Affiliated to the Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies.


Derek Marder’s Mince Pie and Birthday Celebration (18 December 2011).

A fine but cold frosty morning greeted those attending Derek’s annual event held at Jubilee Farm, Andover. With the yard rather slippery in places only a couple full sizes engines moved out from their parking areas under steam, while other engines including a large portable gently steamed as parked providing a welcomed heat source to warm many cold hands. In the large workshop warm food and drink was provided while the wood burner kept the inside temperature very pleasant. Many club members supported the event as requested with several models in steam, as the models moved about the site the change of surface from tarmac to hard frost covered grass to muddy grass as the frost thawed was quite challenging for most. At lunch time some of the model drivers did the short road run to the Wyke Down Inn and back while others elected to stay and make use of the club room for tea and coffee. Club members with engines in steam included Tony Taylor (3” Fowler Ploughing Engine), Team Hounslow (4” Burrell and Foster), Dave Watts (4” Burrell), Andy Rogers (4” Burrell), Pete Parrish (4” Burrell) and Roger Melton (3” Savage).


Our thanks to Derek and Sandra Marder for their hospitality and welcome.


Mamod, A brief history.  1936 – 1960.

The company we know as Mamod today did not originally start as that. In 1936, Geoffrey Malins began to make engines for the Hobbies of Norfolk after their partnership with Geoffrey Bowman Jenkins folded. The first range of engines that were produced under the Hobbies label were the SE1/2/3 and 4. They also produced a marine engine, the ME1. In 1936 a total of 576 engines were made across the entire range. 1937 sees Geoffrey Malins start the Mamod Company as we know it today, alongside the Hobbies range of engines. I do not know when Mamod stopped making the Hobbies engines. Why Mamod? It is a mix of two words, Malins and Models. Becoming, Mamod. He is producing the same range of engines as the Hobbies but under his own name at this point.   In 1939 Malins Engineers LTD become a private company and starts by releasing a Mamod brochure, with a total of 4 pages.  Late 1939, they release the rarest Mamod engine available today. The Mamod Minor Twin. Sadly this did not see a good production run, some saying as little as 9 months. Production ceased due to the outbreak of war, and Malins began making items for the war effort. 

 Mamod Conqueror

 1939 Mamod Minor Twin

We skip forward to 1946, the war has ended and Mamod begin production of toy steam engines again. The range is limited to the SE1,2 and a Minor 1. Production picked up gradually despite the lack of materials and reliable equipment in post war Britain. 1949 sees things go from strength to strength as Mamod introduce a new product, a steam launch, called “Meteor”. Sadly the boat did not sell well at all, we can surmise due to the high cost. Some got repainted and were fitted with an electric motor “The FROG Revmaster” in around the middle of 1950. These boats became known as the Mamod “Conqueror”, also a commercial failure these boats are particularly rare now, especially the “Conqueror”.


1952 sees the end of the “Meteor” which long surpassed the “Conquerors” production run. 1953 now, Mamod are starting to look at cost cutting measures. Brass flywheels are phased out, replaced with mazak ones, flat steel bases are also phased out in favour of a thinner pressed tin version. This reduced costs and also gave the models an exciting new look.  1954 and all bases are now pressed, the range now (and has done for some time) includes a Mamod Minor 2. The next big change happens in 1957. Mamod introduce the first new engine in years, A twin cylinder model on a large base plate the SE3.  Another innovation, Wick burners are dropped in favour of a vaporising meths burner. Come 1958 and more new engines for Mamod. The range now includes two marine engines. The ME1 and ME2, marine engines aimed at model boat builders who needed a ready to run engine plant to go into the models. At this time, the Minor one is still carrying the wick burner. The end of the decade comes, Mamod report astounding numbers of 300 engines leaving the factory a day and SEL (Signalling Equipment Limited) have been on the scene for a few years now, still Mamods biggest competition with their more modern production techniques and a larger range of toys, including a battery powered workshop, toy house and working traffic lights etc. A lot of management changes have happened over these years, as well as several premises moves. I haven’t bored you with these details, as they don’t really matterThanks must go to Steve Malins Book “ Mamod, the story of Malins models” and Mike Jane for helping with dates, key points etc.


By Will Higgs


A Life Time Passion for Steam, by Mike Penny, will continues in the February edition of the news letter along with  Running a 1 inch Maxitrak Burrell by George Hounslow.


The Burrell Saga, (Continued from the November newsletter), 

Time is moving on quickly and my target is to have the engine in steam and tested early in the year ready to run in for the forth coming season. The paint work and the lining is all but finished with just a little touching up here and there to finish. The front and rear wheels were the only outstanding parts to paint but I was waiting for some mild weather before spraying them with Craftmaster Alfa Red enamel. That day arrived so after partitioning the garage into two with plastic dust sheets to form an enclosed booth it was time to start spray painting. All went very well, or so I thought, when the dust settled and I looked in the mirror, although wearing overalls, breathing mask, paper hat etc I ended up as red as the wheels, my black overalls were now red tinted, my grey hair looked like I had a red perm and my beard was red except for the area covered by the breathing mask, the wife was not pleased with the state of me, but the good news was the wheels turned out alright!The next challenge was to line and detail the wheels,  the front wheels each spoke is lined on both sides rear wheels lined on the outer face of the spokes only. Using the book “Burrell Style” as guidance it is a broad black line down the centre of each spoke edged with off white/cream. Here again I used the Craftmaster lining tape to produce the broad black line and once dry and after a little practice I edged it using a Beugler Striper Lining Tool (this is an American invention using its cylindrical paint reservoir to feed a straight knurled wheel that applies the paint, these can usually be seen and demonstrated at model exhibitions).

Reassembly of all the painted parts was done very carefully,  one problem that I encountered being the build up of paint thicknesses on some mating parts causing slight miss-alignment, this was overcome by gently removing paint from both faces until the desired fit was obtained. The final settings, adjustments and gland packing took a little longer than planned but hopefully this will pay off in the long run. The engine is now sat on its wheels and the last of the copper pipe work is being polished and fitted along with the injector and remaining water fittings, the cladding will be fitted after a successful  steam and boiler test.

 By Martyn Jones


Miniature lorry, traction engine and road roller slow race

How about a slow race to test the skills and luck of drivers?The idea is to have a bit of fun whilst having a slow race for miniature steam engines and take into account the different scales when the times are calculated.  It would be run over a pre-determined distance in a straight line, with little weaving permitted, with the times adjusted by multiplying the time by the scale, ie ¼, in order to establish an adjusted time.  The slowest adjusted time will win. Each engine would be monitored by someone who will appear to be unbiased and will note the number of times the flywheel stops and record the time.  Each time the flywheel stops during the race a penalty will be awarded. Periods of stopping longer than 10 seconds will result in a void run. Each driver/engine combination can only be used twice as 2 runs will be allowed with and the best slowest time counts. An engine may be used for more than one driver. There are lots of ways to reduce the speed, and practice can help. An example of typical times over a 16 yard course is shown below.

Typical results could look like this.



Measured time


Adjusted time



Burrell 3”

1 min 34 sec


23.5 sec



Burrell 3”

1 min 39 sec


24.75 sec

Joint second


Burrell 3”

1 min 46 sec


26.5 sec



Foster 4”

1 min 0 sec

20 sec



Burrell 3”

1 min 39 sec


24.75 sec

Joint second


Measure distance was approximately 16 yards

Anybody interested?  If anyone is then I could organize it at a steam up, eg Wood Green or boiler test day and we might even have a championship run throughout the year.

By Trevor Clay

   Just The Ticket Engineering Supplies”, Roger Melton (club member) can supply from stock tools and materials for the model engineer and the light engineering industry. Typical stock includes drills, reamers, taps and dies, various lathe and milling cutters, BA nuts, bolts and washers, rivets, paints, steel/brass stock and much more. Catalogues are available so please give him a call on 01980 610058.