The Club Room
Be a part of the Model Rail community – get involved today. E-mail: theclub[email protected]media.co.uk
The Guest Chairman, your letters, and Tell and Exhibition Diary.
Bognor Regis MRC had humble beginnings back in the early 1950s. In those days, meetings were held at a hotel, and any efforts to publicise the club were confined to the local area. However, this didn’t attract many members and there were lengthy periods of inactivity. However, a resurgence in the mid-1970s laid down the foundations for the club as it exists today. Over the years, finding suitable venues for club meetings has been difficult. However, with the support of the Barnham Signal Box Trust, the club’s HQ is now the restored Barnham signal box. We are quite diverse in terms of members and interests, and they model in almost every scale, from ‘G’ scale through to ‘OO’, ‘TT’ and ‘N’ gauges, right down to ‘T’ gauge. Layouts encompass standard and narrow gauge. Membership has grown steadily over the years, helped by a decision, taken eight years ago, to attract younger members. We ran a 16-week modelling course, and now junior modellers represent about a fifth of our membership. To keep the juniors engaged, we always have a project on the go for them to work on. Past projects have included an exhibition layout and various dioramas. A recent highlight was building a layout for Network Rail. We were commissioned to build a portable layout for a NR safety officer to take to schools to educate children on railway safety. Our teenage members are now club experts in their own right, and they have various specialisations, from DCC to 3D-printing, or military modelling. For some the interest inevitably wanes, but we are always welcoming young new members who want to advance their skills, and whether their interest is steam, diesel or Thomas! The club is lucky to have a number of very skilled layout builders with a wide range of knowledge, and they can be regularly seen on the exhibition circuit. There are others who bring their own non-modelling skills and abilities. This might be carpentry, electrics, electronics, catering, or anything else which can benefit the club as a whole. We have members of all age groups, up to and including those you might refer to as ‘senior citizens-plus’. We have female members, overseas members and members with learning difficulties. Most importantly, we all share a common desire both to learn and to teach. Even our most seasoned modellers acknowledge that there is always more to learn, and any member can offer ideas which might prompt us to look at doing things in a different way, or see things from perspectives which might never have occurred to us. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to get involved – whether it’s with layout design and building, working on individual models, operating layouts, assisting with the maintenance of our model buildings and, of course, helping to transport, set up and operate our layouts at exhibitions. We support local charities and have a successful family-orientated exhibition every January to raise club funds, but which also serves to promote the club. Our club nights are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday mornings, and anyone is welcome to drop in to one of our sessions. Contact our club secretary for further information.
Club test track