Regular readers to my blog will have often noticed me refer to the High Wycombe and District Model Railway Society, This year sees its 40th Anniversary and to that end we held an open day for members, family and a few friends at our clubrooms yesterday.
I have been a member of the society since the age of 15 now some 27 years ago and during that time have been exhibition manager (Wycrail) and also chairman. During this time membership has steadily increased from fewer than 20 to now over 60 ranging in ages from 8 to 80 (although I must confess that for nearly 15 years I was the youngest member!).
We are now fortunate to have 4500 sq feet of clubrooms housing our growing number of layouts, 12 at the last count and still growing, of various scales and genres ranging from to N to 0 including both British and North American outline. At this weekends open day we had more layouts running, as well as a couple of guest layouts, including my own Fisherton Sarum, than can be seen at many exhibitions! The clubrooms also include a ‘Bistro’…ok kitchen / refreshment seating area, a large multi gauge test track and workshop with a multitude of machine tools.
So all in all a good day was had by all at the open day with much playing of trains, interesting conversation, consuming of beer, food, a stunning celebratory cake (complete with iced Society logo) and even champagne to toast the last 40 years and to the next 40!
Whilst model railway clubs and societies might not be for all and not every club or society is the same or right for an individual; the depth and breadth of skills, knowledge, abilities, advice, support and friendship makes it all worthwhile trying and supporting your local club or society.