Chairman's Update February 2015



Another busy month saw good club attendances and a well-attended, enjoyable Open Evening.


The Club has made a generous donation to FOYD after collecting from members and guests at the Open Evening on 23 January.

SRMG has been at its present address for more than 10 years and the Committee has decided that it would now be prudent to regularly set aside a proportion of its income in a Contingency Fund. C&C Swansea is facing a well-publicised deficit of many £millions in its accounts and needs to balance its books. Disposing of under-performing assets is one option to meeting this deficit. Our Club’s premises do not come with any security of tenure. We are unable to have the benefit of a lease so it seems sensible to build up our reserves to meet any unforeseen costs.

The Club has received an anonymous donation of £100.00. We remain grateful for every donation.


Huw Jones from Llanelli came to the Club’s Open Evening. Liked what he saw and joined the following week. Please give a warm welcome to him when you see him in the Club. Others expressed interest in the Club when they came to the Open Evening. Joining forms have been sent out. You’ll be kept in touch.

The Club’s Different Gauges and Members Interests in Each Gauge

Larger Clubs e.g. Warley MRC have needed to examine how each gauge within its Club should function. Although we do not have the 200 membership of Warley we are a large Club with 70+ members and the problems faced by Warley are similar to ones that we are beginning to encounter.

The principal issues seem to be:

  • Not all members can, or should, be involved in every aspect of the Club as we have many things going on simultaneously – layout(s) being built in various gauges, excursions, exhibitions, lectures, website etc.
  • The voices of members with their different interests need to be heard and their points recognised.

With this in mind a start will be made to identify the requirements of all those with an interest in N Gauge. So, if you are modelling, wish to model, or simply run trains in that gauge please come to a meeting in the N Gauge Room on Thursday 12 February at 7.30pm. Think about what you and the Club should be doing in that gauge and come even if you have interests in other Gauges. We want to co-ordinate all the Club’s N gauge interests and provide a working structure for everyone. If this is successful the format will be extended to other Gauges.


David Williams has advised that most of the 35 seats on the coach have now been taken so if you’re thinking of coming please hurry up and pay your £10.00 deposit. Members and friends need to note that outstanding balances are required by Thursday 26 February. Total cost is £40.00 (£45.00 for non-members).


It’s good to report that new member, Ken Lewis, is prepared to help in putting together the exhibition in NWM on 3 /4 October. Potential new member, Mike Brooks, has also agreed to help. Some new traders / layouts have already been identified for this show. Regular meetings are taking place between NWM and SRMG (led by Ted) to ensure the exhibition runs smoothly.

There is a lot to do – contact and identify traders, exhibitors and layout owners – both club and individual. Much of the work will involve administrative duties – cold calling clubs and individuals to establish availability and terms e.g. possible reimbursement of expenses incurred. Members wishing to help are asked to contact Ted or myself.

Store Cupboard

Committee were concerned to note that this cupboard (leading in from the modelling room) is frequently left in a mess. It has been regularly cleaned out this year, yet becomes really untidy almost immediately. Steps will now be taken to ensure that members’ access is monitored so the untidy culprits can be identified. John Allnutt and Nick Kerslake have recently boxed up similar products to make finding items easier. In the meantime if you’re using materials or equipment please ensure the cupboard is left clean and tidy. Paintbrushes and a soldering iron have recently had to be discarded at some cost to the Club. These were either left unwashed or broken because of misuse. Remember the club now has a lot of members who use our tools and materials so please think of others.

Clear Creek

The ballot box requesting members’ views on the future of this layout was opened on 27 January. There was only a limited response although one member’s interest in leading a team for future project(s) was noted. It was clear that the future of Clear Creek, and the use of the room, did not feature prominently on most members’ agendas. The Committee noted, and had to take into account, the following:

  • On-going considerable committed capital expenditure on G Scale, South Dock, N Gauge, St David’s Wells and Elsbridge layouts as well as likely expenses associated with the basement and the garden projects. All will require some form of financial support, much of which is unknown at this stage.
  • The need for as much running space as possible to accommodate the many members who attend each week and are keen to run trains.

The Committee voted unanimously to leave Clear Creek as it is and review the position in 6 months’ time. Then, some of the existing expenditure would have run off and some of the layouts would have been completed. This would permit running and operating on layouts presently tied up with modelling activity.

Open Evening

90 members, family and friends found their way to the Club in truly awful weather on 23 January to enjoy our Open Evening. More than £300 was collected and will be donated to FOYD. Jim Powell dressed up as Casey Jones whilst Mike Sarsfield arrived once more as Sir Topham Hat. Alison John fed us extremely well as usual. Mike generously donated an excellent sponge cake iced with the Club’s logo. The beverages seemed to disappear with increasing regularity as the evening wore on! Sufficient to say everyone had a good time. The plaudits for the whole evening, for the quality of the stock on offer, and for the Club’s hospitality & warm welcome continue to come in. No date has yet been fixed for the next Open Evening but a raffle will be re-introduced to boost the evening’s interest and increase the donations pot.

High Level Cupboard at Top of Stairs

This internal cupboard has just been passed to the Club to use. We cleaned out part of it on 2 February and this should be finished in a day or two. It will then be offered to members for personal use at a small rental. This is likely to be £5.00 per month or part of a month for small items but more if the item(s) are larger. The fee is to ensure that genuine users come forward with the cupboard not used by one person monopolising the facility.

Please see me if you’re interested.

Edit: Due to complications we have suspended this and will be reviewed in 6 months time.


Since 1 October 2011 we have forked out more than £600.00 for keys for members to enable access various parts of the Club’s premises. This is a significant sum for our Club. It costs £30.00 for a full set of keys from Neners – the Sketty based specialist locksmith. Expenditure on keys continues as a wider use of the Club

develops with members calling in several days each week to work on layouts, run trains, model etc. The Club continues to grow and there is no diminishing sign of the need for additional keys. Rather, the rate of applications for new keys continues to grow faster.

The Committee are keen to see members make wider use of our excellent facilities and will continue to encourage the widest possible use of our premises, but need to be mindful of the costs involved in supplying a full set of keys to those wishing to attend very frequently. In the circumstances the Committee has decided that all those who hold a full set of keys should pay an immediate, one-off, deposit of £20.00. The money will be repayable if a member leaves the club or decides he has no further use for his keys. The refund will be paid when the keys are returned to the Treasurer / Chairman. The Treasurer will issue a receipt to all key-holders when £20.00 is handed to him. Full set key-holders are asked to please pay John Gray as soon as possible.

Modelling Competition

Please see the diary note below for 1 March – don’t forget it.


This has been revamped and further tweaks are being added. If you have any issues or queries see Gwion. (


  • 1 March – Modelling Competition voting slips passed round to members at 7.30pm. Winner announced at 9.00pm
  • 27 March – Excursion to West Somerset Line leaving the car park at 6.30am
  • 3 / 4 October – Exhibition at National Waterfront Museum 10 - 4.00pm both days