Enniskillen Library To Host Inter-Generational Meccano Extravaganza

By Polly Cook | 21 October 2008
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  • Archived article
Picture of an old fashioned vintage Meccano magazine

Meccano had its very own magazine, for fanatics to swap plans, tips and ideas.

With the days of games consoles, the internet and interactive sport taking over, we may see Meccano as nothing more than a long lost childhood memory. Well, it’s back.

Enniskillen, in Northern Ireland, is celebrating the revival of Meccano by holding their first Meccano Exhibition on November 1 2008 at the Enniskillen Library between 10am-5am.

Meccano enthusiasts from all over will be flocking to the exhibition, which will be sporting an array of outstanding designs, models and activities.

Photo of a young boy and two men with a Meccano model set

Meccano still appeals to the younger generations, being modernised and adapted through the years.

Showman’s engines, fun fair rides and mechanical creations are but a few of the impressive Meccano exhibits at the fair which has been organised in partnership with the Western Education and Library Board and Headhunters Barber Shop and Railway Museum. The latter is Enniskillen’s unusual accredited museum, famed for being located at the back of a barbers shop and run by railway enthusiasts that can also cut your hair.

The highlight of the day will be the inter-schools challenge, in which fifteen local schools will be putting forward their most skilled budding engineers to compete in the Meccano challenge. They will have to construct one of Meccano’s latest editions to the complex collection, either a locomotive or a Ferris wheel model.

The day has already overwhelmed organisers due to the vast interest in the event, Stephen Bleakley, Senior Librarian from Enniskillen Library says: “I feel the day will be a truly inter-generational, interactive and educational experience, which will provide enjoyment for all the family.”

Photo of Maeve, the Meccano inspired steam tractor

'Maeve' the Meccano inspired steam tractor will be making an appearence at the exhibition.

For those at the exhibition who have are having difficulty recalling the Meccano hay-days, they will have the chance to travel back in time, as Dr Who’s Tardis will also be making a star appearance. Fans will also have the opportunity to have their photo taken next to the world’s most famous police box.

Far from most one-hit-wonder computer games, Meccano is no craze and has stood the test of time having been around since 1898, still inspiring and entertaining children and adults today. With an ever-growing collection of models, Meccano has added the modern touch to its newest editions, with a Wi-Fi spy robot, which thanks to complex technology can move, see, hear and even talk.

As if there wasn’t enough to keep the hoards energized, a Meccano inspired life size steam tractor built in 1918, will be coming from Dundalk and drawing stares from the crowd as it is driven through Enniskillen town centre.

Picture of a Meccano model steam train illustration

Meccano has been around since 1898, centred on the basics of mechanical engineering.

On the day visitors to the Enniskillen Meccano Exhibition are invited to come forward with their Meccano memories, whether as a child, an avid collector, or as recent converts to the hobby.

Organisers wish to know about stories of being shut away for hours in bedrooms tinkering away with nuts and bolts to make something truly impressive, or of discovering a dusty old set of Meccano in the attic and starting to make models again.

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