Local newspapers

In times past every village & town in a a local newspapers circulation area had a local hack who had his or her nose to local news stories and all the local events. Local clubs were given space to report their news. In the Hampshire Chronicle for instance they had regular reports of local railway news & history.

You know what I’m going to say now- it isn’t like that now!

They’re interested in advertising-mostly the national sport of buying or selling or looking at houses for sale- but little news- because the reporters are not out & about sniffing the news; nor reporting about magistrate courts cases, but they’re sitting in nice warm offices waiting for e-mails from the general public.

Clubs & interest groups are increasingly denied access because the reporters know nothing of the local area & care less & its so much easier to take a briefing from the local MP (not an interview note) provided by party news minders at party HQ.

Luckily, locally we do have what a local newspaper should be about, not created by paid professionals,  only available 6 times a year but it is crammed full of truly local items of interest. Its what keeps a very small  country area together… and it includes pieces about the local model railway club!

Good days at Eurotrack 2017

We had a good two days at Eurotrack 2017-  25th & 26th February 2017 with Travo, Graham A’s* Italian -Era 6 layout TRAVO.

Graham received many compliments on the modelling & simplicity of his layout,  but the layout suffered a few irritating minor electrical problems which started dark talk of scrapping on the Saturday. The situation improved somewhat  on Sunday, but the problems continued.

Graham is now contemplating improvements and track relaying- exhibition invites were received but were rejected until the problems are resolved.

Travo with French railcar (mine) having a trial run!


Graham was helped by Nick H*. on the Saturday and on Saturday & Sunday by the writer



A series of pictures (not these) were taken by the Continental Modeller editor on the Sunday- hopefully might appear in CM at some point.


*L&DMRC members

Not in the correct back yard

Small community organisations,like model railway clubs, have in the recent “digital age” been able to use community listings which are part of local authority websites.

Locally that’s recently all changed. They appear to have been privatised and much, if not all, such information has disappeared. One of our local council listings has been retained but is managed by an organisation in Wigan.

Now local clubs are in border territory, so listing is needed under Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey to make any sense of where potential members are drawn from. The lady in Lancashire didn’t understand this local dimension, so has done some editing- you can only be in one county!. Now I know that Lancastrians & Yorkshire folk have some problems with such things, but we are much more friendly down south.. (perhaps?)

Then there are local websites who appear to have rules about not including local organisations that don’t meet in their village or town even when said locality hasn’t a club covering that interest! This rule seems to have get outs- bowls clubs aren’t fettered by this..

Is it just model railway clubs who incur the wrath of list compilers?. If Haslemere , where its probably a capital offence to be a member of the Labour Party, can list that unmentionable organisation, why not the local model railway club in Liphook? (They haven’t got one of their own!) but they do list the Liphook Bowling Club!

What an unfriendly lot we’ve become- not only don’t we wan’t to have anything to do with countries close to us, we don’t want to have anything to do with the next village or town, or with friendly old gentlemen who happen to play trains.

More tolerance to us & Yorkshire I say.


New Facebook page & additions to this site

It’s all happening

A new Facebook page  for Building a Model Railway 2017 is now in place.

A number of new links has been added to this site mainly relative to UK tramway systems.

Progress photos on Milland Valley Railway- Dioramas has been added to the Facebook page and on this site.

Mens Sheds-a way for model railway clubs to become more involved locally?

Have you heard about Men’s Sheds?

“A Men’s Shed is a larger version of the typical man’s shed in the garden – a place where he feels at home and pursues practical interests with a high degree of autonomy. A Men’s Shed offers this to a group of such men where members share the tools and resources they need to work on projects of their own choosing at their own pace and in a safe, friendly and inclusive venue. They are places of skill-sharing and informal learning, of individual pursuits and community projects, of purpose, achievement and social interaction. A place of leisure where men come together to work.

A Shed’s activities usually involve making or mending in wood (e.g. carpentry, joinery, turning, carving, whittling, marquetry, furniture renovation) but may include metalworking (milling, sheet metal, welding, etc.) bike repair, gardening, electronics, tool renovation, boat renovation, model engineering (model railways, planes) and even building a car! Reclamation, reuse and restoration will feature strongly – and some say that is true of the men too! Although Sheds mostly attract older men, some have included men of any age, women and young people. Whichever activities are pursued the essence of a Shed is not a building, which some don’t have, but the network of relationships between the members.”

Excerpt from UK Men’s Sheds Association website http://menssheds.org.uk

To me this sounds very much what a model railway club should be about, but isn’t always. The main difference is that Men in Sheds are properly constituted self governing charities which can attract sponsorship and help in finding premises.

I am investigating the possibilities and see whether this has any relevance to modelling clubs

A slight error in the estimate or buy a new calculator?

Report in Live Rail Feb 2017 (Journal of the Southern Electric Group)

“The Department for Transport has discovered that the £20 M originally allocated was far from adequate, so is providing £300 M for improving the resilience of the Southern & Thameslink network.”

That is an error in the “estimate” of £280 M- ( 1400% ).

Anybody dismissed, shot at dawn or hung from a lamp- post- course not- the taxpayer will provide!

Modelling magazine editors & writers appear on screen

As Model Railroader reaches its 1000th issue, their site has been showing short videos of editorial staff present & past talking about their favourite issues in a very relaxed style. Some are amusing, but the genuine enthusiasm for the hobby is what shines through.

How little we see of our own model railway editors and staff writers-or are the PR gurus worried that might damage the magazines image? What we have seen is usually stilted and truly British- “I’d rather be elsewhere” attitude. Come on; send them on a course or two about media presentation and you might have some new stars in the making.

Of course MR has been having its staff writers & editors appearing regularly on MR Video  for a few years and many of them have advanced their credibility no end. More of it on the this side of the Atlantic wouldn’t go amiss!


Times they are a changing

Today marks the end of any official connection between the Liphook & District Model Railway Club and this site. Their new official website is up & running.

I have re-arranged  this site to delete or archive club pages, so unfortunately some of your regularly used pages will get the “oop’s” message.

The next stage, on which I will not be involved, will be the mammoth task of removing links to this site from community sites, which have details of the club. This could take time…

I have added details of Building A Model Railway 2017 onto RM web- see if it leads to any interest..

Model railway exhibiting & hobby etiquette

There was recently a request on Facebook from a newcomer to the model railway hobby, about advice on attending his first model railway exhibition.

The obvious first question I had was -I thought you went first to model railway exhibitions to explore what the hobby was, before embarking on it?

That aside- it was the replies the poor chap received from supposed established enthusiasts. “Look out for lack of personal hygiene of other attendees”, “rucksacks and impolite behaviour”… There were few if any encouraging, welcoming  or constructive comments.

So once again is it a few vociferous enthusiasts with attitude, who are the hobby’s main problem in attracting a wide range of the population to our hobby?

I thought we’d got past the rest of the population thinking we were all weirdos or even worse.

This seems a  British trait, similar to that inflicted on football supporters with a loud, ill behaved minority, who ruin it for the majority.

Its a wonderful hobby that has always been appreciated by people from all walks of life and long may that continue.

It has some way to go however- clubs who are less than friendly to newcomers; clubs who don’t participate in local community events; clubs who don’t publicise themselves or the hobby; enthusiasts who don’t put anything back into their club or the hobby

Exhibitors & Fellow modellers

Please encourage newcomers in every way you can and to those who exhibit layouts- please smile and communicate with the visitors rather than huddling at the back!

Have a special person at the front talking to the public-that is someone who is outgoing and enthusiastic…


Please wash regularly and leave the rucksack at home & if you can’t be complimentary about our layouts, keep your opinions to yourself or let us see your efforts!

Please ask questions when operators are not involved in major derailments or electrical failures…