History of NAME
The Northern Association of Model Engineers was established in the second half of 1945 at the instigation of a Mr R O Harper, then Chairman of the Eccles and District Model Engineering Society. At its inception the Association consisted of 14 Societies representing some 500 members. The declared objectives of the Association were "to promote, encourage, develop and organise the model engineering movement in the North of England".
Progress was slow initially and it was not until 1st February 1947 that the first A.G.M. was held and the following officers were elected. Chairman: Mr R O Harper (Eccles), Vice-Chairman: Mr W Tomkinson (Altrincham), Honorary Secretary and Treasurer: Mr A F Duckitt (Merseyside), Publicity Secretary: Mr F W Waterton (Altrincham), Competition Secretary: Mr R Lawton (Whitefield) and Messrs. S Lees (Oldham), J Denton (Bolton), T Crooks (Rochdale) and J W Clarke (Manchester) were elected Council Members.
Delegate meetings were then held on the first Saturday of each month at the Y.M.C.A., Peter Street, Manchester. Later the meetings moved to the premises of the Temperance Union, Deansgate, where the proprietors insisted on no swearing, smoking or drinking during meetings; progress indeed!
Many of the founding societies no longer exist, some are known to us under new titles, the following come to mind: Eccles and District Model Engineering Society (the precursor of Urmston & District MES), Merseyside Live Steamers, Mancunian Model Engineering Society, Oldham Society of Model Engineers, Altrincham Model Power Boat Club, Bolton and District Society of Model Engineers, Sale Model Engineering Club (not to he confused with the current club of a similar name). The time was one of "austerity" and material shortages. Few clubs had permanent track facilities, power boats ruled, open expanses of water cost nothing, many societies were therefore at this time more associated with water than steam - indeed, the official NAME "water" was in Heaton Park, Manchester, whilst other societies adopted "water" in Altrincham, Wilmslow and Platt Fields, Manchester.
The first "Northern Models Exhibition" was held 25th - 27th March 1949 in the Corn Exchange, Hanging Ditch, Manchester, and exhibitions were held annually at that venue until the 12th exhibition in 1960. The exhibition attracted over 10,000 visitors and was acclaimed to be a great success in Model Engineer. The disastrous financial outcome of an accident to a member prompted Mr Sam Fox of the City of Bradford Society and a member of Sydney Packett &, Co. Ltd., Insurance Brokers of that City to propose the introduction of compulsory Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance cover for all members of NAME as part of the subscription to the Association. This was adopted and remains the mainstay of NAME activity. In addition to the insurance aspects of NAME activity a scheme was operated for many years whereby member clubs could obtain short term interest free loans repaid over a period of 12/24 months.
Today NAME is formed of approx. 180 clubs/societies and has a presence at all of the model engineering exhibitions.