Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Look what followed us home...

We got home from the HTMC (Holy Trinity Meccano Club) on Saturday and found a whole load of Meccano in the boot. Do you ever have that problem?

Boxed with all the original paperwork!
The first thing to come to light, hiding in the boot, was a was a very nice, boxed Cricket ball motor. Nothing special but according to the guarantee slip it is the same age as me! It looks as if it has never been used and still has its inspection tag. 

It even has some drive bands, original I think...
Unless anyone says otherwise I don't expect this to have any great value so I will use it for what it was intended for and build it into a model. The next items are a reflection on what is happening in our hobby today.

Where did that come from?
There are many ways to enlarge a collection of Meccano. In my youth, I would ask Mum, Dad and Father Christmas - that usually resulted in a 'joint' present! Then the paper-round gave me cash to go and pester the man in Forest Hill until the Meccano buying was curtailed for a while when I discovered girls. By the time I was buying again it was a totally different scene. Very little (if any) was readily available and what was I had no interest in whatsoever. By this time Sue and I were married and we would take our annual trip to Henley for the show in the Town Hall and our regular trip to Geoff Wright's famous Meccano shop, MW Models. Other than buying a few bits and pieces from dealers at our local club meeting the only other place to find Meccano was at jumble sales and boot fairs. We might find the odd set in a charity shop, but I can count on one hand the number of times we have been successful.  It was not until the internet and web-based auctions became available that we really started to find good amounts of Meccano, readily available

Tamsi motor lurking under there...
...another powering the steering plus a couple of others
The tide is turning on the availability of parts. A lot of the 'attic finds' have gone and although the number of listings has rocketed in recent years, they are usually for small number of parts at high prices or large accumulations of 'junk' with hugely inflated price tags. There are a few bargains still to be had, but the cream is long gone.

   Listen up people! Just because it is old, and either is or looks 
   like Meccano, does not mean it is worth anything - Got it!

In recent months another trend seems to be escalating. Large life-long collections of Meccano are being auctioned off or offered for sale within the community. These collections of parts can be enormous especially if the owner is someone who does not take their models apart! Many of these collections are sold on an all or nothing deal and Sue an I have bought the odd collection like that in the past. Others are subjected to the ravages of the auction house and often do not make the sort of money the owner/family expect.

Between all this mayhem you will find there is some level ground. We have documented here on our blog, and earlier on our website, that we have purchased built up models. Normally this is because they are Meccano-built dealer display models and are bought (usually rescued) with the aim of refurbishing them to their original grandeur.  Occasionally we will buy made up models for the parts as we did a few years ago when we bought a complete SML 4 Blocksetter - see HERE.

The owner had built it from good clean or new parts and although when we went to collect it, he was in the progress of building another huge model, he could not bring himself to take it apart, preferring to buy more stock. 

What's this another collection of parts...
A similar thing happened on Saturday. There, on the dealer's table, were a couple of models built in red/zinc. As anyone who knows us, that is our preferred colours scheme. Closer inspection revealed that there was a lot of 'extended-range' parts and some large stainless steel plates. Not to everybody's taste, but we like all modern parts, genuine Meccano or not, so long as they are generic parts that Meccano 'might' have made. The models had been built by the seller and again he said he did not want to take them apart after spending so much time building them. He went on to say that he was happy for the buyer to take them apart as they had been sitting in his loft for some considerable time anyway. 

Some useful parts here!
We are now in the process of demolishing them for the parts and discovering why the owner had put off the task - how many nuts and bolts?

Other things to follow us home were a selection of odd brass bits and a pile of spoked wheels! Now, I wonder how that lot got there...


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