We had a successful trial ” layout construction” session in my garage on the 4th September 2019, although only 3 members were present. The area was rearranged so that the “East Hants Link” layout could be set up on trestles with working space all round.
It looks as though as currently arranged there will only be enough working space for a maximum of four members, but this might increase with a bit more tweaking of the room layout.
I will continue with track laying/scenic works over the next 2 weeks with the layout boards left in position.
The first post holiday session at Redford Village Hall on the 18th September will concentrate on work on buildings for the layout plus any personal projects- The layout boards will not be transported to any planned Redford meetings
At this session we hope to confirm the arrangements for another layout construction session on Wednesday 25th September.
Regular layout construction sessions will commence on Wednesday 9th October.
The 16th October meeting at Redford will again concentrate on buildings Additional layout construction sessions will be arranged up to the L&DMRC Open Day in the Milland Valley Memorial Hall on the 27th October
The following dates have recently been advised
Friday afternoon 1st November Liss Village Hall
Friday afternoon 6th December Liss Village Hall- 27.10-2019-We have been advised that this event has been cancelled
Congratulations to our local colleagues at Liphook & District Model Railway Club,who meet every Friday evening in Milland Valley Memorial Hall on their layout “Titherleigh” being featured in the September issue of Railway Modeller which will have been received by subscribers today..
I believe this is a first for them in RM although they have had a number of articles on club and personal layouts in the sister publication Continental Modeller covering Japanese and Italian layouts
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!
As usual a warm welcome with coffee and biscuit received from the Liss group when I made my now regular monthly visit to deliver the latest(July) edition of the Railway Magazine Guide to Modelling. The kitchen was not in action due to being hit by a car parking in the adjacent pub car park!.
As usual I also left copies of the same magazine for the Liphook & District MRC at the then empty Milland Valley Memorial Hall for their meeting later this evening
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.
We were back to our old stamping ground with the meeting held at Milland Valley Memorial Hall due to kitchen work at Redford Village Hall
In a well attended session- 5 members and 2 visitors, we were able to get underway with laying track AND a test run of a tram.
Many were taken back to first time they got to see a Christmas or Birthday present train set run. Seven grey haired or balding 8 year old kids having lots of fun!!
We hope that the visitors return and in due course turn into regular members. This would take membership to 9
It looks like 2019 will become the year of completing a list of layouts started some years ago. They can also become projects used in the Milland Valley Railway Modellers group.
Watch out for reports and photographs in the coming months
As the group is approaching its first birthday we had a positive discussion on how we might move forward.
CHANGE OF FOCUS There was general agreement to move forward to a model railway club format rather than the present build and follow that we started out with.
AFFILIATION WITH LOCAL CLUB? We also decided to approach the Liphook & District Model Railway Club with a proposal to become affiliated with them. (This would not change our status under the Liphook U3A banner) I have written formally to the L&DMRC Secretary with a proposal and hope to receive a positive response in due course. We do not wish to in anyway compete with this long established club, as we aim to recruit from those who cannot commit to evening meetings
EXTRA HOURS & EXTRA MEETING We have also decided to extend our hours to 3 per session (1.30 t0 4.30 pm)and if possible to move our meetings to the first Wednesday in the month , which will also allow us to have an additional meeting- December, to make 10 meetings a year. This would involve sharing the venue with another group and a proposal has been sent to the Hall trustees to consider.
CHANGE OF NAME? Its more than likely that we will change the name of the group to something more in line with its new direction- Milland Valley Railway Modellers seems a likely candidate.
RECRUITMENT We also have gained one new member who comes to us from Midhurst U3A and he has offered to attempt some recruitment amongst its members. With 2 drop outs that makes us 6 in total, so we still need to achieve 3 or 4 more recruits to make the group economically viable.
LIPHOOK U3A OPEN DAY MARCH 2018 After a long wait we have finally received a positive reply from the high command at Liphook U3A that we can display our new layout-East Hants Link at this event- now we only have to get it finished!
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.