The JMH Beginners section was originally introduced over a year ago. Previous to this, we noted that many younger members and visitors were interested in the models at the meeting, but otherwise bored, as the adults chatted among themselves. We hold a short beginners session at the start of each meeting, where basic construction advice is given. However, we have found that the beginners do not really lack assembly skills, but are a bit short on parts, as most of us are when starting out.
We have now changed the discussion at the meeting to include prototype subjects, models from the 'new' sets (Good response from this one!), how to present a model at the meeting proper, and in all, a general discussion around youngsters models and problems.
We have a lot of visitors at the meetings, and quite a few have signed up. Parents are welcome to attend as well.
We have a page for the beginners in our newsletter, that includes a few sketches of simple mechanisms. Sometimes we hand out a few pages from the old Standard Mechanisms, where relatively few parts are needed to build an example of a mechanism.
The members of the JMH have been very generous in donating a few parts each for the exclusive use of the beginners at the meeting. These remain the property of the JMH. Most meetings, a few youngsters can be seen building up something or other. This aspect allows new and prospective members to get their hands on the good stuff, and have a go. Hopefully, this small spark will light the fire of enthusiasm!
The object is to encourage beginners to expand their horizons in what can be done using Meccano, in the hope that they will not drop the hobby grudgingly or because of dis-interest.