By David Carpenter

It is ten years since the first edition of MEWS appeared. In that time there have been a lot of changes in the model engineering world. Engineering in Miniature has been sold, and following a series of changes now looks to be thriving again. That allowed the previous owners to concentrate on their exhibitions business which also continues to thrive and prosper.

Model Engineer magazine has seen several changes of editor and owners, although the managing director remains the same. Its exhibition of more than 100 years has been closed, although attempts are being made to revive the best bit, the model displays and competition.

Doncaster was the result of a move from Harrogate - a  good move commercially but no doubt less popular with wives ending the outings to Harlow Carr and tea at Betty’s. Fortunately, it continues to be a super event thanks to the Rex family.

It is sad that the Bristol Show has stopped for now. That has been a great event run by a club and doing a job that is up there with the professionals. Sadly, economics and problems with the local council have combined to create problems which we hope will be resolved eventually.

We’ve had our ups and downs at MEWS, too. Two failed hard discs and a change of internet service provider made life difficult. Fortunately, it continues to cover its costs.

We are able to bring some inspiration each week by looking at different models which others might like to build. The editor’s own list of ‘must builds’ will now keep him occupied until 2139. We also look back at engines and other items which might make modelling subjects. We also include build details where the machining will be of interest.

From the first issue we have had a Model of the Week. Many said it could not be kept going, but here we are ten years on. We didn’t promise a new drawing every week - but that has pretty well happened thanks to Julius and others. And we keep up with news, including new workshop equipment.

MEWS has changed in many ways over the years. Readership today is into the tens of thousands every month. Back in May, 2009 it was around 400. Fortunately, it grew quite well and we attracted our band of sponsors quite early on who have (mostly) stayed with us for which we are really grateful.

The appearance has changed in many ways, too. Technically it is now much better, especially the drawing downloads. Although drawings on the web pages are good, saved drawing downloads are even better.

Page design is different, also. We realized some years ago that more and more readers were using iPads and iPhones (other makes are available!) so we decided that pages must work well on those platforms as well as a computer screen. We were able to do that without creating a separate app and all the extra work involved, or by using page turning software which we find unpleasant to use and not great in pdf form. 

We are also fortunate now in having Roger Froud doing much of the photography which appears on the website.

What of the future? Editorially things will no doubt continue to evolve. We will also re-visit some of the early material now that we can present it better.

It would be possible to develop things commercially, but that’s not the editor’s choice. There are opportunities there, but that is for someone else. Perhaps.

It has been fun for the past ten years. It started as an idea while ill in hospital (delirious?). There had been talk about a website at ME but nothing came of it at the time. So when freed from that business, work started on MEWS.

Since then there has been the build up of a serious body of work, all still readily available, from 500 issues of MEWS.

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