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Maidenhead Static Model Club

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In February we welcomed John Coke, who entertained us with a slide show.  The evening was in two parts, the first being about the activities and projects undertaken by the Slough and Windsor Railway Society, including the history and preservation of the Slough Estates Ltd. locomotives, which operated on the Slough Trading Estate.  More information about the Slough and Windsor Railway Society can be found at http://www.swrs.co.uk/swrsweb/index.html .

The second part of his presentation ranged over a wide range of local (and some not quite so local) subjects bringing back many memories of lost infrastructure.  Notable for the contrast with today's climate of security were the years when visitors were encouraged at Heathrow, with viewing and special events on the roof terraces.

The evening’s competition was ‘Airport-related Vehicles’ (inspired by the proximity of Heathrow).  First prize went to  Roger Coles for a King & Country RAF Bedford QL Aircraft Refueller.  Second prize went to a collection of three refuelling bowsers from Clive Gehle.  These included an original Dinky 60Y Thompson with a white metal copy, and also the slightly smaller Skybird version.  Third was a remote control Palitoy plastic fork lift truck belonging to Bob Collins.  In fourth place was a Hong Kong plastic ‘Airport Crash Tender’ entered by Michael Driver, a much up-scaled copy of the Matchbox Alvis Salamander ‘Foamite’ model.

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On 21st January the club held the 139th "Windsor" Toy Fair.  This was the final event at the Montem Centre in Slough, which has been the fair's home for exactly 40 years, since January 1977.  From June 2017 we are moving to a new venue - the Windsor Leisure Centre - so the "Windsor" Toy Fair will at last be back in Windsor!

Click here for details of the Toy Fair and click here for a map showing the new venue.

At the January clubnight we enjoyed a very entertaining presentation of old transport films given by Frank Banfield.  These included a film about London’s last trams, in black and white, showing some footage of the trams' heyday followed by their final destruction after retirement.  Then came a colour film of BRS trucks supplying cement for the construction of a dam in Scotland – interesting as much for the lifestyle of the drivers as for the vehicles involved.  We also saw Pickfords negotiating the Slough area with a heavy haulage delivery, and as a complete contrast an amusing American short film featuring the family breakdown caused by a man’s obsession with toy trains.  The evening finished with a cinema trailer for Flash Gordon, with some of the least convincing special effects ever seen!

During the break we had a presentation about the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice given by founder Fiona Devine and Neil Shuttleworth of SAS Auctions who is a supporter of the cause.  The charity hopes to be the recipient of a donation from the club’s charity fund.  When completed the hospice aims to provide a much-needed facility for parents and children.

The evening's competition theme was steam road vehicle models.  In fourth place was Hilary Gatward’s Stanley Steamer by Revell Toys which, very much a toy, has a jumping action activated by the plunger.  Third was Brian Gatward’s Animate Toy ‘Baby Steam Roller’ made in the USA.  Robert Newson took second prize with a display of Kansas Toy steam tractors and threshing machines, also from the USA and made in the 1930s.  First prize went to Roger Coles for a Bassett-Lowke steam traction engine.

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