Photo of the
Ice cream while you are queuing?
The Model Engineer Exhibition was the principle event in the modelling calendar, being held for the very first time over 110 years ago in 1907 at the Royal Horticultural Halls. The dates changed from autumn to winter to summer where it remained for many years until 1961 and a move to the Westminster Central Hall where we made our first visit. MAP having taken over all the Percival Marshall publications promoted their first ME Exhibition in 1967 and a move to the Seymour Halls, actually a public baths with the pool covered in for the Exhibition. The popularity was never in doubt and along with the Boys and Girls exhibition proved a magnet, as can be seen above. It was probably this that produced further moves to the much more spacious Olympia and eventually the Wembley Conference Centre where the queues could still be as long as in our photo.
The final London home was Alexandra Palace, where it occupied and filled both halls. Sadly, the decision to move out of the capital has meant no permanent home and increased competition from Meridian and the London Model Engineering Exhibition at AP along with some very successful provincial shows. The demise of the ME inspired Exhibition was confirmed with its cancellation in 2017 (leaving us with a hotel booked to boot). In 1947, Percival Marshall said that the 'Exhibition had now really grown up and that at last he had brought a life's work to fruition and his work here was completed'.
image courtesy of the Westbury family archive.