Family focus for UK’s largest annual Meccano show

Annual Skegness Meccano exhibition July 4-6.
Annual Skegness Meccano exhibition July 4-6.

Children in Skegness are being challenged to show off their creativity on July 4-6 at SkegEx, the UK’s largest annual show of models made from the construction toy Meccano.

Special workshops designed to give children their first experience of building with Meccano will run throughout the weekend at The Embassy Theatre. Plus there’s the opportunity to get up close and personal with James May’s life-size Meccano motorbike, which starred in the BBC Toy Stories programme.

Emma Eden, Meccano Marketing Manager, says: “It’s quite extraordinary what you can build with Meccano. It’s one of those toys that once you pick it up it’s almost impossible to put down. As an extra incentive, children go free with a special Meccano flyer that can be picked up from locations around the town or from a member of the Meccano team.

“We’re running a series of ‘build n play’ hands-on workshops with Meccano instructors on call to lend a helping hand. We’ve got mini Meccano kits to give away, but we’re expecting it to be popular so make sure you get along early while stocks last.” “You can also be in with a chance of winning Meccano prizes worth £100 in a special prize draw.”

One of the main attractions on show is James May’s 15,000 piece Meccano motorbike, constructed using standard components and designed and built by Sim Oakley for the ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’. It completed a full 38 mile circuit of the world famous Isle of Man TT course ridden by James May and accompanied, in part, by celebrity Oz Clarke.

Amongst the array of spectacular large scale models on show this year will be a huge bucket wheel excavator, the type that is commonly found on the continent for stripping out brown coal. There’s also a six foot wingspan Canberra Bomber aircraft, a six foot long Mersey Paddle Steamer, plus a huge vintage Meccano and Hornby 0 gauge train display.

Geoff Brown, show organiser, says: “This is our 37th year in Skegness and it’s great to be back. There will be all manner of road vehicles on show, including some magnificent Showman’s Engines and similar vintage steam models.  But the most oddball machine of all – if its inventor is able to come – is a random poetry writing machine. I’ve tried my hand against it as I have an old fashioned addiction to poetry and verse but it is utterly remarkable and its owner is a most worthy bard!”

SkegEx is organised by the North Midlands Meccano Guild and runs from Friday, July 4 to Sunday, July 6 at The Embassy Theatre, Grand Parade, Skegness.

Admission costs are £3.50, children £1.50, families £8.00.

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