About Us

Blandford St MaryInformation About Us

Where and who we are!

Situated in the town of High Wycombe, the railway club known as the High Wycombe & District Model Railway Society is now well established in its present home at Leigh Court, Leigh Street. Click here to find us.

We meet every week on Monday and Wednesday evenings & we are very lucky to have sufficient space in which to many layouts of various scales and prototypes permanently erected and running.

At present British and American prototypes are either built or in the build stages.

History

Our Society started in 1971 when a foresighted team consisting of Mr. Les Page (senior) and his son Roy, of Adams & Page Tyre Company fame, put together a small exhibition of general model makers and hobbyists. The items on display consisted of children’s spinning painting machines, model buildings from polystyrene ceiling tiles, model aircraft, model railways plus many many others.

From those early beginnings the Society was formed and initially met at the ‘original’ Sands Village Hall (the tin shack) in High Wycombe. Some months passed and the embryo of members, some of whom are still in the Society, (What a motley crew they make as well! Ed.) moved into the basement of Downley Village Hall and the membership grew considerably.

Realizing that the premises were beginning to constrict the Society and its members, some had very stiff necks after a few hours in a space only 5ft/1.5 metres high, new premises were sought and a move to the canteen site at Mill End Road was commenced.

The Society made great steps during its time at Mill End and the membership rose to over 30. Because of the permanency, the members were able to construct freelance layouts based on prototypical railways, that included ‘OO’, ‘N’, ‘EM’ and ‘O’. All scales were represented in British outline but a few modellers built ‘N’ and ‘HO’ American layouts. A number of new members were able to construct a portable ‘O’ scale American layout.

Due to the requirement by Central Government, the County Council had to demolish the canteen site. A further move was necessary. With the help of Wycombe District Council, they offered Spring Gardens School library and it became our new home. Albeit on a temporary term. During 2002 a further move was anticipated as the County and Local Councils were encouraged again by Central Government to capitalize on their uneconomic sites, such as schools, and another move was imminent.

Urgent meetings and searches were made and a permanent home was found at ‘Commercial Square, Leigh Street’ where the Society, now happily reside and we trust for some considerable time. Situated in an old industrial furniture factory, on its top floor, the Society rapidly made it their new base.

HW&DMRS is indebted to Wycombe District Council for all their help in securing these premises and it should be noted that without their financial support in the form of a grant we certainly would have not been able to proceed with this project. Our thanks go to the staff at WDC who have guided us through the minefield. We are grateful to Bucks County Council for their patience whilst we were in negotiations with our future landlords.

2009

HW&DMRS started to rapidly outgrow these premises as membership increased to over 60 and with all the layouts always erected decisions had to be made. Fortunately the landlord had the adjoining room vacant and little likelihood of letting it so the decision was made to enquire regarding its availability to extend our lease.

In August 2009 the lease extension was granted and with the Councils change of use in place the eager workforce began the change from a dingy storeroom to a bright and airy new clubroom.

The next to happen was to spread our existing layouts across the two rooms and agree to construct a large test track and an extra layout.

Future Plans

What lies in the future is anyone’s guess but we, the members, want to encourage more young blood into the hobby. We now have close to 70 members and we welcome anyone with an interest in railways, no matter what their skill level is, no matter what their age is and no matter what their gender is.

This is not a hobby just for the more senior members – we actively encourage our younger members to bring in new ideas as well as their own models and whenever possible they are encouraged to become involved in the building, development and operation of our layouts.

With the increasing introduction of new technologies into the hobby, the younger members are very capable of picking up and running with these new ideas and we actively encourage this.