Railway Room tidy-up and re-arrangement gets underway

To enable the trial of the “additional meetings” of the Milland Valley Railway Modellers to be held in my railway room in September/October, it needs re-arranging and tidying. Work on this stated in earnest yesterday and will continue for a few days.

It is basically clearing enough area for East Hants Link to be worked on simultaneously by several people. In fact at the moment there is insufficient clear space for me to work on it alone!

Milland Valley Railway Modellers Future Developments

We have started to think how the group might develop in the future. 
Building a layout in two places- me doing that here at home and all members at our Redford meetings, is perhaps not the easiest way. Considerable time and effort is wasted each time in loading a car, unloading at the other end and doing the reverse after the meeting, with increase risk of damage plus reduction in time for modelling involving gluing or plasterwork.
At our last group meeting, I suggested that perhaps we should confine layout building to my home, but with members present and use our meetings at Redford for small self contained personal or group modelling projects.
Although most members were at our last meeting, further discussions are required., but I have warned Redford Hall of the possibility of change in 2020.
Meanwhile I will be looking at ways of rearranging my railway room, to accomodate members and layout building easily, whist we are on our current two month break. A trial session in September is a possibility.
Obviously if we have a mix of meeting venues, we could have more meetings per year at no extra cost to members, as meetings at my home will be free of hire charges.
Provisionally it looks possible to have up to say 20 sessions a year made up of 8 at Redford (third Wednesday in the month except January,July, August and December) and the balance at home on another Wednesday afternoon -possibly 2nd in every month.
Additionally we would have the flexibility to hold extra (or less) home meetings as required, if members aren’t available or if no or more work on the layout is required, without financial penalty or re-arranging bookings. On the current membership of 8 and similar support from Liphook U3A for hire charges, the new group subs for 2020/21 would decrease by £10 to £23 per annum.Expanding the group numbers will have to take into account the home sessions space accommodation.

Liphook U3A- Building a Model Railway Group – Latest News

The group has now completed 6 sessions with some success but there are problems with  regular attendance, the format and number of members

Attendance – there is no real answer to this. There can be no compulsion -you can’t make people attend, but we can make it an “I don’t want to miss it” session and the more members we have the less vulnerable the group is to very low numbers attending a particular session.

Format– The current members want to have more active participation in modelling and this will tried in the first session of 2018 on 17th January. Dioramas will probably figure highly in this.

Recruitment of members. I have started placing pieces in local social media sites drawing attention to the group and the value of the group to those wanting to build a model railway for a grandchild, following the gift of a train set at Christmas. The Liphook U3A Open Day in March 2018 will also be targeted for a display of the groups first layout East Hants Link- I shall be negotiating with the Liphook U3A  committee on this shortly.

In the longer term, I haven’t given up on forming some sort of “alliance” with  the Liphook & District Model Railway Club, which could be beneficial to both, as I do not believe we are in competition with  each other for members. I would also like to expand the role of this website and the Milland Valley Railway series of Facebook pages in following progress on projects.

Railway Children Charity- the group has made regular small donations at each session to this charity, which looks after homeless children living in and around railway stations in India , East Africa and the UK. We are well on the way to donating £70 over a 12 month period.

On this day in 1956

The Gauge O Guild came into existence on this day 61 years ago as a result of the fear that the “senior scale” would not survive without such an organisation.

It is now the largest single scale organisation in the world with around 6000 members. Similar organisations now exist in France & Germany with much the same aims.

After some very lean times the scale has gone through a huge renaissance in recent years with Heljan, Dapol and Oxford providing a range of RTR products for the British market at reasonable prices. Numerous smaller players have also been adding to the number of locos and rolling stock in RTR- mainly suitable for smaller layouts.

Happy Birthday GOG

Binari for Summer 2017 arrives

Binari the Italian Railways Society Journal arrived today- always a good read.

The Society is reaching its 30th Anniversary and there is an interesting layout competition for the 2018 AGM which I am tempted to enter.

On the rear cover is a photo of Manarola* railway station on the north west coast of Italy, between Genoa and Pisa. Its location has some similarities with Dawlish on the Devon coast of S.W. England, but has a more dramatic  location with the railway line better protected from the sea!

(Manarola* is a small town, a frazione of the commune of Riomaggiore, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy. It is the second smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists.)

Liphook U3A Building a Model Railway Group gets a mention

I sent a letter to the Editor of Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling which is a new-ish free magazine available through model shops and some model railway shops about  the group and I now discover that it was actually printed in the June edition of the magazine.

You can now see and read it on-line at https://www.railwaymagazinemodelling.co.uk/read-on-line/

Light rail letter in “Petersfield Post” links reality & model

Under the heading “Light rail scheme would work here” the “Post” published today my “Letter to the editor” regarding the “lack of serious efforts to make the Bordon- Bentley scheme a reality” in support of a previous letter by a Michael Huber of Lindford published last week.

Attention was drawn to the much more active light rail scene in Europe and the apparent lack of knowledge by the UK populace on what modern light rail is. This is particularly true in the South of England where except for Croydon there is no light rail scheme development.

To give locals an idea of what a modern system might look like, mention was made of the East Hants Link N scale layout under construction as part of the Liphook U3A Building a Model Railway Group

Recent additions to my tramway modelling library

Two recent purchases I have made from the Tramway & Light Railway Society bookshop, that I should have made some time ago. I even “forgot” when I was at the recent AGM of that august society!

“How to go Tram & Tramway Modelling” by David Voice– I have an earlier edition but have needed to update a few years ago. This “latest” issue is in fact 12 years old- but still with lots more info than the earlier edition I have. Unfortunately several suppliers mentioned are no longer about, but most have suitable replacement- others doing much the same thing at new addresses or with new owners

“Large Scale Tramway Modelling -an introduction & guide” by Peter Hammond & Peter Howard covers a new area for me, although I have a couple of large scale RTR models of American outline streetcars stored away. These were obtained in that long forgotten era of low American prices and a good $ to £ exchange rate. I have long fostered the idea of a small outdoor (garden) tramway and perhaps this book will encourage me to “have a go.” Published by the T&LRS in 2015

Both well recommended.