi everyone,

There are two event dates which I need to clarify as early as possible:

  1. The Magic of Meccano Show at the London Museum of Water and Steam is on 23rd - 24th April 2016

    I may have caused some confusion on the meeting reminders thinking it was the previous weekend!
    The events page does show the correct dates.
     
  2. The RMG June meeting has been re-scheduled for 28th May 2016 (Bank Holiday Weekend)

    Unfortunately, our usual slot for the first Saturday in June was already booked up, so this was our best alternative option. The events page has now been amended.

Please check your diaries and make sure you have the correct dates listed.

Apologies for any inconvenience which may have been caused!

A Golden Spanner in our Midst !

No doubt everyone has heard on the grapevine already, but it's always nice to make these kind of announcements! 

At the ISM Annual General Meeting 2015, held at the Christchurch centre Henley, during the Henley Gathering, Our very own president and Founder, Nick Rodgers was awarded the highly coveted Golden Spanner Award.

In the words of Adrian Williams, the award is not for being a skilled modeller, but for being a jolly nice chap!

Congratulations Nick, on behalf of everyone who would add their vote to this nomination!

written by Pete Wood.

Below is the letter of recommendation written by Colin Hoare, on behalf of the nominating group - CMAMAS. (The Canadian Modelling Association for Meccano and Allied Systems).

 

The Executive of the Canadian Modelling Association for Meccano and Allied Systems would to nominate Nick Rodgers as a candidate for the 2015 Golden Spanner Award.

Nick Rodgers can best be defined as the mastermind behind the Runnymede Meccano Guild that keeps the club in the forefront of the hobby, as one of the top clubs around the world. Furthermore, Nick Rodgers has consistently constructed quality models that he has built to his own design, many of which have been assembled as closely as possible to replicate the prototypes that he has copied. His ability to curve Flexible Plates to follow the profiles of the originals is outstanding. As proof of this, his most recent model, that of a Bulk Cement Carrier, was of such a high standard that it may never be equalled.

Nick is a prolific modelbuilder. He probably has built more individual models than 95% of Meccanomen around the world, the plans for many of which have yet to be published. He has also, at his own volition, undertaken two significant projects that has contributed to the body of literature of the hobby.

The first of these was to step back into history, and take the Set 7 and Set 8 Manuals from the 1950's that Meccano Limited included with the red & green sets of that era, then rebuild the models according to the instructions. From his published comments on their ease of construction (or otherwise), he showed which of these models that could be assembled easily, and others that would have create difficulties for young enthusiasts. One can read his comments on each of the models when they were duly published in the “RMG Newsletter.”

The second project resulted from his personal liaison with the late Andreas Konkoly. Almost from the time that the “Runnymede Meccano Guild Newsletter” was first launched, ModelPlans that the noted Hungarian Meccanoman had designed were featured. The photographs were, however, complemented with Andreas’ unique description in English. Following the death of Andreas, Nick embarked on trying to secure copies of all the ModelPlans. He then invited members of the Guild to join him and participate in rebuilding the models, and rewriting them in clear English, so that they could be republished. Under Nick’s guidance, the first forty models in the collection have now been published in booklet form by the RMG, all at a very reasonable price. Had this not happened, these fascinating models would probably have been lost to posterity.

 There are two other aspects of Nick’s work that fill out why we believe that Nick should be nominated. First is his role as Editor of the magazine. Without his determination, the magazine may never have seen the light of day. Over the years, the “Runnymede Meccano Guild Newsletter” has gone from strength to strength. There are now over eighty issues, and the amount of quality material that appears in each issue is probably second to none. Reports on Guild Meetings, features articles on models constructed by members, series on how to use of Meccano parts to maximum effectiveness all form the core of a top-notch magazine. The magazine has taken advantage of all the modern publishing methods that ensures a magazine will appeal to its readers. Computer-designed layout, combined with use of modern photographic techniques has created a magazine that is easy on the eye, while, at the same time, one can identify the key items that stand out.

The magazine is published three times a year, and rarely is the publication deadline missed - not easy when it requires the input of volunteers to make sure the subscribers receive their copies in good time. In addition, a list of the articles usually reveals that Nick has authored three, four or even more in each issue.

As a measure of the respect that the magazine has acquired, the regular list of new members who have signed up over the past five years comes to just under one hundred. An impressive number, considering that subscriptions to most magazines have dropped in the same time period.

When it comes to club meetings, Nick is also the member who is instrumental in making sure that everything goes smoothly, not only before the meeting itself, but also once the meeting is under way. He handles the hall bookings, and makes share that he arrives early to organise the set-up of the tables. In addition, with the assistance of his wife Eva, he makes certain that there are enough volunteers to cater to the food requirements of hungry Meccanomen.

Once the meeting is over, Nick makes sure that the hall is restored to normal so that it is ready for the next user.

Participation in other shows run by other Meccano clubs is also part of Nick’s DNA. He attends many of the top exhibitions in other part of the United Kingdom, and is a regular attendee at SkegEx, among other shows. Who writes the bulk of the reports on these events for the “RMG Newsletter?” None else but Nick Rodgers.

Web shop back online

Hi folks,

You may have already noticed, but the issues previously reported have now been resolved and the web shop is back online.

Thank you for your patience, and please accept my apologies for any inconvenience.

As we are approaching 1st October, I would also like to invite members to renew their subscriptions for next year — the membership section in the shop has now been updated to cater for this.

Individual membership renewal reminders will be sent out as normal in the next week or two…

Many thanks and regards,

Pete Wood

A Meccano Bridge

This article was sent to me by Gerry Kingston…

A Meccano bridge

By Rebecca Black • 3 March 2015

It's an old childhood favourite and it's set to span the River Lagan this summer.

An ambitious project to create a temporary bridge constructed entirely from Meccano is the brainchild of the engineering department at Queen's University, Belfast.

Schoolchildren will be drafted in to help the students and academics as part of the university's outreach programme.

Members of Belfast City Council's Parks and Leisure Committee heard last month that Queen's has requested permission to hold an event at Clement Wilson Park (South Belfast) linked to the construction of the bridge.

The committee heard the lightweight crossing is be around 24 metres and is proposed to span a section of the river in Clement Wilson Park in the south of the city. The university has designed and tested a model of the bridge and told the committee that it is "satisfied that it can be done".

Construction is set to take place off site, and sections of the bridge will be transported to the park where they will be erected on site.

Special pieces of Meccano have had to be ordered by the university for the project.

Construction is expected to start shortly at Queen's for sections of the bridge before the bridge-building event takes place in June. Queen's require permission from the Rivers Agency for the bridge and from Belfast City Council as owners of Clement Wilson Park to hold the construction event.

Last night the council voted in favour and endorsed a recommendation from the Parks and Leisure committee granting permission for Queen's to erect the temporary bridge.

It's not the first time a bridge made from Meccano has been constructed.

There was one completed in Liverpool in 2009. Top Gear presenter James May fronted the project as part of his Toy Stories television programme.

RMG Magazine Back Issues (Second Edition)

Good News!

The next batch of RMG Magazine Back Issues (Second Edition) is now available for pre-order!

Issues 11 to 20 will be going to print shortly, and you can now place your orders in the shop's Magazine Section.

As before, they are on SPECIAL OFFER if you purchase the full set of 10 issues, and if you missed the chance the first time, a further discount is offered if you order Batch 1 and Batch 2 together (Issues 1 to 20)!

If you simply want to fill in any gaps in your collection, each issue can be ordered individually.

There will be a limited supply of issues once printed, so guarantee your order by visiting the shop now!

                           

A Labour of Love

A review of Andreas Konkoly’s Supermodel booklets         

Nick Rodgers is well known as the popular President of the Runnymede Meccano Guild and also for producing the well regarded member’s magazine almost single handedly.

What perhaps is not general knowledge is that since 1989 he has been engaged on a mission, the objective being to collate the diverse model plans of Andreas Konkoly of Hungary who died in 2003.

Andreas first became known to me in the 60’s when he offered details and photos of his designs in exchange for Meccano parts, then difficult to source in Budapest. I recall that he drove a hard bargain, usually with a result in his favour!

Nick has finally completed his researches and a full compilation so is now able to commence publication of selected items with full constructional details. I have been privileged in having been asked to review the introductory two volumes which I believe to be the first ever private endeavour manuals colourfully presented on quality paper as opposed to Konkoly’s plans. They are destined to benefit both the beginner to the hobby and the long term Meccanoman.

                                    

Number 1 commences with an interesting introduction based on a short Konkoly biography. Here we learn that he did not own a Meccano set until aged 40, (No. 5 outfit). Nevertheless during the years thereafter, he constructed in excess of 200 models ranging from mechanisms to some 20 outside the scope of a No. 10 set.  In addition he collected Meccano literature, particularly that from China and Russia. Nick explains the somewhat complicated listing that had been adopted for the original plans from which the instruction text has been rewritten. This to save any misunderstandings that might arise from the original quaint English of Andreas (although it was always a good deal better than my Magyar!)

Meccanographs and a Rolling Ball Machine feature in Volume 1 being ahead of the curve of these specialist interests with developed examples appearing at most exhibitions today.

Volume 2 highlights models also original in concept and of particular interest is the Goliath Electric Motor. This languished for several years as a problem being constructed for 110V DC or AC. However, Nick persuaded Pete Wood to redesign it and hence run on 14V DC. Additionally, the Norton Motorcycle (built around a No. 1 Clockwork Motor) with sidecar has been a favourite of mine.

Nick is to be congratulated on a job well done and for ensuring that the name Andreas Konkoly will have its rightful place in Meccano history. No shrinking violet, Andreas would have been delighted in this knowledge.

Although the number of pages in each volume varies, it has been decided to have a fixed price of £10.00/volume plus P&P. That works out at £2.00/model which is considerably less than Andreas was charging for his instructions 25 years ago. They are available through the RMG website (runnymedemeccanoguild.org.uk) or by post from the Secretary Pete Wood, 19 Woodside Close, Knaphill, Woking, Surrey, GU21 2DD, UK. Volumes 1 and 2 are available now and Volumes 3 and 4 will be available in March. It is anticipated that at least two volumes will be published every 6–8 weeks over the forthcoming year.

RMG February Meeting

 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

RMG Meeting on 7th February — Venue Change!

Due to an unfortunate administrative error, the Lyne Village Hall is not available to us for the next meeting. Alternative arrangements have been made and details of the new venue can be found below. This is a temporary arrangement, and we should be back in our normal surroundings for the June meeting.

These details will be issued with the meeting reminders, but please spread the word to everyone you know who might be likely to attend, in case I miss anyone out, or they don’t receive notice for any other reason.

The venue address is:

Salesian School, Highfield Rd, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8BX

The timings are slightly earlier than normal, and we will need to be prompt with packing up at the end of the day, out of courtesy to the resident caretaker.

Please see the events page for full details.

Maps and directions are included below:

Diary Dates Correction

Hi folks!

One keen-eyed member has spotted our "deliberate mistake" on the latest issue No. 86 Diary Dates for 2015.

The dates shown for the West London Meccano Club events are in fact last year's dates, and should be as follows:

2015

January 16th – 18th Model Engineering Exhibition — Alexandra Palace
March 14th Club Meeting and AGM — Greenford
​June 13th Club Meeting — Greenford

Apologies for the confusion.

Happy Spannering & Happy Xmas!

The Hainault Hangout

This is your chance to be part of London's premier* Meccano Hangout!

What is this all about?

For the past few decades NELMC members have spent the year attending four meetings and an annual exhibition. You would be forgiven for getting them mixed up as our exhibition was more like an open meeting.

Now is the time to try something different. This December our exhibition is taking on a whole new persona. We are going to run the day as an open day for all interested modellers, club members or not.

This year we are going to drag the dusty old exhibition out of the corner it has been hiding in, and give it a 21st century work out. We have secured a lot more space at our usual venue by renting the entire building! By introducing new competitions, supplying raffle prizes that are really worth winning, and presenting the event in a casual and friendly environment, the new Hainault Hangout will be one event you will not want to miss.

A flat admission fee of £3.00 will be payable by all exhibitors, members and visitors, with the exception of accompanied children who will still be admitted FREE of charge. For this small charge exhibitors will receive an Exhibitor’s Pack containing FREE tea and coffee vouchers, plus one FREE draw ticket for a special exhibitors-only Prize Draw!

Refreshments will be available and our friendly dealer, Mr Dave Taylor, along with his long suffering and amazingly tolerant wife, Marylyn, will be in attendance should you wish to stock up on even more nice shiny Meccano!

Convinced? Here is what you need to know…

  • The Hainault Hangout will take place on Saturday 6th December 2014 from 10:00am – 5:00pm at Hainault Baptist Church in Franklyn Gardens, Hainault, Essex IG6 2UT. For a map, please click here.
  • The venue will be open for setting up from 8:00pm on Friday and from 7:00am on Saturday.
  • A limited number of free parking spaces are available adjacent to the venue, or for £2.00 at Hainault Underground Station nearby. Reserved parking spaces can be booked for disabled exhibitors (Blue Badge holders). Disabled toilets are available.

While you may just turn up on the day with your models, if possible you should click here and complete the form to book your space.

If you have any questions, please contact the organiser, Tim Surtell, by e-mailing him at tim.surtell@nelmc.org.uk.

We look forward to seeing you!

* Well, it will be if you are there!

Exhibition DVDs

Check out the latest addition to our range of shop products!

A series of DVDs depicting hundreds of models from recent exhibitions and events around the country.

Filmed and edited in professional style by Tim Surtell, these DVDs offer you a chance to see the models in action — if you missed the event, now is your chance to "go back in time", and if you were there, you can relive the experience!

Look out for more titles of forthcoming events in due course…