Club Update - June 2017


A busy newsletter this time and these things seem a bit like buses: nothing for a while then two come along almost at once! At least two came along in May and it looks like you’ll get two in June also. Why? Read on below.....

I have included in this edition a truly hot-off-the-press account of the Tirdonkin Trio 2017 Show wagon commission. This is an exciting and ambitious project, headed up once again by Noel Blows, following on the success of our two earlier releases. Once again, SRMG has stolen a march on other clubs by producing wagons in three gauges simultaneously and the products have proved to be extremely popular with a good number being shipped abroad.

And once again, another club member has contributed to this edition, Rob Allender sharing some childhood railway memories and an account of his restoration of some Hornby Dublo tinplate stock. If anyone else wishes to contribute, please just e-mail me.

Look also at the link to the website show page. There’s a lot going on in there.

Recent stock sale

Thank you to those who attended this recent event and the various sales added just over £500 to the club’s funds. A number of items remain unsold however and these will soon be placed at a slightly reduced price in the glass cabinet in the club room. This is an opportunity to acquire some real bargains, so have a look at what is in there and contact a Committee member if you wish to purchase any of the items. Just as an example, an On30 2-6-0 Mogul for £40 is an absolute give-away.

Improving play-worn Hornby-Dublo tinplate wagons

Member Rob Allender sent me a note the other day explaining how he came into railway modelling and what he did recently to restore some battered Hornby Dublo tin-plate rolling stock. The following is taken from it:

...born in Rogerstone near Newport, I remember the huge marshalling yard behind our house, built to service the many coal mines in the Ebbw Valley and the steelworks at Risca and Ebbw Vale. When I was about 12 (well over 50 years ago), my parents bought me my first train set, containing a Hornby Dublo ‘Cardiff Castle’ and coaches and an 8F 2-8-0 with trucks. The rolling stock was tin-plate and the locos die-cast, all made by Mecanno in Liverpool.

Years past, and after their storage in the attic, marriage and a lot of house moves, I started to rescue them again from years of non-use. Buying additional items from eBay I was able to construct a small layout although ill-health put them on the back-burner until I was well again. I then discovered SRMG, where I could try out my engines! However, some of my original kit was in a poor state having suffered in storage, particularly my Esso and Shell oil tankers.

On eBay, I found a refurbishing kit of self- adhesive stickers to cover the bodies of the tankers. These converted them into black Esso tankers

but at least they were now presentable. I have found club members to be a friendly bunch who are quite willing to share insights. My next project is to convert an engine into an Andrew Barclay shunter, but more of that when it’s done...’

Thanks for this Rob. Seeing these models shows just how far ready-to-run stock has come but tin-plate, whether Hornby Dublo or Trix-Twin [or for those with big money, Exley] is where so many of us started. A nice bit of nostalgia there....

The 2017 Show

Planning for the show continues apace and, as the club’s website shows, we have booked 20 layouts in various gauges and 21 traders. For the full details, click here.

A couple of other show updates....

  • Club member involvement over the show weekend

Thanks very much to the many of you who have agreed to help the show team

with the set-up and marshalling over the weekend. Scott Rhodes will prepare rotas and allocations in due course.

  • Next year’s show

Advance notice! The LC has been provisionally booked again for the 2018 show which is planned to be held on the 6th and 7th October 2018. 3 exhibitors have already indicated a wish to attend

Subscriptions and management of arrears

It has been quite a while since I have had to comment on this topic but, once again, it has raised its head. To clarify matters with regard to subscription arrears the following may help:

  • Termination of membership will be notified automatically by letter once subscription arrears have reached the three month stage.
  • The letter will clarify that no application to rejoin the club will be considered for six months unless:
    •  All arrears have been cleared in full,
    • A standing order is set up to make regular payments or, if payment is to be in cash, these are paid three months in advance, or
    • There are convincing or unusual extenuating circumstances which will be considered by the Chair.
  • In the case of an ex-member wishing to re-join after six months, an application would be received and a discussion regarding preferred methods of payments will take place, and be agreed, beforehand.

The committee regrets having to restate this matter but subscription arrears have started to climb again and, in fairness to those who pay promptly, it is important to reiterate club policy.

SRMG private-owner wagon commissions

  • Clyne Valley and Craven Llewelyn

This year’s first commission is now close to being completely sold out: just 6 pairs of the wagons in N remain. If you are interested in purchasing any of these, please contact Noel Blows directly [and quickly!]. Did you know that approximately 70% of this commission was sold to non-members? Or, to put it another way, only 30% of members bought any wagons....

  • The Tirdonkin Trio

Planning for the 2017 Show wagon commission is now at an advanced stage and following a recent visit to the Dapol factory in Chirk, we anticipate the artwork for the three wagons to be provided shortly for approval. Once this has been received, and signed off for production, I’ll

send out a newsletter ‘Extra’ dealing specifically with them: it will be good to have something in colour to look at at last!

In the meantime, for illustrations of the original wagons on which the commission is based, see the ‘Products’ section of our website. This also gives some background to the colliery itself.

Full details will be posted on the website shortly, but in the meantime:

  • The wagons will be delivered during September 2017 with their launch at the Swansea Model Show on the 7th & 8th October. Club members and existing collectors will be notified of the upcoming launch and be able to order and pay for their stock prior to the show but delivery will only take place from 7 October onwards.
  • SRMG has ordered 900+ wagons from Dapol: 120 in 0 Gauge, 450 in 00 and 360 in N. These will be split equally between the 3 different wagon numbers. Each different wagon will be produced in its own colour. Wagons will be sold in sets but may also be available singly at a premium price.
  • For each of the 3 gauges the stock will be available as follows:
        O Gauge : Per set of 3 - £120, individual wagons £50
        00 Gauge : Per set of 3 - £35, individual wagons £15
        N Gauge: Per set of 3 - £35, individual wagons £15
  • UK Postage, packing and insurance will be £4.50 per set of 00 and N gauge stock. 0 gauge wagon sales tend to be different and buyers are asked to contact Noel Blows directly for details.

The above note is just a summary of details to date. As mentioned above, a further newsletter will be issued shortly providing fuller details.

However, before leaving this part of the newsletter, many thanks must go to:

  • Hywel Trick for his work in assisting Dapol with the artwork for the new commission [and particulalrly with regard to the font for the numbering of one of the wagons], and also
  • Ian Stevenson for building the magnificent display stand on which the wagons will be exhibited at the show: a really professional job which will enhance their presentation considerably.

Christmas Social

John Allnutt has advised that Morriston Golf Club has been booked provisionally for a Christmas Social on Friday the 1st December 2017. The cost per head is £18 and a three-course meal is provided. A notice will be placed on one of the club’s boards shortly to gauge interest in this event. If you wish to attend, please sign up promptly so that the booking can be confirmed.

Signing in and out when attending

Nick Kerslake has asked members that when signing the attendance register would they please print their names legibly [!] and also remember to sign out when leaving. Signatures are no longer required, just printed names please.

Suggestion box

This has been mentioned several times earlier and Steve G has agreed to purchase and install a post-box type container, for comments and suggestions, adjacent to the signing-in register.

The new tool store

The club has recently purchased a new lockable tool cabinet which is already well stocked with essential equipment. Steve G will shortly go around to take an inventory of what tools are out and about and arrange for them, like those in the tool cabinet, to be engraved with the club’s initials. The cabinet is located in St David’s Wells.

These tools are there to be used but access should be via Shedmasters who will remain ultimately responsible for their loan and safe return. It has to be this way I’m afraid as so much has been lost in the past and replacements are expensive. Thanks for your understanding.

Finally, the locking-up rota for June – July

Usual reminder: please arrange cover if you are not going to be present.


Best wishes all.