Whilst visiting the South recently I took the opportunity to visit the Railway Enthusiasts Club, or effectively the Farnborough Model Railway Club. This Club is almost 60 years old, originally starting out as a transport enthusiasts club (railways, buses, lorries, etc) mainly organising various excursions. Back then they had over 3000 members scattered around the country. As time went on the club gravitated to being railway-orientated and then with the demise of British Railways and the advent of TOCs, it became to much to continue running excursions and they became a proper model railway club.

Currently they have a membership of 50-60 and operate out of their own clubroom which is built on Council land and has a lease running for another twenty years or so. The clubroom comprises a storage room for layouts, a large library, a couple of other offices and a large function room (including bar and sufficient space to set up layouts up to about 50’ in length). Since the building is hired out at the weekend for functions etc, the club operates a six week rolling programme for layout erection, construction and operation. The club has seven layouts although one of them is an O gauge test track and is rarely erected. These layouts range from N up to O. The layout I saw was the O gauge one and which was in the early stages of construction (track down and wiring being tested). Another of the club layouts is Alton, which I believe has been on the exhibition circuit for a number of years.

As a matter of interest, REC also has a monthly newsletter. Further details of the club can be found on: www.rec-farnborough.org.uk.