May 2019 Club Night report

The May club night commenced with the usual club business from Clive and Roy and this was followed by a short talk by Mike Collins about the proposed Dynamometer project.

Members were invited to be involved in the project and a special meeting for those taking an interest has been arranged and will meet at Clive's house on Wednesday 15th May @ 10.30 am

Mike's talk was followed by the main speaker for the evening.

Chris Scivyer is a club member who also has a special interest in aviation and his talk was titled 'A Tour of Airfields and Museums In and Around Moscow'

His talk covered his trip to Moscow in 2003 and visits to :
-  Four airports around Moscow
- The 2003 Moscow Airshow
- Star City (Russian Cosmonauts training)
- Several plants reworking old Russian aircraft and helicopters
- Three private airfields
- Three aircraft museums
His illustrated talk gave a very interesting insight into the Russian Military and Commercial aviation industry which has not been noted for its safety record in recent years.

During the refreshment break club members inspected a demonstration model of a 'RetroReflector' by David Brown.

It was made from a discarded mirror that David acquired and he had the pieces cut by a glazier.

It serves to illustrate the principles of the Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment 

'Retroreflectors have been left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts to reflect lasers from Earth so that scientists can measure the moon's distance with millimetre precision. We now know that the moon is receding at about 37 mm per year. If you look at the centre you will see an upside-down mirror image of yourself regardless of your position. The ones on the moon are glass prisms made very accurately and each panel contains many prisms. If you put your hand or anything in the centre you will see seven reflections, 3 single, two double and one triple'

The first StAlbansMES Newsletter has been published, registered club members can view and download it HERE

April 2019 Club Night & AGM Report

The April club night commenced with Annual General Meeting with the minutes of the last meeting read by Roy Verden, the election of Committee members and the financial report by Mike Grossmith.

The chairman then gave his report for 2018/2019

Read the full Chairmans Report Here


With the business of the AGM concluded the members enjoyed 'tea and buscuits' while viewing and discussing the projects and models brought to the meeting by fellow members.

The red truck in the last 'photo will form the basis of a 'Dynamometer' project that some members will be working on during the forthcoming year.

12th April.

 March 2019 Club Night Report

The March club meeting was also Auction Night and there was a good turnout of members and a good selection of auction lots!

Peter Haycock in action

Hammers under the hammer









From our Chairman:

Thanks to all those who provided an assortment of items for sale at our auction last night.  Thanks also to all those who put their hands in their pockets thereby putting £229.80 into club funds.

It was, as usual, an entertaining evening thanks to our excellent auctioneer Peter Haycock.  Thanks to Peter,  Ian Gurton who kept the books and Malcolm Beak who undertook the role of porter.


Am I bid ANYTHING for this garden strimmer?

Sadly the garden strimmer attracted no bids and remains unsold !



Don't worry readers, you'll get another chance to buy it from the club shop at the annual exhibition in September!


14th March 2019

 February 2019 Club Night Report

The club was delighted to host a talk by Ant and Mike Pritchard from the Tamiya Truckin' group.

The duo described and demonstrated the Tamiya models that they construct and operate, many of which are customised with special lighting and sound units, the latter are able to authenticaly re-create all of the starting and running sounds of the real trucks and construction vehicles.

During the refreshment break the club members closely inspected the models that Ant and Mike brought to show and many interesting questions were asked and comprehensively answered by Ant and Mike and their father Ted who was present and is also a member of the Tamiya Truckers.

The Tamiya Truckers are regular exhibitors at our Annual Exhibition and occupy an entire hall with their layout. They also exhibit at all the major model exhibitions in the UK and are an extremely popular attraction for young model makers at all the shows.

A video of the talk can be viewed on our YouTube channel..... or play it in the window here.


Tamiya Truckers talk
January 2019 Club Night report

At the January club night the Chairman presented two awards.

The first was the Hugh Beardwell trophy which is awarded to the best display by a club member at our exhibition.


This year this was awarded to Bill Langton and Terry Wybrow for putting together our club stand.  The stand was the best for some years and displayed the  society’s heritage.


The second award was the Chairman’s shield.  This is awarded to recognise a member’s exceptional dedication to the society.

This year it was awarded to our gazette editor Tony Mason

Tony has been involved with the editing of the gazette for 15 years.  He assisted Roger Stephen during his term as editor and undertook a lead role advising and assisting  Michelle Hysom during her term.  Over the last few years Tony produced the gazette single handed and developed it into the excellent journal we have all enjoyed.


Ian Gurton brought along a couple of his Arduino Mini-Bots to show to members, these were to be seen scurrying around following guide lines and trying to avoid each other.

Ian will be exhibiting these at the Alexandra Palace show later in January.

Mini Bots

The awards presentations were followed by a film Show presented by Frank Banfield and included some facinating vintage films depicting maritime and railway history, his show also included a selection of short cartoon films including one of our all time favourites.......Roadrunner & Wile E.Coyote....Beep Beep.

That's All Folks ! 

Merry Xmas

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members !

The December club meeting is also the annual Christmas party and the evening was well attended by members, some accompanied by their 'better halves'.



The highlight of the evening was a 'Magic Lantern' show given by Terry Summers, ably assisted by his daughter Kate Barlow.

Terry brought a selection of vintage slide and filmstrip projectors from his extensive personal collection along with a selection of still and amimated slides ranging from simple amusing cartoon images to elaborate animated 'stories' based on childrens tales from byegone years.


On a more sobering note Terry showed his audience a filmstrip produced by the Governments 'Civil Defence Corps' in the early sixties to illustrate the potency of the post war atomic weapons and the consequences of their use in populated areas. A chilling reminder of the threat of nuclear war at the time.

On a lighter note Terry's very entertaining show was followed by a refreshments break of festive treats and cakes (delicious cake Malcolm!)  and lashings of beverages of choice.




Party Time!

Terry also brough an interesting selection of 'home entertainment' that the Victorians enjoyed including a Zeotrope, stereoscopic viewers, kaliedescopes and music boxes.


Rob Briancourt  19th December

St.Albans DMES now on YouTube !

The St Albans & District Model Engineering society now has its own YouTube channel where the club will be able to show videos of the Club Exhibition, members models in action, club events and activities.


So if any members have a video of their engineering masterpieces that they have taken, and thus have copyright, and are willing to show it to a wider audience please email and let me know.

If your video needs 'tidying up' and perhaps a title and captions I can add them too! 

So dig out those videos, or better still, dig out that digital video camera and take some new ones and get them to me.

Click on the YouTube button above to go to the clubs YouTube Channel.

Rob Briancourt.

27th November 2018

The Club EGM, 14th November 2018

At the club's EGM on 14th November the members attending voted for an increase in the club subscription fee of £2 per member across the board so the standard fee will be £35 and £32 for concessions.

The junior members fee remains at £17

It was also announced that the Gazette will not be printed and posted to members after April 2019 but will be available for viewing or download from the new club website, also to be launched in April 2019.

The Gazette will also be emailed to all members in the form of a .pdf attachment that can be read on-screen or printed by the member.

This is to eliminate the printing and postal costs which total £2,000 per annum, a considerable burden on club funds.

The EGM was followed by a very interesting talk by Tony Mason about the historical landmarks and features of the City of St.Albans, it was interesting to look at 'photos from byegone years and identify their location and then look at how the appear (or not) in todays city.


The next Club event in the calendar is the Club Christmas Party on December 12th where you will be entertained by a ''Magic Lantern' show by Terry Summers.

The will be cakes and drinks too! (cake provided....bring your own drinks!)


Club Exhibition.

The weekend of 29/30th September saw yet another successful exhibition for the club.

Attendance on both days was higher that expected much due to the efforts of the committee to publicise the event as widely as possible, and the warm sunny weather on both days made for a very pleasant experience for visitors ans exhibitors alike.

Roy Verden gave the visiting Duputy Mayor of St Albans, Councillor Brian Gibbard a guided tour of the exhibition.

As popular as always were the have-a-go boats and the steam train rides.


Here's a quick view of some of the exhibition features.


The cafeteria also did a roaring trade in meals and refreshments thanks to the lady wives of club members who worked tirelessly throughout the day.