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Ahead of their appeareance at MakeFest 2017, Richard Watson from the North West Meccano Guild tells us more about the history of the organisation.

MakeFest is this weekend! It’s an amazing couple of days when the museum gets filled with everyone from computer coders to textile artists encouraging our visitors to have a go at making something themselves.

Although some of MakeFest is geared towards the more ‘techie’ side of the maker community, one group we love welcoming back every year is the North West Meccano Guild. Armed with their amazing hand-made machines, the Guild always fill the Power Hall with their infectious enthusiasm.

We asked Richard Watson from the group to tell us a bit more about them:

“The North West Meccano Guild had its beginnings in 1973 when a half dozen youthful enthusiasts, centred roughly around Leyland in Lancashire, met in somebody’s front room to try to form a group for the exchange of ideas and help.

“This group soon grew and became the North West Meccano Guild, with around 40 members and now, 40-odd years later, the Guild is still in existence and meets regularly to share ideas and enthusiasm, though the average age of the membership has risen somewhat! (despite the addition of a few much younger new members).

Meccano model of a JCB

“The Guild holds two meetings in Leyland each year, usually in March and October (the Annual General Meeting). In addition, the Guild exhibits several times during the year at model railway shows, traction engine rallies, museums and charitable events.

“Membership of the Guild is open to all those with an interest in Meccano and model building, and a warm welcome is extended to all who have not outgrown their youthful interest in the mechanical world.”

So, if you fancy testing your engineering skills, joining up to make magnificent machines yourself, or just staring in wonder at the Guild’s intricate creations, come to see them in the Power Hall on 19 and 20 August for Makefest 2017.

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