The Club Room
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The section about you, the Model Rail reader. Includes Exhibition Diary.
The Perth and District Model Railway Club has been running since the early 1960s, but modellers with an interest in railways had been meeting in Perth long before that.
Our previous venues have included a railway station hallway, a funeral parlour cellar and some damp, draughty commercial rooms with no heating or running water. We’ve operated with no meeting rooms at all, and in enormous open spaces in an old warehouse, but the PMRC has finally found a new home in Methven, just outside Perth.
For our last move, we were invited to join a larger group – the Scottish Model Engineering Trust (SMET). The trust owns land where it runs an extensive outside layout catering for 5in and 7¼in engines and rolling stock. By joining forces with SMET, we have secured our group’s future.
Currently, we have a North American outline ‘N’ gauge layout under construction. We’re close to finalising a ‘OO’ gauge British outline layout plan and, shortly thereafter, a British outline ‘N’ gauge layout will follow, utilising the same fiddleyard as the North American layout. We’ll be able to run these as DC or DCC, and will use primarily Digitrax control systems, which the club has adopted as standard.
A new workshop and storeroom building is planned to complement the extensive on-site facilities. This will accommodate an enthusiastic team of people who are interested in creating a centre of modelling excellence at Methven, covering all the scales of railway modelling, from ‘N’ gauge to 7¼in. Last year, SMET hosted the 7¼in society annual meeting at Methven, attracting many visitors from the rest of the UK and from Europe.
The Perth Model Railway Group will continue to organise and run one of the most eagerly anticipated and well-known model railway shows in Scotland. Our ‘Celebration of Model Railways’ is always held in the Dewars’ Rinks on the last weekend in June, and is now the largest club-run exhibition in Scotland. It showcases a large selection of high-quality layouts from around the UK (some making their debut in Scotland) and also hosts a wide selection of specialist trade stands.
Representing modellers in the smaller scales, we will also be present at the Wester Pickston site on the various public open days, which we run four times a year. These events are our opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities as a club. The open days give us a chance to encourage people to join us, either to start a new hobby or, as I did, get back into the hobby – a personal goal following my retirement.
We have become quite active on the exhibition circuit, not only in Scotland but at many of the larger UK shows. Currently we have seven exhibition-standard layouts that will be displayed at various locations throughout this year and we’re busy making more plans.
Address: Scottish Model Engineering Trust, College Road, Methven, Perth, PH1 3RX Membership: £240 a year (includes access to all of SMET’S facilities)