History of our Club



Our Society started in 1969/1971 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’.  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.


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.


Due to the Leigh Street area being redeveloped we vacated with some sadness what had been our home for ten years. After much searching we now have a new home, wth continued thanks to Wycombe District Council, in Duke Street, right in the centre of town, overlooking the railway station.  Many of our existing layouts have been set up and plans are in hand for four new layouts in 0 , 00  and H0 scales.

Leigh Street – a retrospective

Our old clubroom, vacated in 2019 , was in many ways the making of the present club. Who would have thought when we moved in (2002) the club would expand the way it has. It enabled us to “think big” on many fronts, particularly with our layouts. Three of these were thirty feet long or more …

So was the Leigh Street era our golden age? When in October 2018 the premises fell to the developers’ sword we had to get out quickly and find ourselves somewhere else. We are very grateful to club members for adapting so briskly for the change, as this involved radical rethinking on several major layouts, built and under construction. Along with that came other implications and with them, new ideas. Several layouts are moving with us but there’s a lot of careful rethinking about how practical our large layouts were.

So no fewer than four new layouts are now being discussed. If you are not a club member but model railways interest you, now would be a great time to join in. We are particularly open to new ideas at the moment.

So great as Leigh Street was as a place to grow, the steps were dangerous, the courtyard dark and gloomy at night and the lift cantankerous. And don’t forget the windows leaked, there was no regular heating in winter and despite all our attempts it remained a grimy industrial garret with peeling paint and an undulating floor.

We didn’t realise it when it happened, but it was time to go!