Thursday, 15 August 2013

Meccano helicopter is a real handfull...

Over the years we have made all sorts of models. When I was a nipper, I loved to build cranes and diggers. Growing up in the fifties and sixties, here in South London, all I can remember were the bomb sites, fenced off with chestnut palings,  slowly being redeveloped. Streets devoid of all railings slowly being enclosed again with walls, fences and hedges. These were our playgrounds and as they were taken away from us our attention was taken by the machines that destroyed our camps and dens.

Power drive set box lid
In the late 'sixties my world of red and green Meccano was shattered by the arrival of a Power Drive set for my birthday. It was black, yellow and silver (painted). The box lid was covered with models of machines just like the ones I had been looking at, for the past 10 years, converting the bomb sites into houses and flats (mainly flats) it was the age of high-rise living. What's more these were modern machines and I could build them in something nearer the correct colours. I can remember doing my paper round on a Saturday or Sunday morning working out what I was going to build that day. That set was built up to a set No.6 over the next couple of years, until I discovered... Girls!

New colours!
Now over 40 years on I still look at that set warmly. The one I have now is not my original, that has been absorbed into our collection and is still getting used, but I can't tell it apart from the rest now. The set pictured here is one I picked up on eBay several years ago.

I just had to build a helicopter

The crane thing stuck and I have, and still do, build cranes but my horizons have been broadened by being an active member of several Meccano clubs and the internet has opened up so many new avenues. I was only reading, the other day, on the Spanner II list, a post by John Gled, regarding his passion for the No.5 set model 5.14 of a helicopter. That sparked a desire to build one of my own. Even with all that is going on at the moment, I decided to find time to build one of my own, and a real handful it turned out to be too.

We often find ourselves building all sorts of things that I would never thought of building in the past. the little model above, along with the other five models in the Nano series, inspired our Nano Roundabout a few year ago and look where that lead to. In fact it is probably responsible, indirectly, for our current model, the Merry Mixer.