Building a Model Railway Group -further update January 2018

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!

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.

The Joy of Small Shows

That’s the title of an article in the latest issue (September) of British Railway Modelling Magazine. The main article, by Phil Parker argues that small shows are worth a visit.

I couldn’t agree more; to me they are at the heart of the hobby. As against large shows, there is time to chat to operators, ask questions and have a nice cup of tea or coffee with some home made cake, whilst you watch the trains go by! Possibly some bargains on the club second-hand stall as well.

I would recommend the Liphook & District Club’s Open Day event- Model Trains in the Valley on Sunday 29th October 2017 at the Milland Valley Memorial Hall GU30 7NA- close to The Rising Sun PH and Milland Stores at Milland Cross Roads, (3 miles from Liphook Hampshire; 7 miles from Petersfield Hampshire and from Midhurst West Sussex,  in the South Downs National Park.

Now in its 8th year this will be the first I will not be involved in, but I may be exhibiting!

The Open Day is aimed at enjoyment of our hobby- so do come along and support their efforts

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

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

Society magazines recently received

French Railways Society

For the last 40 years known as the SNCF Society, but apparently some thought the SNCF organisation was somewhat “devalued” and that the interests of the members was more accurately represented by the new name.

That aside, the quality of the magazines content is thankfully unchanged and as always a “good read”  covering the modern scene, memories of earlier times and of layouts/modelling.

N Gauge Journal

I am a very new member of this society which is 50 years old this year. I joined because of my involvement in the Liphook U3A Building a Model Railway Group and the need to build a small  tramway layout in this scale.

Fortuitously the latest issue contains an article about the availability of N gauge trams and covers the main Japanese makers of same in 1:150 scale. It seems I am well up to speed on this, but I need to read the article in more depth.

Again a potential good read.