Category Archives: Club News

Trip Report to the German Matchbox Club Weekend

By Marcel Colijn

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

The German Matchbox Club recently spent a weekend in Maastricht, NL. 35 people attended the weekend. Dirk Schleuer had organised the very successful event, including a bus tour on Friday with an old yellow school bus from the US. We all had a great weekend!

I am in the front row, in the middle, with my girlfriend.

Then we had a lovely dinner in local restaurant in the city centre on the Friday evening and then a much liked 4 hour boat trip in the south of The Netherlands and Belgium on Saturday. The same bus brought us to the boat on Saturday from our hotel!

The main event was Saturday night with dinner in the hotel, displays of members’ Matchbox collections, and an auction. I presented my Matchbox store display stand that I acquired at auction in Nov, 2018. it is from around the 1964-1966 period and sized for bigger Matchbox models (Models of Yesteryear, King Size & Major Packs).

I have started to find the right period models to populate the display stand, with the original boxes. This was quite a task to have this
all done before the weekend in Maastricht. I am still working on it, so I borrowed some of the models in the photos from a fellow collector. I have tried to populate the display per the 1965 UK trade catalogue.

It is also of interest to know that the display stand came packed in the original transport crate (which I have never seen before)! The auction house believed that the display had never been removed from this crate, being old shop stock from the Leicestershire area of the UK.

Photo by Kay Schaber

The blue display is Dirk’s stand for toy fairs, and I used it to place all the original boxes which belong to the models on the yellow display stand.

Photo by Kay Schaber

In addition to the displays, we also had an auction after dinner. The most expensive item there was Alex Picha’s 1st book (The Big Book of Matchbox Models of Yesteryear, 1956-72, Alexandr Picha & Libor Miks, 2012) which went for many euros and had many bidders.

Here are some pages from 1964-66 UK trade catalogues.

1964 Lesney Sales Catalogue
1965 Sales Aids
1965 Sales Aids
1966 Sales Promotion Guide

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Clubing Around

By Will Roe

If members of other clubs would like to share their reminiscences of joint club events MAR Online will be happy to hear from you.

If you think this is about going out night clubing then you are reading the wrong item. No it’s about the camaraderie among at least some model collecting clubs. I’m writing this from the viewpoint of being Coventry Diecast Model Club’s (CDMC) magazine (Wheelspin) editor, a position I’ve had on and off for many occasions now, the first going back to the 1970’s. Even back then, when I first took the reins, our club was linked to the West Australian Model Collectors Club, based in Perth. via their club magazine (Showcase). Via it’s editor, the late Mike Silk, we exchanged copies of our respective club magazines, something still done to this day, only in this day of modern technology it’s done as pdf file by email.

Staying on this club link, over the years I became friends with WAMCC’s next editor, Bill Holt, an ex pat at whose house the Oz club was founded in 1982. Bill and his lovely wife May, visited and
stayed with us on several occasions over the years while visiting relatives in the UK.

May and Bill Holt on a visit in 1993


Sadly, Bill passed away earlier this year and I shall miss our adventures, having taken him on visits to the Coventry Transport Museum, a CDMC meeting and even on the Rolls-Royce Centenary celebrations at Donington Park ( I worked for Rolls-Royce Aero Engines before my retirement) in good times past.

Myself with Max Doust on his visit in 2003


Another WAMCC member to pay me a visit was Max Doust, long serving treasurer to the Oz club. Sadly, like Bill, Max passed away this year but this isn’t about sadness, it’s about the continuity of club relations.

CDMC is still linked to WAMCC via our respective magazine exchanges with the current editor, John Boden, and we keep in touch on a regular basis by email.

Another long term connection for CDMC is with the South Hants Model Auto Club (SHMAC). Again, club magazines have been exchanged over many years and still are to this day. In times
past SHMAC and CDMC have put on displays at the Classic and Sports Car show at the Birmingham NEC, something that SHMAC have done on many occasions with excellent displays of members models, often in diorama form. On another occasion both clubs put on displays at Stoneleigh in the days of Ray Strutt’s ModeleX shows.

CDMC display at NEC 1988 Classic & Sports Car show


Personally, I’m still in touch with several of the SHMAC members, some of which have supplied articles for CDMC’s Wheelspin club
magazine. On one occasion, I had the honour of a visit from SHMACC members at my home when they visited my humble ‘Mini-Mobileum’ when they were in this area for one of the shows.

1990 – Members of South Hants Model Auto Club pay a visit to see my model collection

Moving on another club, we have long been associated with Maidenhead Static Model Club, (MSMC) Britains oldest established model collectors club – founded in 1969 – CDMC being the
second oldest I believe, founded 1975. Just to digress, CDMC Wheelspin magazine/newsletter has been published since the club was first founded, thanks to co-founders, Paul and Hilary Kennelly, which I think makes it the oldest of the club newsletters. another thing to note is that whereas CDMC’s magazine is WHEELSPIN, Maidenhead’s is WHEEL BEARINGS and SHMAC is WHEEL NUTS, all without these similarities without any prior knowledge of each
others titles. Back to the MSMC link- CDMC has visited their venue on past occasions among the first occasions was a combined trip in1987 when a coach was arranged for CDMC members to visit
MSMC’s Windsor Swapmeet and also to visit the London Toy Museum. A special treat for members on that occasion as they travelled on Harry Shaw’s brand new double decker coach.

CDMC members proudly wait to board Coventry coach operator Harry Shaw’s latest flagship doubledeck coach which bore a ‘1 COV’ number plate.


November 1988 was the occasion of a weekend in Brussels, organised by MSMC to attend the 20th Toy Fair held at the Palais Monial d’Automobile, the huge motor museum in the centre of
Brussels. A big contingent of CDMC and members of their family joined the coach trip, staying at the same hotel.

1988 – Maidenhead and Coventry club members gather in the lounge of the Brussels hotel for a pre-evening get together. CDMC (male) members can be seen wearing their club ties


Above, the massive Autoworld in Brussels, venue for the swapmeet, which can be seen on the mezzanine area. Below, Solido model, trailer and poster produced to mark the event


In June 1989, both Maidenhead and Surrey clubs visited Coventry and joined CDMC at thier monthly Club night. CDMC also attended at Maidenhead Club ‘Inter-Club’ nights quiz evenings on September
1990 and again in August 1992. Once again in November 1999, MSMC members joined CDMC members in a visit Jaguar
Cars, Coventry, a trip arranged by the Coventry club.

Another occasion when MSMC members travelled to Coventry was June 24th 1998 when CDMC organised a mystery evening trip on a preserved 1954 Coventry Corporation bus No 94. The bus left the
Coventry Clubs meeting venue. the Midland Air Museum, and ended up outside a toy shop in Bedworth which, unfortunately, was
closed! Along for the ride were veteran CDMC members, husband and wife Jim and Maurine Bailey, who once worked on the Coventry buses and on this occasion, wore their uniforms.

One of the other clubs that we have a connection with and swap Club newsletters with is Wessex Model and Toy Collectors Club. Other clubs that we have been in contact with now and then are Sydney Model Auto Club and Ulster Diecast Model Toy Club. If I’ve missed other clubs and occasions over this long period of time hopefully it will jog the memories of others and with a bit of luck they will come forward with their own experiences. To me contact with other clubs is interesting, rewarding and well worth fostering and I’d like to think that it is the same for other clubs too.

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Club News Autumn 2017

By Maz Woolley

MAR magazine often included a short item on Club News written by Rod Ward. Since going online we have had a page of fixed information about clubs but have never had the same regular round up of news. In a  recent email exchange Barry Lloyd the editor of Wessex Smalltalk and Vice Chairman at Wessex Model and Toy Collectors  suggested that we really ought to revive the regular club roundup. So here at MAR Online we will create our Club News slot and will update our readers from time to time with news of what clubs are getting up to. If you belong to a club that is not mentioned on our club page then get in touch and we will add your information, and clubs who pass on their own news letters may be mentioned in the club news posts we make.

Starting with Wessex (WMTC) as Barry Lloyd got the ball rolling again. An excellent club magazine, Wessex Smalltalk, keeps everyone updated with what is going on at the club even if they cannot always attend meetings. Like many clubs they adopt a charity each year and collect money for them through auctions and other events. Recently they have auctioned off surplus club special models which had remained unsold to benefit Bath Cancer Unit Support Group. For many years the club had special Brooklin models made but  that ended last year when Brooklin adopted a minimum order policy that is too high for most clubs. A 2017 club model has been sourced elsewhere and should be with the members soon, but like other clubs they are wondering whether they will commission a club model for 2018. Their monthly meetings attract members with a  wide variety of interests and the August meeting had everything from a nice pair of Victory MG TFs  to an OO scale garage and Tinplate Railway items.

Further along the British south coast you come to South Hants Model Auto Club (SHMAC) who attend many events showing their models and publicising the hobby. Their most recent club magazine Wheel Nuts describes their attendance at the Andover Modellex show where the club showed six cabinets of models with everything from NASCAR to Traction Engines. There were also trips to display Ford Models at the Ford Fair at Silverstone, and at Breamore House Classic Car Show. Club nights see the Model of the Month competition which attracts a wide variety of entries from tanks to racing cars. Chris Derbyshire produces an excellent club magazine which always have excellent articles from members, often covering real vehicles with modelling and collecting connections.  In October’s edition there was a great article about Ecurie Ecosse at Le Mans in 1957.  I can vouch for the friendliness of the monthly meetings having attended one earlier in the year.

I will have to watch what I say about Coventry Diecast and Model Club (CDMC) as I am a member!  Monthly meetings at the Midland Air Museum are usually in a show and tell format with members sharing their models. And there is a good range of models in a variety of scales, materials and ages on display.  This month it will be “battery versus clockwork” which will undoubtedly bring out some interesting models. The quarterly magazine Wheelspin is edited by Will Roe and includes articles by members as well as news and interesting looks at the clubs past.  The cover this month shows one of Will’s drawings of a Coventry Corporation Number 2 bus just like the one that this editor used to catch into town in his childhood.

Maidenhead Static Model Club (MSMC) is Britain’s oldest club having been founded in 1969. Regular monthly meetings are held and a they produce a club newsletter called Wheelbearings. The newsletter is produced by Adrian Levanto whose book on Blue Light Models was reviewed recently in MAR Online. Members enjoy club nights with talks, quizzes, competitions, and a social event in the lead up to Christmas too.  The club raises money for charities from auctions and events. The Windsor International Toy & Train Collectors Fair is organised by the club and is a big effort for all involved.

West Australia Collectors Club (WAMAC) hold regular meetings and publish a club newsletter Showcase.  This is another club whose members are looking forward to a pre-Christmas lunch together. Meetings include competitions and show and tell sessions. The club news covers a wide range of subjects: Trax code threes, search and rescue vehicles, and Matchbox Lesney models for example. Members of course also show road train models celebrating that unique Australian transport system.

Natal Diecast Model Collectors (NDMC) is another club founded may years ago which still publishes a regular newsletter as well as holding Club Nights. The Latest newsletter shows the variety of models members brought along for the Mini themed evening in July as well as an interesting article about Jaguars that has been published across three newsletters. September will have seen their annual diorama competition and in October a member is showing models at the Hobby-X exhibition in Durban. They even find time to keep up a club website at

The Canadian Toy Collectors Society (CTCS) is a well established club covering a wider range of toys than many. The newsletter edited by Des Barnes is produced ten times a year and the club has monthly meetings in Toronto. It sponsors toy fairs which cover a wide range of collectibles. Club nights are a mix of competitions and members displays. The October theme was Dioramas and the wining member had built a wonderful display based on the real-life Lucky Lott Hell Driver Show  from the 1930s to 50s showing cars stunting and the transporters that got them to site.

Nederlandse Algemene Miniatuur Auto Club  (NAMAC) has local groups meeting in various regions: West; Brabant; Veluwe,; Utrecht; Noord and Noord-Holland. Local groups seem to be active in visiting transport museums, having meetings to display their models and the usual club nights we have here in the UK.  The monthly magazine is a full professional production auto in miniatuur. It features reviews of new models as well as news of trips made by members.  Slot Cars are also covered which is outside the scope of many UK model magazines. There is a fabulous article in the latest edition on creating dioramas for photographing with both 1:43 and 1:18 models set ups shown. The club also holds a very influential collectors poll to vote for the best models in a wide range of categories.

Brooklin Collectors Club

This club has an annual meeting but has worldwide members and its newsletter is the main way of bringing collectors together. Unfortunately MAR Online cannot comment on the newsletter as it is one of the few that we do not see.

The club meeting this year was held in Bath and was combined with meeting with Brooklin staff and talking about the many changes which are going on at Brooklin. Members seem to generally accept a need for higher prices to cover the increased level of detail being included but there seem to be reservation amongst Brooklin collectors in general about proposed new, more complicated, and more expensive packaging  which was discussed with Brooklin over the period of their visit.

Reading all the club newsletters I see is encouraging. The clubs seem to be very welcoming to new members and give you an opportunity to learn more about collecting from other enthusiasts which is always a great experience.

I hope to visit many clubs over the next couple of years as I find it a great way to meet and learn from other collectors.


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