Club Update - February 2019

Inside Tondu shed during the last days of steam
Photo: John Wiltshire: Peter Brabham collection, with kind permission


I found the fantastic photograph above on-line whilst looking for something entirely different and could not resist posting it as the header photo this month. Although local, Tondu shed [finally 88H], a brick-built roundhouse, was not in the Neath Division but the Newport Division. It closed in February 1964. I am extremely grateful to Peter Brabham for allowing me to reproduce the photo here.

But back to business. A relatively short newsletter this month, but one with a number of dates for your diaries and I have attached with it a copy of the Club’s revised Constitution. I’m also delighted to advise that a number of new members have recently joined the Club, many from viewing our excellent website [more on this below….]. Welcome all and members please take time to introduce yourselves when you see them at the club.

An excursion and other planned activities / social events

  • First, a final reminder that Phil Skinner has organised another trip to Llandrindod Wells via the Central Wales line on the 13th. March. The rail journey is free for those with bus passes and lunch for those travelling can be organised at the Metropole Hotel once again. Free travel to Llandrindod [for those with bus passes] ends shortly [to return in the Autumn], so this will be a final opportunity for an outing for a while. Full details/costs are on the notice-board in the Club and please put your names down asap in order that the hotel can be advised of the numbers for lunch [which was excellent last time].

  • An imminent curry night. Every year, we have a Club curry night at the Patti Raj restaurant, St. Helens. This year’s event is booked for Saturday the 16th. March at 6.30 for 7.00pm. We will have the upstairs room at the restaurant to ourselves again and the cost per head, inclusive of service, is £13 [pay for your own drinks though!]. The food is always plentiful and excellent at the Patti Raj and previous events have been a great success. Please let Noel Blows know urgently if you wish to attend but have yet to book. We need at least 30 to make the event viable.

  • A forthcoming model railway exhibition in Port Talbot on Saturday the 1st. of June. I do not have full details of this event yet but Simon Durrer is the Club contact and SRMG may [may] be exhibiting some of its smaller layouts at the event [all to be confirmed]. Keep the date for your diaries however as this could be a good opportunity to further promote our Club. We are considering taking our new display unit to showcase the winning entries from our imminent modelling competition.

  • Finally, and well into the future, I have been advised that the National Waterfront Museum will be having a ‘Steam Sunday’ event on Sunday the 11th. of August [11am – 4pm]. The Museum plans to take out the Penydarren locomotive and a number of traction engines have been invited also.

Another of Robert Masterman’s evocative photographs chronicling diesel multiple units in the South Wales Valleys in the 60s and 70s. This time, a plain blue-liveried 3 car DMU departs Hengoed Low Level with a Penarth to Rhymney service in 1968.

The recent Annual General Meeting

The minute of the AGM will be distributed in due course, but for those of you who could not attend, a quick heads-up on two important decisions taken by the members present:

  • The revised Constitution was accepted after a number of amendments were agreed. This will be reviewed annually and any proposed changes or updates taken to the AGM for agreement or further amendment.

  • Only one nomination was received for the newly-created seventh Committee Member post: Niel Clements. Consequently, Niel was elected without opposition. Niel will be responsible for membership development.

Downton Road, Box and Cwmfelin Parkway

Requests for additional assistance with these layout builds were made in recent newsletters. I’m pleased to advise that a number of members have come forward and Richard Grigg is working with the Cwmfelin team, Bob Cotton with Downton and Colin Edwards with Box. Many thanks guys for your involvement.

The Modelling Competition

Don’t forget, the competition will be judged on Thursday the 28th. March 2019. Time is short but it hasn’t run out yet! Any questions, speak to Simon Durrer or myself at the club.

SRMG website: national recognition!!

This is a real feather in the Club’s cap: the March edition of The Railway Modeller has a two-page centre spread on our website, written by Gwion Davies and with many photographs illustrating it. Apart from being a good read, it provides valuable publicity for the club and is the second article that the Modeller has featured on us. Not many other clubs have enjoyed such an opportunity and thanks, Gwion, for the article and your work on our website.

Incidentally, and as I’ve said many times before, any member can contribute to the website. If you have a build you’d like to showcase, or have written an article that you believe might be of interest, speak to Gwion about it.

The 2019 show

Just a couple of points for you all from Scott Rhodes:

The show planning is advancing well and nearly all of the space is now fully booked. Support is needed more than ever due to the change in venue however. Remember, all support given warrants a free show for the member involved. So, please dig deep in terms of the time that you are prepared to give and let Scott Rhodes know when you will be able to help.

Also, can all members advertise the show as much as possible please. Show flyers are available to distribute at local shops, clubs and post offices. Every little helps! See Scott for flyers, etc..

We have some impressive layouts lined up for the show. Gwion now updates the website regularly, so details of traders and exhibitors are there for you all to see.

Finally, locking-up arrangements to the end of March

  • Feb 28 – J Grey

  • Mar 7 – G Harwood

  • Mar 14 – T Hylton

  • Mar 21 – B James

  • Mar 28 – N Kerslake

Best wishes all