AUCKLAND MECCANO GUILD MEETING 9th February 2008.
Reporter: Les Megget
This quarterly meeting was hosted by David and Elizabeth Wall, in their Orewa home, about 70 km north from where your editor resides. Just shows you how large Auckland has become because there is almost constant built environment over that distance from the far south to the far north of the metropolis. Another lovely Auckland summer day meant that the excellent turnout of members could spread out of the Wall's garage and down their drive a bit.
David Wall showed a model of the Bean Rock Lighthouse, located at the entrance of the Waitemata Harbour (see photo). This structure was completed in 1871 and was automated in 1912. As David says; "An Auckland icon".
Gary Higgins had his usual diverse range of models including an Alligator amphibious tractor from WW2, a car from the recent Mechanical Workshop set, a Sopwith Camel boxed set and the hull of a replica meccano boat (incomplete).
Rick Vine showed an even more diverse range of small models: A road roller from the 20-model set, a Sopwith Camel (as above), a pocket Meccano helicopter, the Mechanical Workshop helicopter, the Master Connection survivor car, the M & S tractor, a miniature F1 race car, Bernard Perier's cat (from a past CQ) and a TRIX (that stuff with even more holes per square inch than Meccano) skier and airplane! Rick can never get bored with his modelling as there is always something else being built it seems.
John Denton exhibited a lovely jeep and trailer (see photo) made from reconditioned parts. These have been resprayed in army green, using a CQ magazine design.
Gerald Hart showed his impressive 3 cylinder, fully operational, marine engine in red and green, shown in the accompanying photograph.
Richard Sealey bought 3 (yes Three) unopened Meccano 00 and 0 sets from the late 50's, purchased at an auction locally. These were still in their brown wrapping paper and "mint" is the only word I would use to describe them. Many people took photos of these (see 1 here) and I think 1 of the sets changed hands during the afternoon. Richard also had some 6-18V DC motors for sale and he took further orders.
Matthew Carey, Neil's 7 1/2 year old grandson had his flying-fox cableway made from one of the new Special Edition sets.
Anthony Caldwell has his radar dish on display, while George Ovendon showed his dockside crane, the same model he first built many years ago as a youngster.
Les Megget showed his Mercedes 8x4 truck (tractor unit), which had sprouted a cab and "fifth wheel" since the last meeting. This was given a full workout by Matthew Carey with nothing falling off, by some fluke. I think Matthew would have liked to taken the truck home, leaving me with his flying-fox perhaps!
Henry Porter, who I believe has been a long-time Meccano builder was there to catchup mainly but he did show an old "NZ Herald" article about his giant Blocksetting Crane. Unfortunately there wasn't a date on the article but my guess is it was during the 60's or 70's? He also had an old photo album containing shots of several of his Meccano models from the past. David commented that he last met Henry maybe 30 years ago!
Last but certainly not least was our overseas visitor, Peter Kessler (ISM 21) from Switzerland. Peter wrote me some notes, which I will transcribe here. "I first visited NZ in 1990 on a coach tour to the South Island which was booked in Sydney. Became fascinated by the country and its people. At that time I was President of the International Society of Meccanomen and intended to return to NZ the next year and make contact with Meccano people here.
I first met David & Elizabeth Wall and had the opportunity of further contacts in the years to come, all together 8 times! Great hospitality in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland and this year, at 82 years of age, the opportunity to enjoy the country and company and thanking so many on shorter and longer visits to their homes and hobby rooms".
It was certainly a pleasure to have Peter with us for the afternoon.