Milland Valley Railway Modellers

An afternoon special interest group  of Liphook & Midhurst U3A’s-Their page sponsored by this website 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) and Liphook U3A, 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 U3A members, but subsequent attempts in following years attracted fewer attendees and in 2014 they were abandoned.


In resurrecting the idea in 2017, I  attempted a different format. The sessions were 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 was the intention to complete one OO scale diorama and most of an N scale tramway layout by the end of the first year(March 2018)- which was not achieved! It was then  more of a working group, rather than a course.

So for 2018 at the request of existing members, the format was further changed to 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)

  • A  change of group name to better reflect the group aims (From Building a Model Railway Group to The Milland Valley Railway Modellers)
  • Move to Redford Village Hall from our May 2018 meeting, due to introduction of extended hours at the nursery school using Milland Valley Memorial Hall (to meet government 30 hours a week edict.) which meant we could no longer keep our Wednesday slot.
  • A change to 3 hours sessions


Building a model railway is often a solitary occupation and some like the hobby for that reason. However if you have taken up the hobby in retirement or after the death of a loved one or to build a layout for a grandchild, you would gain much by joining a club. You could get help on problems with building your layout; you could gain a pal or two in the process and best of all be part of a community that’s enjoying themselves- playing trains.

One last point- this is not just aimed at semi-retired or retired men who want to take up model railways as a hobby,  but for similarly aged ladies.. Although traditionally it has been seen as a male preserve, the hobby is more open and more welcoming  to women than at any time in its 110 year history..Its 2020 for Gods sake, so don’t be put off in trying us ( or  any of the local clubs if you’re outside our minimum age limit) …

Please contact any of the local clubs- there are links to virtually all of them from this site- see RH side bar. Most encourage visitors to visit a regular meeting or two for free to check each other out.  You will not regret it.

If we seem to be the group for you,we look forward to hearing from you soon  

Milland Valley Railway Modellers   (Link to our Facebook Page)


Membership of any U3A group is the cost of the hire of the venue used + cost of small consumables (not layout construction items in our group) – divided by the annual membership. Groups currently receive 40% of any meeting hire cost as a subsidy from Liphook U3A.

Layout construction materials are  not financed out of group funds but are provided by the group organiser and the completed layouts are his property but will be made available for exhibition as the group members require. The layouts are/will be insured for exhibition.

Group members also need to be a paid up members of Liphook U3A or Midhurst U3A or one of several local U3A’s associated with them. (Petersfield, Haslemere, or Woolmer Forest (Whitehill-Bordon area)  

There is an annual membership fee for U3A which covers public liability insurance and central services (general meetings, open day and financial management) and membership is limited to the semi-retired or retired  55 years old or over.

If you wish to use any portable electrical equipment at our sessions, that has a mains voltage function and is over 12 months old (Mains extension leads, transformers etc) they need to be tested/inspected annually in accordance with the Portable Appliance Testing regulations.  This requirement is not negotiable! (We can arrange for these to be inspected/tested on a group basis and from the start of the 2020/21 year we will set the group membership fee to include for this) 

This group is one of over 40 special interest groups in the Liphook U3A. There are thought to be well over 400 model railway clubs in the UK, but there are, at the last count (2018) only 8 model railway groups  under the U3A “umbrella” in the UK. The closest U3A model railway group to us, is at Emsworth U3A and we hope to have a meet up with them in  2020


Sessions at a private address in the village of Milland –

First Meeting- 11th March 2020 commencing at 14.00 hrs  for three hours and subsequently on the 2nd Wednesday of each month- 8th April, 13th May, 19th June,8th July,12th August,9th September, 7th* & 21st** October,  11th November & 9th December- Twelve meetings per year with no Summer or December  breaks. (* 1st Wednesday  ** Extra meeting for Open Day prep)

As of 7th August the April, May, June, July meetings have not been held. The Open Day has been cancelled. Proposed “garden sessions” on the afternoons of 11th & 12th have been cancelled because of forecast high probability of rain. We may attempt to hold  similar sessions in September. We are likely to experiment with zoom meetings also.

When we resume we are likely to have two afternoon sessions per month- to minimise overcrowding in the railway room. These sessions will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, 14.00 to 17.00hrs each  in the second week of each month. Members will be able to vary which session they choose and can attend both sessions if space permits.

Whilst the coronavirus pandemic is running its course, meetings are suspended and we will share our modelling via this site, our various Facebook pages (see list on side bar) and emails to members. Unfortunately we can’t share our plain chocolate digestives via any of these mediums…… Keep Well-Keep on Modelling!

We are currently reviewing when and how we might resume sessions which are acceptable to ALL members. As we are not driven by economics, but by keeping our members safe we are in no rush ….

Milland is easily reached from Liphook, Petersfield, Haslemere etc via country roads. Specific location information and parking arrangements for the meeting venue will be provided to registered members, before the March meeting.

We successfully trialled  sessions at this location in September and October 2019 .   The venue  allows for layout or project work to occupy the whole time period, with little or no setting up or clearing and packing up required. This format will also be suitable for building dioramas or micro layouts. 

Parking at Milland  As the location is in a residential area, members are asked to park on a specified side of the road and not to block free movement of any residents or service vehicles. If you can car share with other members this would be appreciated.

Facilities at Milland The venue is an insulated, lit and heated space with smoke detector, fire extinguisher and first aid kit.  Toilet facilities approx 20 metres away in main house.

Restrictions Unfortunately the doors to the venue are not wide enough for wheelchair use. No smoking or vaping please.

Winter months There is external lighting in the immediate vicinity of the venue and between it and the house, but the village has no street lighting. A small torch is advised during this period for the short walk from the venue to your car at the end of the sessions.

Group membership fees at Milland There will be no hire charges incurred for use of these private facilities by group members. Please allow for a nominal £10 per year   membership fee which will include for Portable Appliance Testing of mains electrical items used at meetings, that are over 12 months old.Tested extension leads available on site.

There will be a £1 a member, per session refreshment donation to the Railway Children charity.

Visitors For obvious reasons these sessions are not  open to casual visitors

Liphook, Midhurst, Petersfield, Haslemere or Woolmer Forest members may visit for up to two trial meetings by prior arrangement. First meeting Free, subsequent trial meeting-  at a cost of £2 .


The layout constructions being followed by the group in our previous years were chosen from the following list. Click on the highlighted names for more detailed information including sizes. In time each layout will have a page on this site to give more details and progress photos where appropriate,

Those marked ** are the chosen projects for the first year   

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 

Not being progressed currently

“East Hants Link”  **   covers  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 used Ikea type toy boxes as the baseboard for most scenes, but later abandoned it as it was difficult to model and lay track within the box and to align the boxes themselves. I resorted to using some spare conventional baseboards I had.  Work is now well underway.

Construction photos are being added  progressively- see East Hants Link section of this website and Facebook Pages- Milland Valley Railway Modellers; East Hants Link

Suggested layout list for 2020/21- CHOICE FROM

Each of the layouts that go forward to construction, will in time,have a page on this site to give more details and progress photos where appropriate, and our various Milland Valley FB pages will also show progress updates

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

Click on sidebar title for full details of proposal on which work will proceed . This is a Gauge O micro layout, DCC operation

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. Click on sidebar title for full details on which work will proceed in 2019

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


Increasingly each diorama or micro-layout will have a page on this site to give more details and progress photos where appropriate, and our various Milland Valley FB pages will also show progress updates

“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 season  Very relevant to our Redford location

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 .

Baseboard is constructed and early work has been started. This diorama was  envisaged to be used as an advert for the Milland Boule Group who meet at the Milland Sports Ground 

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

A further two micro tram/bus layouts are under consideration

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 

Not being progressed currently

Unnamed micro layout of trams and buses in a Hong Kong street. H-K uses British style double decker trams  which have not changed in style since their introduction many years ago, but have modern engineering and controls..H-K also have bought and continue to do so, British manufactured double decker buses which are either adaptions of British designs or are designs specially manufactured to meet Hong Kong requirements(larger passenger accommodation/bigger bodies; air conditioning and 6-wheeled). Luckily H-K modellers of both modes of transport, model in 1:76 scale (00) -a scale usually only associated with the UK. There is a wide range of models available for this market and they are readily available from local suppliers via the internet. Coupled with the fact that they are RH drive vehicles with road signs and markings, traffic lights, street lights etc also British type, makes it a good choice for British modellers

Planning in early stages

Milland Brickworks micro OO-9 layout subject  for an OO-9 Society layout competition held in March2020. The laser cut baseboard kit of two sections- one with a traverser, has been obtained from Norfolk Heath Works. Total footprint 760mm x 280mm

Subject and track layout to be decided

Holidays  Cake box challenge” subject from British Railway Modelling magazine competition  Total footprint- 200 mm x 200 mm x 150 mm high ( 8″x 8″ x 6″ high)  Scene in N scale-  Sea Views Guest House ,  23 Railway  Viaduct, East Bognor– a near reference to Tony Hancock’s address in East Cheam, on the BBC Radio Hancock’s Half Hour- some may be old enough to remember it!


Full details are on the group pages of the  Liphook U3A website*  and  of the Midhurst U3A website* .

During the changeover to the meeting arrangements,coronavirus situation, details of the group and venue on the U3A websites may not be current. If in doubt contact the organiser and check!

The local area Milland News , Liphook Community Magazine and Liphook Herald are kept regularly informed of our activities. Meeting dates are regularly provided to Vantage Point and Round & About, which are free magazines distributed in our catchment area. Facebook local community  boards for Fernhurst, Midhurst and Haslemere etc are being used to publicise the club, sometimes in conjunction with the L&DMRC.

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


If you wish to contact the organiser (Tony Bettger) about  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  at

VISITORS If you wish to come along to one of our meetings as a visitor, you are very welcome, but once we are using the Milland  private address in March 2020-only by prior arrangement. All that we ask is the visitor to  contact the organiser before coming, giving  at least 2 weeks notice, together with details of which local U3A they are a current member of and their membership number. Please bring along the card at the first visit- Many Thanks


We hope to be present at the following events- come along and have a chat- see what we get up to

U3A OPEN DAY (National) Not to be held this year

“Model Trains in the Valley”-  Postponed to October 2021



A percentage of any expenses received from any future  exhibiting of group layouts (where expenses are paid) 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. The donations will be forwarded on a monthly basis  to the Railway Children charity .

We donated £51 to the Railway Children charity during the year February 2018 to January 2019 We expect to exceed this figure for the 2019/2020 year which ends on 31st January 2020


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

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 -new venue. April 2018 Full revision to cover move to Redford Village Hall; April 9th minor tidying; September 2018- exhibition details and proposed change to 3 hour sessions;October 2018- Improvements in directions. Update on arrangements/Fees for 2019/20.  November 2018- Removal of duplication of meeting times and fees, Addition of workshops in Milland./ January 2019 Update on layouts and diorama details-update on donations to the Railway Children charity in the 2018/19 year/ February 2019 General update and tidying presentation- removing duplication , adding events/ March 2019 Adjustments to events/ May 2019- Non attendance at Rural Fair added- Changes to MVRM First Open Afternoon/June 2019 General update- removal of past events. Initial details of layout building sessions/July 2019 Extensive rewording of group details, membership etc Re-wordings of layout building sessions etc.Addition of two additional dioramas/ micro layouts ;late September 2019- Deletion of Open afternoon at Redford in 2020 Reference to sessions at private address at Milland. PAT regulation requirement indicated.Late October 2019 -full revision to cope with Milland private premises. Early Nov. Events updated +minor other revisions Late December 2019- Update to meetings and events/Early Jan 2020. Clarification/re-wording of move to Milland details/ Mid Jan 2020 route description to Redford venue removed/ Redford meeting details-deleted- Details of Liphook U3a Open Day added- Late Feb 2020/ Updates to special events- March 2020/May 2020/ Coronavirus alterations- April & June 2020 Addition of second meeting per month and minor rewordings/simplifications of text/August 2020