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Is Model Engineering in Decline

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not done it yet20/10/2019 14:26:44
4507 forum posts
16 photos
Posted by steamdave on 19/10/2019 16:31:19:

When I visited GEARS over in Portland OR, the ladies of the exhibitors were not left out on a limb looking disinterestedly at the engines while hubby was rapt: they had their own display (in the same building) of their crafts, mostly quilting and needlework sort of things. It was very noticeable how many of the men went and viewed them.

The Emerald Isle

Francis was quietly making lace at the Midlands show, on the Thursday - don’t know if she persisted for all days.

That was one way to pass the time.... She was actually getting quite a lot of attention while we were in that area of the show. Lacemaking is ‘basically’ a simple operation. Lacers only use four sticks at any one time and there are only two stitches - a full (cloth)- and half- stitch. If you could manage the first, the second is easier! Most of the rest is ‘crosses’ and ‘twists’ - with a few other manipulations thrown in when required. The real skill is making it all look neat and appealing - as well as designing patterns, choosing appropriate threads, etc....

Meunier20/10/2019 20:33:12
308 forum posts
1 photos

^^ Thanks for the report NDIY but surely "Frances was" , etc ???
it's almost hypnotic to watch a lacer and some of the bobbins are works of art in themselves.


Edited By Meunier on 20/10/2019 20:34:10

Edited By Meunier on 20/10/2019 20:35:14

not done it yet20/10/2019 23:15:20
4507 forum posts
16 photos


You are right - ‘e’ for ‘er and ‘i’ for ‘im! My bad. Wasn’t thinking.

Some of the bobbins are quite valuable, too. Particularly the ‘hanging’ bobbins. I hate to guess how many bobbins are around our house (pillows as well).

Kiwi Bloke21/10/2019 01:50:51
405 forum posts
1 photos

I don't know about model engineering being in decline, but this model engineer has been for years...

Former Member21/10/2019 09:26:26

[This posting has been removed]

Hollowpoint21/10/2019 09:47:54
322 forum posts
30 photos

I think Neil has it spot on.

Model engineering isn't dying but it is changing. Today's youth aren't interested in building steam engines because they have no relevance to their modern lives. They are building things like drones, rc cars, film props and robots because to them, they are more exciting. Most of this kinda stuff is built at home in a bedroom on a 3D printer. Machinery isn't cheap for your average youngster and modern living (small properties with no gardens/sheds) is not conducive to having a fully kitted out workshop.

I wouldn't worry about model engineering completely dying though. I dabble in machine tool sales (buy, fix, sell) and its obvious that for most people space is at a premium. Sales of small machinery is booming.

Steve Neighbour21/10/2019 11:09:00
29 forum posts

I would suggest Model Engineering is like so many other hobbies or 'pastimes' go through decline, then become more fashionable, then decline and so on, so as Neil said, it is 'changing' or more accurately 'evolving' . .

My wife is a prolific knitter, how many young girls (or boys to tick the 'pc' box) take up such crafts, although having said that she is trying to teach one of our granddaughters to knit and crochet . . hopefully when she is older she may take this up, only time will tell.

I started model engineering way back in the '60's . . . being taught to use a lathe by my late Grandfather when I had to stand on a step up to reach the controls, my own late Father showed no interest, and nor have I until since I made my own way in the world, raising a family and following a career.

I have always had interests in model and full size steam, and ironically when I was a small lad of about 8,9 or 10, those that made, owned or operated model steam engines and trains all seemed to be in their 'senior years' . . . and having visited the MIdlands Show this weekend, they are still of the same age !!

I 'played with' RC aircraft, helicopters, PC games, and even recently a quad-copter (primarily for aerial photography) but like all technology the novelty can quickly wain.

Time has passed quicker than I would like, I am now very much in my 60's and busy building my 'man cave' to house a lathe, milling machine etc such that I can follow my dream and passion for model engineering.

Edited By Steve Neighbour on 21/10/2019 11:11:49

Hopper21/10/2019 12:22:40
4414 forum posts
94 photos

People just don't have as much time to pass with pastimes these days. Too much TV, internet, etc etc. Combined with more entertainment and easy travel available outside the home. Most people are not looking for things to do to pass the time. They are looking for more time just to do the basics in today's busy world. Retirees of course have more time to spend, hence the ageing demographic of MEs.

You look at some of the ME "greats" such as Bradshaw, Bray, Sparey, Thomas, LBSC and company and they were lifelong enthusiasts, spending thousands of hours in the workshop after work and on weekends for decades. Who has that kind of spare time today?

Edited By Hopper on 21/10/2019 12:27:44

ANDY CAWLEY21/10/2019 12:47:05
168 forum posts
47 photos
Posted by brian curd on 20/10/2019 09:21:19:


Doncaster Show dates for 2020 are given as 8th to 10th of May


Thank you very much. I'll be able to go this year, hooray.yes

I only live 10 miles down the road and have managed to miss it due to being on holiday since it started in Doncaster.

John Haine21/10/2019 14:37:53
3014 forum posts
160 photos

Surely model engineers, like police constables, seem to look younger every year...?

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