Club Update - April 2017

T9 No. 30120 at the Dean Forrest Railway Gala 2016 - photo by Gwion Rhys Davies


It’s extraordinary to note that this is the 70th. monthly update which has been sent out to members. It’s remarkable too to consider just how many years we have been in existence. The Club has increased in size almost ten-fold from where it was once and with sales and commissions, excellent facilities, two formal attendance days a week and access permissible at other times it probably offers more to members than the majority of other clubs do.

The newsletter is also a valuable way of keeping less frequent visiting members in touch with developments. If you haven’t been able to attend recently, do please come back and see what’s going on.

The newsletter also tends to be a one-man job. I’ve no problem with that but would invite any member who also wished to contribute with photographs or short articles to contact me: I’ll be happy to oblige.


Many of you will know Nick Pease, certainly many of you who have been involved with either N gauge or ‘Cwmfelin Parkway’. Last Thursday was Nick’s last day at the Club as he is leaving the country shortly to take up an appointment in Hanover. We wish Nick well and he has promised to drop in from time to time when he is back in the UK.

A welcome too to Chris Condon, a new member for us.

The current private owner wagons commission

This has been an extremely successful venture and I can tell you that all of the OO gauge wagons have been sold, the [very] few remaining O gauge wagons are committed and only a very small number of N gauge wagons remain in stock: these will be gone soon, too.

Many, many thanks to Noel Blows for steering this project so effectively and generating valuable funds for the Club. I know how much work was put into managing the sale and it is genuinely appreciated. Thanks go to all club members who purchased wagons also.

A set of proposals for the next wagon commission will be taken to the May Club Committee meeting for consideration. If appropriate, the May newsletter will have

the details of the next project which is planned to be launched at the October show.

The 2017 modelling competition

This year’s competition has been and gone with some worthy entries submitted. Overall, the number of submissions remained disappointingly low however and the reason for this is difficult to understand: with regular promotion and 100 members, this should be a major event for the Club’s calendar. 30 or so entries would not be an unrealistic expectation, after all, that’s only 30% of the membership.

To encourage greater take-up, we plan to revitalise the modelling competition for next year, but more of that below.

The winners and their entries may be seen in the ’blog’ section of the Club’s website. A link for this is included in the e-mail with this newsletter.

Thank you all who entered this year and the winners and runners-up will have their entries exhibited at the October show.

The 2018 modelling competition

This is the official launch for next year’s modelling competition and no, it’s not too early!

The competition will be judged on Thursday, March 29th. 2018 and this time will include an additional category as well as enhanced prizes.

The three existing categories [Diorama, Kit-build and Scratch-build/radically altered r-t-r] will remain but will now be accompanied by a ‘Miscellaneous’ section. This will have to be clearly railway-related [so no Spitfires or Spanish galleons!] and would allow those who build for eg. their own track-work or other difficult to pigeon-hole railway items to enter on a more level playing field. Guidance on what ‘miscellaneous’ will mean in terms of the competition will follow in due course.

To further encourage you to pull your fingers out, there will be cash prizes to accompany the traditional cups: £25 first prize and £15 runner-up. The Chairman’s Cup winner will also receive £25. In coming years, if we are able to ‘grow’ the competition sufficiently in terms of quantity and quality, these prizes will increase in value and one of our external sponsors may well be invited to undertake the judging themselves. We really do want to make this a big event.

Prospective entrants will be asked to fill-in a brief entry form in advance in order that the number of entries can be estimated [and entrants pestered to complete their models!].

The modelling competition is not just about show-casing your work, it is also about encouraging modellers to develop their skills. Start think about next year, and how you will spend your £25!

The ‘Suburbia’ mixed-gauge layout

‘Suburbia’ is no longer with us. No-one argued for it being retained and a Club member has acquired it via a donation. So, ‘Suburbia’ lives on, but not with us....!

Club security

Many of you will have noticed that the CCTV equipment has now been installed in the lift foyer area. This will improve our security greatly and many thanks again to Steve G for facilitating this.

The 2017 Club Show

I’m repeating the note from the last newsletter here as David Lane tells me that he has had no responses yet.

Stewards for the show

If any member is interested in volunteering to be a show steward, please contact David asap to advise of your offer. A number will be required to cover the two days and details of the role will be provided by David on application. Stewards will receive free entry to the show and also have their parking charges refunded. Ten stewards will be required to work shifts over the two days.

Advertising in the show brochure

Should any members know of any traders who might be persuaded to buy advertising in the show brochure, please contact that person to secure their interest/agreement and provide David with details of who we should then write to, to firm up the agreement.

The exhibition planning committee has also advised that, to date, 17 traders and 17 layouts have been booked for the October show and the hall is filling up rapidly: it’s all beginning to look rather promising.

A planned stock sale

We’ve not had one of these popular events for quite a while so mark in your diaries that one will be held on Thursday the 8th. June 2017. This will be a combined members’ sale / commission sale. Members may sell their own stock without the club taking any commission and so it’s an opportunity for you to move unwanted items on at no additional cost.

Remember the guidance for members’ sales though: price your items realistically [you want them to sell], describe your models honestly [detailing any faults of missing parts] and allow prospective purchasers to first run them on the test track if they wish.

Further details on the sale will follow.

The Club’s Safeguarding Policy

This refers to a need to provide safeguards for any chid or vulnerable adult members of or visitors to the Club. A policy currently exists and was distributed all [then] members a little over a year ago. A hard-copy is also posted on the notice- board. It has now been reviewed and revised.

Attached with this newsletter is Version2 of the policy. Its only major revisions concern the need for children under the age of 16 to be accompanied by a parent or carer and, in the case that a child has to be returned home and their parent or carer is for some reason unable to do this, two club members [not one] should undertake this task.

All Club members will receive a copy of V2 and a hard-copy will be placed on the notice-board.

And now, a delicate matter....

In the Ladies’ loo are cleaning cloths next to the mop and bucket. The pink one is used to clean the sinks whilst the blue one is used for something else! In the interests of hygiene, please do not use them at all, particularly the blue one!

Finally, the diary update

  • 8th. June 2017 – members’ and commission stock sale
  • 29th. March 2018 – next modelling competition

Best wishes all.