Club Update - October/November 2016

5643 on the West Somerset Railway - Photo by Tony Richards


Updates are always issued a month in arrears to take into account changes which have occurred and ensure that decisions taken at Committee meetings can be circulated to the membership as promptly as possible. Inevitably however, this can result in some being issued rather late and, in this case, the October update would have been circulated at the end of November. To get over this, No 66 is a combined October/November note which will bring us back into sync and December’s will then follow [hopefully !] in December.

There’s quite a lot in this note once again: news of an imminent stock sale, the Christmas social, an update on the Dapol wagon commissions and information about the 2017 modelling competition just for starters.

Further, by the time of the December update, the AGM will have been and gone, a new Committee installed and, doubtless, more information about future plans at that time too. Let no-one say we are not dynamic!

Stock sale

As many of you will know, our next stock sale will be held on the 8th. December at 7.30pm in the First Floor Chapel. Principally an N gauge event with a large amount of good quality locos and other rolling stock, there will also be a small quantity of OO stock and some more die-cast vehicles. The die-cast items have not been put for sale before and the OO stock will include some vintage unmade Peco ‘Wonderful Wagons’, some unmade Airfix rolling stock kits and some unused power bogies. Included in the N gauge stock is a scarce Farish Blue Pullman set.

Once they’re gone, they’re gone !


The usual reminder to check out our website if you've not visited lately. In the Blog you'll find a review of the new DJ Models Hunslett ‘Austerity’ / J94 saddle tank and in the Members’ Projects section an interesting article on using Comet etched brass coach sides to convert a Hornby Railroad restaurant car into something altogether more special.

Further, and to show that our website does get read beyond the club, and even travels, I recently received an e-mail from Melbourne, Victoria, complimenting us on the quality of our website and the interesting articles that it contains. The writer was directed to it via the recent ‘Railway Modeller’ coverage of the club.


A number of recent visitors to the club have expressed interest in joining and I’ll include their names in the next newsletter. In the meantime, as mentioned before, please would you all take the time to introduce yourselves to any new faces that you see to ensure that visitors and new members feel welcomed and at home. We have grown so considerably in recent months that Thursday nights in particular are extremely busy and, for new comers, can feel quite hectic and impersonal. A friendly face, and a name to go with it, will go a long way.

The 2017 private-owner wagon commission

The last newsletter covered the club’s next wagon commission in detail and for those who did not see the newsletter, it is available on our website in the Blog section.

We have ordered 450 wagons from Dapol, 200 each in OO and N gauges and 50 in O gauge. I can tell you now that of the 500 ordered, pledges have already been taken against 195 of them.

The artwork for the wagons was agreed last week and I have attached some images below to illustrate what can be expected. Please note that it is artwork only, and not a photograph of the real thing. The mis-spelling of Trebanos [as ‘Trebands’] has been noted and corrected on the revised artwork. Although the artwork doesn’t show it well, the colours will be red ochre for Craven Llewelyn and lead grey for Clyne Valley. The OO editions will also be available twin packaged.

Delivery for the OO and N versions should be sometime in January 2017 and for the O gauge models, sometime during February or March 2017. Prices will be announced in the very near future; should they be known before the next newsletter I will e-mail members with the details. The prices will remain competitive however, in spite of increases generally, and should you wish to reserve any please put your name on the list on the club noticeboard [adjacent to the entrance to the club room]. You can also register your interest online here.

Member John Rogers, who supplied the vintage model of the Craven Llewelyn wagon shown in the last update, found the following newspaper cutting recently, reporting on building work at Clyne Valley Colliery in 1913. Unfortunately, being an old newspaper photo, it did not reproduce that well but I have included it for interest.

The text is difficult to read but says:

At the Clyne Valley Colliery, near Swansea, yesterday, a new steel chimney, 88 feet high, was erected. The chimney had been put together in a horizontal position by Messrs. Greening and Sons [Killay], and was yesterday raised to its upright position by means of wire ropes passing over a scaffolding and attached to two traction engines fitted with steam winches. Our picture shows the chimney just after the winches had been started. The operation was successfully performed.

Premises upgrade

Thank you all for your patience in recent weeks. I’m pleased to advise that the decorating and carpet fitting is now finished and the effect is truly noticeable. New noticeboards also tidy up the wall in the test track area and the entrance to the club benefits from new stair carpet too. A small amount of finishing-off is in the wings, principally painting the workshop once the plaster has dried, improving some of the lighting and putting up a flat-screen TV/DVD player in the club room [courtesy of member Mal Rowe, for which many thanks Mal].

All of this work has made a great difference to the quality of our premises. A great deal of work has had to take place behind the scenes, at weekends and late in the evening, and thanks go to those members who have worked really hard to enable this to happen.

And now, a request: please, please, do not take Mrs. Grigg’s excellent Thursday cakes out of the club room or the new carpeting elsewhere will suffer ! Food and drinks should remain in the club room at all times. Thanks.

Christmas Social

Still a little way off but the club’s annual Christmas social will take place on the 15th. December 2016. A buffet with drinks will be available at no cost to members and their partners. For new members, this is always a pleasant event and one which allows your other half to find out where you hide on Thursday nights and what dubious company you keep!

The SRMG AGM 2016 and election of Officers for the coming year

A reminder again that the club’s AGM has been postponed until Thursday the 1st. December, at 7.00pm, in the first floor chapel. The agenda has been prepared by Ted Hylton, Secretary, and will be distributed to you all shortly. A copy of the minutes of last year's AGM [circulated to all last year] is available for view on the notice-board adjacent to the signing-in book.

An election for the posts of Secretary and the four ordinary Committee members will take place at the AGM. The Chairman and the Treasurer are unopposed. Please make every effort to attend this important meeting which, incidentally, will be Noel Blows’ last in his position as Chairman.

FOYD’s Christmas Fayre

On Sunday the 27th. November FOYD will be holding their annual Christamas Fayre / fundraiser, as advised in the last update. We normally run trains for them throughout the day and Ted Hylton will be looking for volunteers to run stock on the test tracks and layouts, throughout the day, to entertain FOYD’s visitors. Ted will raise this with members this coming Thursday evening.

If you can assist, even for part of the day, your help would be very much appreciated.

The 2017 Modelling Competition

First, the date for the submission and judging of entries: Thursday the 30th. March 2017.

And now, the competition itself.....

For a number of years, the club has run a modelling competition to encourage members to go beyond just running ready-to-run stock. Slowly, each year, more and more entries have appeared but the event still feels just a little undersubscribed. You’ll have all seen our silverware in the trophy cupboard in the club room: for new members, those are the prizes and judging takes place through club members voting. The modelling competition is a great opportunity for members to showcase their work.

Each year, in spite of guidance given, there has remained some confusion about the criteria for submission in each section and the general rules for the event. Consequently, and in response to several requests for ‘rules’, what follows will be the chapter and verse that governs the 2017 competition.

The number of categories has been reduced to three for 2017 and now comprises:

  • Kit built models.
  • Scratch built or very heavily modified ready-to-run models.
  • Dioramas or Micro-layouts in any gauge.

There may be winners and runners-up in each of these three categories but, in addition, the Chairman’s Cup may also be awarded [see below].

The rules:

  • All entries must be submitted no later than 6.30pm on the 30th. March 2017.
  • For ‘very heavily modified ready-to-run’ to qualify, the model must have been very extensively modified to justify competing alongside a scratch built entry. A simple repaint would not be acceptable, nor would changing names or numbers, adding smoke deflectors for example or other minor cosmetic / surface improvements. If anyone wishes to enter in this category and is uncertain as to whether their entry would be accepted, please ask a Committee member for advice well before the closing date.
  • The Diorama / Micro-layout category has to be built to an absolute maximum of 4ft by 2ft [in new money, 120 by 60 cm]. Entries in this category do not have to be static, they may include movement.
  • The Chairman’s Cup will be awarded to the entrant who, in the opinion of the Chairman, submitted the model with greatest merit. This might not necessarily be one of the other category winners or runners-up.
  • All submissions must be the modeller’s own work.
  • In the event of any winner / runner-up tie, the Chairman will nominate a Committee member not in the competition to give a deciding vote.
  • Members may only submit one model in any category [but may enter as many categories as they wish].
  • Finally, the essence of the event is competition and achievement. Consequently it is hoped that none of the categories will receive just a single entry. In the event of a single entry being submitted, the Committee may consider whether that category can proceed for judging.

I’ve tried to cover all of the issues which arose over the past few years. Please do not see the rules as a straight-jacket; far from it, they have been requested by a number of members and are there to guide entrants and avoid confusion.

With nearly 100 members now, we very much hope that the 2017 event is bigger and better than ever. We need to be spoilt for choice, so start modelling and win that cup!

Finally, the diary update...

  • 27th. November - FOYD’s Christmas Fayre [further details to follow, but volunteers to run stock on the Club's layouts are required]
  • 1st. December - AGM [7.00pm]
  • 8th. December - Stock sales [7.30pm]
  • 15th. December - Club's Christmas Social

Christmas closing will be advised by e-mail and the club notice board. Best wishes all !