Choose topics of interest…


Spring Show Opening Times

Hello everyone,

There's a slight alteration to the official opening times of our Spring Show on Saturday, 17th. February.

For members of TIMS, we'll be starting at 10.15 a.m. and ending at 4.15 p.m.

We'll have access to Randlay Community Centre from 9.45 a.m. and we'll have to be out by 4.30 p.m.

Non-members and other visitors will be most welcome, with admission between 10.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.



Our Chairman

Hello everyone,

I'm sure all TIMS members will join me in wishing Dave a speedy recovery from his recent heart operation.

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.

TIMS Gets A Mention On BBC Radio 2

Yes folks, a short but none the less welcome mention on BBC Radio 2 this morning, more when the listen again link is available.


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...


Secretary's Summary 2016


For those that couldn't make it to the 2016 AGM, here's our Secretary/Treasurers thoughts and observations on his first year in "office", November 2015 to November 2016...

"Since being fortunate enough to become the Society's Secretary earlier this year, I've been working hard in the background learning about what makes it tick. Roger Thorpe's professionalism in the role is something I hope to
emulate with increased experience. Fortunately, our Chairman Dave Bradley and I meet frequently at other Meccano club meetings, so there are plenty of opportunities to have informal meetings, to see where we can improve on
the various aspects of running the Society generally.

So far, things have been running slightly less smoothly than I'd expected. As you're perhaps aware, the Society has seen some changes in personnel at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, as well as within the TIMS committee. This has resulted in several misunderstandings, resulting in (for example) the loss of the Steam Shed at Meccanuity, TIMS having to hire in the tables at Blists Hill, and the loss of the Main Hall for our November meeting.

Despite these difficulties, we've enjoyed reasonably successful meetings during the year, with the Society's 25th anniversary celebration at Meccanuity being the main highlight. Those birthday cakes were delicious! We did see a few empty tables on the first day at Blists Hill, which wasregrettable.
The switch from buffet lunches to light refreshments may have seemed a backwards step, but unfortunately this was inevitable, as no volunteers were forthcoming to cope with the catering arrangements. Our thanks go to our President Mary Linder for overseeing the continued provision of refreshments.

The introduction of RCDs was another change that occurred. The Society purchased 20 in total for use at TIMS meetings, as an additional electrical safety precaution. These were donated by two members of the committee.

The membership level has stayed fairly constant, with the loss of one or two members having been replaced by new faces, whom we are very pleased to have on board, of course. Amongst the membership generally, I've been
delighted with the assistance that the committee has received from several people, in terms of dealing with the tables and the table cloths, plus financial and other forms of donations. I prefer not to name these kind folk, in order to spare their blushes. Nevertheless, their assistance is hugely appreciated.

Well, that's it in a nutshell, and I look forward to the new year with eager anticipation, knowing that we'll all continue to enjoy the TIMS experience, regardless of what direction the Society takes.

Tim Martin (TIMS Secretary/Treasurer)".


Lest We Forget...