The Club was formed in the early 1970’s by a handful of British Railways employees who were also model railway enthusiasts. They made an approach to the management of British Rail at the time and asked if there was any space available on any of the stations on the London, Tilbury & Southend Network. They were offered space in Shoeburyness Station. The group decided to look into the management’s offer of a room for their hobby. The small group of British Railways employees started with their hobby and soon news of their presence on the station became known. There was an outside interest of Model Railway enthusiasts, so a request was made to the Management to allow members of the general public to join.
Management at that time stipulated that the ratio of public members to British Railway personnel should not exceed 10% of the total membership. Needless to say this situation did not last too long and the membership gradually increased with the club gaining members from all walks of life.
We built a layout in our first room which covered the whole of the floor space. Passengers coming off the trains would often stop and look at the layout in our club room for what seemed ages, often they would donate money in a box thanking us for an interesting time that they had spent watching us. One day someone from management said that we could use the room next door to the one we were already using. This became our tea room and to accommodate members of the club who wanted to talk about railways or do their own things, build layouts or models connected to their hobby. Sitting down one evening we were talking about this when someone suggested we should take a look at the dividing wall which is made of timber. We eased a board away from the wall and located which way the supporting timber studs were laying (ie.) vertical or left to right. We were happy with what we found and carried on working on the wall, We now had a large hole connecting the two rooms together. Membership carried on increasing and decreasing as the years went by, but has remained fairly constant at about 40 members.
The club also attends other events outside of our annual exhibition the membership of the club has a vast range of interests in the modelling world. We have a group who model in N Gauge and a very large OO Gauge group. We have members who own garden railways, electric, clockwork and also live steam, all of different scales and gauges. Our main aim towards the end of the year is the Annual Exhibition held usually during the last full weekend in November. For this we have a separate sub-committee to handle the vast and complex arrangements for this which we are sure is the largest model and hobby exhibition to be held in South East England, at the moment this is in the capable hands of (Club Chairman & Exhibition Manager), along with a team of members performing other vital tasks.
We have one of the best teams for putting the show together. Not forgetting of course the help of the members of the club sourcing exhibits to attend the annual show.
We have recently completed building the first floor on our own purpose built club headquarters. We have in our club a vast mixture of trades people, whom, with the members labouring for them got the job done in record time, in-fact the majority of the walls and roof trusses were recorded as being erected on Wednesday (10th July 2002) evening, this is some achievement considering the first floor project only started on Monday (8th July 2002). In fact by the time you read this, we will have completed all the main work, leaving just small jobs to be completed, we are using the new first floor of the club building, and we are preparing for new layouts to be built.
We now have our first floor addition to our Club HQ Building completed.
It has been a task of love for our club members to undertake, all doing their bit to finish the building off.
The first floor addition was built professionally, constructed in a traditional way (pitched roof and fitted with roof tiles) also double glazed windows. The membership all pulled together to lay a floor of good quality chipboard. Once this was done we could install the electric lighting and lots of power points. One end of the upper floor is now to be used as a recreation area, kitchen and an area for the members to use for discussion. This area is also being fitted with TV for watching train related videos and DVD's. Members constructing and using smaller gauges (N gauge and trams) mostly use the rest of the upper floor.
There is also to a test track of N, OO two and three rail O gauge and G Scale. We have been very fortunate to be in this position.
We do meet other groups at Exhibitions. However as you can understand, while we are involved with our exhibition we normally only have time to say hi (see you later !) before disappearing almost in a puff of smoke! .
The membership of Shoeburyness Model Railway continues to increase and can only get better. It might encourage a few more people with a like interest after reading this text to join a club such as ours.
The club meets every Monday evening at a time of about 7.30 PM till you get fed up.
There are no restrictions to gender, ethnicity etc, lady members are welcome to join and we do have a number of ladies in the club already.
To find out more about the Shoeburyness Model Railway Club look at our very own website which you are already doing, there you find all the information that you will need.
It has photos of past competition results held in the club. Where we are located, contact by email to officers of the club and lot more to interest you if you want to join or if you are just interested to find out about us. Since this third addition to potted history was printed one or two things have materialised. We understand that some members would like to join clubs but because they have stairs this is seen as a barrier, also for disabled members of public who would like to visit the club room well not us, we invested and installed in a stair lift to make the upper floor accessible for our older members who can find stairs rather difficult. We have installed book cases to manage a comprehensive collection of Railway related subjects both in hard back and paperback format. Not to be outdone, we also have a large quantity of DVD discs, all or most have been donated by members of the club or members of the public.
Finally, The thanks of the club must go to for finding and preparing the bid and managing the purchase of the site. for drawing and submitting the plans and getting planning consent in the first place and not forgetting one of the most important people, our long suffering and now retired Treasurer, Mr Gordon Endruwiet for his outstanding and excellent management of the club funds over the past years, thus enabling the club to save the funds to purchase the land and begin the construction of the new clubhouse in the first place.
Well, there you are, in twenty something years we have come from a small group of model railway people to a strong membership of dedicated people, in a modern club building which is self contained and is owned by us. We hope you had time to read this brief history and it has awakened your interest in your/our hobby.
If you feel you would be interested in joining the club, please feel free to come along on a Monday evening to the club house and introduce yourself.
Contact the chairman via email and he will give you instructions on how to reach us.