WELCOME/ Wilkommen / Bienvenue

This site is about my personal interests in railway & tramway modelling; railway history; bus and trolley bus models and modelling; bus company history and in the various railway & tramway systems, covering British, European, Canadian, USA & South American prototypes.

 Also there is a page that acts as the website of the Milland Valley Railway Modellers, a special interest group of Liphook/Midhurst u3a’s– see sidebar


In diesem Blog geht es um meine persönlichen Interessen in der Eisenbahn- und Straßenbahnmodellierung, der Eisenbahngeschichte, der Busmodellierung und in den verschiedenen Eisenbahn- und Straßenbahnprototypen, die britische, europäische, kanadische, amerikanische und südamerikanische Prototypen abdecken.

Es ist auch die Website der Milland Valley Railway Modelers – eine Nachmittagsspezialinteressengruppe von Liphook und Midhurst u3a’s (gegründet 2017 als die Building A Modelleisenbahngruppe (2017)). 

Ce blog traite de mes intérêts personnels dans la modélisation des chemins de fer et des tramways, l’histoire des chemins de fer, la modélisation des autobus et dans les divers prototypes de tramways et de tramways, couvrant des prototypes britanniques, européens, canadiens, américains et sud-américains.

C’est également le site Web de The Milland Valley Railway Modellers, un groupe d’intérêt spécial en après-midi composé de Liphook et de Midhurst u3a (créé en 2017 sous le nom de Building A Group Railway Group (2017)). 

Aussi un “nouvel” intérêt (environ 12 ans) pour la pétanque que nous jouons toute l’année.


This site is owned and managed by Tony Bettger, a former long standing Liphook & District MRC member (2003 to 2016) with responsibilities for publicity/website and at different periods Treasurer and Secretary. He is currently organiser of the  Milland Valley Railway Modellers,  a special interest group of Liphook u3a/Midhurst u3a.

His interest in model railways goes back to 1949 and a few Hornby Dublo wagons and some track on the Dining -Room table! An interest in railways came somewhat earlier, watching trains on the Winchester /Alton line from his bedroom window at Hookpit, a small village near Winchester. The Waterloo/Southampton main line with “Spam Cans” and early diesels,  was also within hearing distance, as was the ex-GWR Didcot, Newbury & Southampton line.

He was a regular bus watcher & traveller from an early age- the local operator King Alfred Motor Services operated a Bedford OB with wooden seats (utility) and a Guy Austerity double decker in the late 40’s, to serve the area and “modern” Leyland double deckers later. His parents moved to Farnham in the  Fifties and it was back to a Guy Austerity (with perhaps a newer body), on Aldershot & District services, which were of course a large Dennis user, but not on his route to secondary school!

Why the Milland Valley Railway?

The Milland Valley is a real place in the United Kingdom, as far west as you can get in the northern part of West Sussex- up against the eastern borders of Hampshire and the southern border of Surrey. About half way between Guildford & Portsmouth. It contains a number of small villages and hamlets, the largest of which is probably Milland.

Administratively in the County of West Sussex, part of Chichester D.C. ,  although most of  the postal addresses are Liphook, Hampshire.  The Milland Valley was part of the Hollycombe Estate, which was owned from 1888 to 1936 by Sir John Hawkshaw  and family, famous Victorian civil engineer, involved extensively in British, Continental & South American railway, docks & canal projects. His son John Clarke Hawkshaw was also a civil engineer. The family was connected by marriages to the Wedgwood’s , owners of the famous pottery firm of Stoke on Trent. A new biography of Sir John by Michael Beaumont was published in 2016.

Milland as a village is of recent creation with the building of homes in the 50’s, 60’s & 7o’s around a village pub in Milland Marsh. The pub was  built on spec  by Brickwoods  as a road-house for  a Liphook by pass scheme,  in the 30’s, which never happened. Milland is part of the South Downs National Park,  first mooted in 1949 and  the latest National Park to be created in the UK, in April 2011.

There was a plan for a railway line to be built from Midhurst to Haslemere, which would have passed through the valley, but it too was never built.

The name Milland Valley Railway   bound together location & interests without having an allegiance to a single club, so was registered as this sites domain name.

This site has been in existence since 2007 and formerly included for a short time the activities of a Gauge O Group at the South Hants Model Railway Club- – (subsequently transferred to and remain at the Fareham & District Model Railway Club)   & of the L&DMRC for nearly 10 years.

If you’ve come to this site expecting to see current information on the Liphook & District Model Railway Club, that has not been included since late 2016.  I’m sorry, but some sites seem incapable to respond to requests for their links to be updated. Please contact the L&DMRC  secretary- ldmrc-secretary@outlook.com and advise which site directed you here- Thanks!

We are not connected formally with L&DMRC but maintain a friendly relationship with them and cooperate with them where appropriate.

L&DMRC archive material remains on this site for the foreseeable future.


Most of the local model railway groups are linked to this site, together with many national and international groups- see side-bar. The nearest geographically are Liphook & District MRC meeting at the Milland Valley Memorial Hall on Friday evenings; Liss Model Railway Group meeting at Liss Village Hall on Friday afternoons.

For those specifically interested in O gauge modelling there is the Mid Hants O Gauge Group which meets monthly on the 3rd Tuesday evening of each month at Alton Methodist Chuch, 79 High Street GU34 ILG They do not have a website  but look on the Gauge O Guild website for contact details- see side bar

If any modellers are looking to form groups in Haslemere or Petersfield- fairly large centres of population, currently without a model railway club- the MVRM may be able to help . Please contact them.

Local  u3a Groups that may be of interest

Please note that many activities or meetings cannot be held under the ever changing covid pandemic situation- the notes here refer to what used to apply under normal situations

The MILLAND VALLEY RAILWAY MODELLERS- an afternoon special interest group of Liphook u3a and Midhurst u3a

The group had its first meeting in April 2017 as the Building a Model Railway Group 2017.  The last session was intended to be held in March 2018, but it was decided for the group to transform into an afternoon model railway group for the coming year and beyond.

Meetings were due to restart in January 2022 on the First  complete week in each month  (containing Tuesday  Wednesday and Thursday of each month) at a private address in Milland, but the expotentional spread of the latest strain of Covid means that any start is further delayed. The area avilable for meetings although suitable in nomal times, is less than ideal for maintaining social distancing and on ventilation grounds.

For full details see side bar  links to club page and group layout projects pages. This group is one of only 8 model railway groups in u3a in the UK. They welcome other such groups  contacting them to exchange experiences.

Please  make enquiries to the group via the Liphook or Midhurst u3a’s websites or via model.railways1@liphooku3a.org.uk.  


I formed  this new  group as Transport Interests in early 2016. The group covers  all the major forms of  land, water and air transport, including railways, buses, coaches, trams, military vehicles, civil and military aircraft, merchant  & naval ships, canals & canal craft etc .

 The group has continued under the leadership of Bill Gill – and a new visit programme  underway, but interupted by the pandemics various lockdowns and restrictions.

See https://u3asites.org.uk/liphook/home

or contact Bill at transport1@liphooku3a.org.uk



We have been members of this group for over 20 years and have played all year round for most of that time, with occasional playing visits to France, Spain , Gibraltar and Cyprus. This group started playing in Liss Forest at The Temple Inn. Unfortunately the pub, has over the last few years, been in the process of being redeveloped and the boule terrain, which we  and the local community upgraded and improved over many years, is no longer available to us. After temporary arrangements over  2 years, the group has  (since mid 2018) transferred to the new terrain at the Milland Sports Club.

Contact Liphook u3a for details of their two Boule Groups. Group 1 who meets at Milland and Group 2 who meet at Petersfield. Petersfield u3a also has its own Petangue* group which plays at Petersfield on a Monday afternoon

*The French name for Boule

Membership of these  u3a groups is restricted to paid up members of Liphook u3a  (currently £12 per annum) or certain other local u3a’s- Haslemere, Petersfield, Woolmer Forest (Whitehill & Bordon) and Midhurst.

u3a’s (University of the Third Age) are for retired or semi retired ladies and gents. No formal qualifications are awarded or required.  A separate group annual fee may be payable  to fund meeting room hire & external speakers. There will be additional costs for  any entrance charges/travel costs on arranged visits to places of interest.

MILLAND BOULE GROUP- part of Milland Sports Club

This local group is part of the Milland Sports Club , following the building of a new terrain built with the help of a substantial donation from profits of the Annual Milland Firework Display, plus a donation from Liphook u3A

The group  for a time met every  Friday afternoon throughout the year-weather permitting , but this has  changed to a Wednesday morning  session between 10.30 and 12.30.

See the designated page on this site,and  the groups unofficial Facebook Page Milland Valley – Boule  Group for more details and contact info



To encourage young people’s interest in engineering at the local Hollycombe Primary School (built originally by the Hawkshaws), we are as a family  sponsoring “The Hawkshaw Shield”  awarded annually to the pupil showing the greatest aptitude/interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The winner also receives a book token.

 2017- Samuel Gunther and William Quinnell.

 2018 – Gabriella Gorton.

2019- Amelie Smail

Well done to them all and best wishes for the future! 

The next award we hope will be made in July 2022

Due to the Corona virus disrupting school attendance no award was made in July 2020 or 21. In 2021 a donation was made to the school library in lieu of the award.

TRAMS, BUSES & AIRCRAFT, RAILWAY STAMPS & TRANSPORT TICKETS- see the side bars for links to my various Facebook pages and societies websites covering these various interests.


Revised March 2016/ April 2016/May 2016/June 2016/July 2016/August 2016/September 2016/October 2016/ November 2016/December 2016/January 2017/February 2017- major re-positioning of content from other pages/ March 2017 Diary changes /April 2017-updated details on Building a Model Railway Group 2017/ May 2017- general update and rewording or deletion of some items/June 2017 Exhibition updates/July 2017/Some re-arrangement to order of items on this page October 2017/ Jan 2018/ February 2018-introduction of Milland Valley Railway Modellers/April 2018 general tidying/August 2018-several/ Nov. 2018 Removing duplication of details . Server problems- December 2018/January 2019 transferred to posts, Update to links and this page May 2019/ June 2019, Hawkshaw Shield winners- revised wording and inclusion of 2019 winner/November 2019-general update/Late Dec 2019 Addition of 2020 anniversaries in English, German & French/ 2020 Coronavirus changes & updates/ Oct 20 update to u3a logo form./December 2020/ Feb 2021- Minor revisions/ July 2021 – revisions to Hawkshaw Shield notes Nov2021/Dec 2021 revision to meeting restart/ Jan 2022 various updates

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