SkegEx 14 Live!

Monday 7th July 2014 - The final post for this year!

What happened to Sunday? Wireless connection became non existent so blogging was via the mobile phone network and apart from the fact I was running out of data allowance, using the not-so-smartphone as a wireless hot spot, the place was just too busy, I hardly had time to breath. We were also manning the Meccano stand, helping the guys out while they tried to get around to meeting everybody.

Spin Master's Fraser Paterson talks about Meccano going forward
I didn't have much time to tell you much about the Meccano people. On Thursday and Friday we were host to the home team from Meccano UK. Phil Hooper - Marketing Director, Jo Thompson - PR Executive, and Emma Eden - Brand manager. They spent the day, on Friday, talking to the general public and giving toys away to small children! The UK team had given the organisers the use of their Marketing people to liaise with the venue and produce all sorts of publicity material, flyers and local radio promotion. Every body in Skegness knew about the event, even our land-lady at the B&B said she had seen leaflets, flyers and heard radio publicity this year that she had not seen before,. It was not because we were staying there, we have stayed there for years and she has never mentioned it before.

The huge amount of posters and other banners and displays as well as the star attraction, James May's bike, really created a buzz and the show was the busiest I have ever seen it in resent years.  All this was organised by Meccano UK.

On Friday, two Meccano executives flew in from far and wide. Fraser Paterson - Design Director, flew in for Los Angeles  and Lawrence Rabie hopped on a plane to be with us from Toronto Canada. The guys stayed until Sunday and made quite an impression, well Lawrence did! On meeting Geoff Brown for the first time, after a few minutes of listening, he stopped Geoff from talking (politely) and said to Fraser, in a strong Canadian accent "Can you understand a word this guy is saying?" Well, I didn't know what to say - Yes it was a first! After a short awkward silence we all collapsed in laughter - including Geoff and the ice was broken. The weekend continued with Lawrence and his, shall we say, forthright personality wandering around the venue trying to talk to as many exhibitors as he could, taking photographs and making notes. He was amused buy our accents (as you know I don't have one) and by the end of the weekend we had managed to teach him how to address a stranger with the classic two word greeting "Ello mate" which he practised all weekend with differing degrees of success.

Malcolm Hanson's Eiffel Tower stood in the centre of the Foyer
The bike was a real crowd puller. Even when we were loading and unloading it outside the venue. The TV program was running continuously throughout the event.  Another crowd-puller was Malcolm Hanson's model of the Eiffel Tower built in blue/gold stock. It also featured a working lift. This was situated in the foyer with the bike and also added to the wow factor of the show.

The main event of the show for us modellers is the Issigonis Shield competition. This year there was only going to be one winner... Below is the full list of the top ten winner and runners up. The quality of the models this year is such that any one could have been a Shield winner. As far as favourites are concerned Sue and I could not possibly comment but we can't see a single model in the list that doesn't deserve to be in the top ten. 


1st Terry Allen - Bugatti Type 57SC
2nd Michael Molden -  Scania 6x4 Tractor Unit
3rd Richard Smith - Canberra Bomber
4th  Norman Brown - AEC Tanker Lorry
5th Neil Bedford -  Routemaster Bus  
6th Michel Breal - Bucket wheel digger
7th Andy Knox - Kempton Park Steam driven water pump assembly
8th Ian Mordue - Spider Crane
9th Peter Hylton - Liebherr 88 self erecting crane
10th Darren Bonner - Wolseley portable internal combustion engine  



Neil Bedford, Norman Brown, Michael Molden, Terry Allen
Marion Cotterill, Richard Smith and Geoff Brown

That's it for this year - now onward to the next one...



Saturday 5th July 2014 Post No.3


Mini Tower Bridge
 Models for Spring have been around for a while but have been kept under wraps. This weekend we have seen a picture of one of the creations for next year. This is a pre-production mock up and may or may not include the four 52s (flanged plate). I am showing you this on the quiet, and as I know nobody reads this, it will never become common knowledge.


Saturday 5th July 2014 Post No.2

Another very busy day here today, The Meccano guys have not disowned me (yet) after my previous post. The best news so far is the we have just seen some of the first new sets to be introduced, spring next year. Although the models are not here this weekend I may be able to get hold of some pictures later today.

Wi-Fi has gone down here in the hall and will not be restored until next week so this is being sent out using my phone as a hot spot - until I run out of megga-wotsits! 

If  you are looking for pictures on models, Malcolm Hanson has been posting pictures in the NZ Gallery HERE.

More later!




Saturday 5th July 2014 

Good morning from a typical summer's day here in Skegness - It's Raining!

Still that is probably a good thing as far as the show is concerned as it may generate even more visitors...

As many of you will know the annual Skegness Dinner is usually held on the Saturday evening. This year not only a day-change to Friday but a venue change too! This year we went back to a venue we have used in the past, The Vine Hotel. Now, It's address may be Skegness and described as "Just up the road" but a mile and a quarter from the High Street would be more factual. Having decided to do the right thing (from a healthy point of view) and walk to the venue, the heavens opened as the meal finished and we were forced to hide in the bar until it stopped raining.

The meal was good and the entertainment was provided by our honoured guests who had travelled thousands of miles to get here.
Fraser Paterson and Lawrence Rabie. As Fraser belted out his version of Frank Sinatra's My Way, Lawrence was thinking about his next number while balancing a glitter ball on the back of his left hand.



More serious posts throughout the day from the venue...




Friday 4th July 2014 - Post No.4

What a day! The selection of models is very good this year and we are stacked out not only with us Meccano nuts, but with lots of general public too. The Meccano display was staffed by Meccano UK today and tomorrow a shift change, one Meccano man form Los Angeles and the other from Canada. I will tell you more tomorrow.

Tonight we are off to the big (Posh) dinner and guess who the guest speaker is... I will let you know what we discover, tomorrow - I doubt I will be awake enough when we get back tonight.

Yet another short update as it is almost time to go... Mmmm... Food!  ...and maybe the odd beer.

Tomorrow is another day.


Friday 4th July 2014 - Post No.3


Some pictures of the dealers stock... Guess who!

Boxed in
Now that looks good...
Two of these, four of those...
Yes please... Don't tell Sue!

More later and a bit more chat!



Friday 4th July 2014 - Post No.2



Does the lift go to the top floor?
Doors open and the general pubic are getting their first chance to have a look around. Malcolm Hanson has just been called to the foyer where to rescue passengers trapped in the lift of his magnificent blue/gold Eiffel Tower!

"Smile Emma - Thank you!"
New Multimodel sets due soon!
Meccano UK are here in force this morning a huge display of current models plus the three new Multimodels we saw at the London Toy Fair. The guys from Canada/LA will be here this afternoon after driving up from Luton this morning...

You will also see the the bike got here in one piece!

That is it for now - off to photograph some Meccano goodies for sale at the dealers stands!



Friday 4th July 2014 - Post No.1

Skegness welcome flags proving it is 'So Bracing' here!
Good morning!

Just got back from the pre-breakfast stroll and we are all set up to go. We have a connection at the venue and I hopefully this will be the first of several updated during the day. So keep coming back, must go I can smell the bacon!




Thursday 3nd July 2014

Almost there. A few pictures of the day

Now, where does that go...
Getting there..
Almost there!
Happy dealers!

 More pictures tomorrow, just about to get thrown out of the hall...But it proves it works!



Thursday 3nd July 2014


While Sue is catching up with some sleep I have been out for a bit of fresh air before the 'Full English' and anyone who thinks Meccano don't mean business take a look at this...

Now that looks interesting...
Can we go and see the show, Dad?
 ...The banner has been positioned so it can be seen from the gardens across the road. Today, I understand posters are going up, and for the next few days, leaflets will be distributed in the High Street. It is looking good so far! Finally, I spotted this on the esplanade, just along from the Embassy Theatre... 

Now I wonder where they got that idea from...


Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Ready and waiting at Beaulieu... The blue bag? Tomorrow will tell!
Well, it works! First hurdle over we are connected, at least here at the B&B. You will be pleased to know that all is well, after a 350+ mile road trip the James May bike is here in Skegness all cosy for the night!

Transit size model!

The day started with a quick 100 mile dash to the Beaulieu Motor Museum to collect a certain 'model' (that you may recognise) and then another dash back to London (...don't ask!) and then another 160 mile dash to Skegness.

Lincolnshire at 60 miles an hour!
 Sue took some landscape pictures on the journey as a keepsake and to illustrate the picturesque features of the English countryside. Shame we did not have time to stop.

Tomorrow the fun will really begin when we get stuck in to setting up the hall and foyer ready for the impeding crowds of general public all intent on getting to grips with some Meccano!

Come back tomorrow and see what we have been up to...

Ralph & Sue,

Welcome to SkegEx 14 Live!

 We will be reporting on the events as they unfold, before, during and immediately after the event. We will be reporting on all the behind the scenes stuff as well as the main event. The cameras will be out and our reporters will be looking for the amusing pictures and the headline grabbing stories. Our roving paparazzi reporter 'Grubscrew' is making the journey from North East London, aluminium ladder and camera in hand so be on your guard!

Coverage will start from the evening of Wednesday 2nd July 2014 and feature the collection of the James May Motorbike and sidecar from the British Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

The motorbike is currently forming part of a special display called The Motorcycle Story. More details of this special event can be found on the British Motor Museum website, HERE.

Don't forget to sign up for the latest news so you don't miss a thing!  
 You can receive updates, sent via e-mail direct to your inbox by filling in the text box in the left hand column. 


Coverage starts on the 2nd July 2014 - See you then!

Ralph and Sue ...and Grubscrew!


  1. Thanks for beaming all the latest Skegex news to the land downunder.
    If you spot any Meccano bargains please post some pics with prices visible so we can drool over them!

  2. Jim Bobyn in Montreal5 July 2014 at 16:54

    Thank you Ralph and Sue for excellent and timely coverage of Skegex. A few more pictures of the collectibles would be nice to see. Has anyone sat on the famous Meccano Motorbike? We hope to see a group picture of Spanner guests today.

  3. Two fifteen hole by five or seven hold flanged plates would seem to make more sense for that neat model of the Tower Bridge than four eleven by five hole ones.

    Still, it would seem more likely, that they won't be there or will be replaced by five by three hole ones.

    1. This is a pre-production shot. As I understand it, these early pictures are used to brief sales staff and to give buyers an idea of what the finished model looks like. I would like to see these bases included if only to fulfil my "Bring back the 52" request. See: However, I fear they may well disappear by the time the model get through to production.