Club Update - October 2018

Ex-Midland Railway 0-4-0 Saddle Tank outside the old Coast Lines warehouse on South Dock, May 1964.

Photograph [from a postcard] by B.Owen / Railway Club of Wales and used with many thanks. The warehouse is, of course, now incorporated into the National Waterfront Museum.


A lot to include this month: changes in the Committee structure, a lot of events planned for November [including an outing], a report from our recent show, more detail about the planned stock-sale, updates on various long-term projects and even a potential new wagon commission. A lot here to keep everybody busy and a great lead-up to Christmas!

Recent Committee changes

Most members will have seen Noel Blows back in the club after a short absence and he will, once again, be a regular part of the furniture!. He has now returned to his original role as Chair, with Mal Shore relinquishing the role of acting Chair that he took for some months.

A sincere vote of thanks was proposed for Mal: he stepped in at very short notice to cover the Chair’s vacancy and enabled the Committee to continue to operate and supported Scott in the management of the show. We were hugely grateful for his chairing and pleased to note that Mal has agreed to remain on the Committee.

The 2018 Show

The recent annual show proved to be a great success, was universally well-received and enjoyed excellent feed-back from both exhibitors and traders. It was well attended, allowing the public to see exhibition layouts of a high quality and congratulations must go to Scott Rhodes and his team for organising the event. But many thanks too to the 20+ members who assisted at various times over the two days, particularly those who covered the ticketing desk, the raffle stand and the refreshments room. You all made it run like clockwork.

For the first time we were able to use our card machine to help with payments, it was enormously useful and reduced the amount of hard cash that needed to be taken care of. And on the subject of money, whilst the final figure is not yet in, it looks as though the show made a profit of around £2000. This means that for next year’s show, the accommodation costs for exhibitors are already covered and some of their travelling expenses will be underwritten too. In this way, the plan, eventually, is to have a totally self-sustaining show.

Photographs from this year’s event can be found here. In the meantime, here’s the Evening Post write-up.

With many thanks to the Evening Post for publishing this article

The show team for the 2019 event has already met and 6 exhibitors have already been signed up! A number of traders have also indicated their wish to return: we are obviously getting something right!

Remember though, next year we move to a different venue [Pentrehafod School] and the show will be held a little earlier, in September [the 21st and 22nd].

The Club’s Dapol wagon commission

I’m really pleased to tell you that our most recent commission, the ‘Tirdonkin’ triple pack, is almost 100% sold-out: just 5 sets in OO and N remain, together with 2 sets in O. This has been a fantastically successful commission and the Club has netted around £1500 from it. Some of these wagons have recently appeared on eBay at wildly inflated prices [eg £120 for an O gauge wagon – it didn’t sell!]: you don’t have to pay anything like that for them however and the few that remain are available at their original prices. See the website for details.

The success of this commission has cleared the way for our next one, a single wagon, available again in all three gauges, which will be launched at the 2019 show. Further details and an invitation to pre-order will follow in due course.

Club projects

A couple of updates here on some important Club projects.

• Box Station

Having lain unfinished for a while, this important N gauge layout has been resuscitated and a new team formed to take it forward. The team, with Shed Master Ian Stevenson, comprises Simon Durrer, Nick Kerslake, Jeff Martin and later, after a short break away, John Meredith. Work is underway to prepare the backscene and some minor modifications to the ends of the layout are planned. The intention for this to be an exhibition layout remains, and it will be shown next year at the 2019 event [if not elsewhere, sooner].

• The Test Tracks

Mal Rowe commented that painting the Forth Bridge would have been an easier project to undertake but many will now have noticed that the Test Tracks are at last ready for use. Some small works remain, the OO9 tracks need to be wired and a fascia for the front attached but, otherwise, they are back in business.

The Test Tracks will be formally opened at the next Club social night [see below for details] but, in the meantime, they are there to be used. Many thanks to Mal and those who assisted at various times with this big project.

The scenery which decorated parts of the back area has been removed to tidy-up the whole piece and, rather than simply waste it, Mal Shore is planning to utilise some of what has been removed in Kingston, the Club’s large O gauge project.

Club member Daniel Thomas’ beautiful kit-built OO9 loco, seen on ‘Amiens’, the ‘Best in Show’ exhibit at the 2018 show.

Club member Daniel Thomas’ beautiful kit-built OO9 loco, seen on ‘Amiens’, the ‘Best in Show’ exhibit at the 2018 show.

Some planned November events....

Rather than put these dates into the usual newsletter diary reminder, I’ve provided some more information on them this time:

  • 23rd. November – 6.00pm – in the ground floor dining room [and on a Friday night] – the Autumn stock sale – see the details below.

  • Either the 29th. or 30th. November – an open night with refreshments – all are welcome, as are guests – the Test Tracks will be formally opened and it is also hoped that John Rogers’ sister, Claire Rogers, will be able to attend to present the Club with a plaque in John’s memory. Date to be confirmed shortly.

  • A possible excursion to Llandrindod Wells via ‘The Heart of Wales’ line. Phil Skinner is interested in organising this visit for the 14th. November, a Wednesday.

  • For those with bus passes, there would be no charge for the train fare; for those without, the return fare would be £13.10.

  • The train times are 9.45 ex Gowerton, arr.12.01, and 15.41 ex Llandrindod, arr Gowerton 17.59. Obviously, travel times from Swansea will be slightly earlier and later respectively. Lunch at the Metropole Hotel [for those who wish] is from the special Wednesday menu - £14.95 for 3 courses [with tea/coffee] or £3.95 for a starter and £7.95 for a man course.

  • 8th November – 7.00pm – in the chapel [first floor] – a talk by Terry McCarthyon ‘Kit Bashing at 12 inches to the Foot: the GWR County Project’ – free ad- mission.

    I cannot attach the menu link, but the options are good. Please see Phil Skinnerquickly if you wish to be part of this outing, and for Heaven’s sake, don’t forget your bus passes on the day!

The Next Stock Sale

As noted above, the next sale will take place on the 23rd. November, a Friday this time. The change of day allows us access to the main dining room / hall area on the ground floor. The sale includes OO locos and rolling stock [some I’ve yet to see], some card kits and buildings and also a large collection of resin-cast locomotives from magazines. All will be sold at sensible, affordable prices. There will also be a large amount of diecast vehicles and aeroplanes, recently donated to the Club.

The Trix-Twin stock mentioned in the last newsletter has been withdrawn as it was sold elsewhere. If not already sold, there may also be a number of early ‘50s Dinky Toys.

The sale starts at 6pm and the card reader will be available! Please do support the Club and make this another memorable sale. Ex-members and friends are welcome to attend this stock sale also.

Finally, locking-up arrangements to the end of November

October 25th - Nick Kerslake
November 1st – Mal Rowe
November 8th – Mike Sarsfield
November 15th – Scott Rhodes
November 22nd – Richard Grigg
November 29th – Bob James

Best wishes all