Club Update - July 2018

GWR Toplight carriage No.3930 with "Irish Mail via Fishguard" destination board at the Severn Vally Railway Spring Gala. Photo by Gwion Rhys Davies

Changes in the Committee

Sadly, after many years serving on the Committee, mostly in the capacity of Chair, Noel Blows has resigned his position with immediate effect. He will not be involved in any other club activities either for the foreseeable future.

Health and other personal reasons have forced this decision on Noel and he has asked for his privacy, and his decision, to be respected. Noel has not cancelled his membership and we hope that he will continue to visit the club from time-to-time. However, on behalf of the Committee and the club, I’d take this opportunity to both wish him well and thank him for over a decade of hard work put in to help the club become what it has today.

After a very recent Committee meeting to consider the now vacant position of Chair, it was agreed that Malcolm Shore would hold the role pro tem, until the 2019 [January] AGM.

John Rogers [1935 – 2018]

I e-mailed members recently to advise of the sad passing of John Rogers, following serious complications that set in after heart surgery. John's funeral will take place at St Paul's Church, Sketty, on the 17th. July at 1.15pm, followed by interment at Oystermouth Cemetery at 2.15. After the burial, there will be a gathering at Sketty Hall. A notice should be in the Evening Post tomorrow [11th.July] or the day after.

At 83, John was the oldest regular visitor to the club. Larger than life and with an infectious sense of humour, he made a quiet but continuous contribution to the club through always showing genuine interest in members’ modelling skills and offering advice and encouragement in a way that was impossible to ignore or not take seriously. He really enjoyed viewing members’ efforts and told me that for him, the modelling competition was one of the highlights of the club’s year.

John’s own modelling was consumate and in part influenced by his National Service [RAF] time spent in Northern Ireland. One of his models, Wolff Street Yard, an entirely scratch- built, Belfast-based shunting plank built to the 5’3” gauge, is shown on the club’s website. He enjoyed scartch-building complicated trackwork and his small collection of pre-war Trix-Twin stock was also fascinating to see and, of course, was still in good running order.

John Rodgers' family monogram forms a waxed seal on one of his letters to a fellow member.

John was one of the original members of the long-defunct Gloucester Place club, which then moved to The Strand before eventually arriving at Foyd and combining with the Morriston Club to form SRMG. He was also a member of the Swansea Society of Model Engineers and an enthusiastic vintage car owner [his pre-war Morris was a regular sight around Swansea and Gower in the Summer months]. To keep John’s memory alive, it has been decided to rename the Chairman’s Trophy the ‘John Rogers’ Cup’, to be awarded annually to the individual or group who has/have made the greatest contribution to the club throughout the year.

Rest in peace John but, sadly, the world has become a little more bland with your passing.

The Test Tracks

On to more mundane matters.......

The Test Tracks now show considerable progress and the sweeping curves are really impressive. The OO circuits are complete and the N gauge tracks are now being laid. However, whilst its back is truly broken. it is highly unlikely that the project will be completed until well into August. The reasons for this are twofold: the recent hot weather has made working in the area very difficult but, more significantly, the lack of volunteers coming forward to assist Mal and his small group has inevitably delayed progress. This has been disappointing given the general interest in helping shown at the initial project meeting. We are where we are however......

The tracks can still be used with care on Wednesdays [if they are not being worked on] and volunteer help is still needed. Speak to Mal if you can assist.

Autumn excursion

Ted Hylton hopes to organise an outing sometime during later August / early September. Whilst dates have yet to be agreed, it will probably take place over a weekend and the destination will be the Vale of Rheidol Railway, running from Aberystwyth to Pontarfynach [that’s Devil’s Bridge to you!].

A notice will be put up on the club board shortly to gauge interest. Seats are likely to be limited so apply early! Cost, etc., will be advised as soon as is known.

Diary dates

  • 14th & 15th. July - Barry and Penarth MRC 40th. annual railway exhibition – 10am to 4pm at St. Cyre’s School, Sully Rd, Penarth CF64 2XP. Free bus from Cogan station.

  • 8th November – ‘Kit Bashing at 12 inches to the Foot: the GWR County Project’, a lecture by Terry McCarthy on this fascinating new-build project.

Finally, the Thursday locking-up duties for July and August:-

  • July 19th. – Bob James

  • July 26th. – Gwyn Harwood

  • August 2nd. - Ken Lewis

  • August 9th. – Simon Durrer

  • August 16th. – John Meredith

  • August 23rd. – John Gray

  • August 30th. – Gwion Davies

That’s all for this month so best wishes all,