A new model army

Full steam ahead:  Colin Reid, of the North West Meccano Guild, prepares for this year's Meccano and Model Show on Sunday

Full steam ahead: Colin Reid, of the North West Meccano Guild, prepares for this year's Meccano and Model Show on Sunday

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If we build it, they will come.

That’s the attitude from members of the North West Meccano Guild as they prepare for the highlight of their year, the Meccano and Model Builder Exhibition, at Leyland’s British Commercial Vehicle Museum this Sunday.

The annual show has some of the finest examples of working model traction engines, locomotives, cranes and steam engines – many displayed alongside their life-size counterparts at the museum.

And, this year, there is also an exciting photographic display and film of the world’s only full-sized bridge entirely constructed of Meccano.

The annual show has in the past drawn visitors from as far away as Penzance, in Cornwall, and Forfar, in Scotland, to the King Street museum.

Formed in 1973 by six enthusiasts, the North West Meccano Guild create amazing and complex models with this popular metal constructional system. There are around 40 members across Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Cumbria, who form the backbone of this show.

First sold under the name Mechanics Made Easy around 1901, the toy changed its name to Meccano in 1907 and has been continually in production ever since, apart from three years during World War II.

The exhibition is being held at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland, on Sunday, April 14. Doors open from 10am to 4.30pm. Entry is £6.50 for adults and £4 for children, aged four to 15, or family tickets for two adults and three children at £17. Under fours go free.