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Michael J. Walker  

I commenced my Meccano modelling career in the 1950s when, at the age of five, I was given a suitcase full of used Meccano. I recall a vast number of mystifying parts, of which some were supposed to be assembled to make models as shown in the dog-eared, coverless instructions book. In later years I was able to identify this as a 1931 00-4 manual.

My father showed me how to fix things together and he ended up making a helicopter, the rotors of which went round if the model was pushed along the floor on its landing wheels. Despite this encouragement, it was all rather too much for me at the time, so apart from playing with the helicopter, my interest amounted to little. In the immediately succeeding years more suitcases of old Meccano were brought home, and even a four-drawer cabinet full of parts. However, these additions were counter-productive in that I felt I was expected to produce great things, but was lacking the skills to do so.

Eventually, to my relief, by the time I was about nine, the whole lot was given away to a youth club. It was taking up a lot of space and I hardly used it. However, sparks of interest allied with curiosity still remained and a few years later I was given another Meccano set, this time made up of a No. 5 + 5a + No. 1 clockwork motor.

Although the quantity of parts was but a tiny fraction of the colossal outfit given away years before, this outfit was all in the same colour scheme - light red/green. Being brand new meant I could build all the models in the instructions manuals without wondering at the outset if I had enough of the correct pieces. Also, once built, the models looked resplendent with their shiny new plates, strips and brassware.

Most of all though, I was a few years older and looking for a hobby that would retain its interest into the future. How little I realised then, how much there was to learn about the hobby.

Meccano was never just a toy to me; its fiddly screws and heavy demand on my still-developing fine motor skills, challenged me from the start.

But, stubborn to the last and never one to give up, I persevered until finally, success was achieved. I had made my first model.

It wasn't perfect, but it worked after a fashion and I could reflect with some satisfaction that, a short time previously, it had merely been a neatly arranged selection of separate parts.

The die was cast. I wanted to experience more of this system's limitless possibilities, and even now I consider myself to have barely scratched the surface of what Meccano has to offer.  

19 items in this album, click on one to enlarge it.
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Judging the first Issigonis Award
Michael J. Walker
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Märklin 1034 (left) and 1014 outfits
Michael J. Walker
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Polaroid picture of me aged 16, taken on the 9th Jan 1969
Michael J. Walker
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32457
American style convertible 1973
Michael J. Walker
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24022
American style four door hardtop sedan
Michael J. Walker
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American style convertible 1976
Michael J. Walker

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24195
4 wheel drive SUV type vehicle
Michael J. Walker
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24716
American style downsized sedan mid-1980s
Michael J. Walker
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27291
Atlantean Bus Model
5 photos
Michael J. Walker
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34476
Mobile Crane based on modified Märklin “Feuerwehrauto”
16 photos
Michael J. Walker
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36994
Italian style sports coupé - 1979 version
6 photos
Michael J. Walker
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37574
Italian style sports coupé 2010 version
5 photos
Michael J. Walker

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1953 Meccano Outfits Brochure
8 photos
Michael J. Walker
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American style personal luxury coupé 2013
19 photos
Michael J. Walker
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Full Size Meccano Bridge at Little Lever, Bolton, 11th December 2012
36 photos
Michael J. Walker
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Official Opening of the full-size Meccano Bridge, 6th April 2013.

Report by Michael J. Walker

12 photos
Michael J. Walker
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Pontoon Crane from the Märklin 14930 Manual
27 photos
Michael J. Walker
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The full-size Meccano bridge as at 13th October 2021
8 photos
Michael J. Walker

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Triumph Mayflower type Coupé Model 7:18
16 photos
Michael J. Walker
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