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Historical NZFMM conventions

NZFMM Conventions 1978 to 1991

Wellington Meccano Convention 1978

As far as I could ascertain the earliest National Meccano convention was arranged by the Wellington Meccano Club and was held at the Railway Social Club Hall, Wellington, from
24th to 27th March 1978. Incidentally this was prior to the establishment of the NZFMM which only took place in 1979 with the first president elected at the 1980 convention.

The "Wellington Meccano Club News" vol. 3 no. 3 April 7th 1978, the precursor of the NZFMM magazine, carried a short description of the convention and listed the prizewinners. These were:

Junior Modellers
1st : Philip Ngan's fork lift truck
2nd : Pal Robert's Blackpool Tower
3rd :John Sim's Fire Engine

Senior Modellers
1st : David Wall's Marshall 6 n.h.p. 1920 Traction Engine
2nd : Don Blakeborough's Caterpillar D9H Bulldozer
3rd : Keith McCallum's Kenwood Truck Unit

On the Sunday night a discussion ensued and a survey was held on whether another convention/exhibition should be held (yes), and if so where (Wellington) and how often (two yearly).

This convention was advertised in the Meccano Magazine for January 1978, page 35, as reproduced on the right. Pictures from the exhibition were subsequently featured in the Meccano Magazine for April 1979 as reproduced below.

Formation of the NZFMM

In the last issue of the Wellington Meccano Club News for 1st December 1978 it was reported as follows:

" It has been suggested by several members that New Zealand Meccano Enthusiasts form a N. Z. Federation of Meccano Modellers. (N.Z.F.M.M.) Each club would still retain their own identity and each would still be responsible for their own administration. Meetings of the proposed Federation could be held bi-annually at the Meccanomens Conventions, where small working committees could be elected."


"Also suggested is that the W.M.C News could become the N.Z.F.M.M. Magazine, with space being allocated to each affiliated NZ Meccano club."

This duly came about and the first NZFMM magazine was issued in January 1979.

NZFMM Christchurch Meccano Convention 1980

This second convention (the first held under the NZFMM banner) was held in Christchurch in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Christchurch Meccano Club, the oldest surviving Meccano Guild affiliated club in the world. By all accounts the convention held over the Easter weekend was a great success.

Friday was setup day, Saturday was members day which included judging, and Sunday was the public day.
Max George was elected the first president of NZFMM, and the presidents of all Meccano Clubs in NZ were elected vice-presidents. Don Blakeborough was awarded the Modellers Choice Trophy and the Christchurch Meccano Club was awarded the Federation Trophy.

NZFMM Auckland Meccano Convention 1982

The 3rd NZFMM Convention was held at MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) in Auckland over Easter 1982.

This description from NZFMM Magazine vol. 7 no. 4 May 1982 (possibly written by the Editor, Don Blakeborough):

Prizewinners were:

Senior Section
1. Don Blakeborough, Kato Excavator
2. Lloyd Spackman, Locomotion No. 1
3. Alan Coop, Dock Side Crane

Junior Section
1. Gary Forster, Tram Car
2. Graeme Carey, Foden Steam Lorry
3. Nigel Spackman, Funicular Railway

The winner of the
Federation Tophy was the Auckland Meccano Association.

The convention featured in the Meccanoman's Newsmag no. 35, June 1983, as reproduced below.

Pictures of Brian Buchanan's sports car scanned from his personal album are shown below.

NZFMM Wellington Meccano Convention 1983

The 4th NZFMM Meccano convention took place over the Easter weekend at St Luke's Church Hall, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt, NZ. This convention was held only one year after the 3rd convention to enable members who were also members of the Model Railway Association to attend. Previously the conventions had clashed. A brief model report can be found in the NZFMM magazine vol. 8 no. 4, May 1983.
Convention prizewinners were:

Senior Section:
1st: Simon Moody, Dry Dock crane.
2nd: Neil Carey, NZR 'G' class Garrett Steam Loco.
3rd: Neil Browan, Giant Block Setter Crane.

Junior Section:
1st: Graeme Carey, Stephenson's Rocket Loco.
2nd: Andrew George, ?
3rd: Steven Penn, ?

Federation Trophy was awarded to the Auckland Meccano Association.

Public Opinion Trophies were awarded to Simon Moody (senior) and Graeme Carey (junior).

Some pictures were published in the Meccanoman's Newsmag no. 38, March 1984, as reproduced below:

Two of Brian Buchanan's models at the Wellington 1983 convention.
These photos were scanned from Brian's personal album.

NZFMM Auckland Meccano Convention 1985

The 5th NZFMM Meccano Convention was held once again at The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) over the Easter weekend. The following description is from the NZFMM magazine vol.9, no. 6, June 1985:

The model competition results were:

1st and Senior Trophy: Neil Browan for his 747 Jet Plane
2nd: Neil Carey for his Ka Steam Locomotive
3rd: Don Wilson for his Knight Mk. II Car

!st and Junior Trophy: Graeme Carey for his Steam Locomotive
2nd: Graeme Carey for his Derrick Crane
3rd: Andrew George for his Double Flyboats

NZFMM Trophy was awarded to the Auckland Meccano Society.

Click Here for some colour photos of the exhibition.

Lloyd Spackman's notes on the convention were published in the Meccanoman's Newsmag no. 42, July 1985, and are reproduced below.

NZFMM Christchurch Meccano Convention 1987

6th NZFMM convention was held in the Wharenui School Hall at Riccarton in Christchurch over the Easter weekend in 1987. It was advertised by the Christchurch Meccano Club as being the 80th anniversary of the adoption, in 1907, of the trade name "MECCANO" by Frank Hornby.

This description from NZFMM magazine vol. 11 no. 2, June 1987:

The model competition results were:

1st: Simon Moody for his giant container crane.
2nd: Lloyd Spackman for his Road grader.
3rd: Kelvin Liggett for his Crane Traction Engine.
4th: Don Blakeborough for his Kato Excavator.
5th: Kingsley Burrell for his 10 Wheel Breakdown Truck.

!st: Timothy Moody for his Oil Drilling Rig.

NZFMM Club Trophy was awarded to the Wellington Meccano Club.

The final comments are left to Lloyd Spackman from his Bits & Pieces column in the NZFMM magazine:

NZFMM Wellington Meccano Convention 1989

The 7th NZFMM Meccano convention took place over the Easter weekend at St Luke's Church Hall, Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt, NZ.

This description from NZFMM magazine vol. 13 no. 1, April 1989:

Side Lever Marine Paddle Steam Engine by David Wall
First Senior Prizewinner (photo: Gary Higgins)

Brian Buchanan with his original and ingenious rolling Ping Pong Ball Machine.
(photo: Gary Higgins)

It fascinated everyone and at times had audiences three deep in front of Brian's table.
(photo below scanned from Brian's personal album)

NZFMM Wanganui Meccano Convention 1991

The 8th NZFMM Meccano convention took place over the Easter weekend at St Johns Hall, Hill Street, Wanganui, NZ. The convention was hosted by the newly formed Wanganui and Districts Meccano Club.

Visitors from afar included new members Warren and Keren Murcott from Dunedin, and Jerry DuBois all the way from Canada. Linsay Bond's display on stage also celebrated 90 years of Meccano.

The prizewinners were (from NZFMM magazine June 1991):

Above: A general view of some of the exhibition tables.

Below: Brian Buchanan's magnificent model of the Starship USS Enterprise from the Star Trek TV series in contemporary blue, yellow and silver colour scheme. These photos were scanned from Brian's personal album.

Click Here for further pictures scanned from colour slides taken by Peter Anderson, Daryl Anderson's father.

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