Chairman's Update April 2015


The Club has been busy this month rationalising its N Gauge activities, enjoying a West Country Steam Gala and a Lecture on ‘60’s Trainspotting. A lot of spadework for our October Exhibition at The National Waterfront Museum has been achieved. The Club hopes to shortly move to a formalised Fire Policy with a structured Evacuation Plan – more of this later. We now have an official Membership Secretary – see 3 below. The diary has seen some more entries since last month. 


Old and New members are reminded that £1.00 entrance fee per week is to be paid to cover tea, coffee etc. on arrival. The attendance book requires signature for fire evacuation purposes.


We wish John Rees a speedy recovery from some serious health issues. 

During March the Club has welcomed:

Colin Elwood from St. Helens in Swansea. Colin is new to railway modelling but decided on N Gauge. 

Gareth McEnery an experienced modeller from Doncaster MRC now living in Briton Ferry. Gareth specialises in 2mm fine scale. 

Phil Skinner from Mumbles, a new modeller, whose interest also lies in N Gauge.

Yet again new enquiries about the Club have come in during March from potential members as well as those with a trade background. Our policy remains the same: to invite individuals and traders to the Club over several complimentary weeks with membership open to both categories.

We delegate responsibilities of our busy Club to as many members as possible. At the March Committee Meeting Scott Rhodes was proposed (much to his surprise!) but accepted the role of Membership Secretary. Whilst I shall always be available to anyone who wants a chat, some of the routine items of membership information will fall to Scott so, woe betide you if you fall behind with your subscriptions! I have passed a detailed list of all members’ contact details to Scott and you can expect to hear from him from time to time.

The Club’s N Gauge

14 Members met on 10 March to plan the Club’s involvement in this increasingly popular small gauge. It was decided a group of experienced modellers would build a layout to exhibition standards whilst the remaining less experienced members would work, a section at a time, on the existing layout. Trestles and a part of the existing layout were removed from the room which was also cleared to allow everyone space to work.  It was necessary to re-site other layouts within the Club. Some of the N Gaugers will model on Tuesday evenings to enable them to socialise on Thursdays. Mike O’Connor has added N Gauge to the 00 layout he has been working on to provide additional running opportunities for Club members in this gauge. Mal Rowe gave an impromptu Master Class on track laying on 19 and 26 March which members found both fascinating and informative. Mal has also agreed to do some electrical rationalisation and repair to the N Gauge layout given to the Club in 2014. This will make it easier for demonstration at shows and exhibitions. March’s Committee Meeting also approved, subject to a detailed proposal from Alan Cosker, the construction of an American N gauge portable layout.


The trip to The West Somerset Line on 27 March went very well with 30 Members and friends enjoying the Steam Gala. The Club notice board and website will display photos taken during the day. Members remain grateful to David Williams for all the hard work he put into organising the excellent occasion. Now watch this space and the diary for the next excursion.


The NWM Show on 3 / 4 October will, we hope, be bigger and better than those of earlier years as the Club is organising, as opposed to merely assisting, the whole exhibition. However this first occasion is very much a learning opportunity for everyone and the team hopes to build for the future from this year’s experience. A team of our members is working on different aspects of the event. Ted Hylton has given Mike Brooks and Ken Lewis the responsibility of finding traders and exhibitors. They have been successful in lining up a number of new people as well as securing the services of former eventers. Ted and I assist with contacts of our own when necessary and regular meetings between the 4 of us and with some of NWM’s staff take place. These discussions will continue right up to showtime. Thanks are due to Hywel Trick for his very professional exhibition printing work.

Tools / Equipment

The Club has bought rolling roads in both 00 and 0 Gauge and has recently upgraded the tools with a £60.00 spend. Further investment in specialist equipment to aid our growing band of modellers is planned as the Club seeks to provide all that is required to support the intricacies of miniaturised model work. This is all good news and the natural development for a professional, active Club such as ours. However the tools and equipment are for the use of members IN the Club and items are NOT to be taken home or used elsewhere. As there have been examples of items (e.g. soldering iron) found left broken in the modelling room the Committee has decided on a more secure policy. John Allnutt (07813 453944 / will remain in sole charge of tools and will lock away some of the more expensive tools. If you need them then see him, return them clean after use and, if you have any problem with understanding how some complex items work, seek advice.

Open Evening

Scheduled for Friday 11 September - refreshments will be available and guests invited - more news later.


The Club thanks David Beynon for the interesting lecture with accompanying slides. This was on  “Train Spotting in the 1960’s” and was given to an appreciative audience on 17 March. Tea, coffee and biscuits were served to everyone afterwards and the Club is grateful for the anonymous donations it received. Thanks are due again to Hywel for this, the first of his organised lectures. Please look out and support future lectures.


Please remember your £20.00 if you’ve a full set of keys and have yet to return your deposit to the treasurer. If you don’t need the full set of keys please return them to me. The deposit will not then be required.

Modelling Competition

The quality of entries was higher than last year although fewer dioramas were entered. Competition winners were: Tony Richards (scratch built) Scott Rhodes (kit built) and Axel Richardson (dioramas) The Club’s cups have already been engraved and are back in the Clubroom. Ted’s photos of the winners receiving their cups can be seen on the Club notice board and may appear on the website.

Stock Sales

A mixed stock sale on Thursday 9 April in the Club will include members’ own stock, the collection of the late John Blackmore and unsold items passed earlier to the Club for sale. The Club has invited friends, guests and other buyers so you should take advantage of this occasion to dispose of unwanted stock. The sale has been widely publicised and a good turnout of members and guests is anticipated. Some of the stock is unboxed and not all is in good condition. This makes it difficult to price so there will be some bargains for everyone so don’t miss out. 

Members wishing to sell stock please contact John Allnutt who will allocate a table and space within the Club. Members’ sales will be free from commission.


Gwion Davies is continuing to tweak the site. A blog is now available for informed commentary on topical issues. The website continues to be an important aspect of the Club’s publicity and will continue to be used to promote the Club and its activities. Frequent updates and variety are needed to best showcase the Club. As the site needs to cater for all if we haven’t covered your particular special interest let Gwion know (


John Allnutt and Scott will shortly be adding extra bracing to some of the test track baseboards. A partly hinged screen will also be installed behind the existing guardrail to provide protection for 0 Gauge trains as soon as a reasonable price for 4mm Perspex can be found. Installation will be done to minimise disruption but be patient if you want to operate stock when construction is in progress – try and use alternative layouts if you’re desperate.

Mike O’Connor replaced the centre portion of the 00 layout he operates with N gauge track thanks to the good offices of Mal and his great track laying. The result will take some pressure off the N gauge test tracks caused by a surge in new N gauge members. Activity on all other layouts has continued during the month. Alan Burton, Rob Pendry and Phil Place have all been quietly working away on St David’s Wells on Wednesdays and their progress to date is well worth a visit to the layout so, go see for yourself! Nick Kerslake and Jim Powell have continued work on the G-Scale layout with layout name suggestions presently being posted adjacent to the layout.


  • 9 April – Stock sale for members to also contain the sale of some residual stock.
  • 11 September – Open Evening – more details later.
  • 15 September – Lecture - The Gower Railway given by Rob Hulme at 7.30pm.
  • 3 / 4 October – Exhibition at The National Waterfront Museum from 10 - 4.00pm
  • 27 October – Lecture – White Rock Copper Works, Swansea by John Ashley with Rob Hulme & Tudor Price.