The Club Room

An ex­cit­ing new sec­tion for you, the Model Rail reader. In­cor­po­rat­ing Ex­hi­bi­tion Di­ary.

Model Rail (UK) - - Contents - Ad­dress: War­ley MRC, Unit 1F Pearsall Drive, Old­bury, West Mid­lands B69 2RA E-mail: en­quiries@war­ Web: www.war­ War­ley NMRE: www.the­war­

War­ley MRC was formed in the late 1960s after a chance con­ver­sa­tion be­tween work­mates at a lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing fac­tory. From this hum­ble be­gin­ning, it has gone from strength to strength. Fifty years on, it runs the an­nual National Model Rail­way Ex­hi­bi­tion [NMRE] at Birm­ing­ham National Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre and owns siz­able premises at Pearsall Drive, Old­bury. We’ve al­ways been a vol­un­tary or­gan­i­sa­tion with a pol­icy of in­vest­ing any prof­its back into both the club and the or­gan­i­sa­tion of the NMRE. One major ad­van­tage of this is that the sub­scrip­tion is an all-in­clu­sive an­nual cost – there are no ex­tra charges for each visit. Mem­bers are able to at­tend ev­ery night the club is open (three evenings per week). Tea and cof­fee are also in­cluded! In re­cent years we took the op­por­tu­nity to be­come a Char­i­ta­ble In­cor­po­rated Or­gan­i­sa­tion [CIO], which has brought ad­di­tional ben­e­fits. As such, the club must com­ply with its char­i­ta­ble con­sti­tu­tion sta­tus and is sup­ported by CIO by-laws. Twenty-five years ago we’d out­grown our ex­hi­bi­tion venue and, with expert guid­ance from Paul Jones, we started look­ing for new premises. Birm­ing­ham of­fered a num­ber of suit­able venues and we opened ne­go­ti­a­tions with the NEC. This was a leap into the un­known, but with the support of modellers na­tion­wide (and some­times world­wide) we had a suc­cess­ful first year, and this suc­cess has con­tin­ued. Prospective mem­bers are al­ways wel­come and we have a pol­icy of of­fer­ing an eight-week trial pe­riod be­fore they com­mit to be­com­ing a full mem­ber. Once that de­ci­sion has been made, mem­bers can get in­volved in what­ever aspect of the club in­ter­ests them. Some just want to spend their time reading in our large li­brary! We have a num­ber of model rail­ways, rang­ing from ‘N’ gauge to ‘G’ scale and new mem­bers are al­ways en­cour­aged to join any or all of the projects that in­ter­est them. We have an ac­tive stu­dent mem­bers sec­tion for those aged 12 to 18 (sub­ject to them be­ing ac­com­pa­nied by a re­spon­si­ble adult). If they go into higher ed­u­ca­tion, they con­tinue to en­joy the special stu­dent sub­scrip­tion rate, with all the ben­e­fits of be­ing a full mem­ber. A major fo­cus at the club is the an­nual War­ley NMRE. The run­ning of the show is only pos­si­ble with the help of the mem­bers, who give up their week­ends to help run the event. The size of our Pearsall Drive premises means we are able to hold open days, on which many of the club’s lay­outs are in op­er­a­tion. We currently hold open days in Fe­bru­ary and July. The for­mer at­tracts around 300 vis­i­tors per year, who only have to pay for re­fresh­ments and any pur­chases they make from our bring-and­buy sales. The ben­e­fit of th­ese events is that any prospective mem­bers can get a feel for the club and what it has to of­fer. Our ex­ten­sive fa­cil­i­ties in­clude a meet­ing room with a ta­ble that will seat around 20 peo­ple. In keep­ing with our char­i­ta­ble sta­tus, the club makes this room avail­able to out­siders and has hosted a num­ber of events in­clud­ing Model Elec­tronic Rail­way Group work­shops and Scale 7 Group an­nual meet­ings. In ad­di­tion, we have a col­lec­tion of ex­hi­bi­tion ap­pa­ra­tus; this is avail­able for use by other clubs, and the only costs they in­cur re­late to the col­lec­tion and safe re­turn of any items. If you would like more in­for­ma­tion on the club and its his­tory, take a look at our web­site. And, of course, come along to one of our open days or club evenings – we’re al­ways happy to wel­come new mem­bers.


Left: Alf (cen­tre) speaks at the Pearsall Drive open­ing, with the late John Al­li­son (left) and Pete Waterman. War­ley MRC mem­bers know a thing or two about mak­ing a good lay­out: ‘Broad­wa­ter Junc­tion’ (MR229).

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