Chairman's Update December 2014


Many members have worked very hard on new and existing projects during November. It’s been a busy month. The size of our Club means that it’s impractical for each member to be involved in detail with every project so key people working on each layout are now highlighted for the first time. This will lead to groups involved in separate gauges evolving within the Club – a natural development. See me if you wish to join a specific group / layout.


Members are again reminded that signing in is needed to cover Fire Risk Requirements. FOYD has always levied a charge to all occupants of the building. It is set at £1 per person per visit. Our Club has managed to negotiate £1 per week for multiple visits. The Club also provides tea, coffee and biscuits on every occasion you visit and members now receives a free loco repair service from Tony Richards. Subscription rates have remained unchanged for more than 10 years. Our Club represents excellent value for money – don’t abuse it and cheat on your fellow members by not popping your weekly £1 in the pot when you come in. A November evening saw only 20 out of 32 paying. This is unfair on those who do pay each week.


We continue to send our best wishes to Ieuan Morgan as he struggles with his health. He always remains positive when I phone him and it was good to hear he’d been out recently. We remain grateful for all that he has done for the Club, especially in its formative stages and hope that he improves soon.

We send condolences to the family of John Blackmore, after his recent death. John was here at SRMG from the beginning having joined in the Club’s formative Morriston days. He has sadly suffered with poor health for many years. John will also be remembered for his excellent, extensive modelling on a large, 00 scale layout accurately depicting the Mumbles Train from Mumbles to The Pier. Some members attended his funeral on 1 December.

Last month we welcomed Ken Lewis from Sketty and Carl and Nathan O’Connor from Penlan as new members. It’s great seeing how knowledgeable Nathan is about trains. We’re pleased too to see Carl taking an active interest from his first visit whilst Ken’s been using our library already.

Membership stands at 76 but other new arrivals have expressed interest during the month. The Evening Post article published on 25 November is likely to further raise the Club’s profile and membership levels.

You will see how busy Thursday nights have become. Many of us now merely socialise on this busy Club night preferring to work on layouts or run stock when it is quieter. I would remind you all that the Club can be used 24/7 so don’t be timid. If you wish to come in alone, or with others at any other time, you are perfectly entitled to do so and there is no additional cost to you as a member when you attend. You will need an important key to access the Club’s main facilities, the N gauge room and the toilet / G-Scale / South Dock area. The kitchen has a microwave so if you want to heat food in addition to making tea, coffee etc. feel free to do so. Come and talk over any plans, concerns or requirements you have with me. The Club exists for everyone’s different needs but you

must tell us what these are and decide how much you want to be involved. Future Updates will highlight specific Club requirements and we’d like to see as many as possible getting involved.

The Club remains grateful to Paul Abraham and John Allnutt. They work quietly away painting and doing other jobs in the Club. Very often, they and others, go largely unnoticed but they fill a real need that makes life so much more attractive for the rest of us on Club nights.


David Williams has confirmed that he’ll organise the next Club trip for which 21 members have already signed up on a list attached to the Notice Board. Our next excursion is to The West Somerset Line on 27 March 2015. Non-members wishing to come are asked to get in touch. The cost will be £40.00 for members and partners / wives with a small premium for others. A £10.00 deposit is required by 11 December for the Club to obtain a group discount so please get your name and deposit paid a.s.a.p. David is on 07756964051 or There will be more details about the trip in due course. Thank you David for taking on the Club excursion business.

Eleven 0 Gauge members were the guests of the West Wales 0 Gauge Guild’s club at Pencader on Tuesday 25 November. We saw their test track and discussed problems of mutual interest. We were well received and a return invitation has been issued. We must think about building bridges and connections with other Clubs too.


The 2015 National Waterfront Museum has finally agreed to a date for the Show for which SRMG will have full responsibility. This has been set at 3rd & 4th October 2015. Moreover the first weekend in October has also been booked for 2016 and 2017. Ted Hylton attended a planning meeting on 28 November with NWM staff. This is a big project and Ted welcomes all help so please come forward if you have some time. Ted is on 07930984131 or at The Club will need to provide Ted with some support to help to book traders, layouts etc.

Annual General Meeting.

This was held on Thursday 13 November and lasted for about an hour. Chairman (Noel Blows), Secretary (Tony Richards), & Treasurer (John Gray) were all re-elected unopposed. There was a ballot for the 4 remaining places with 5 candidates standing. Elected to the Committee were Messrs Allnutt, Hylton, Kerslake and Rhodes. During the year ahead other Club members may be co-opted on to the Committee as and when needed The meeting thanked David Williams for his Auditor’s role and he was re-elected for the forthcoming year - 2014 / 2015.


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 establish a proper Risk Assessment for all the building. Armed with this knowledge Peter will shortly be meeting with fire brigade staff to complete the appropriate risk assessment forms for both club and building.


Gwion Davies turned to members for help during November to re-configure the website text. He is in the process of completing a variety of upgrades. These will take effect from 1 January 2015. Please support Gwion in this important role. The Club’s new members have frequently found us on the website.


The Club is busy in many gauges but will also look at new opportunities and new ideas although these will all have to fit into the overall Club framework. There are big projects about to start in 0 and G Scales and the N Gauge is going through a re-vamp. The most popular gauge in terms of members’ numbers is 00 and it is important for the on-going health of the Club that there is sufficient going on in this gauge to keep interest levels maintained. It will be important to see what proposals come through from members for the successor to Clear Creek – see below.

A) Test Tracks.

Axel Richardson has continued with his excellent scenic work in enhancing the 0 Gauge area. He aims to do the bulk of the landscaping by the 27 January 2015 Open Evening preparing it a section at a time at home.

The Gaugemaster controllers are not powerful enough for large 0 Gauge trains. These will be replaced with Helmsman and collected at Reading on 6 December. The existing controllers will be re-used on South Dock.

B) St David’s Wells.

Phil Place, Rob Pendry & Alan Burton are working hard on St David’s Wells. It seems impossible to think it was barely a few weeks ago that Rob was handicapped with an arm in a sling; the recuperative powers of a great hobby as now he’s managing to drive himself to Club on Thursdays!

C) N Gauge.

After many months working on the N gauge layout Mal Rowe is taking a breather and letting others help out – although I still think he hankers towards the involvement. Nick Pease, Doug Kiddle & Rob Temple have stepped up to the plate and will now take a more prominent interest in the layout aided by our 2 indomitable colleagues – Gwyn Harwood and John Williams. Can we have a name for this layout please chaps? !! Both Mal and Axel Richardson are always available for advice on this layout if it is needed.

D) Elsbridge.

Richard Grigg, & Mike Sarsfield had a chat after our AGM and now a ‘ to do’ list for Elsbridge has appeared. It will be good to see the results of their efforts on that layout in the weeks ahead.

E) South Dock.

Ted Hylton continues to wheel away at South Dock. He’s sorted out the skirting around the work area and is now busy constructing the third board. In the process the right hand roof void is being fully utilised. All the time and money spent preparing that roof area for South Dock is now paying dividends. Randall Lewis & John Rogers are also helping out with track work and baseboard construction. Carl O’Connor was pressed into service on his first week at the Club utilising his fabrication and welding skills. Once Ted gets hold of you there’s no looking back!

F) Basement.

Led by Scott Rhodes, John Allnutt and Axel Richardson, with a lot of support from Mal Houlihan and some additional help from Ted Hylton, the Community Services boys and I, the plaster in the new basement area has now been removed. This was a really dirty job for which the Club remains grateful to all who gave up their time. Some assessment of the next phase is currently going on but painting the walls will be next. The safe needs to be turned on its side so as to maximise the final operating area. There are plans for a suspended ceiling to be added and a new electrical circuit is required as there is only lighting available in the basement. The 0 Gauge members are working steadily to create the best possible environment in which to build a high quality layout.

G) G-Scale Layout.

The G-Scale people, with an eye on the possibility of something made available to them in the garden, are now keen to finish their indoor layout. They have stopped building trestles deciding that something more substantial is required. We still need a name for this layout.

H) Garden Proposal.

Nick Kerslake, Steve Day, Chris Long (an experienced G-Scale non-member) and I met to work on a proposal for the FOYD project. This was submitted and the layout plan was approved. A public appeal for £10,000 was launched in The Evening Post (as the Charity does not wish to realise its savings) in an article promoting the Club and FOYD on 25 November. £500.00 was promised to FOYD on 2 December and I received some support from retailers for discounted / free materials. I shall chivvy this garden project along with FOYD to ensure things happen. The responsibility for the project – its design and build - will rest with Nick, Steve and Chris.

I) Clear Creek.

December’s Committee Meeting spent time discussing the layout. Its lack of use was noted and the feeling was that the space could be utilised better. Committee would like to retain a 0n 30 presence but the large 00 membership’s wishes need to be properly looked after. It was decided to ask members to complete a short questionnaire to get their views on a) their preparedness to get personally involved and b) the degree of that involvement. Ideal would be to find a new group of members to build a combined 00 and 0n 30 layout. This decision has implications for everyone so all members would be encouraged to express their views. Please complete and post the slip at the foot of this letter tin the ballot box in the Library by 31 December 2014.

J) Ted Hylton reminded me last week he still has his original plans for building a layout incorporating both the Mumbles Train and the adjoining LMS Railway. If anyone is interested in modelling this former Swansea area please contact him using his contact details shown above.

Open Evening.

This has been set for Friday 30 January 2015 so pencil in the date now. It will be the first Open Evening the Club has managed for a year. Invitations will go out to Club contacts and friends. You may bring family and friends but please let me know how many you’ll be bringing. There will be the customary collection for FOYD on the night


New chairman, Chris Holley, is busy finding more groups for the building. This is good news as maintainenace is expensive and the more it is used the more economically viable it becomes for everyone. The core use by disabled people will continue to drive the reason for the building’s use. SRMG fits in well to the disabled context as the Club also has disabled members. The increased use of the building means our members’ access is now only via the UPVC white door. All members have a front door and a lift key. We are not to use the adjacent fire door to the UPVC one unless we happen to be on the ground floor in a fire emergency.

Stock Sales.

A small collection of 00 stock has come in for sale and will be offered to members on 11 December at our Christmas Club night. We have not had a Members’ Sale for some time; there may be one in January. In the meantime members are recommended to use the notice board at any time to publicise items they wish to sell.

John Allnutt and Scott Rhodes have advised that they will shortly be selling some 00 stock so please don’t miss their Notice Board announcements due shortly.

Railway Modeller “RM”.

Ted Hylton has been asked by RM to provide an article on South Dock’s baseboard construction and is in the process of putting it together. The content will be discussed amongst other members before submission but should be with RM before Christmas. Scott Rhodes suggested that RM be informed of SRMG’s development over the last 10 years as the Club has a definite success story to tell. Ted agreed to include this in his RM discussions.

Modelling Competition.

Please remember that the deadline for the next competition is 1 March 2015.

Christmas Festivities.

On Thursday 11 December the Club will enjoy Alison John’s excellent hospitality once again. The Club has had a brilliant year in which it has done a lot for others – FOYD, stock sellers etc. Now this is OUR time and members should come along, have a bite to eat and a drink or two, join in the raffle and a seasonal natter, and properly enjoy a quieter night at this wonderful Club of ours!

Best Wishes to you all for Christmas and also for a healthy 2015.