Daniel and Joel come to play


Well, no actually, Bampa went to play with them.  There was great excitement because both boys were about to celebrate their birthdays.    Always in the back of my mind was the problem of when to give them their first Meccano sets.    There was the ever present danger that someone else would get in first while I held back from giving my gift because I did not want little fingers to be frustrated when I knew from experience how difficult it is to read a plan and then hold three pieces together while fitting a bolt and then screwing on the nut.   I was mindful also of the fateful day when my own aunt had given me a Meccano set, and it had instantly captured my imagination and became a lifelong interest.  Here was I on the verge of carrying on the family tradition.   I had long ago made my purchase of the Meccano crane outfit and it was stored in my cupboard waiting for the great day.


You know how children these days are glued to the television set, and my grandchildren are no exception.  They also have great computer skills, and have the instant ability to make friends with a palm pilot.   Daniel had just got a new 6 speed bike, and we spent a lot of time in the sloping garden learning to zoom down one side and gear change in time for the return trip.  Joel circled round and round on the veranda while we endlessly played traffic lights.   They were well trained by the time we went off to Hyde Park.


When we got home, it still wasnít Meccano time because Daniel wanted to play soccer and then French cricket.   They went to have their bath and were two tired little boys at bedtime.


The next day, their mother phoned to say that Daniel wanted to go to the Science Museum.  This had secretly been a wish that I kept to myself - that one day I would be able to take my grandsons there.  It is a magical place with every conceivable model that a boy could wish to see, and I had been there many times myself.  I steered the boys towards the special model section that had been set up for the millennium, but oh no - Daniel wanted to got to the video games section.     I have to admit this is quite a sophisticated setup and had the boys undivided attention for the next two hours.  I had wanted also to take them to the Imax Space Film, which is simply stunning - but we were out of time.  


Next day, Mum suggested a trip to the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon, and I was more distracted by the wonderful exhibits than the boys.  They spent all their time in the do it yourself section where the power of moving air and flight can be explored.   The last time the boys and I had been together we had built an impressive fleet of Meccano aeroplanes labeled P31, 32 etc and also an airport complete with landing strip, parking area and of course the control tower.   I was hoping that the planes at Hendon would inspire them to increase their fleet at home.   When we got home, we started  assembling an Airfix plastic F16 aircraft - so thatís what we did together for the holidays, the boys and I.  


The picture shows Daniel and Joel with their birthday presents from Bampa, brand new Meccano sets, and there was great excitement.  Oh happy day.  After 60 years, the story has come full circle.  Now lets build something.