Clicking on many of the pictures enlarges them and provides extra information. The models are usually attributed to the builder.

The Guild is always interested in preventing good Meccano going to waste. If you have any Meccano to re-cycle, please contact the Secretary or a member at one of our events.

Click  “Exhibitions” for a calendar of our events. Or “Event Details” for information about individual ones.

Click “North West” for information about Meccano on display and  Meccano related locations in the North West of England.

Neville’s  version of the 1928 Supermodel No. 28.

Giant Dragline Crane

The original cranes were built to construct irrigation canals on the Indian Sub-Continent.

The New Gearbox

for Neville’s model of the late lamented Runcorn to Widnes Transporter Bridge.

It has been rebuilt with straighter rods and strengthened bearings for greater reliability.

Steam Winch from  the 1930's powered by a pre-war E20B motor, built by Brian  Elvidge.

An extra pair of gears has been inserted into the reduction chain.

Survivor Car from the Manuals of the 1995-98 series of Master Connection Sets, also by Brian.

The colour has been changed to red.

Brian  Elvidge’s Eiffel Tower

Complete and in Three Pieces.

Two Models Featured in Pierre  Bastien’s You-Tube Clip “Mecanologie”.

Different motors and scissors have been used. The parts which engage with the combs are from a Meccano Battery Box.  The models can be seen in action at:  


Pierre’s other models can be seen on:

Ted. Harris’s  Models Showing the Development of the Beam Engine,

A Freestyle Newcomen pumping Engine

A Set 8 Beam Engine,

The No. 6 or K Set “Watt's Beam Engine”

One of several fine models in these Manuals.

A  Freestyle Grasshopper type Beam Engine.

Two More Steam Engine Models by Dick Watson.

Pickard’s Beam Engine.

James Pickard is noted for his invention of a Newcomen Engine which would produce rotational motion. He patented a method of preventing the engine stopping at one or other of its two dead centres - serious problem with a single acting, single cylinder one.  He added an extra shaft, geared with a 2:1 ratio, which carried a weight (the black disc in the model) placed to stop the crankshaft away from a dead centre.  Because the mechanism  contained a crank, Watt thought that patent might also cover the use of a crank on any steam engine. He, therefore, invented his “Sun and Planet” mechanism to avoid possible legal action.

Sprocket wheels are used instead of gears because they are roughly the right size. The 3” one is double thickness.

A “Baby” Beam Engine with Parallel Motion and the Sun & Planet Mechanism.

Tri-Flat Axles are used for the crankshaft and also to link the planet gear to  the connecting rod. A rather generous bearing has been provided for this second rod, which rotates in the holes in the 1” pulleys. These rotate freely on the shaft carrying the flywheel.

Chris. Harris’s Breakdown Truck.

This quite attractive model was published in the 1973 Manual for Set No. 9. This set was really the previous Set No. 8 with some variations. This explains the different wheel sizes. The manual can be viewed at:

Watch the model being built in the slideshow below.

Click on the arrows in bottom corners of the picture to see the next or previous one.

A Simple Beam Engine by Brian Elvidge

A Trix Tipper Truck By Ashley Simmonds

An Improved Version of an “Engineering Manual” model

A Sanderson Beam Engine

With no Meccano events to prepare for, I decided to finish a Stuart Steam Engine which I started some time ago. When looking through my Blackgates Engineering Catalogue, I noticed the list of parts for a model “Sanderson Beam Engine”. It looked as if Brian’s model could be modified to make one. It has an ingenious, very compact, version of the Watt Parallel Motion. I have not been able to find information about the prototype. Contributions to a Model Engineer Forum show that some modellers had difficulty with the mechanism. One of the links is very short, so high accuracy is needed - difficult when the dimensions are in inches and binary fractions - implying tolerances of +/- of 1/128”. Fortunately Meccano  has sloppy bearings so that it works.

A YouTube Video of a working model of one of these engines can be seen at:

The Diabolo Juggler

I'd like to introduce an amusing Meccano model that unfortunately like the rest of us has had to miss an outing to Skegness this year. This Meccano model only illustrates the simplest of movements that can be performed by expert jugglers. It is sometimes referred to as a Chinese yo-yo. A top is made to spin by rolling it along a string held on two wands held by a Meccano man. The interest is held because the man turns his head to watch the end of the string that is rising. This brings to mind the puzzles about trying to rub your tummy while patting your head.

See Fig 1 for the completed model and Fig 2 for details of the mechanism.

The basis of the body is made by fixing a modern 3 volt motor to a 7 x 9 hole plate with a platform at the base made from two 3 x 5 hole flanged plates. The drive is taken from a worm on the motor to 57 tooth gear which has a small bush wheel at each end.

The drive to the arms is from two strips fixed to the wheels so that one moves up as the other goes down. The drive to the head is taken from his arm via a rod fixed at the pivot point of the arm so that it rotates as much as the movement of the arm. This movement then goes via a small contrate to a 19 tooth pinion on the rod on which the head is built. The head movement is thus coordinated with the arm movement.  The body of the model is made from red flexible plates and the legs from a pile of tyred wheels which makes him resemble a Michelin man.

The string on which the top is resting is tied to the outer end of the arms. It should not be excessively long as then the motion becomes uncontrollable. The top spins as the string is moved under it by the rise and fall of the arms. To make the spinning movement visible the two pulleys separated by one washer are of the plastic version with three holes and then the holes are only visible if the motion is stopped.

Article and model are by Derrick Murdie.

Sam can be seen in action on:

Above a Plastic Meccano Beam Engine with working Parallel Motion by Dick Watson.

To the left, a Grasshopper Beam Engine by Brian Elvidge.

It shows the mechanism very clearly.

The open cylinder allows one to see that the piston does move up and down in a straight line (very nearly).

Another of Brian Elvidge’s Steam Engines - a Vertical Single Cylinder one.

This is based on  a model published in the Jan. 1946 Meccano Magazine. Not many of the readers would have had all the parts needed and the rest would have to wait several years before they became available.

The original was provided with a Magic Motor.

More Steam Engines from Ted. Harris.

These are made mostly from post-war Märklin parts. The originals would have been darker red and green or possibly black.

Märklin Single Cylinder Horizontal Steam Engine

It is driven by Clockwork Motor 202 (the famous “Trinity” one with 3 different output shafts).

Märklin Model 733 Zwillings-Dampfmaschine.

(Twin Cylinder Steam Power Plant)

The original prewar  instructions suggested the use of pre-printed card parts 85c (34 x 15 cm.). Ted has used red paper stuck to thin card, cereal packet type, and a white crayon to mark out the mortar lines.

The ladder (part 109 50) has been cut from plastic packaging.

The model was in the section devoted to No. 4 set models (roughly equivalent to a Meccano 1937 series no. 8). The Card Parts and Ladder had to be bought separately.

The cylinders in the original model were made using part 64 - the 1914 Meccano Ship’s Funnel.

The model is powered by the smaller Märklin 201 Clockwork Motor, similar to the Meccano 1A

Märklin Set 6 model 858


(Beam Engine)

The No. 6 was the Märklin development of the 1919 Meccano one,which later became Set K. The grey flexible plate used for the pump cylinder looks like a Märklin Flexible plate which is blue on the other side.

The motor is a fairly modern Märklin 1035

Models of a Cartwright Engine

By Dick Watson & Brian Elvidge.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them, click the Back Button to return.

Cartwright’s Mechanism for converting reciprocating motion into rotary motion from an article  in  MM Jan. 1931 (p17).

It shows a modern model of the engine. I have not been able to get a better reproduction onto the web-site page.

The valve F controls the admission of steam to the cylinder. It is opened by the piston as it reaches the top of the cylinder and closed by the crosshead as it descends. It has been moved to the side of the cylinder on the model above.

The valve G is opened when the piston nears the bottom of the cylinder to let the steam escape into the condenser.

A You-Tube video of it working can be found at:

A diagram showing the construction of a Cartwright Engine

It is taken from “A Memoir of the Life, Writings and Mechanical Inventions of Edmund Cartwright” by his daughter Mary. A link to the Google upload of this book can be found in the Wikipedia article on Cartwright.

The inset shows the construction of the piston K which has an early form of  a metallic piston ring.

Few, if any of these engines were built. It certainly had the advantage of simplicity, but the gears would have been troublesome and some parts, requiring regular maintenance, difficult to get at.

This model uses Märklin Cranks, stronger than Meccano ones and with round holes at the ends. The motor is a Metallus geared one.

Virtual Meetings 2020

Because it is not possible to hold proper meetings and nearly all the events to which members go have been cancelled, our members have sent pictures and a video or two to the Webmaster to include on this web-site.

Brian Elvidge’s Cartwight Engine.

It includes  three Stokys gears, parts 201 and 202 at crankshaft level, and the two balanced cranks are Marklin parts.
The model was powered by a Mike Rhoades medium duty motor, that has a fixed gearbox ratio.
The cylinder is of open construction as he did have in stock any long cylinder parts.

I researched the actual machine, and came across a very good set of photos of the Science Museum's one, this helped getting the settings of the cranks correct.

It worked very nicely.