Club Update - January 2016

This is the first monthly update that was not written by Noel Blows, the Club’s Chairman. He has now passed the task on to me and, before commencing, I’d like to thank him for the time and effort that he put into providing all of us with regular and detailed updates on the Club’s progress. I don’t plan to change the general format, it has worked well over time, but if any wish to provide feedback, or suggest alternatives, please do not hesitate to contact me at



January is traditionally a quiet one for the Club but this one has rocked the trend. On a number of fronts members have been extremely busy and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Evidence of activity can be seen mainly in layout building, in N, OO and O, all of which are destined to be for exhibition as well as Club use. There’s more detail about this below. January also saw a successful Open Night, but more of that later, too. So, read on….



At the 21st. December Committee Meeting, it was established that sufficient funds are now in place to allow the construction of all the existing and planned new layouts. Much of the expenditure will be phased in however, spread over a period of time to allow the Club’s funds to recover !. Importantly however, the Committee believes that everything should proceed without the need to slow the building of any of the new / existing projects.

Consequently, our finances remain healthy. However, for the Treasurer, life remains extremely busy and most of you will have seen John Gray beavering away at his desk for most of Thursday nights. To give John time to breathe, simplifying the reimbursement of expenses claimed is becoming a priority and it is likely that in the near future, reimbursement may be paid a week in hand [ie. the Thursday after the invoice / sales note has been submitted]. More on this in due course.

Finally, on finance, the payment of subs at the new rate is proceeding well. One or two of you have still to amend your standing orders however to reflect the £5 uplift and so please pay any outstanding balance in cash to the Treasurer and amend your standing orders in February. If you have an on-line banking facility, this can be done in seconds literally. Thanks all for your co-operation.



This is remarkable: we are now up to 92 members! Recent additions include:

  • Kyle Williams [Llansamlet]
  • David Maggs [Newport]
  • Daniel Williams [Port Talbot]

Kyle will undertake some building work for South Dock and David will be an exhibitor at the next SRMG exhibition in the Summer.

Welcome to you all and we hope that you enjoy the Club, its facilities and comraderie. Sadly, two members have 

also had to leave us, Derek Bevan [Gorseinon] and Jon Geary [Neath]: Derek because, at 83, he’s finding it too difficult to get to the Club and Jon because of substantial workload commitments. Best wishes to both, and you are welcome to call back to see us at any time.

A number of Club members also have significant personal and family health issues at present. Our thoughts are with them and I know that the membership will wish to extend their best wishes.


Procedures, Insurance and Vulnerable & Child Protection Policies

As Noel said in his last update ‘…SRMG has always tried to cut out unnecessary bureaucracy in the conduct of the Club’s business….’. The Committee has striven to avoid unnecessary paperwork and policies but, given the growth of the Club and the size and make-up of the membership, it became clear that we needed some simple and straightforward policies and practice guidelines to manage issues around the protection of children, young people and other vulnerable groups. This is a necessary safeguard both for individuals and the Club, and work is ongoing on each topic. You will all see the finished papers in due course. Be assured, they will not run into volumes of paper !   

I am advised that insurance matters also are still being explored and more, here, in due course.


Open Evening

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the January Open Evening but many have told me that it was extremely successful.

Refreshment costs were covered by raffle income [£141 raised] and many thanks are given to those who helped to arrange the night and donated raffle prizes. Mrs Grigg’s home baking has also reached new heights and thanks are given to her for her kindness – Richard, perhaps you could pass them on to your Mum from us ?

A big ‘thank-you’ too to Alison and Phil John for organising the excellent catering [as ever] and particularly to Club member John Allnutt who, ever behind the scenes, took care of the drinks.



a] 2mm Box Station: construction has now reached that point where it will be necessary to relocate the layout to facilitate further building [particularly the middle tunnel section]. Noel has already e-mailed details about the move which will see Box relocate to the other end of the top floor. 

b] 2mm Cwmfelin Parkway: work continues and the layout will soon be partially dismantled to allow essential electrical work to be undertaken.

c] 4mm Clear Creek Successor: the room has been cleared and redecorated and by the time this is read a new carpet will have been fitted. Timber has been ordered to allow baseboard construction to commence. The build will concentrate initially on the exhibition part of the new layout with the balance, the continuing run-around loop and associated scenery, being undertaken in due course.

d] 4mm Elsbridge: minor scenery construction continues.

e] 4mm Suburbia: completion of the 3rd N gauge loop took place this month and the layout continues to be used by members.

f] 4mm St David’s Wells: regularly in use now, and good to see it being enjoyed.

g] 7mm South Dock: Ted has designated Wednesday as a working night for the layout. Please support him.

h] 2mm, 4mm, 7mm Test Tracks: nothing new to add here but all three gauges are in heavy regular use every Thursday. Get their early if you want to run stock and for those that do, please be sensitive to the needs of other Club members who may wish to run stock also – access can be a little difficult sometimes…..

i] 7mm Project 0: the decoration of the old gym room is now nearly complete, a mammoth task undertaken. New lighting has been fitted and various radiators removed and replaced. New carpeting will be supplied shortly, after which baseboard construction will commence.

Thanks are due to many members for making all of this possible: Scott Rhodes, Malachy Houlihan, John Meredith, Phil Skinner and John Allnutt for decorating and electrical work. Mal Rowe too, for providing the excellent new lighting and Nick Kerslake, for use of his scaffolding tower.

j] G-Scale: This layout is now known as Dusty Roads and it is good to see more activity on it.

All: please note that the imminent relocation of ‘Box’ may cause some temporary disruption for other layouts which will need to be moved also [particularly Cwmfelin Parkway and Suburbia]. Your patience will be appreciated !



The next lecture will take place on the 9th. February. Martin Davies will talk about the ‘Past Railways of Swansea’ and admission is free. All are welcome. Please do support this event.


Social Activities

The Christmas Curry event was extremely successful and thoroughly enjoyable. However, not all like curry and so alternative events are being planned. There will be a further curry night however and Scott Rhodes and John Allnutt will be organising it. Rest assured, a non-curry night will be planned also.


Modelling Competition

Nothing new to report here – just note the competition is set to take place on 7 April so bring your entries in on that date. Judging will take place on the following night, the 8th. April – this is also the next Club Open Night. Any queries please contact Tony Richards at


Recent Weathering Workshop

Marcus Lambert’s workshop was very well attended and good feedback has been received too. He has agreed to repeat the event in September and is available when at the Club for questions and advice.


Club clothing and other memorabilia

Peter Ryan has received further orders for ‘traditional’ clothing from new members and reports that the new Club apron is also proving popular. Orders to Peter please. Aprons cost £12 and for an additional £2 you can have your name embroidered upon them. What more could you want ?


SRMG late-Summer exhibition at the National Waterfront Museum – October 1&2 2016

There has been much planning activity throughout January and 2016 promises a bigger and better event than ever before. Next month’s update will provide a more detailed note but I can tell you all that programme advertising space and corporate sponsorship are going extremely well with Swansea’s Oxford Diecast taking on the chief sponsorship role [and to them, many, many thanks].



The Club’s website continues to attract favourable comment and if any members have yet to visit it, do so now! I recently had e-mail contact from three railway modellers from England: two to say how much they appreciated the site and one to ask for further details about one of the workbench builds. In the past, new Club members have also said that they discovered us through the website. The website is clearly of value to us as a publicity tool but it needs internal support. If you are building any interesting models, or perhaps a layout, and you would like to post a blog of your build on the site, please speak to Gwion Davies, our Webmaster.



Two are now planned for 2016: an Easter-ish outing to the Gloucester and Warwickshire Railway and an Autumn trip to Pendon Museum and Didcot [the home of the Great Western Society]. Precise dates and further details in due course. Organisation is being undertaken by David Williams.


FOYD Matters

FOYD plans to install CCTV on the ground floor to improve general security following a number of recent thefts. There will also be a Summer fete on Saturday the 9th. July at which SRMG are likely to be asked to run trains to entertain members of the public attending. 


Diary update

  • February 9th - Club lecture – ‘Past railways of Swansea’
  • March 1st - Club lecture – ‘The Gwili Railway’
  • April 7th - Last submission of models for modelling competition
  • April 8th - Open night and judging of modelling competition
  • July 9th - FOYD Summer Fete
  • October 1st & 2nd - SRMG Annual Exhibition at the NWM


Tony Richards