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Mike Cotterill

Saddly, Mike Cotterill, Chairman of the North Midlands Meccano Guild, has died just prior to the autumn meeting in September.
If you knew Mike and wish to attend the funeral the details are below.
Boston Crematorium, 28th Sept at 3:30pm
Followed by a wake at 'The Ball House' Wainfleet road, PH21 9RL at 4:30pm
Please notify Geoff or Mariam if attending.
Mariam Cotterill
Tel: 07749 303 161
Geoff Brown
tel: 01522 790422

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Hello Everyone,

We apologise for the newsletter being late but due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, the back-up plan is in force. It will arrive within the next few days.

A New Honorary Member

We are pleased to announce that Janet Way had been given the status of "Honorary Member", after her continued hard work for the club. She was the Club Secretary for many years and I hope you can join me with TIMS to thank her for her efforts.

The Keith Way Memorial Trophy was dedicated to Janet's late husband.

Meccanuity 2017: Keith Way Trophy, Windmills And Wind Turbines. If I can do it anyone can!

Now I can do it so anyone can (wink)...

                                                       From this 1970's Pocket Meccano set windmill...


                                         to this 1970's Pocket Meccano windmill, err, well almost. Read on...


The instructions, or rather, the two images included in the instruction sheet of many models leave a little bit of the build to your imagination, but there is an error. It seems, from the rather obstructed view of the base of the windmill that the bottom angle brackets fit inside the 3 hole x 5 hole flanged plate (that's the blue thingy in the images for those not up on their part numbers and names). Because of the close proximity of the flange (side) of this plate the holes of the angle brackets (two of these right angle parts can be seen near to top of the above photo') do not align with those they are supposed to in the flanged plate. The answer? Fit the angle brackets to the outside of the flanged plate. This does mean that the flat trunnion (yellow triangular (ish) part in the above photo') will not fit flush with the flanged plate and would, when secured to it, become some what deformed. The answer to this is two fold. First, the top angle brackets are also fitted to the outside of the flanged plate. This means the flat trunnion is now level, but there's still a gap beneath it, so place a fishplate underneath to take up the gap, and thus, when the trunnion is secured to the flanged plate it does not get deformed.


In the images on the instruction sheet you can't see the construction of the flexible plates, that's the two black, in this case, plastic parts curved around to form the base of the windmill, although the images do state that you use two of them. The above photo' shows how I did it, but I did make a few changes. Firstly, the side bolts, on the far left of the model, are shown with the threaded end sticking out of the model. This I didn't like because it looks untidy and it's very awkward to fit the screwdriver into the slot of the bolt head. It's actually worse at the bottom because of the flange of the flanged plate, which prevents any access to the bolt heads if fitted as instructed. The solution is to fit the bolts with the heads showing on the outside of the structure. The second change involved fitting an extra nut to each bolt that goes through the plastic flexible plates. This is done to prevent damage to the flexible plates, which are, in this case, over 40 years old and easy to damage, and would normally be the job of a standard washer. However, there are no washers in a Pocket Meccano set, but there is enough in the way of spare nuts (using all the available nuts in the set by the time the model is completed) to do a good "back up" job.


                                                  The other side of the rear of the base of the structure


                                   Works too! I think Windy Miller would be happy to work here (wink)

Please note that all the parts included in this build are all included in a Pocket Meccano set.


Meccanuity 2017: Keith Way Trophy Theme, Windmills & Wind Turbines

For 2017's Meccanuity Meccano Show the theme for the Keith Way Trophy is Windmills & Wind Turbines. O.k, so what, you might say, well, perhaps you may need some inspiration, and with less than six months before TIMS's main event, perhaps it's time to get cracking on your entry for this, one of three competitions running during the 2017 show.

Now, with other Meccano model building, and, no doubt, many other things that you have to get around to doing, you may think you don't have the time to build something, but your creations need not be large, complicated, or large and complicated for that matter. They can be simple and small affairs. O.k, you may hear the term "it's not the winning, it's taking part" all the time, and I'm not necessarily in total agreement with that, but it certainly is a lot of the enjoyment that surrounds such a competition, so why not try your hand.

Of course sometimes it's quite difficult to get started on a model as there are times when that spark and inspiration just isn't there, and when you add time constraints, and, in some cases, lack of parts for that awe inspiring large, complicated and involved model, you struggle to get going on a creation, let alone finish it. These unfinished projects, of which personally I have several lying around myself, gathering dust, are perhaps something to which you're not keen on adding too. This is, to my mind, where outfit and set models come into their own, as a model in their own right, or as a basis for one of your own, the benefits being, at least with some of them, a fairly quick build and, hopefully, a pleasing one.

Did you know that from quite early on in the Meccano timeline, around 1906, when Meccano was still known by the name Mechanics Made Easy, up until 1999, there have been a total of 45 different windmill/wind turbine related outfit/set Meccano models, all of them different, perhaps only slightly in some cases, and of varying sizes and complexities and span from almost the smallest "00" outfit to almost the largest, the no. 9 outfit, many hand cranked, and some powered, either by clockwork, or electric motors.

The earliest example of a windmill is this 1906 Mechanics Made Easy model. It would be great to see some from the Mechanics Made Easy period on display at next year's Meccanuity


Not all the examples are just windmills. Here's a variation on them, a double acting windmill pump from 1914

Arguably the largest of the outfit/set examples, this is a Dutch Windmill from the 1938 no. 9 outfit


1958 no. 3 outfit windmill pump that should be well within the capabilities of all but the youngest and least experienced builders


As simple as it gets, a windmill from a 1970 Pocket Meccano set


This version is from a 1988 no. 3 set


As you can see there are some varying designs, styles and sizes, and the above are just a small selection of those that are available to you.

Go on, give it a go!



Meccanuity 2017 Update

Morning all!

Some more details are filtering through in regards to Meccanuity 2017, so get your thinking caps on.

For our various competitions and special events the following has been decided...


TIMS At Blists Hill Victorian Town Steam Weekend 2016. In the Shropshire Star Again

I don't know why we keep getting almost yearly, if not more frequent articles about us in the Shropshire Star, but it's very much appreciated. See here.


Meccanuity 2016: In The News!

Afternoon all.

Yet again we made the Shropshire Star.

The video of this year's show is currently being uploaded and edited. It will be available in the gallery soon, along with photo's too.


Meccanuity 2016: Last Day Tomorrow!

The final day of Meccanuity 2016 starts tomorrow from 10am at Enginuity, Coach Road, Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, TF8 7DQ. Join us for such delights as...

                                                               The official Meccano UK Roadshow!


                                                                           Land Rovers, large...


                                                                                     And small!

                                                                     And even have a go yourself!


                                   More information here!


Meccanuity 2016: Where To Stay?

A search online reveals plenty of accommodation within a few miles of Ironbridge. TIMS is unable to endorse any, but we list some here, in order of closest to Enginuity. Click on the name to go direct to their website.

Foundry Masters House, 43 Wellington Road, Ironbridge, TF8 7DU, 01952 433658, (0.1 mile).

Springhill B&B, 2 School Rd, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, 01952 433225, (0.2 mile).

Best Western Valley Hotel,  Buildwas Road, IronBridge, Ironbridge, TF8 7DW, 01952 432247, (0.8 mile).

Bridge View Guest House,  10 Tontine Hill, Ironbridge, Ironbridge, TF8 7AL, 01952 432541, (1.1 mile).

Firs Riverside B & B, 32 Buildwas Road, Ironbridge, Telford, TF8 7BJ, 01952 432121, (1.1 mile), (Recommended by Meccanuity exhibitor 2016).

The Tontine, The Square, Ironbridge, TF8 7A, 01952 432127, (1.1 mile).

Poolview Camping, Buildwas, Ironbridge, TF8 7BS, (Campsite and  holiday lodge cabins), 01952 433182, (3 miles).

The Stanage B&B, Dawley Road, Lawley Village, Telford, TF4 2PG, 01952 507742, (3.1 miles).

Buckatree Hall Hotel, The Wrekin, Telford, TF6 5AL, 01952 641 821, (5.1 miles).

Premier Inn Telford Central, Euston Way, Telford, TF3 4LY, 0871 527 9082, (5.3 miles).

Sytche Caravan and Campsite, A4169 Much Wenlock, 01952 726701, (5.4 miles).
Days Inn Hotel Telford Ironbridge, J'n 4, M54, Priorslee Road, Shifnall, Telford, TF11 8TG, 01952 238400, (5.8 miles).

The Gaskell Arms, High Street, Much Wenlock, Much Wenlock, TF13 6AQ, 01952 727212, (5.8 miles).

The Park Inn by Radisson, Telford, Forgegate, Town Centre, Telford, TF3 4NA, 01952 429988, (5.8 miles).

The Raven Hotel, 30 Barrow Street, Much Wenlock, TF13 6EN, 01952 727251, (6.5 miles).

The White House Hotel, Wellington Road, Muxton, Telford, TF2 8NG, 01952 603603, (9.3 miles).
Premier Inn Telford North,  Donnington Wood Way, Donnington, Telford, TF2 8HH, 0871 527 9084, (10 miles).

Those wishing to exhibit their Meccano models and creations at this year's Meccanuity Meccano show, don't forget to book your table space for in the main hall or the Gadgetdom Room for any of the three days of the show, or indeed all three! Please email with the following, plus any special requirements you have...


Which tables size and how many do you require/what overall length? (Choices are 6' x 2'6 oblong trestles or a few 6' diameter round tables (all will be provided with mains power):

The event is over the May Day Bank Holiday from Saturday 30th April - Monday 2nd May 2016. Which days are you available?

We have a special model theme (Series & Defender Land Rovers) & The Meccanuity Challenge. Can you advise if you are willing to participate in either of these?

Can you help set up tables from around 2pm on Thursday 28th April, or general setting up from around 12pm on Friday 29th April?

Alternatively you can download the Meccanuity 2016 booking form here

You can find more about Meccanuity 2016 on the Events page.