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By DAVID HILL

The Christchurch Meccano Club is bringing its annual Meccano model and toy display to the Rangiora Bowling Club over Easter.

Club president Alan Bensley says the club is bringing the display of old style Meccano to North Canterbury due to the many members out this way.

“Meccano is alive and well in North Canterbury and the Christchurch Meccano Club is the oldest, continuous club of its kind in the world, mainly because other clubs stopped during the war years.”

He plans to visit local schools in the lead-up to Easter to put on small displays and introduce children to Meccano.

Meccano dates to 1898 when Frank Hornby created a toy he called “mechanics made easy” to encourage his sons to take an interest in engineering. Young and old continue to be mesmerised by Meccano.

“We are still kids at heart,” he says.

While the “old-style Meccano” is hard to come by, plastic Meccano sets are on sale at most toy stores.

The Meccano displays are held every year in the South Island, with the Christchurch club last year hosting a national exhibition in the Great Hall in the Arts Centre.

This year’s display will be much bigger, Mr Bensley says, as there is more space to display the several hundred Meccano toys and there will be a “hands-on” area for children and their parents to make things out of plastic Meccano.

“There will be remote control cars, machines and meccanoids (robots) on display,” he says.

The Christchurch Meccano Club’s display will be held at the Rangiora Bowling Club, Good Street, from March 30 to April 1, 10am to 5pm daily. The bowling club will also offer an introduction to bowls on the Saturday. To learn more, visit the Christchurch Meccano Club page on Facebook or email alan.bensley@ mail.com.