Heroism at Liss station prior to WW1

Petersfield Post 28th November 2018 Nostalgia Section recalls an act of heroism by the booking clerk, Percy Norwood,  at Liss Railway Station on November 27th 1913 for which he received the Edward Medal*- a forerunner of the George Medal.

He saved the life of a local blacksmith who was driving a cart approaching the railway crossing. The pony pulling the cart bolted and dashed into the level crossing gates throwing Harry Rasell into the path of an approaching train. Norwood just succeeded in getting Rasell clear, but the engine which had been thrown into reverse by the engine driver, still struck Norwood on the head causing him  serious injuries – fractured skull amongst others.  After recovery he returned to work on the London & South Western Railway. He died in 1972 aged 79.

Percy Norwood came from Eastleigh and in 1977 a primary school was named after him. The school holds an annual event to remember his heroism.

*Edward Medal instituted in the reign of Edward VII for miners, quarry men and industrial workers who had risked their lives for fellow workers. In 1971 holders of this medal were given the option of converting their award to the George Cross. This was introduced in 1940 for acts of great courage not in the face of an enemy and is the highest bravery award that can be given to civilians. One of the most famous recipients of the GC was the people of Malta for their courage in the siege of that island  by the Italian and German forces during WW 2

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!

A new “addition” to the History of Liphook Station-crime

Following a fascinating article on crimes on the LSWR, in the latest issue of the South Western Circular, I have added a small piece on the attack perpetrated by an Army Colonel. He joined  a London bound train at Liphook, just over 142 years to the day and indecently assaulted a lady passenger  as the train travelled at speed between Woking and Esher.

Building a Model Railway Group is GO!

It was a successful launch for Building a Model Railway Group 2017 at Liphook U3A’s Open Day yesterday (13th March).

I went prepared with lots of model railway reading matter to while away the hours! Actually it was quite hectic at some periods with people waiting.

Seven were signed up pus one who was already signed up so we have 8 in total. At that rate the cost will be £21 each for the 12 monthly sessions.

I have written to the 3 “associated” local U3A’s as a last check to see if we can get another 3 or so to reduce the subs a little more.

The group was a good spread with a range of types- most new to retirement, but no obvious anoraks!

E-mails out to confirm arrangements later today..

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.


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

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…



Secretary resigns

Tony Bettger has resigned as club secretary and as a club member  with immediate effect. Nick Harling takes over on an interim basis.

Tony will complete his commitments to the Model Trains in the Valley club Open Day event on the 23rd October.

Transfer of content from the current to a club owned website with a new name will commence shortly.

Tony will retain the millandvalleyrailway.co.uk site & will continue as one of the Milland Valley Memorial Hall trustees

Railway diorama at Milland Gardening Club Summer Show

I had a pleasant afternoon at the local gardening club’s summer show on Saturday (13th) with a  “work in progress” diorama of local interest-showing a little element of the Midhurst to Haslemere proposed, but never built, line. It wasn’t in any of the competitions, didn’t therefore win any prizes, but initiated a few discussions. Club & Model Trains in the Valley leaflets were available to visitors.

A small donation to the gardening club,  for the space provided for our display,  got us a mention & thanks as the “Milland Model Railway Club”. I think we have arrived!

I hope to have this show as a regular item on my calendar.

Good day “playing trains”

In its first major operating session in front of the public, Friedrichstrasse performed well & put on a good show at our local Milland Rural Fair.

Thanks to Ben. Nick, Martin & James for operational excellence & to Mary & Mu who kept us plied with tea, coffee & cake.

Thanks to members of the general public who made kind comments & particularly to the young lad who returned many times to see the layout throughout the day. and was enthralled!