Up Golden Spanner » 2003 Ernie Chandler (deceased24-08-2012) and John Westwood (United Kingdom)

On August 30, 2003 at the Annual General Meeting in Henley-on-Thames, it was the great honour and pleasure of the Society to present John Westwood and Ernie Chandler († 24-02-2008) with ISM's third and fourth Golden Spanner Award

John was born in 1919, in Bromley, Kent.
He trained as a teacher of art, and began his teaching career in the Printing Department of the Carlisle College of Arts in Cumberland. He retired as the Director of Her Majesty's Stationery Office in London. John Westwood started Meccano at the age of six in 1926, and took it up again in 1974, when he was able to pick up a No. 10 set for £132, thus adding to his boyhood collection and setting him off on the Meccano trail once again. After his retirement, he moved to Streatley. There John set about forging international friendships with Meccanomen worldwide with dictionaries on hand to cover French, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch.
In 1987 (greatly supported by his wife Margaret) John set up the International Meccanoman as a private venture, the first issue being published in 1988.
His aim was to provide a magazine that would wing its way across local, regional and national boundaries and embrace the whole fellowship of Meccanomen who were interested in being part of an international Meccano community, just as the Meccano Magazine had done so successfully in earlier years.
Later his International Meccanoman became the journal of the ISM.

John is very well known on the UK club scene as publisher of leaflets and monographs. An example is his delightful "Begin Building!" leaflet, which offers an attractive portfolio of models that really can be built by a beginner using a small number of easily-obtainable parts. At the time when John published his leaflet, Meccano France's own manual presented models that were more likely to frustrate the beginner than to hook him (a fault that still exists, though to a lesser extent).


Ernie was born just after the 1914-18 War in Stratford on Avon, in the Midlands of England.
Like many of us, he got to know Meccano when an aunt gave him a present of an '0' set for Christmas in 1924. Other sets followed over the years of childhood. Then came the Second World War, and Ernie joined the army as a driver. He was evacuated from Dunkirk and later served in North Africa and Italy.
After demobilisation in 1946, he settled again in Stratford with his wife and young son. He bought a No 10 Outfit and his advanced modelling career began.
Ernie has been secretary for almost 20 years of the Midlands Meccano Guild (MMG) and was elected President of MMG when he retired as Secretary.
He arranged many local exhibitions to present Meccano to the public, and to raise funds for the St John Ambulance Brigade Coventry.
Since 1971 he was approached to display Meccano at the first Town and Country Festival run by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) at Stoneleigh near Coventry. Ernie and MMG have been there every year since. In the thirty years, the numbers attending each year have risen to over 120,000.

Ernie has also provided an ever-changing display of Meccano models to passers-by in the bay window of his home. These have been particularly delightful at Christmas when, decorated with festive lights, they have appeared magical to children of all ages. Throughout all his Meccano life, Ernie has been interested in people as much as their models. His friendly character has been responsible for making new members and returnees to the hobby feel welcome and instantly at home at meetings.

Ernie sadly passed away on 24-02-2008 but will be remembered by all his Meccano friends.


01 Ernie Chandleri
03 John and Ernie
02 John Westwood
04 John, Andre, Ernie

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