The Club has had an extremely busy November as a succession of new members joined the Club. Some were contacts or friends made from the NWM show whilst others came to us via our website.
Work has progressed well on Box (now known correctly as Box Station). Demolition of Clear Creek took place and we eagerly await plans and the rise of a new 4mm layout. FOYD granted SRMG permission on 19 November for the exclusive use of the former ground floor gym in return for an increased overall Club donation. You may be aware that a decision to use this extra space for a large 0 Gauge layout has already been taken.
Subscription prices will be increased in 2016 after a healthy debate at the AGM.
This is the penultimate Update from me. I shall end with my New Year newsletter before passing this job on to Tony Richards so you can all look out for a succession of improved news items in the early part of 2016!!
The Club has engaged the services of a cleaner for a fortnightly clean starting on Friday 4 December. Mary Slater will clean the Club Room, the corridor from the Library to South Dock, the modelling room floor and the stairs from 1st floor to the entrance to SRMG. She will wash both toilet floors. This is a paid service so heaven help anyone who deliberately makes a mess on a Thursday thinking it will all be sorted out on the Friday. Mary will advise me of anything particularly dirty she comes across so please act sensibly. We want the Club to look pristine and cared for at all times.
A modest month’s expenditure is welcome as there will be considerable costs to come as work associated with both new and existing layouts gets underway.
Collecting weekly attendance monies has been changed and notified to members with a copy on the notice board. You now need to sign in and out of the Club to meet fire compliance requirements.
John Hammond (one of our newer members) has recently been to hospital. We are pleased all went well and a speedy recovery looks to be proceeding well as he’s back in the Club again.
It is good to see John Rogers back in the Club and in fine form following his recent poor health and a house move.
Club membership stands at 89 as the following have joined since I last wrote to you:
- Simon Durrer from Sketty
- Steve Giffard from Manselton
- Rob Hulme from Penyrheol
- Marcus Lambert from Townhill
- David Lane from Sketty
- Bob Lovitt also from Skeety
Please give a warm welcome to all our new members. Many are new to railway modelling so need some support. If you see anyone looking a little lost offer a word and some help and advice. Again there remain a number of new people interested in joining the Club and new faces and families appear almost weekly. I continue to advise newcomers that they should come for several weeks before making a decision as to whether to seek membership.
Nick Kerslake is busy fitting into his key role as Membership Secretary. To meet the need for everyone to get to know each other Nick has instigated a photo session with Club members’ snapshots due to appear on the Notice Board with their names attached. He is also collating members’ gauge interests. Thanks are due to Hywel Trick and Gwion Davies for their help in this exercise. You’ll here more from Nick later this month.
The 6th Swansea Exhibition at The National Waterfront Museum – 3rd / 4th October 2015
The Club made a small profit on our first effort. This was a relief to all – especially, I think, to Ted!
Plans are now being formulated for 2016 and a membership team under Ted’s guidance is being assembled. It will involve John Hammond, Ted and myself. SRMG are keen to tap into John’s huge show experience and exhibition contacts. There are others within the Club who have either played a part / are keen to be involved. Rest assured that your services are needed. Ted will be in touch with you when the occasion demands.
Work this month has been about centralising contact details and preliminary booking of traders and layouts. I have written to everyone who took part in 2015 thanking them for their attendance and asking some of them to set aside 1 / 2 October 2016 for the next show.
Members wishing to enter personal layouts need to talk to Ted Hylton. Don’t leave any such conversation until it’s too late as the SRMG team are already busy allocating space to traders and exhibitors.
2mm:Box Station: the detailed construction continues with enlarged ordnance survey maps littering the work site. These will be superseded by John Cook’s excellent drawings of the original plans of the area. The baseboard construction is finished and the track has been laid as I write – see how smoothly a coach runs the length of the layout – superb! Scott has been busy wiring and SEEP motors will soon be added. Interesting to see that club Wednesday afternoons now continue well into Wednesday nights as the boys really get cracking as Axel, John Meredith and Scott work hard on the layout. Now start viewing the website regularly as John Cook will be writing and Gwion loading text and matching photos. John hopes to be here for January’s Open Evening and will spend time checking and marking layout progress!!
2mm: Cwmfelin Parkway: It’s good to have a name for the second N gauge layout under construction and to know that this was arrived at sensibly and by mutual consent. Scenic work has continued this month.
4mm: Clear Creek Successor (we’ll need a layout name in due course) The beginning of November saw the contents of this former Club layout dumped. Good to see Tony Richards, Phil Place, Alan Burton, and Rob Pendry with new member, David Lane, join the team. All have been hard at work. As I write the room has been stripped. The walls will be made good, the room painted and new carpet added. Meanwhile we wait with interest the plans for the new 4mm layout to emerge.
4mm: Elsbridge: Malcolm Shore has added some energy and support to Richard Grigg on this layout and its good to see some new activity. A close inspection will see the layout widened marginally to allow for some minor scenic adjustments. Screens have been added to protect the scenery being spoiled.
4mm Mike O’Connor (a layout name please by end of 2015!!): a 3rd N gauge loop was added to this layout. It continues to provide excellent support to the test tracks for those who prefer Life a little quieter.
4mm St David’s Wells: Rob Pendry sorting out minor issues and the layout now being used by members.
7mm South Dock: Ted advises several buildings have been returned to their constructors for finishing. Randall Morris will be making adjustments to the Church he built, Beadspoke Design are working on the Pump House etc. Ted has designated Wednesday as a working night for the layout. Please support him.
2mm, 4mm, 7mm Test Tracks: Axel has added a little more background scenery.
7mm Project 0: The initial name for the O Gauge ground floor layout. Great excitement over the Club’s acquisition of an operational 23’6” x 17’ 6” new room with effect from 19 November. A quick Committee decision to use it for 7mm was taken. Scott Rhodes will take initial charge of the layout construction because of his drive and enthusiasm. This will be needed to see through a long project – no time for lounging around in Derby now Scott!! There is much preparation work to be done first: the room has to be emptied (as there is some heavy equipment to remove), some additional power points are to be added and the whole room has to be decorated, with new carpet then added. John Hammond chaired a meeting of 11 0 Gauge members (8 present from G0G) on 30 November and took us through a series of important decisions. Agreement has been reached to build a tail chaser Hybrid (DC and DCC) layout set in the 1950’s - 1960’s. It was agreed that insurance would be a key issue for any demountable layout taken on the exhibition circuit. The meeting probably posed more questions than each of us had considered. A further meeting will be held at 7.00pm on 7 December when layout plans will be discussed. Members are also making plans to sort out the new room and are pushing to get it cleared a.s.a.p.
G-Scale: This layout is to be known as Dusty Roads and it was healthy to see more activity on the layout in November. I am making strenuous efforts to see greater interest in this scale. It attracts a lot of interest at our Open Days and Jim Powell is a big hit with the children as he entertains them so well.
Christmas Stock Sales
Alan Jenkins from MIB, a Club member, will again be visiting SRMG to sell us some of his railway goodies. Please reserve Thursday 3 December from 7.00pm and make sure you come to the Club with lots of pre-Christmas cash so as not to miss out.
World War Scenics gave a good scenic demonstration to a small, but interested and enthusiastic membership of 11 on 24 November. Proprietor Martin Davies offered a 10% discount to all members who order direct from WWS – website: www.war-world.co.uk It was good to see members participating and entering into the spirit of the evening. Thanks are also due to WWS for donating the embankment worked on during the evening. It can be seen in the Club Room. Hywel Trick is busy lining up other speakers / lecturers and you can view his latest offerings in the Diary listed below.
Please make every effort to attend lectures to support Hywel and those who give their time voluntarily.
Some members offering hints as to what they plan to build to enter this competition. Details and competition rules are on the Notice Board. Don’t leave it to the last minute to get on with your entry. Entry deadlines may not be extended this year because the awards will be made at an Open Evening.
50 members came to the Club on 19 November when a new committee was appointed. A list of all those with Club positions is now on the notice board. The AGM approved an increase in membership subscriptions with effect from January 2016. It was agreed that I would write to each member enclosing new details. This will be sent to each of you but will be delayed until 16 / 17 December so your bank will not start the new payment too early (15 January 2016 is the start date for standing orders). Members joining after 1 September 2015 will not be asked to increase their new payments until 1 July 2016. I was given authority to use my discretion to consider waiving increases for members with difficult circumstances.
We are a Club and will try and continue to look after each other when times are difficult.
Gwion Davies continues to make great strides in developing our website although there is much still to be added. The Club is keen to showcase its modelling talents on the development of 4 of its layouts – Box Station, new 4mm, South Dock and Project 0 and wish to produce a regular website photographic record on each with a narrative to match. John Cook will be helping Box Station’s text (see above under Layouts – Box Station). SRMG will then look to to market an increasingly popular site to potential advertisers. If you’re aware of anyone with railway activities who would be interested in taking advantage of an ever increasing number of website ‘hits’ please tell either myself or Gwion. He also wants articles, layout updates, reviews and anything else to keep interest levels up. Don’t leave it all to the website manager!
These are set to go ahead as outlined in the diary below. To date more than 35 have signed up for the inaugural Christmas Curry at The Patti Raj although there are still some places left if anyone else would like to come. (The price is a maximum of £20.00 per head for a meal in the private upstairs room. Drinks are down to each member, bought from the upstairs bar.) You may choose to bring a few members of your family. No deposit is necessary but I will be checking numbers / availability on 3 December.
SRMG and its Future
The Club ends 2015 in a healthy position and with news that FOYD has now agreed to let SRMG have the use of the ground floor gym. Plans are yet to be finalised but this additional space may, ultimately, enable South Dock to be removed downstairs for storage. This could help to ease the pressure on our top floor premises releasing the space there for other uses.
Accompanied by Gwion Davies Ted Hylton and Tony Richards I met with Joel Bright, Director of Dapol, in Wrexham on 24 November to discuss areas of mutual interest. This was a goodwill visit at which everyone got on well. Dapol have since put Gwion’s photos taken on the visit on their Facebook page with Gwion also choosing to join the Dapol Collectors Club.
The company also takes special commissions for Private Owner wagons in their 3 production gauges with a minimum of a batch of 100 in the 2 smaller gauges and 25 in 0 Gauge. The grandfather of John Rogers, our member, had a private coal agency business and SRMG are presently asking Dapol to produce quotations for private owner wagons in the gauges where Club demand can be matched by Dapol’s minimum supply. Gwion Davies has kindly agreed to run with the project, Mike Sarsfield is doing the research into the history of the company and Richard Grigg will write the review for the website of the completed wagons.
I’m keen to build new contacts and strengthen existing ties with traders and exhibitors to enable future annual Swansea Exhibitions to be placed on a stronger footing. If the size and scope of subsequent shows can be increased SRMG will benefit from the increased spin-off. The stronger the Club becomes both financially and in its range of products the greater the benefit will become available to SRMG members and the community where we’re located.
It is this work, very often undertaken behind the scenes, which will pay off well for the Club in the future. It is an important part of SRMG growth and I intend to continue to look at other areas of possible benefit in the months ahead. I have successfully delegated many of my SRMG responsibilities. As membership is at a record high and modelling activity is noticeable everywhere it’s working well. It is an exciting time for everyone at our great Club.
Our Charity landlord is always looking for volunteers for events and work within the building. If anyone has any spare time or would like to donate anything unwanted to the ground floor bric a brac stall please see Ted or me.
Peter Ryan obtains Club clothing for members. Peter now only orders clothing on a monthly basis because most members have bought what they need. I sell key fobs for £1.00 as a small boost to club funds. Does anyone have any ideas for additional types of club clothing for sale to members in 2016/ I have asked Peter to get quotes for an apron in Club colours.
Ted Hylton has also taken advantage of the Club’s offer to rent space and store items in the locked cupboard at the top of the stairs. The storage entrance door / frame is shortly to be widened to allow for larger items. If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the storage facility see me. Rental fees are discounted from the £10.00 per month minimum fee depending on the length of the rental period. There is a finite amount of space so don’t forget about the facility and end up being disappointed when the space has all been let.
- 3 December – 7.00pm MIB Models in house selling stock in most gauges to members
- 5 December – Christmas Curry at The Patti Raj from 7.00pm onwards.
- 17 December – Last Club Thursday pre-Christmas – Mince pies, Cheese, Sloe Gin, beers, wines and a raffle. A promise of a home made cordon bleu cooked corn beef pie or two!!
- 15 January 2016 – Open Evening for members, family and friends with a raffle.
- 9 February 2016 – Lecture “ Past Railways of Swansea “ by Martin Davies.
- 1 March 2016 – Lecture “The Gwili Railway “ by Jeremy John.
- 7 April 2016 – Modelling competition and Open evening – again for members, family and friends and a raffle.
- 1 / 2 October 2016– 7th Swansea Model Railway Exhibition, National Waterfront Museum – 10.00am – 4.00pm
My Very Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year to each and every one of you.