Thursday, 20 December 2012

November and December 2012

Well, I am long overdue to write here but that's not my fault! At long last, BT have restored a proper Internet service for me so that I can actually do something - and, of course, catch up with the backlog of work that arose!

So, a brief summary of what has been happening.

Planning permission for the improvements to the exterior of the Barn has been granted. Work continues on the interior and it is slowly but surely taking shape.

Work has proceeded apace on both Page Mountain and the Raffle layout ready for our exhibition.

On the Show front, Aldingbourne Central has been giving sterling service on its regular trip to Manor Nurseries and in November Paul Hopkins took one of his layouts to Portsmouth. He received some very positive feedback from visitors with particular comment about the reliable running but also, and this is very relevant to our members, about the wide age range of those operating it "properly".  Since this included some of our members both Junior and Senior this was very pleasing. As for the running quality, we would expect nothing less from Paul but this still remains the standard we should look for on all our layouts.

With Christmas close upon us and, indeed, both Christmas Day and New Year's Day falling on a Tuesday, this week's meeting (18th) was the last of the year - and, indeed, we all had a good time with ample refreshments. But, this does mean there are three very important messages.

Firstly, I hope that all our readers who are not members will come to join us at our exhibition on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th January. We have a good number of great layouts with strong trade support and you will be made very welcome. See for more information.

Secondly, an important message for our members. Our exhibition is very close to us. So, remember, the exhibition is both for us and by us so, please, every member try to come and help on at least one of the three days (including preparation on Friday evening) and preferably all of them. Paul Hopkins will be contacting every member over the next few days and setting up a rota based on what people can do. Bring friends and relatives to help! It's a big exhibition that needs a lot of work - so come along and help. Don't forget, Friday evening 11th January through to Sunday 13th January.

Finally, on behalf of the Committee, and, indeed, the entire membership, may I wish all of our readers a
Very Merry Christmas
and a 
Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Warley - National Model Railway Exhibition 2012

Well, it's not time for our normal monthly newsletter yet, but here's an interim snippet.

The above exhibition at the NEC is the largest in the UK, and this year, to celebrate its 20th anniversary it was larger than ever. One of the highlights for many people was an area of the Hall devoted to the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway - long gone but never forgotten. There were several layouts in a variety of scales together with the new build replica L & B 2-6-2 locomotive "Lyd". Although the club was not exhibiting this year, we certainly didn't forget our obligations to the modelling community, with some of the members of our Narrow Gauge Group helping with the operation of a brace of L & B 009 layouts belonging to Tony Peart, a local modeller of longstanding and L & B supporter.

Friday, 2 November 2012

October 2012

Well, it hardly seems commenting on how busy the month has been - recently they have all been! Future comments may well be restricted to when we have a quiet month!

So, what has been going on? On the exhibition front the main event was, of course, the Chichester Lions Annual Exhibition to which we took several layouts. One of those was Little Bognor, which could well have been handicapped by almost the entire narrow gauge group of the club being at ExpoNG in Swanley. As ever, though, thanks to the usual club stalwarts it was able to put on its usual display. Aldingbourne Central was there as usual and the donation box produced another £17 towards club funds. Unfortunately, there was a minor accident with one of the boards - but at least this should cost less to repair than the amount of donations! Perhaps this is a good time to mention that accidents WILL happen and we are, perhaps, more blessed than other clubs so far as how few and far between they are.

Apart from the big vote of thanks to all those who attended the show and helped operate the layouts  a special mention should perhaps be made of Steve Shrubb who took his layout, Rooksbury Hollow TMD - as far as I know, its exhibition debut. It, like the other layouts, flew the club's flag well and demonstrated yet again that we have a huge pool of ability in our membership.

At the same weekend, Paul Hopkins took one of his 3mm layouts to Belgium where it was well received. Nevertheless, his main memory seems to be how much cheaper one can buy European products over there - Preiser figures being cited as prime example. "Rip-off Britain" indeed!

Work has continued unremittingly on the Page Mountain layout. Tracklaying is now complete and wiring well under way. A great deal of work is being done by the dedicated band under John Wakeman's project leadership on at least two nights a week and it is rapidly taking shape with a view to displaying it at Bognor Regis MRC Ltd's exhibition in January.

Club members continue to spend Saturday mornings working on the Signal Box. Progress is slow but sure, the current main job being painting the windows - or at least the window frames. With permissions to erect the balcony and external stairs in place we are approaching the final stages of restoring its external appearance to its former glory.

Work has continued on arguably our largest current project, the "Barn". In some respects we are currently limited in that we cannot take official possession until ACSC have drawn up the lease - they are happy that we carry out minor essential repairs and, of course, they are actually funding the refurbishment of the Referee's changing room which is well under way. As a by-product of that, the first secure storage area is now complete and we are able to carry out a limited amount of storage. Having said that, it sounds as though little work has been done, but even these few aspects have required considerable effort and have resulted in an internal transformation. I hope to update the Barn section of the website to reflect this soon.

During the month we have had at least one new member and in the last couple of weeks we have been joined by a couple of prospective members. Welcome to you all.

In these exceptionally busy periods, I must close with a vote of thanks to the many members who have given selflessly of their time, enthusiasm and abilities to these various projects. Your committee is deeply appreciative of this but would urge still more of you to do what you can. However small, every contribution is welcomed.

Last, but not least, forthcoming exhibitions and the like. Aldingbourne Central will be at Manor Nurseries on 1st and 8th December and help will be needed for those two days. I have already mentioned the Exhibition in January. Don't forget that the active participation of you all is essential to the success of that exhibition. Mark it in your diary, help will be needed on the preceding Friday evening and on both the Saturday and Sunday. Please do your utmost to come and help throughout as much of that period is possible.


Monday, 1 October 2012

September 2012

Another busy month - do we have any other kind?

Amongst the exhbitions attended, members of the Club's Narrow Gauge Group with the local 7mmNGA Area Group took the group's layout Hurlestone to the excellent Woking Exhbition where it was well received. Aldingbourne Central had an outing to the Cranleigh Show which proved to be most enjoyable. And as if that wasn't enough, two layouts, Madeley Road and  Redford Junction went to the Worthing Show. As ever, thanks are due to the members who came to the shows and helped with the running of the layouts.

A number of members, led by our indefatigable chairman, have been working on the barn and have made significant progress. It has now been largely cleared and tidied and some of the essential works are well underway, including a cupboard for the electrics and the stripping of the changing room and WC etc ready for refurbishment. Even this is well in hand with most of the plumbing replaced. In the meantime, planning and building regs applications are in hand for the remaining refurbishments which should ensure its usability for a long time together with an enhanced appearance which should blend in better with its surroundings.

Club members have continued to assist with the Barnham Signal Box restoration on Saturdays, frequently fuelled by Cliff's excellent bacon butties! Progress remains farily slow, but nevertheless sure.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

August 2012

Your webmaster is a trifle premature with the August news but this reflects the fact that he will be 200 miles away at the end of the month. Anyway, August has been another busy and successful month.

On the exhibition front Aldingbourne Central had a successful outing to Tinkers Park early in the month and again last weekend when it was joined by Madeley Road and Little Bognor together with part of Troutbeck Bridge as a static display at the Weald and Downland Steam Gala. We thus had layouts present in three different scales and gauges. Paul Hopkins took one of his layouts to the Bursledon Brickworks although this event proved to be somewhat disappointing.

In the meantime, our members continue to devote considerable time and effort on Saturday mornings to the refurbishment of the Barnham Signal Box - our new home once completed.

Our chairman has also agreed a lease with the Aldingbourne Sports and Community Centre Trustees for us to take over the Barn. This is excellent news as it means that we will have both meeting facilities in the Signal Box and secure storage for layouts etc in the barn together with toilet facilities immediately adjacent to the signal box.

Alhtough the barn is solidly built there is a great deal of work to be done to make it ready for use and members have already made great strides towards this over the last few Tuesday evenings. You can see more about this at

Despite the time and effort going into the barn and the signal box, a small dedicated band is making substantial progress on our current layout building project - this now has its own page at

So, another eventful month, but one which is truly laying the foundations for the club's future.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

July 2012

The last couple of months have continued to be lively. The Club has attended a couple more exhibitions including the two day Amberley Rail Gala where we exhibited Little Bognor - appropriately narrow gauge.

On 17th July Dilip Sethi, from Bognor Regis Millitary Modellers, gave us a very informative talk and demonstration of how to use an airbrush in modelling.

Just a few days later on the 22nd, about 10 members visited the Bluebell Railway for the Collectors Fair. We were treated with a proper summers day and many stands to empty our wallets. 1:1 Scale Class C SECR 0-6-0 was pulling one of the trains, and at least one member is eagerly awaiting its arrival in model form in the Autumn. 

Throughout much of this time, between the scenes our Chairman has been working hard towards the acquisition of new premises for the club. His hard work is finally come into fruition and we can now look forward to the use of the old Barnham Signal Box together with the large storage facility outside (colloquially know as "the barn"). We still need volunteers to help with the Signal Box restoration on Saturday mornings and much of our time on Tuesday evenings will now be devoted to clearing the barn ready for repair and renovation.

Don't forget to check the exhibition diary. We could still use some help with Aldingbourne Central at Tinker's park on the 4th and 5th of August and it will be all hands to the pump for the Weald and Downland Museum on 18th and 19th to which we are taking several layouts.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A busy May

It has been a busy period since the last post but has seen some interesting events take place.

On 15th May we held an EGM at which a number of important constitutional changes were agreed which should greatly improve our finances and our route to a new clubhouse.

Then, on the 19th, Paul Hopkins took one of his 3mm layouts to a show where it was very well received and generated the possibility of an invite to both Warley and Wigan, and was asked for articles for the Railway Modeller - well done Paul !

On the same day, the local area group of the 7mmNGA held its SWING exhibition. The Group has, of course, a very close association with BRMRC (in fact all of the group are BRMRC members!) and other Club Members came along to help with stewarding and to represent the club. Figures are not available yet as we are still  awaiting final costs but it does appear that there will be a substantial increase over last year in the donations to the Group's chosen charity.

So, a busy, but successful month. Next event for those who can help will be Aldingbourne Central in support of the Bersted Parish Festival on 17th June.

Friday, 4 May 2012

AGM 2012

An interesting and lively AGM was held on 1st May.

A number of motions which should benefit the running of the club were discussed and passed and a new committee was elected. A proposal of thanks and appreciation to the outgoing officers and members met with high approbation by the members present.

The new committee includes:-
  • Hon. Chairman: Adrian Taylor
  • Hon. Secretary: Simon King
  • Hon. Treasurer: Dave Ives
  • Exhibition Manager: Paul Hopkins
General Members:
  • Chris Davis
  • Phillip Pilcher
Formal minutes of the meeting will be issued in due course.

You can learn more about the club at

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Annual General Meeting & forthcoming exhibitions

Just a reminder to our members that the AGM will be held at 7:45pm on Tuesday 1st May 2012 at the Clubrooms. All members should attend if at all possible.

Don't forget that all the committee posts come up for election. Currently we have nominations for all the committee officers but they do need additional help to run the club satisfactorily.

There is still a little time left to put forward any nominations. We still have need of a Programme Secretary and, of course, there are general committee member vacancies.

Remember, the Committee run the Club on YOUR behalf and this could be your opportunity to make your voice heard.

Forthcoming Exhibitions/Events:

April 22nd Aldingbourne Community Centre Open Day. The Barnham Signal Box will be open to the public and, all being well our layout Pen-y-Bwm (00) operating together with Little Bognor (0n16.5) in the Clubhouse.

May 5th. Little Bognor will be one of the layouts on display at the Rural Life Centre, Tilford.

May 12th. Paul Hopkins will be taking his layout, Redford Junction (TT) to the Burgess Hill MRC Exhibition.

Brighton Modelworld - 2012

This year, BRMRC attended the this prestigious show with one of our older, but nonetheless excellent layouts - South Preston. This is a British Railways (Southern Region) branch line layout based loosely on Littlehampton, as operated in the 1950's and 1960's. Despite its long break from exhibition duties with a little fettling it did well and proved very popular.

This show, with its 3 day span, always makes it difficult to ensure we have sufficient operators but our members came up trumps and visitors could rely on seeing some action!

Modelworld is a unique exhibition showcasing models of all types from around the country. The show is now in it’s 34th year. Having started out as a model railway show it now encompasses so much more and has become genuinely a family model show with something for children of all ages, 1-100.

Newsletter - Annual Exhibition 2012

Annual Exhibition - 14th & 15th January 2012

This year's Annual Exhibition was a resounding success. More people attended than ever before and we received a considerable number of very positive comments from the visitors - and indeed the layout owners/operators and traders. All of them contributed to this resounding success.

On behalf of the committee Richard, our Secretary gives a belated thank you to all who assisted in any way shape or form with the event As always, it was hard (but enjoyable?) work. Although we can’t thank everyone by name, there are some people I think should get a particular mention.

Paul Hopkins once again stepped into John Wakeman’s (not inconsiderable!) shoes to mastermind the show. We owe a big debt of gratitude to them for their work both, before, during and after the show.

Road signs - many thanks to the teams who took on this duty.

It was a great help sharing this task and meant no one had to out in the cold too long. I believe they do help us to generate considerable passing trade and guide those visitors not familiar with the area.

Catering - once again Audrey and her team put on an excellent array of food and drink.

Saturday night meal - This year we tried a new approach by having a meal after the show closed, staying on at the school and getting in Fish and Chips. Personally speaking I think this worked very well and it was a shame a few more members didn’t join us and make it more of a social event. If we repeat the pattern next year we just need to remember to take salt, pepper and vinegar! Thanks must be given to Ted for investigating the options, gathering names and organising our meal.

(Originally published 21st February 2012)