When I was growing up I had Meccano, and I loved it. My first set came at Christmas one year when I was probably around 6 or 8. It was the old red and green stuff as I recall. The first few projects mainly involved me sitting watching my Dad put models together. He was engrossed in what he was doing, I was "helping" but mostly wondering who had got Meccano for Christmas, me or him!
My father did make me a wooden tray with a sliding lid in which to keep my construction kit, and when it was added to another year, I was allowed to make things myself. My favourite project was a large crane with a roll-out bogey on s swivel platform that I could use to raise and lower things from the landing over the stairs.
Eventually the Meccano was packed away and passed on in later years to another member of the family. Sadly not all of it came back, and the disappointment I felt even as an adult was palpable. I don't think I realised just how much this simple construction kit meant to me. It was more than a toy, it was a world of creativity. Even now I can hardly bear thinking about opening the box in which I have what's left of my original sets, knowing what I'll find. My Meccano was probably the only thing I ever put away completely when I'd finished with it. I could account for every item, it was that important to me to have all the parts exactly where they should be.
Well, it's obviously been a long time since it saw the light of day, but I have been thinking, rather wistfully I have to say, about the possibility of reinvesting in this wonderful engineering toy. Maybe I'm just daft, but perhaps it might be fun to build that crane, or something similar once again. I know I don't have all the parts, and I don't even have the books (they were lost too) so I can't even write a list of what's missing and try to replace it all. But I have seen a great set and maybe I could argue that it's just in case I ever become a grandparent!! After, what grandchild of mine wouldn't want to sit for hours watching me put together a model crane!