'Skill and craftmanship' showcased as hundreds attend popular exhibition
PUBLISHED: 17:02 20 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:26 20 October 2019
A life-size replica of a Meccano car, daleks and a K9 dog from Doctor Who were among the stunning displays that attracted bumper crowds to an annual exhibition.
The sixth annual Lowestoft model engineering and model making exhibition was held at Ormiston Denes Academy this weekend, with a diverse range of exhibits inspiring people of all ages.
Many hours of skill, craftmanship and patience were showcased as modelling disciplines - ranging from traditional model engineering in all its guises to boats, aircraft, model railways, dolls houses, radio controlled trucks, tanks, Steampunk and even two Daleks - attracted a "good turnout" of people.
With the exhibition organised by the Halesworth and District Model Engineering Society (HDMES) once more, HDMES exhibition committee chairman, Kevin Rackham, said: "The exhibition takes over two large halls, the library and at least eight classrooms with live steamers and other displays outside.
"We have had more than 300 exhibitors in the different classrooms attending and the first day was great.
"The weather was kind to us, we had a good turnout of people and it was really busy."
With more models in attendance on the second day, organisers were hopeful that more than 1,000 people would have turned out over the weekend.
Mr Rackham said: "We have had good feedback, with people saying is that all it costs to come in, which was brilliant.
"We had just over 400 visitors on the first day, hopefully will be over 1,000 by the end of Sunday."
With model locomotives, traction engines, cars, lorries, model railway layouts, working stationary engines, model boats, radio controlled trucks, fixed wing aircraft together with clocks, automata, Lego and much more all on display, something for everyone was on offer.
Among the large-scale model aircraft on display was a model of Bleriot's plane, which was the first to fly over the English Channel. Exhibitor Terry Utting said: "Only three of these have ever been built in the UK."
He also displayed the Spirit of St Louis plane, which is currently being built.
As stationary steam engines, traction engines and steam lorries ran around the grounds outside, a life-size replica of the Meccano car, with working engine and every part seven times bigger than the Meccano part, returned this year.
It drew admiting gasps from the crowds as exhibitor Derek Waghorn, 88, spoke about the life-sized car based on the childrens toy, Meccano.
The vehicle has a 1300cc Citroen air-cooled engine and a standard five-speed and reverse gearbox and is made out of glass fibre, brass and aluminium.
Mr Waghorn, the inventor and self-taught engineer from near Beccles, said: "It probably took 10 years roughly to complete.
"Meccano was never a cheap toy, but I wanted to do something that had not been doen before - so I went and seearched online and came up with this idea."
The main beneficiary from the family friendly event was Special Objectives for the Local Disabled (SOLD) - a charity based on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate, which is run by and for disabled people and aims to give them access back into a workshop environment.