Monday 23 June 2008

Meccano Magazine on Vacation

The long school holidays are already upon us for those who pay for their education and this Meccano Magazine cover from July 1929 celebrates the departure of an affluent cross section of the readership en route for the local station and the journey home. It would be entertaining to see this tradition revived if only for the pleasure we could all take from observing future members of the Bullingdon Club out and about among us mere mortals, perched on top of their belongings. Joy is unconfined as the future captains of industry look forward to many long sunny days assembling Meccano constructions and tormenting their younger siblings. Health and safety considerations rest in the capable hands of a cheery rustic swain from the lower orders sporting cloth cap, muffler and ‘weskit’. Probably unacceptably risky by today’s standards although one desirable side effect would be a reduction in the number of 4 by 4’s on the roads at holiday times.

This goes to show that even the picture editors at Meccano Magazine occasionally grew weary of the endless procession of steam technology and heavy engineering across the cover and resorted to uplifting images of mountain scenery or peasantry at work in the countryside. This was a period when Englishmen of great courage and stern character were pitting themselves against the impersonal might of mountain peaks around the globe to the greater glory of the mother country which was all very thrilling to the schoolboy reader. The appeal of the romance of the pineapple and the extraction of sugar from trees is less obvious, other than a common theme of sweetness.

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