George's model effort impresses at national show
It only accounts for half his collection but George Illingworth's 30 Meccano fire engines have been impressing visitors at a national model show.
Mr Illingworth, a member of Telford & Ironbridge Meccano Society, has made the absolutely unique 1/12 scale models from scratch - using no kits - over the past 15 years.
They show the historical development of fire engines, starting with a horse-drawn model from 1890, right up to the latest version people see extinguishing fires across the country today.
The display of 30 models was featured at the London Model Engineering Exhibition at Alexandra Palace, and are only half of the 60 Mr Illingworth has made over the years.
The 76-year-old, who lives in Kenilworth, said he had always been interested in fire engines, but had never been a member of the fire service.
Although he has made many models from Meccano, including warships and the iconic Lancaster bomber, it is fire engines that have become his model of choice.
He said he had been pleased at the response from the visitors to the show – particularly those who have been in the fire service who had taken time to admire his efforts.
He said: "I have been amazed at the amount of interest today and the amount of ex-firemen who were delighted to recognise them and who told me about the machines they had worked with and so forth.
"It is very gratifying when people actually recognise them and say 'those are the ones I used to be with'."
With no access to instructions for the models Mr Illingworth, who was an engineer, said that it sometimes takes as long to research the plan as it does to make the model.