The Early Years
In the early days the club was known as the “Petersfield, Liphook, Liss and District Model Railway Club” and we have a group photograph from 1965 which was apparently printed in the Petersfield Post with an article about the club. In those days they met in members’ homes and the picture was taken at 83 The Close, Gunn’s Farm which was (is)in Liphook.
Amongst the members in the photographs are Ron M, Steve E, David L, David G, Chris B, Don D, Adrian M and Ron G(?).
At the AGM for that year held in the home of Mr and Mrs R G in January 1966 members agreed to an annual subscription of 12 shillings (60p) and voted £10 towards a club layout which is to be shown at local shows and fetes.
Reference is made to a very successful model railway exhibition at Haslemere Educational Museum presumably in 1965. Mr S.T E was made club secretary with Mr G as treasurer.
By 1966 the club name has been shortened to the current title- as we have a poster for an event on May 7th, called “May Fair” held in the Liphook Village Hall in aid of the Hall improvement fund, which lists “exhibition by Liphook & District Model Railway Club”. This event was opened by Geoffrey Adams who played the part of Detective Constable Lauderdale in Dixon of Dock Green. We have a photograph of him looking at part of a model railway layout with members Malcolm L and Adrian M looking on. This appears to be the club’s first exhibition.
Also in 1966 we exhibited at Lynchmere fete and have photographs of members Ron G(?) and Steve E exhibiting a layout, in the open air (that’s when we had sunny summer days!)
Without a club room to meet in the club had a wide variety of talks in members’ homes, reported regularly in the local press. February of that year there was a meeting at the home of Adrian M in Liphook where there was discussion about a layout he was building in a bedroom, track work being built by R D and a plan of the club’s first layout Much Pagham, a branch line terminus. In the same month another meeting at Mr M’s home was discussion on a wide range of models British, Italian, standard gauge and narrow gauge, 2 mm, 00 & 0 scales, electric and clockwork power brought along by members. There was also a talk on electrical relay racks by R. D.
In 1967 the club exhibited at Headley Spring Fair on 22nd April, with the Much Pagham layout. We have a sketch plan of the layout but no photographs. We also have a committee report for the year which indicates the club also exhibited at the Holy Cross Hospital , King Georges Hospital and Liphook Fetes followed by taking an EM gauge layout to Burgess Hill Model Railway Exhibition in October. They had an outing to the Longmoor Military Railway signal school, which featured a Gauge 0 model railway with fully prototypical operating signals and points and was originally built by the famous model makers Bassett Lowke of Northampton.
The membership in the year had increased from 15 to 17, but they still had no permanent club room.
In 1968 Malcolm L had emigrated with his family to Boston Massachusetts USA as this is recorded in a local press report in September covering a talk given in member Ron M’s home. The talk was given by Geoff L who apparently joined in 1967 and had a portable Southern Region /Southern Electric layout which is probably that shown in the Liphook Village Hall and Lynchmere fete pictures.
Also in that year the club exhibited two layouts at an exhibition in Bristol organised by the Somerset and Dorset Circle, one probably the previously mentioned Southern Region layout and another a 1:24th scale layout based on cartoons by Ronald Emmett. The connection to Bristol seems to be via member Don D who moved there from Liphook at some point and was closely associated with Nailsea Model Railway Club for many years..
In October Ron G gave a talk to the club at the Royal Anchor Hotel Liphook on soldered track construction and in December David Shepherd gave a talk on “The steam engine through the eyes of an artist” followed by showing of the then new film “The painter and the engines”.( From July 68 the club had found a building called “The Pavilion” in we assume the garden of the Royal Anchor Hotel, to use as the club’s first club-room).
(We have removed from this item the full names of members)