Milland Valley Railway Modellers

An afternoon special interest group of Liphook & Midhurst U3A’s & to encourage more adults to take up the model railway hobby

BUILDING A MODEL RAILWAY       In the years 2010 to 2014 I ran 12 week long courses, as a member of the Liphook & District Model Railway Club (L&DMRC), on building a model railway, aimed at those who wanted to build one for themselves or for a grandchild. Several club members assisted me. No actual practical work was involved, but the published notes of the weekly sessions, built up into a useful resource and several attendees went on to build their own layout and one joined the L&DMRC.  The first course attracted 11 members, but subsequent attempts in following years attracted few attendees and in 2014 they were abandoned.

In resurrecting the idea in 2017, I  attempted a different format. The sessions are monthly of  2 hours duration. Those attending  followed and if they wished to, assisted in the building of a small model railway, through from planning to construction.  In between sessions I  carried out the majority of the work and explained  at each session what had happened and what has to happen next. It looks like I will manage to complete one OO scale diorama and most of an N scale tramway layout by the end of the first year(March 2018) It has been  more of a working group, rather than a course.

The drawbacks were- considerable pressure on me and problems with members attendance, such that on one occasion only one member turned up!

So for 2018 at the request of existing members, the format will be much like that of a model railway club. Members can work on their own projects or on group projects. An afternoon model railway club which is not exactly unique, but slightly different and therefore aimed at the retired (U3A members)

We hope to introduce the following changes from April 2018

  • The course  “feel” to the sessions replaced with a more model railway club “feel” (continuing)
  • Each session extended to 3 hours commencing at 1.30 pm (Starts at April meeting)
  • Shared booking of the venue with another monthly group (non railway modelling) -this will require a change from 3rd Wednesday to 1st Wednesday in the month but a possible slight lowering of hourly hire costs. (Successful trial March 2018)
  • Number of sessions increased to 10 per year – this is coupled to the proposed regular day change, which allows us a meeting in December without getting tied up in Christmas festivities (New arrangements start from April 2018)
  • A possible change of group name to better reflect the group aims (Started March 2018)
  • Affiliation to a local model railway club which meets weekly in the evenings (Awaiting their delayed AGM)


Membership of the group is the cost of the hire of the venue used + cost of small consumables (not layout construction items) – divided by the annual membership. So for 10 members it would be in the range of £18 t0 £21 per year. For 7 members it would be in the range £26 to £30 per year.  (We currently believe we have 7 members including the leader,  all of which have indicated they wish to carry on next year.)

We will be recruiting for additional members immediately and specifically at the Liphook U3A Open Day on Monday 12th March 2018 . Our“East Hants Link” layout, under construction, will be on display. We have recently gained a member from Midhurst U3A and we now have details on the Midhurst U3A website.

Group members also need to be a paid up member of Liphook U3A or Midhurst U3A or one of several local U3A’s associated with them. (Petersfield, Haslemere, or Woolmer Forest (Whitehill-Bordon area)  This is an annual membership fee which covers public liability insurance and central services (general meetings, open day and banking)

The groups new membership year commences with the April meeting at which fees for the coming year will be collected- new and renewing members should come with cheques only made out to Liphook U3A. All members will be advised of the new rates during March. Please also bring along your current U3A membership card

Liphook U3A membership fees are now due and can be paid at the forthcoming Open Day -12th March

If you’re members of other local U3A’s please ensure that your membership is renewed for 2018/9 to meet their requirements

Many Thanks


We meet in the Committee Room of the Milland Valley Memorial Hall, Iping Road, Milland, LIPHOOK GU30 7NA. The venue is centrally placed in the village of Milland close to the village cross roads, The Rising Sun pub and Milland Stores. The venue is suitable for the disabled with ramps and toilet facilities. We have use of these facilities and of a fully equipped kitchen. The venue is WiFi fitted and has off street parking. For venue information and details see    

To make best use of the venue, we will be sharing with a local –(non U3A) Family History group. They will have sole use of the main hall and our group will have sole use of the committee room.(On arrival please use the separate door to the Committee Room) The kitchen and the two sets of toilets are easily shared

Milland is located in West Sussex and is part of the South Downs National Park. Liphook 3 miles; Petersfield 7 miles; Midhurst 7 miles. The roads are narrow and can be steep and winding- look out for our wildlife, horse riders and walkers. Road names are not universally signed, so use sat-nav if you have it.


The layout constructions being followed by the group in our first year were chosen from the following list. Click on the highlighted names for more detailed information including sizes.

Those marked ** are the chosen projects for the first year  (up to March 2018) 

Danger- Border Ahead++ German outline 1:87 scale (HO) Tramway operational diorama set around Friedrichstrasse station at the border of East & West Berlin in the early 1960’s 

“East Hants Link”  **  will cover up to 5 scenes along the line showing how light rail systems merge easily into  residential and commercial areas. Although a scheme for light rail is not to proceed for Bordon/Whitehill, this layout will show how such a scheme might have looked.

As most modern trams are of fairly similar designs throughout the world, I have chosen Japanese outline trams in N scale, as they are easily available at relatively low cost. The scale (1:150) is slightly different to the British N standard (1:148) but is closer than to the international standard of  1:160.

As a trial I shall be using Ikea type toy boxes as the baseboard for most scenes. Work is well underway

Suggested layout list for 2018/9- CHOICE FROM

Soltendieck++, German outline 1:45 scale (O) a very minimalist track layout but with interesting shunting. Set on the inner border between East & West Germany

Warehouse District ++ American outline 1:87 scale (HO) a switching (shunting) layout set in Milwaukee Wis. DCC operated

This layout is partially completed with baseboard built, track layout completed and wiring well advanced. Some buildings have been completed.

Idylton Vale ++ British outline 1:76 (OO) tram layout set in South west London- using Bachmann OO scale RTR Hong Kong trams, prototypes UK designed and built originally, so little work to Anglicise them. Street scene in area around New  Malden/Kingston By Pass area immediate post war.

Baseboard completed- track partially laid, No wiring completed

Cartersland Camp ++ British outline 1:76 (OO-9) DC narrow gauge military camp layout set in the UK, in the First World War. The baseboard is constructed but no other work other than selecting a track layout has been undertaken

Bennett Mews ++ British outline 1:76 scale (OO). Industrial layout with a small main line content set in Blackfriars South London

Originally on the list for 2017/18 but only planning work done



“If the railway had come to the Milland Valley”  **Small  diorama in OO scale showing Linch & Redford  on Midhurst to Haslemere line- proposed and although receiving parliamentary approval- never built (Link is to Facebook Page) work well advanced-completion work into 2018/9

Halte Terres de moulin” ++ cross roads with level crossing and a railway  halt- with a game of petanque  in progress on the  terrain near the bar. Sunflower field or vineyard nearby? A small diorama of rural  liberated France a couple of months after D-Day . HO Scale

Anywhere in liberated France. The locals are returning home from celebrating liberation & have stopped off to have a drink and a game with their pals. Usually an all men pursuit, especially  in the era (late 1944) when this is set. A few British soldiers on and around  a tank, are watching .

No work started- baseboard available

Tugaske”  ++ (Scale to be decided) A small Saskatchewan settlement  in 1914  at the railway station. The small town in which my Dad was born. A recreation of a possible scene at the railway station as Godfrey and Gertrude-( his parents),  set off with him on a long journey back to the UK by rail and ship 

No work started


The new group was launched at the 2017 Liphook U3A Open Day. Details of the group were also sent to Petersfield, Midhurst, Alton, Haslemere & Woolmer Forest U3A’s .The name of the group remained as Building a Model Railway but was changed in March 2018 to MILLAND VALLEY RAILWAY MODELLERS

Full details are on the group pages of the  Liphook U3A website*  and  of the Midhurst U3A website* . The local area Milland News and the Liphook Community Magazine are kept regularly informed of our activities.
I also have a Facebook page covering the activities of the group – Milland Valley Railway Modellers and there are regular reports on RM web.

The U3A websites will  probably not reflect the latest changes until they are fully agreed/implemented.

If you wish to contact me about  joining the “Milland Valley Railway Modellers” -please do so via the Liphook U3A contact form or  via a similar facility on the Midhurst U3A website site or e-mail  me at

A leaflet giving basic details is available from the leader at the contact e-mail address above or can be downloaded via the Midhurst U3A site- Building a Model Railway Group page. (may not be updated info yet)

The trial sharing of the venue on Wednesday 7th March 2018 was a success and we now proceed with every meeting being held on the 1st Wednesday of the month.  The March meeting originally scheduled for 21st March has been cancelled

The meeting schedule for the remainder of 2018 is now as follows

4th April; 2nd May;6th June; (No meetings in July or August); 5th September; 3rd October;7th November; 5th December. All meetings start at 13.30 hrs and finish at 16.30 hrs. 10 meetings per calendar/U3A year

If you wish to come along to one of our meetings you are very welcome all that I ask is to  contact me before coming giving  at least a weeks notice- The first session is free but if you want a couple of further sessions before deciding to join these will be charged at £2 per session- Thanks



Proposed that half of any expenses received from exhibiting group layouts will be donated to Railway Children, an international charity working with homeless children found near major railway stations in India, East Africa and the UK.  


We are also requesting donations (£1 per member per session) for unlimited tea/coffee & chocolate biscuits consumed at each session.


You can follow progress on the groups projects on our Facebook page or on this website

Facebook Milland Valley Railway Modellers

Late March 2017/ April 2017- Details brought fully up to date- image added/May 2017- updated/July 2017 -updated September 2017/ Updated late October 2017/Updated December 2017 to include 2018 layout/diorama  choices/ updated 22nd January / February 2018 updated to latest proposals/ March 2018 General Update

Leave a Reply