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Can he fix it?

13 June 2011

There was oil coming out of the fire hose, and, at the same time, grey gunk was crawling from the top of the motor. The Green Goddess was sick, but that was the end of the journey. The spring was at the beginning. It seemed to uncoil interminably, and as it did so the little cogs and gears scattered over the floor leaving the motor in pieces and an eight-year-old me in deep trouble. In those far off days boys had real toys, not virtual ones that depend on keyboard or joystick skills. This was manly stuff – Meccano: ‘The toy that grows with the boy.’ Girls were of course not allowed a look in as they were confined to dolls and miniature nurses’ uniforms.

Meccano then consisted of strips of metal with holes punched in them, axles and gear wheels – a far cry from the exotic plastic shapes and mouldings of modern Meccano sets, which in the sales pitch are now directed to ‘children’ and not just to the boy.

Part of my Meccano set consisted of a large clockwork ...

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