A SOLAR-POWERED Scalextric circuit may sound like something out of science fiction but it already exists at the Centre for Alternative Technology. With silicon solar electric cells lent to them by Lucas BP Solar, the Centre has harnessed the sun’s energy to help demonstrate both at the centre and at shows and exhibitions throughout the country that solar energy really works. The Scakictric layout was donated by Hornby Hobbies. The output of the solar cells is
around 50 watts in bright sunshine and the cells still produce sufficient power to operate the Scalextric cars in cloudy but bright conditions. The centre, which is a registered educational charity sponsored by the Society for Environmental Improvement, has undertaken similar work on other toys including a solar roundabout. It is located at Llwyngwern Quarry, Machynlleth, Powys, Wales and is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Scalextric model motor racing along with many other hobby and toy products will soon be helping to relieve the boredom of our forces in the South Atlantic thanks to an ex-Wren. Hearing at a meeting of her local association of Wrens that boredom was the overriding problem among the South Atlantic fleet — with the marine contingent on South Georgia said tube particularly desperate — ex-Wren Wyn Wyman came up with the idea of supplying them with suitable amusements. Wyn works with a firm called Granta Design of Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, which has many contacts with the toy and hobby trade, and she was confident that her friends in the industry would help by providing suitable toys and games. Most manufacturers proved to be extremely generous and a large number of cartons were gathered together for shipment. The officer in charge of all shipments to the South Atlantic fleet — Its Officer Anne Roscoe — has already expressed her appreciation and the Task Force itself will soon be reaping the benefits of an ex-Wren’s efforts on its behalf. Apart from Hornby Hobbies, the toy manufacturers supplying products for the South Atlantic fleet were AGT, A. Hales, Sandia UK, Berwick Toy Company, Bluebird, Carousel, Combex, Harbutts Plasticine, House Martin, Ideal Toy Company, Knickerbocker Toy Company, Merit Toy Company, Mettoy, Milton Bradley, Modern Recreations, M. Y. Dart, Peter Pan Playthings, Pic Novelties, Spears, Revell, Thomas Salters and Waddingtons.
A Dutch enthusiast who is at Edinburgh University and who considers that models of his nation’s cars have been neglected has made a start towards rectifying this with a 1:43-scale minianne of the Spyker racing-bodied two-seater with which S. F. Edge set out at Brooklands in 1922 to improve on the distance he had covered in 24 hours on a Napier in 1907 — he had to do a “Double Twelve” hour run and covered nearly 1,783 miles, at 74.27 m.p.h. The model is of resin and metal, about ten a month are intended, and it is handled here by GP Models of Radlett, Hems, at a price of £19.50. — W.B.