Club Update - June 2019


Quite a lot to share this month but I need to start with a sad note. We heard very recently that Randall Morris had passed away about a month ago, having suffered with cancer for a while. Randall will have been known to quite a lot of you although we had not seen him for some time. Noel Blows has sent a condolence card to Randall’s wife, Maria, which many of you will have signed.

On a happier note, we have heard that member Chris Zajac has been released from hospital and is at last making a slow recovery. We hope to see you back with us soon, Chris.

Tickets, please.....

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From the collection this month, a Third Class single ticket issued at London Victoria for travel to Streatham Hill, dated June 1937.

The recent stock sale and an O gauge item on offer to members

A big thank you to all who supported the Club’s recent sale, an eclectic mix of ‘N’, ‘HO’and ‘OO’, which included examples of the very first coaches produced by Triang [sadly in very poor condition however]. After the vendors had been paid, the Club’s sales and our commissions amounted to very nearly £300.

Not included in the recent sale, but now on offer, is an unusual and collectable O gauge tin-plate, blue tender loco and three crimson and cream bogie coaches. Recently serviced, this vintage three-rail set runs well on 16 volts AC and is in extremely good condition for its age. Manufactured by toy makers Louis Marx, almost certainly in the Marx Swansea factory during the early-50s, the set comes with enough three-rail track for it to run on. Any prospective purchaser would need to provide his or her own power source [remember, AC] as the original ‘speed controller’ is probably no longer safe to use.

These coarse-scale, O-gauge tin-plates are delightful but not everyone’s cup-of-tea, they are certainly collectible though and becoming increasingly scarce, especially in this condition. There is one on eBay currently for £250: it won’t sell at that price obviously and the Club is not looking at anything remotely like that in terms of offers. If there is interest in acquiring this piece of model railway and Swansea history however, please speak to me at the Club [or e-mail me].

The 2019 private owner wagon commission

Noel Blows advises that prior to our 2019 show, he is not able to take any further orders for F&E Poole in O gauge as what remains un-reserved must be held back for show sales over the weekend. For information, 58 wagons in OO and 45 wagons in N have also been reserved through orders to date. If you model in the smaller scales and have yet to reserve your own wagon[s], just speak to Noel at the Club or contact him via the Products section of this site.

The recent excursion and a note about future outings

The visit to the Cotswold Festival of Steam on the 26th. May saw a full minibus of club members travel to Cheltenham for the day. Feedback from those attending was extremely positive and a wide range of locomotives ran throughout the festival.

Whilst this outing was not subsidised by the Club, it has been agreed that, in future, the club will subsidise fully the cost of coach hire for an excursion once a year, as long as sufficient members to fill the coach can travel. Locations for potential visits will be canvassed in the near future but, when expressing a wish, please remember that the venue must be in reasonable distance for a day out and drivers’ hours are a limiting factor also.

Photos from the visit can be seen on our Flickr account here.

Caledonian 0-4-4T No. 419 at the Festival of Steam
Photograph by Gwion Rhys Davies

The refurbishment of the clubroom – an update

This was mentioned last month. The material for the bench and single seats has now been embroidered with the Club’s logo and has been sent for fitting. Plans are afoot to undertake some further tiling also, extending the tiling from the sink / worktop area, around the wall, to the bins. This work should start next week [Weds / Thurs] and many, many thanks to member Dick Harris for volunteering to lead on this.

The website

A couple of new items have appeared on the website recently, a review of the newly-released Hornby Terrier tank here and a GWR Camp Coach build here, all with descriptive photographs.

The fire alarms

Members will have heard the fire alarms ringing periodically throughout the building recently and some of you will be aware of an occasional fault within the system, triggering activations when there is no need. Noel Blows and I recently met FOYD management to discuss this and some other concerns regarding the fire escape. I can tell you that FOYD will be commissioning a new fire alarm system in the near future, it will be installed incrementally, commencing with the most vulnerable parts of the building. This will be an extremely expensive project but the need for it is recognised. I will update members on progress in due course.

Lighting in the external fire escape is not sufficient for safe night time use and this was raised at the meeting also. This will be resolved very quickly [if, indeed, it has not been addressed by the time of writing].

Although the fire alarm triggers without need occasionally, I would remind members that they need to follow the guidance in the recently re-issued Fire Evacuation Instruction [newsletter December 2018] without exception. The assembly point is in the shelters adjacent to the main gate.

An early Wickham Rail Trolley at the Festival of Steam
Photograph by Gwion Rhys Davies

The Skewen Food Festival

Following the withdrawal of an exhibitor, the festival organiser contacted the Club to see whether a layout could be made available to substitute for the non-shower. Mal Rowe took and operated ‘Joshua Junction’ and David Williams his static Z gauge work- in-progress layout. A number of Club membership forms were given out and thanks both for your efforts in promoting the Club.

Finally, from the March 1962 ‘Model Railway Constructor’......

I recently acquired a copy of this magazine for an article to assist with a build I was undertaking [it didn’t !]. In the adverts section at the back, I found the following notice:

Does anyone know anything about this club? Whilst it is over 50 years since the notice was placed, I’m wondering if this was the club that met in Gloucester Place.

I also found this in the same magazine. Does anyone remember shopping there?

Some diary dates

On Saturday the 29th June at Llancaiach Fawr Manor, a model railway exhibition with 10+ layouts in a variety of gauges and traders attending. Adults £5, u-16 free if accompanied by an adult.

Finally, the locking-up arrangements to the end of July

I hope this this finds you well and best wishes all.