The Bournemouth And District Society Of Model Engineers held their annual exhibition at the Ringwood Town And Country Experience on the 28th and 29th of April 2007. The Ringwood Town and Country Experience premises are well known to Model Engineers in Bournemouth and also around the UK. You may not recognise the name at first until you realise that it used to be the home of MJ Engineering. Although MJ Engineering have moved to a new home, the Ringwood Town And Country Experience stock a range of brass and steel bar and are also purchasing a guillotine in the near future so they can supply brass sheets of a size useful to model engineers. They also stock small hexagon head nuts and bolts.
I had a quick look around The Experience when I arrived and was quite interested in the remains of a “Dam busters” bomb. Even though having seen the film several times, I was quite surprised at the size of the bomb. I had always imagined it being larger. I had a look at the vintage cars and motorcycles, but that was about as far as I got.
There was a wide range of models on show at the exhibition, as well as the usual workshop equipment, tools, clocks, steam and internal combustion engines. There was also a 16mm railway layout running throughout the 2 days.

One of my favourite exhibits was the 1/6 scale Carpenter automaton. When the handle was turned, the carpenter planed the piece of wood and his back flexed with the movement of the plane. He was mainly made from wood with a resin cast head and hands.

There was a lovely model of a working roundabout in the entrance and also a large narrow  gauge steam locomotive and a large-scale steam wagon.
Les Dorland who worked on the Queen Mary started the roundabout in the 1960’s. He died before it could be completed but his daughter Lorna finished it with the help of some of his friends.Most of the steel used in the construction came from the Queen Mary. There were several locomotives present, both large-scale coal fired and small electric locomotives. There were several examples of John Wildings clock designs on display together with a main spring winder, which I think was to Johns design.
 There was a table devoted to internal combustion engines as well as various exhibits of stationary steam engines.

One thing that spoiled the show slightly for me was the decision not to display the makers name on the exhibits. This was done to avoid the problem of unwanted visitors who armed with the exhibitors name and a phone directory could pay a nocturnal visit to the workshop. I understand why but am not convinced that it is a good idea.
I believe most exhibitors would like recognition of their efforts. Tell me what you think!

The Ringwood Town And Country Experience can be found on the web at

Bournemouth And District Society Of Model Engineers can be found at