Picture gallery: Hethel exhibition recalled the days when Meccano and Hornby were the must-have toys

Nathan and Louis Howard look at an exhibit at the Meccano and Hornby exhibition

Nathan and Louis Howard look at an exhibit at the Meccano and Hornby exhibition - Credit: Submitted

For those of a certain age, it was an event that would have brought back a flood of memories of a childhood toy that could – in the wrong hands – frustrate as much as it could entertain.

Young and old alike were drawn to an exhibition at the Hethel Engineering Centre, dedicated to Meccano – the model construction system developed by inventor and toymaker Frank Hornby.

The event featured displays from the East Anglian Meccano Set, a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the toy, which enjoyed its heyday from the 1930s to the 1980s.

The day also featured involvement from the Hornby Collectors Club who displayed some of the historic sets.

The event, on Saturday, was organised by staff at the centre – a hub for businesses specialising in engineering – and the focus was on using the toys to further develop and showcase such skills.


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Graham Jermy, an innovation engineer at Hethel, said: 'A lot of the engineers of today were inspired by Meccano and Hornby.

'There were a lot of children at the event and it was a chance to inspire the next generation of children.'

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The largest exhibit on show on Saturday was a working model of a tower crane, which had to be carried to the centre on the roof of a car before being assembled inside.

The display attracted 85 visitors of all generations keen to reminisce about the past or to find out more about the toys their parents and grandparents enjoyed.

What was your favourite toy? Email dominic.bareham@archant.co.uk

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