Formed in the 1960’s, members come from as far away as Clacton, Witham and Dovercourt to pursue their hobby of model railways at Armoury Farm down the bottom of Armoury Lane in West Bergholt.
The members of Colchester and District Model Railway Club (about 30 in total) meet in their clubhouse every Thursday evening. Formed in 1969, the Club held its first meetings in a pub on North Station Road. They moved around for about 20 years before eventually coming to rest in the barn at Armoury Farm.
There is a range of seven layouts for a variety of model trains in all of the popular scales set out on the two floors of the clubhouse. These include American and Swedish style layouts, older and modern ones. The different styles mean that all members can enjoy the club, with the layouts that particularly interest them. The trains belong to individual members. The layouts which are constructed by the members belong to the Club
There is a combination of skills amongst the members including carpentry and electrical skills which enable them to create layouts as close to the real thing as possible. The history of trains is the main thing that interests the club’s members. They try to make replicas of tracks that actually existed. For example, the American style layout has mountains and rivers with bridges that are made in the style of a particular time and area.
Children from the age of 11 can accompany their parents to the Club and work on the junior layout under supervision.
The Club’s members spend up to half an hour chatting about their shared hobby over tea and coffee break. The Club seems to be not just for members to create and use the layouts, but for people who are interested in the same thing to get together and talk about it.
At the last weekend in October, the Colchester and District Model Railway Club holds a big exhibition, taking over the entire Colchester Institute. As well as preparing the 25 to 30 layouts from all over the country, the members do the catering for all the visitors.
Gerry Greenwood, President of the Club, first joined after visiting one of the exhibitions about 20 years ago.
After hearing all about the Club, it is easy to understand its popularity and the enthusiasm of its members.
Village Bulletin – Issue 86,
See Club details here.