In the words of the old song from 1939: “It ain’t what you do its the way that you do it!” That’s the ‘secret’ of Bristol’s success.

These days it is right up there with the professionally organized events with an outstanding team ensuring that all aspects of running a top show are done well.

This year the first day was busy. Very busy.

The car park was full, as usual, very early, and by mid morning the overflow field was just about full, too, and there was a real possibility that more space might be needed.

As usual there was much to admire.

Last year, Hywel Lambert told MEWS that he was starting to build the Harrison RAS Regulator as described by Stuart Harrison in his recent fascinating book about the clock that was built to be Harrison’s own regulator and accurate to one second a week. Building a reproduction of this large and complex clock is a massive undertaking, and Hywel’s progress so far is astonishing.

Our selection of 50 models is, of course, a personal one and there were many others which we have not been able to cover. We were most impressed by the Burrell compound road locomotive - a first model by Colin Hawkins who has no engineering background. It was fascinating to see the SMEE’s unfinished Deltic loco by the late Roy Amsbury on loan, with others,  from the National Railway Museum, a real coup for Bristol.

Bristol always manages a brilliant display of Meccano with Richard Smith’s amazing Duchess class loco in streamlined guise a highlight, along with another under construction without the casing. And there was a large K’nex model, too.

Another fascinating and different model was the Mechanical Cable Shovel being built by Geoff Lewis.

It is not just the unusual tho that makes Bristol a great event. There is always a good display of established designs to inspire, like LBSC’s last model serial on Mabel, named after his wife. Or Anthony Mount’s latest, the Fenby Corliss engine being described in Engineering in Miniature. Or a host of engines in infinite variety.

This year the event occupied all four halls at the Thornbury Centre, all full of fascinating models and things to buy.

To finish the lyric from the tune: “...and that’s what gets results.”

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