Chairman's Update November 2014


October saw a highly productive stock sale with items offered from 2 sellers, a first outing for South Dock in its partially built state, and some super scenic detailing of the test track area. Plans for the continued expansion of the Club are being discussed but are at an early stage. If fulfilled they would take the Club up to another level.


The Club congratulates Jon Geary and his wife, Laura, on the safe arrival of daughter, Evelyn on 5 October. We look forward to her running trains and modelling at the Club when she’s a little older! 

Rob Pendry broke his arm as many of you know. We are pleased to see him back in the Club and quickly working on St David’s Wells. We are aware it will be some time before he’s able to drive. 

Our thoughts are also with Jeff Hogg after his recent heart attack. Again we are pleased to see him quickly back in the Club. 

We continue to send our best wishes to Ieuan Morgan as he struggles with his health. He always remains positive when I call him. We remember all that he did for the Club in its formative stages and hope that he improves soon. 

Steffan Smith has started his University course. His increased workload and his lectures now clash with Club nights. This means that he cannot attend and he has had to forfeit his membership. We wish him well for the future. 

Mal Rowe and Noel Blows recognise that their wives are strongly supportive of their husbands’ interests in the Club. They have decided that Julie and Maureen should join the Club as individual members. This remains a purely personal matter and should not be interpreted as a suggestion that others should follow. Both families have young grandchildren who also use the Club, albeit on an infrequent basis and for which they make no payment.

Membership stands at 74 with a couple of new people expressing interest in joining.


David Williams has confirmed that he’ll organise the next Club trip. The Notice Board has a brochure detailing the Club’s next excursion to The West Somerset Line. It will take place on 27 March 2015. The cost will be about £40.00 for members and partners / wives and a £10.00 deposit is required by 11 December to maximise a group discount. The Club will again offer non-members a place on the coach at a premium. More details will appear in due course. We are grateful to David for taking on the popular Club excursion business 

Stock Sales.

The Club held a 2 day sale on 16 / 17 October when an N Gauge Collection (with 3 beautiful layouts) and a large 00 Gauge Collection were on offer from 2 non-members. The sale was conducted on a commission basis. Both collections were successful with the N stock selling out. The 00 stock was then re-offered on 23 October when further sales took place. Thanks for all their hard work in organising the sale are due to many but particularly to Tony Richards and Scott Rhodes who priced and set up the sale as well as giving advice on individual’s purchases. 

Alison John again provided her excellent refreshments on the Friday evening. 

The Club has also made useful new contacts with members from other South Wales Clubs who came for the first time. A large sale will not now take place for 3 months – although some items may be offered in the ensuing weeks. Members may wish to trade stock internally before Christmas at a date yet to be agreed.


Ted Hylton, Steve Day and Mal Rowe manned a stand at The National Waterfront Museum on 18 October as part of an exhibition on local history. Ted took partly built South Dock, the Club’s 0 Gauge layout, on its first trip. He also gave dissertations to the public on the history of South Dock in Swansea. Mal Rowe took a small N Gauge layout to whet the public’s interests in model railways. A photo of his layout has since appeared in The Evening Post. We are grateful to all 3 for the time they gave to this exhibition.


Paul Abraham has been busy painting the roof void areas during the month. The Club remains grateful to have the services of another qualified professional who gives his time voluntarily. We’ll all notice the improvements as he gradually works his way around the Club touching up and decorating where necessary. John Allnutt has fitted lighting to both the left hand roof void and the middle one (where paint is stored). He is also busy with other alterations, all designed to improve the Club. He seems too to combine his new interest in 0 Gauge with work in the Club as he has sorted through the various spare controllers this month repairing where possible. Nick Kerslake has cladded the right hand void with UPVC.

Scott Rhodes and John Allnutt led a clear up at the beginning of the month. They filled all the bins in the car park with large quantities of junk. Many areas including those under some of the layouts and in the workshop have now been transformed and the Club looks much better for their efforts. This all showed up well at the stock sale nights when a number of new visitors called at the Club.

Mike O’Connor brought a scrap merchant in to clear the basement as planned. This cost the Club nothing and the old strong room was emptied. We are presently taking advice on the room as an operational area for Club use. It is not an easy issue to resolve - dampness and general building deterioration is prevalent. The renovation needs to be carefully assessed but we’ll use this basement former strong room area if we possibly can. The Community Service will provide staff to hack off the broken plaster from the walls of the room. This work is to take place soon.

We extend a big ‘thank you’ to all 4 Club members for their efforts during the month. Thanks also to all members who removed personal items from the Club following my recent request.

Skills Workshops.

Please see John Allnutt with any needs or requests. John has received a couple of tentative approaches to date. John can be reached at


The Club has nothing in the pipeline at the moment but there maybe a lecture prior to Christmas if my ‘phone calls to would-be lecturers are returned in time. 

Modelling Competition.

The details remain as per last month. If this changes you will be advised.

Annual General Meeting.

The 2014 AGM will be held at 7.00pm on Thursday 13 November.  All members should attend if they possibly can make the occasion so as to provide a lively discussion on key issues. FOYD have agreed that we may use the former chapel on the 1st floor for the occasion but come to the Club if you’re unsure where this is located. 

For many years we have just paid lip service to the Constitution. This was devised some 4 / 5years ago after much discussion. Then, we were all a group with less ambition and less activity. The Constitution is there to provide a sensible balance for both the running of the Club and its membership. 

The Club has now grown and extensively widened its range of activities (stock sales, lectures, club clothing, excursions, website, an increasing number and variety of gauge activities and layouts). The Committee has also expanded as members have accepted an invitation to give an update on their particular areas of responsibility. There are 12 Committee members and a case for a 13th could be made. This has all become unwieldy and the efficient running of the Club is better suited to adherence to the Constitution whose conclusion was for 3 officers and 4 non-specialist members to form the Committee. The September Committee Meeting recommended that the Club should elect both Officers and General Committee Members in line with the Constitution. 

A ballot box is now available in the Library and election forms are on the notice board together with a list of the existing members of the Committee. Nominations for positions should first obtain the assent of the nominee. All forms require both a proposer and a seconder. As each Committee role is now more demanding than when the Club started operating in 2004 candidates for these roles need to think about their outside / family commitments carefully before standing and committing time to the Club. However if standing you need to get on with it; find someone to propose you, another to second you and drop the form in the box

Our Committee will continue to reserve the right to co-opt members on board should the Club’s needs arise.

Fire Procedures.

Peter Ryan, John Allnutt and I are acting on the advice given to us by a Retired Fire Prevention Commander to ensure that the whole FOYD building is fire prevention compliant. Meetings with FOYD staff have taken place to produce a proper Risk Assessment of the building. Armed with this knowledge Peter will shortly be meeting with current fire brigade staff to assess the building’s requirements. 


Gwion Davies is continuing to work on the architecture to develop the site. This is a big job but he is very enthusiastic and we believe the end result will further develop and promote both our professionalism and the Club.


Axel Richardson has produced some stunning modelling, enhancing the 0 Gauge Test Track area as he has added some excellent scenic to a part of the area. There is more to do and the end result will, clearly, enhance the look of this key position at the heart of our Club. 

Elsewhere work by Phil Place and Rob Pendry is enhancing St David’s Wells.  Alan Burton has now joined in the group working on this layout. 

Ted Hylton and some colleagues are continuing to develop South Dock. After the NWM outing we hope to see some operational use made of the layout during construction; perhaps an odd shunter wheeling away occasionally. 

FOYD have asked if the Club could provide a layout in the garden for 2015. The idea would be to upgrade the area by generally clearing up the garden as much of it is run down and overgrown. This would be a big step for the Club. Both the financial and constructional implications need careful assessment. Several different discussions are on-going with FOYD and with other modellers, members and outside interests about this possible project. I hope to be in a better position to give more details at the AGM. No decision will be taken in haste.

Open Evening.

This is planned for January but a date has yet to be fixed. You will be advised as soon as details are finalised. 

Christmas Festivities at SRMG.

On Thursday 11 December the Club will enjoy stock running accompanied by some seasonal refreshments. These will be provided as usual by Alison John – no doubt in her customary efficient and friendly manner. Please diarise the date now so as not to miss the end of another successful Club year. 

Noel Blows.