By David Carpenter

While some will have it that model engineering is on its last legs and exhibitions are in terminal decline others have us believe that everything is healthy and not much changed. The Bristol Exhibition organisers must definitely be ‘glass half full people’. It has gone from an uncertain future about ten years ago to growing to the point where it fills all the space available (without crowding) with good attendances. And all this organised by a club rather than a commercial enterprise. That does not mean that it is under-resourced in any way. The organisation is very good and with a well-established venue everything seems to run like clockwork. And closeness to the M4 and M5 really helps.

This year, many models caught our eye, not least the latest from Anthony Mount - the Ferrabee Pillar Engine of 1862, in that golden period of steam engine development.

Mike Sayers’ blower Bentley is showing good progress and is now looking like a ‘proper’ engine rather than a collection of assemblies.

Hywel Lambert is taking a break from his Harrsion RAS Regulator while the designer tries to get to grips with the workings of the remontoire. Hywel is now well into a five dial coup-perdu skeleton clock, also with a remontoire. Still on clocks, David Spicer bought along a Comtoise clock of about 1880 from his collection. It is good to see some collectors’ items at exhibitions.

Slightly more up to date, and also full size rather than a model, was the restored rolling chassis of a Halley lorry from World War I. Discovered as a wreck in 2007 on a farm, at some stage it had been converted to a showman’s living van. All that was left were the wheels and chassis frame. Originally it had a 4-cylinder 35hp petrol engine, and a new one was made, including radiator, from works drawings. Completion is scheduled for 2018. Meanwhile, help and parts will be gratefully received. Contact Joe Nemeth Engineering.

Graham Dean is fortunate enough to own a 1934 Morgan 3-wheeler. On show was a delightful half size model he has made of his car.

There was lots more to see and fill a day there, including a number of models under construction - a good advertisement to come back next year. 

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