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Clay Cross Model Railway Society

3360 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Dennis David
Clay Cross Model Railway Society is pleased to announce that it has a spacious new clubroom and potential new members are invited to view their new web site on CXMRS.

A large new 4mm finescale OO layout based on Midland main line practise in the 1950s is under construction.

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Thats interesting to know. I'm based in Mansfield, so are not too far from Clay-Cross and have just joined the Modelling Community, by starting my own layout. I never knew there was a Model Railway Society there.

Columbo, are you a member?

Yes, I am a member of CXMRS.

The web site gives information about our clubroom which is now in use and we are looking for new members.

At the present time we are in the process of completing the construction of a 10 metre long ramp for disabled access. This will be a bit like the end of a station platform. Would you believe that this has to be 1.5 metres wide to allow wheelchairs to pass on the ramp. Also we have to make provision for the Blind in the form of corrugated paving slabs at the foot of the steps that form an alternative approach to the door.

This 1:1 construction process is very interesting and involves sticking together genuine Victorian "bricks" with a special "mixture" of sand and cement called "mortar". The result is something like Slaters Plastikard, but it does not give so even a finish. There is a danger of smearing the jointing mixture over the "bricks" and this does not come off very easily. Later on we get to make up large batches of filling material called "concrete". We have a special machine for this. The end result should be a bit like the station platforms on my layout, but a different colour. Later on I plan to copy English bond on the boundary wall and I have a piece of Plastikard that shows how this should look.

Whilst this project is not proper railway modelling, it is generally agreed that it will be good practise for when we start on the real thing in 1:76th scale.

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"bricks"? "mortar"? It will never catch on! You say you are using 1:1 scale, is this a "finescale" modelling term or another edict from Brussels? The other question that puzzles me is the plan. Will this be a freelance design, or an exact copy of a known prototype. If based on a prototype, remember that the "mortar" between courses must be of a consistent ( and prototypically correct ) width.
Best of luck.
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As Chairman of Wisbech Model Railway Club, on behalf of 'The Club' Members, may I wish you success in this venture. I like the Clubroom you have and know another Group that could use a building like that for their 'Office' as one is needed very soon.

Thank you for your good wishes, I shall pass them on to our members.

If any one else wants to find a kit for a clubroom, this is how we did it.

Lacking any suitable accommodation, we got in touch with our local Parish Councillors and convinced them that Clay Cross needed a model railway club as it could not really afford to lose any more social assets. They gave us names of County Councillors to contact who are responsible for Education in the County, and we asked them if they had any spare classrooms in reasonable condition that they were getting rid of. Do go through the Councillors, they set policy. They have to pay somebody to scrap their old classrooms, so they come at very reasonable prices direct from the schools, but you have to refurbish them.

The first one we were offered was snapped up by someone else on the School's Board of Governors as soon as we showed interest and we think that it is now a holiday cottage on a farm in the Peak District. At least the school got a better price for it as a result of our interest.

The next building we looked at seemed alright and the rest is on the web site. Do ask for help with fund raising from the Local Council for Voluntary Service. We have spent the last 12 months putting this kit together. We had to rewire it, fit a new skirt, paint it inside and fit security grilles to all the windows. By the way portable buildings should not need solid strip foundations if they are on hard standing. Ours is on concrete pads and adjustable jacks on an old tennis court.

Gwent Rail,

We had the drawings of the ramp prepared by our Chairman, who normally draws out the track diagrams and pointwork. I am told that this ramp is actually an exact 1/4 scale model of the ramp at the end of platform 1 of the Lancashire Derbyshire and East Coast Railwy terminus at Chesterfield Market Place. Certainly many of the bricks we are re-using for authenticity are from that period and I believe that some were made by the brickworks at George Stevenson's Clay Cross Ironworks. I think that they were rejects in 1840!

You would not believe how many different types of brick we have found on the site, no two are alike. We need about 6 cubic metres of bricks to infill between the ramp walls. If we run out, we can't send down to the works for another waggon full because it has closed down. However a few yards from our building, and visible in one of the photos on our web site we have a brick vent stack from George Stevenson's Chesterfield Tunnel on the Midland Mainline. Do you think that Network Rail would miss a few bricks? After all they are not using steam any more and they should not need as many vents.

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To post a serious reply to this project, I have nothing but admiration for the efforts you have made to secure the future for both the club and the hobby in your area.
It must have been difficult to secure charity status, as I remember at least one other club failing in an attempt to do so. It seems the the Charity Commissioners have become a lot stricter in recent years and even churches ( I'm told ) have had to formalize a written constitution to comply. Would be interested to know of any difficulties you had in this direction.
Please pass on all good wishes to your members, both from myself and the members of Newport Model Railway Club. Who knows, perhaps I'll be up your way one day and can call in to a club night.
Best of luck
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Gwent Rail,

Thank you for your reply, I shall certainly pass on the good wishes of your Society to our members.

As regards charitable status, it is not easy to achieve, you have certainly got to have a written constitution of a form approved by the Charities Commission. Also there needs to be a system of structured learning as we are an Educational Trust.

If you, or anybody else should want to drop in on us on a Tuesday or Thursday evening, please let me know through our web site and we shall put the larger kettle on for the extra cuppa.

Dear Columbo,

Many thanks for the most interesting information re the source of your new clubroom. Another potential source is companies who hire out temporary buildings. They too need to get rid of the older ones from time to time. My local church bought one some years ago, used it for three years while plans were drawn up for a new permanent building, and sold it on to another church group for almost what we had paid for it!

I visited Clay Cross a few years ago and I remember seeing the ventilation shaft you mention. It did look slightly odd just sitting there!

Best wishes for your club's success,
John Webb
If anybody else is contemplating buying a portable building in the Midlands or Eastern England, the company who dismantled, transported and re-erected our building may be able to help you as they say they have a stockyard full of buildings. They also arranged for the mobile crane to lift in the sections as their Hy-Ab lorries could not get close enough.

The company is Martin Reynolds Construction of Downham Market, Norfolk. Tel. 01366 324297. Martin Reynolds

Very interesting. I would suspect that your financials need to be in order as well. A big thumbs up for going that route though.
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