Club Update - May 2019


A packed edition this month, with notes of the imminent stock sale, a trip to the Cotswold Festival of Steam [very soon!], ‘The Great Model Railway Challenge’ programme on Channel 5, a big upgrade of the clubroom and lots more….

But first, best wishes to member Chris Zajac who has been quite unwell over the past month or so and is recovering in hospital. Best wishes, Chris, and we look forward to seeing you and your full length expresses back in the club soon. John is keeping your seat warm.

Tickets, please…..

A GWR Child’s Third Class Return between Carmarthen and Kidwelly.  Pre-1948 but otherwise undated.

A GWR Child’s Third Class Return between Carmarthen and Kidwelly. Pre-1948 but otherwise undated.

The next stock sale

The next stock sale will take place this coming week on THURDSAY the 16TH. MAY at 7.30 pm. The venue will be the old chapel room on the first floor.

Highlights from the sale include:

  • Boxed N gauge locos from Minitrix, including a very good Mallard and a pair of very good Ivatt tanks, together with good, boxed coaches and freight stock, all sensibly priced.

  • A little-used Gaugemaster twin controller.

  • In OO, a boxed Bachmann two-car Class 150 DMU in near-mint condition, a good boxed Bachmann Collett Goods [BR Black], a near mint Bachmann boxed GWR 87XX tank and a nice boxed Triang/Hornby 9F ‘Evening Star’.

  • A large amount of very cheap Triang stock, including many coaches.

There will also be the usual collection of track, card buildings and 50p jumble boxes full of scenery and accessories. Everything priced to sell!

The card-reader will be available once again to help with those impulse buys, so don’t feel that you have to hold back!

A Hornby Black Five photographed at speed out of doors
Photo courtesy of Marty van Doren, Ridgepointe Rail, Queensland, Australia.

An imminent excursion

Skinner’s Tours & Utilities [sole prop. Phil Skinner] advises that a very limited number of places remain available for a trip to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway’s ‘Cotswold Festival of Steam’ on SUNDAY the 26th. MAY. A minibus will leave the club no later than 8.30am. on the day and the estimated cost [including day rover tickets – unlimited travel] will be £40.

Full details are on the notice board at the club. If you wish to go, please put your name down on the form no later than next Thursday [16th.]. For the few remaining seats it will be first come, first served.

To give a taster of what will be in steam over the whole weekend, the line-up includes ‘Dinmore Manor’, ‘Foremarke Hall’, Merchant Navy class ‘Peninsular and Oriental SN Co’, GWR 2-8-0 2807, GWR 2-8-0T 4270, Thompson B1 class 1264, GWR ‘King Edward ll’ and Caledonian tank 419. An extraordinary, eclectic collection of engines in steam.

Refurbishment of the clubroom

At some time during the next month or so, the clubroom furniture will be disposed of to allow for the fitting of a three-metre upholstered bench along the wall adjacent to the Cwmfelin room and six new chairs will also be provided. The large glass display cabinet will also go, to be replaced by two more-attractive and smaller freestanding units. If anyone would like the old display cabinet, it is available for removal free of charge. Speak to either Noel Blows or Tony Richards if you are interested.

The library

Anyone who has visited the library recently will have noticed that it is now in good order. Many thanks must go to Bob Cotton for the effort he has put into rearranging all of the books into a more logical and accessible order. Feel free, as usual, to read or borrow what is in there because now there’s a good chance that you’ll find what you were looking for, but please replace what you have used in the place from which it came. In due course, some additions will be placed in the library courtesy of Nick Kerslake, for which many thanks. The real anoraks amongst you will enjoy browsing a reprint of a copy of Bradshaw’s July 1922 Railway Guide that is amongst the new books: read that and you’ll never miss that last train to Glyncorrwg!


I have been asked to remind members that if the locking up duty falls to them at any time, they should be certain that all doors are shut, regardless of whether they can be locked or not. Many of these doors are fire doors [eg. the clubroom door] and if left open, they could compromise fire safety. Thank you all.

Some club layout news

A couple of updates here:

  • Mal Shore has asked me to remind those of you who have O gauge equipment that Kingston is now available for running on every Friday between 2pm and 6.30pm and on every first Thursday of the month during normal club hours. This large layout will allow your stock to stretch its legs, so do use it.

  • St David’s Wells, the first layout we completed, is showing its age a little and is about to undergo not so much a make-over as a thorough clean-up and repair. Gwion Rhys Davies and Richard Grigg are undertaking this much-overdue task and it means that, inevitably, its use will be restricted from time-to-time. Gwion will put a notice on the door when St DW cannot be used.

  • The various club builds have made real progress over the past months as I’m sure you’ll all have noticed. Of particular interest has been the scenic work undertaken on Box however and especially the magnificent extended backscene painted by Ian Stevenson. If you haven’t seen it, complete with its clever use of mirrors, do take a look.

A detail [unfinished] from the backscene for ‘Box’

Personal stock in the club

A timely warning to any who occasionally leave personal items of stock at the club: unfortunately, some rolling stock has gone missing from St David’s Wells and a club-wide search has failed to unearth it. Please be aware that should you chose to leave stock or equipment at the club, it must be done at your own risk. These sorts of incidents are extremely rare but forewarned is forearmed…..

The website

Apart from frequently exhorting you all to contribute to the members’ projects section [without success, I’ll add!], I’m only mentioning the website this month to share an astonishing statistic: over the past four years, has received over 50,000 unique visits. That means over 50,000 different people or organisations. Quite something.

The Great Model Railway Challenge

This Channel Five programme, aired last year, was seen by many club members and starred, amongst others, the now infamous Simon Durrer. The show is being reshot for a new series now and whilst Simon won’t be in it [to his relief probably], another club member will. Gwion Rhys Davies has already been involved in some of the filming and he is leading a team of modellers from across the UK in a team entitled ‘Who’s Counting Rivets’. Gwion has asked me to impress upon all of you that this is not the start of a reality television career for him and he thinks it unlikely that he’ll pop up on Love Island at any time soon. The broadcast dates for the new series are not yet known but Gwion has promised to keep us up-to-date. No spoilers will be forthcoming though!

On a more series note however, this will now mean that the club, as well as featuring in two Railway Modeller articles, will have had members participating in three television programmes. Pretty damn good, eh

Some diary dates

  • I mentioned last month a forthcoming model railway exhibition in Port Talbot on Saturday the 1st. of June and I now have the venue and times for this. It will take place at St. Agnes Church, Forge Road, Port Talbot SA13 1US between 10.00am and 4.00pm. Sorry – no other details.

  • A further show too, 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 June

  • May 16 M Shore

  • May 23 P Skinner

  • May 30 R Temple

  • June 6 D Williams

  • June 13 R Grigg

  • June 20 J Allnutt

  • June 27 N Blows

I hope this this finds you well and best wishes all