UK Societies & Clubs

With over 90 clubs to choose from in the UK it might be wise to start with some indexes of who’s out there:

  East Anglian Meccano Set

  Midlands Meccano Guild

  Meccano Society Of Scotland

  Moray Meccano Modellers

  New Forest Meccano Club

  North East London Meccano Society

  North Eastern Meccano Society

  North Midlands Meccano Guild

  North West Meccano Guild

  Runnymede Meccano Guild

  Solent Meccano Club

  South East London Meccano Club

  South West Meccano Club

  Telford & ironbridge Meccano Society

  West London Meccano Society


  Bayco Collectors Club


To see options on how to navigate Dropbox - hover over right.





Meeting Ready Reckoner

Now available -see far right.

Meeting Ready Reckoner

This is an Excel spreadsheet listing each club’s meeting. It updates itself every year and may be printed. Initial paper size is A3 but nothing is locked so you may re-size as you wish. It is mathematical, not receiving any short notice changes, therefore in each case it is wise to check the website of the club involved. Last checked: Jan 2020.

(click the picture to access)

Meccano

1. Early Days

Meccano was developed as a toy by Frank Hornby for his son. Originally made in tin-plate by hand Frank realised its enormous potential and opened his Factory Of Dreams producing Mechanics Made Easy. He knew that it would be a success for a 100 years into the future -and it is. The much under-estimated Engineering hobby is still going stronger than ever. It is excellent what can be done and even what people want to model and how well they work -let’s face it James May proved it !


You can read about Meccano, another great British Invention, on the following websites:

  History Of Meccano - Graham Jost

  History O Meccano - Alan Esplen

  Deconstructing Meccano - The Independent Newspaper

  Other Products Once Produced By Frank Hornby - FrankHornby.com


There are more including Wikipedia.

Where To Buy Meccano In UK

The first stop will be Meccano themselves or your local toy retailer. However there are many other commercial sources of modern sets -obviously you will use your favourite online search engine to find these. Beware eventhough every week large quantities of Meccano change hands they are not always at bargain prices ! Modellers may need to buy individual spare parts for which there is a thriving community and this is as full as list as I know in no particular order:


    Meccanoman               -Dave Taylor’s considerable selection of new parts.

    MW Mail Order          -Howard Somerville’s enormous selection of model plans and literature.

    Meccano Hobby          -Quality parts and literature from almost every type and era of Meccano.

    Meccano Spares          -Shop with confidence for your favourite parts.

    Meccano Sales             -Melvin Wright’s quality second-hand source.

    Reproduction Parts    -Stuart Borrill has been manufacturing standard and innovative new parts that we all use for a long time.

    Meccano & Compatible Parts -Sales of Meccano from many different nationalities.

    Frizinghall now trading as Meccanoshop   -Online sales of new and used Meccano from vast shop in Bradford, UK.

    Mike Rhoades              -The long established favourite at so many club meetings around the country.  01482-650463 is a non-online seller.


Another sales list can be found on Alan Asplen’s Parts Page


Any more suggestion are welcomed (please email me)

2. Present Day

3. Clubs

There are a large number active adult clubs around the world most of which meet around four times a year and many of which put on exhibitions that’ll surprise you.

International Society
Some may be surprised to know how international Meccano has become:

    International Society Of Meccanomen

Index Of Known Societies & Clubs In The World

There are several indexes of who’s out there:

   Meccano Webring << There is a temporary fault with this site so try the Web Archive: Melvin Wright Meccano Webring.

   ISM Club List

5. My Own Experience

I have been active since around 6 years old. My father David Goodman with others founded the very first Meccano society, the Midlands Meccano Guild, in 1967. I joined as a very Junior Member from the start -perhaps to the anooyance of some of the rather august personalities involved.

From the records it seems my membership payments were a bit hazy perhaps because this was seen as an adult club, When junior membership was introduced Dad preferred to treat us as a family so even those subs seem a bit hazy. However as my prowess was so inspired by such incredible machines my collection grew - not least because of the generosity of the adults in the society. Thank you. I too grew and was accepted even though at the time I chose some rather unusual subjects eg Dragsters, destructive robots (long long before Robot Wars was conceived), beautiful luxury road vehicles, robots etc. I was also a member of Henley Society Of Junior Meccano Engineers.


In my early 20’s my membership of MMG lapsed as I went into the big world of work. In my 40’s I then joined my local West London Meccano Society (of which I am currently Chairman). Later I joined Telford & Ironbridge Meccano Society and rejoined Midlands Meccano Guild. Of course I visit others societies where time allows.

6. Meccano Photo Vaults

Disclaimer

Whilst some care has been taken to check externally linked websites no responsibility is offered nor implied for the suitability, legality or reliability of content therein.

NZ Meccano

This is one of the first and now largest banks of information esp photographs. Based in New Zealand it has a very efficient search function.

4. Other Indexes

Like many great hobbies there’s a whole world of Meccano going on. This page is divided into the following 7 sections:

  1. 1.Early Days

  2. 2.Present day

  3. 3.Clubs

  4. 4.Other Indexes

  5. 5.My Own Experience

  6. 6.Meccano Photo Vaults

  7. 7.Working Meccano On YouTube

Matt Goodman’s Models

I don’t hold myself in anything like the esteem of those above but here are my own modest attempts:

  1. Sentinel Steam Waggon:

     Bumper Cars - see end

7. Working Meccano On YouTube

Of course stills cannot convey the experience of seeing working models close to but video gives a better impression of what’s going on. Although there are thousands of videos out there these caught my eye because they aren’t just a string of static shots and the production standards are reasonable.

(please let me know if you find more)

NON-MECCANO BIG MODELS

  1. By the way if you want to see stupidly big take a look at this:

  2. Or this:

  3. And someone must’ve been very bored:

  4. On the beach:

  5. Slot cars

  6. The Danish toy

  7. Hamburg’s train warehouse

  8. Giant model aircraft

  9. Fastest model SR-71

  10. Majestic Concorde

  11. Submarine launches torpedo


John & Mike Molden’s Superb Models - Hold Tight Riders - Video Production

  1. Rollercoaster “Wild Mouse”:


  2. Giant fairground ride “Top Buzz”:


  3. Giant fairground ride “Jet Force”: 


  4. Haunted House:


Maurice and Tony Rednall’s Models

  1. Their classic radio controlled digger:

Alan Wembourn’s Models

Scale model of computer controlled gearbox

Ferris wheel

Roll up bridge in London’s Docklands

Chris Shute’s Models

Matchbox filling machine

Poetry Machine

Treacle Mine Fantasy (Wem is his home town)

Gargantua programmable crane

Colin Bull’s Models

Ball Roller

Biggest Models*

  1. Graham Shepherd’s biggest:

James May’s Toy Stories

Note that there are no full episodes made available by BBC merely trailers.

  1. Meccano The Hobby

  2. Giant Bridge in Liverpool

  3. Motorbike

Models That Do Maths

Analogue differential analyser

Babbage’s digital Difference Engine


Programmable sequencer

Tip

After saving the file somewhere sensible create an Alias to it (Shortcut on pc) and drag that on to your desktop so that any time you want to quickly see what’s on press Spacebar

(on a Mac).

There’s no equivalent built into a pc but there are tiny apps that are claimed to do the same thing: Seer or Quicklook. Otherwise you will need to enable the preview pane in File Explorer.

v1.0

A snip at just:

  41kb.

Meccano

Not completely exhaustive but the New Zealand Meccano website has become a significant depository for photographs from around the world:   New Zealand Meccano


For a collection of basic old photographs (WLMS 1998-2005) you may wish to see Chris Bourne’s:      Meccano Library


I maintain significant stocks of Meccano club photos on this website as well:                                              Meccano Vaults        (shortcut at top of this page)



I have put a large number of Meccano railway related photographs at the bottom of this page                Preserved Railways

  1. University Of Belfast

  2. (*see below)

Tim Edwards

This is a huge index of Meccano sets, engineering drawings of parts, magazines & more. Also Hornby and Dinky and more. He is based in Northallerton and has a personal website: TimEdwards

Alan Esplen’s Meccano Pages

This is a very finely crafted website and worth spending a lot of time getting to know. It covers all the bases and he keeps it bang up to date.

David Williams’ Canadian Meccano Links

Whilst this site looks archaic - it is ! Because it predates this website (created in 2009) and even most of the internet ! Started in 1996 David has kept it up to date and whilst it’s quirky you’ll find plenty of original material and links here that other sites miss out ! The Douglas Fir of websites here should not be dismissed. (I only discovered this in 2020)

(click on any logo)

Parts Lists

I’ve scanned a modest collection Meccano parts lists stored on the following link. There are better ones on other websites but they change every so often so you need to hunt around if you are looking for something specific.  Meccano Parts Lists

Johnny Meccano

Straight out of God’s Wonderful Country Australians John Burke and his son post their wild Meccanoings in many places on the web. There’s also a magazine which is full of ideas. Back issues can be found here: