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There is an issue in another topic that has arrisen that merits its own thread.

If Model Rail Forum has any wheelchair bound or disabled members would they like to offer up their own experiences of "the hobby" in the broadest terms.

I will offer up my own experiances in due course in the event of there not being any response.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Doug. You forget I had a spell in a wheelchair as a result of an accident 4 years ago. I did more hands on modelling during that period than at any other time and visited model shops.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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hi all,at last a place for disabled modellers, i am disabled and use a wheelchair and scooter there are days when i can walk but not far. i took up the hobby of live steam to keep myself sane. my family go and display at rallys and schools and run a website showing what can be done when your as knackerd as i am, this is where the train part comes in as we run them at shows.
hope this helps your thread
 

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I went to an Exhibition earlier this year and found it was done on two levels. Anybody with a wheelchair, or otherwise disabled, were unable to see the layouts on the upper floor, due to no lift being on the premises and quite understandably, NO members of the club running it would chance lifting those in wheelchairs and up the stairs.

Tomorrow, I am off to the Great one in Spalding, Lincolnshire where it is held on the one floor and always made very welcome, the same as the able bodied. I went there last year and had a fantastic time, promising to return this.

When we had an 'Open Day' in Wisbech back in August, we made sure that anybody in a wheelchair was able to gain entry.
 

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I must admit access to places drives me nuts sometimes, don’t get me wrong I know conversions for places to be disabled friendly is very very expensive but I wish that all public places like shops or venues that the manager was made to go around doing his daily work for one hour in a wheelchair, the problem of access would soon be sorted…..rant over
 

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Dear Smokey,
Thanks for your observations. Back in April I raised a topic (see under 'Clubs and Events') about a model railway show in Welwyn Garden City hit by a complaint about (lack of) disabled access. Interestingly this must have been the solicitor from Kent mentioned in the other thread by someone. He'd made a complaint purely because the club concerned had actually placed in their adverts a mention that the 1st floor was inaccessible to wheelchair users and therefore there would be a reduced admission charge for them. The church who owned the premises reacted immediately by closing the 1st floor to all - somewhat limiting what the club concerned could do! I don't know how the matter ended up; I've not heard any more about it.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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It's all about being PC. The media is half to blame - they suck news stories out of nothing... creating sensationalism. Disability seems an easy target. Walking around London, you would think there are blind people and folk in wheelchairs everywhere...

One of the bonuses of living in France is the French are not PC.

I've been to model railway exhibitions where there was no wheelchair access at all, but there were wheelchair users there having fun with the rest. How did they do it? Well a bunch of total strangers just hoisted the wheelchairs up the steps with gusto. Does that happen in the UK?
 

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>Does that happen in the UK?
"We can't let you do that, sir; Health and safety, or Our insurers don't allow it".

I wonder more and more, how much longer I will be able to bear living in this country...

David
 

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The Clay Cross Model Railway Society has recently acquired a portable classroom building and set it up, with the help of charitable funding, near the town centre. This makes it very accessible by public transport. In order to get funding and planning permission, we have had to provide disabled access of course.

This has involved us in building a concrete ramp 1.5 metres wide, together with the adjacent pathway to the foot of the 1 in 18 ramp, the total length is 22 metres. We used 130 concrete blocks to build the retaining walls and filled the ramp with about 3000 old bricks from the site. This was topped off with 75 mm of concrete which had to be mixed by a mixer as we do not have vehicular access for ready mixed concrete. The total weight of concrete is estimated as over 8 tonnes. All this by volunteer labour.

We also have to provide safe access for the blind.

If there are any disabled modellers in Clay Cross area, we would be pleased to meet you. You can contact us through our web site on CXMRS

Colombo
 

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At my club here on the Gold Coast we have both situations. We are situated on the first floor of an industrial building with access via twisted chequerplate stairs.
There is a wheelchair bound lady modeller who would dearly love to visit and we would love to have her. Out of regard for her dignity we won't consider inviting her while the present state exists. For a young club of three years old the cost is too much for us but we will pursue it until we can succeed.
On the other hand an elderly male member has recently had a leg amputated and is very happy for us to carry him up and we are happy to do it. Does this contravene any H&S laws? No idea but we'll take him up anyway to give this member some joy to his life.
 

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QUOTE (ozwarrior @ 11 Nov 2006, 20:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does this contravene any H&S laws? No idea but we'll take him up anyway to give this member some joy to his life.

Fire regulations would often be the problem here --- how does he get out in the event of a fire or is there a fire resistant space where he can wait for rescue.
 

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I went to Spalding and not only was it a Great event, but there were several people in wheelchairs there and Very nice to see. Only the odd few ignoramus refused to move when asked and I noticed one person just touched their legs and boy did they move, at the same time as moaning that they were watching a particular layout, but TOUGH on them. They SHOULD have moved when asked.
 

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QUOTE Fire regulations would often be the problem here --- how does he get out in the event of a fire or is there a fire resistant space where he can wait for rescue.

This was the issue I was faced with when I returned to work 4 years ago after my accident. I thought it would be OK because my job was a desk job however....

....my ordinary place of work was on the second floor and because I was deemed to be a hazard to able bodied people in the event of a fire I had to have a temporary 4 week residence on the ground floor until I was deemed not to be a hazard. The test was how quickly I could make my own way out of the building unaided using the stairs. It was very painful to move at that time until muscles had recovered and crutches were not permitted.

When organising exhibitions and model railway clubs there is so much to think about these days.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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Wow I didn't want to stir things up, but I think that most disabled access has improved and it comes down to personal dignities and the need for most people and that includes able body to go where they want in reasonable safety. On a personal note the hardest part of having a mobility problem was not the pain this can be controlled with dugs etc, it is not the add on's like scooters and wheelchairs, no the hardest part is coming to terms with the fact that there are times when you have to ask for help from strangers, which we are most grateful but can be like asking a 7 year old to drive your car, operating a wheelchair is not as easy as you think sometimes,. its your pride that hurts the most.
On a more lighter note some people think as your legs are knackered your deaf or your invisible as my wife has bean asked how is he whilst I'm sitting there

By the way if the spellings not up to much blame vox type as the drugs give me the shakes on a keyboard,
 

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QUOTE (smokey @ 11 Nov 2006, 22:00) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>On a more lighter note some people think as your legs are knackered your deaf or your invisible as my wife has bean asked how is he whilst I'm sitting there
Ah yes, the "does he take sugar" syndrome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
What is of interest is how do you get on in the railway modelling world.

Aside from the social and human aspects of a disability how does this affect your hobby?

When I was chair and wheelchair bound I tended to do more on a tray in front of me and I did a lot of kit building. It was hard work to reach the back of tha layout and so I guess had the disability been permanent then my layout as it was at that time would have been narrower. In terms of visiting shops without exception all local hobby shops were absolutely useless for those in a wheelchair and it was a crutch job with the wheelchair left at the shop entrance. The shop owners would provide a chair for me to sit on whilst I browsed the shelf and I do have to say all were very helpful.

Again there is something seriously wrong with the UK. You go abroad and more often than not help is offered. Those are my observations when walking down continental high streets. In the UK you broadly get passed by unless you ask. In terms of the old, the infirm and the disabled the able British are absolutely useless!

As an example in France at the checkout of the hypermarket if you show your disabled card to the queue they all let you through to the front. In Britain a disabled sign in the back of a car when parked is treated with derision and even traffic wardens grimance when they see the sign as if its one that got away!

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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I have a cunning plan when I wish to play train as my wife calls it, the car has to come out of the garage to get the kids to school so we all go down the garage early and I pull out the car and they lay my track and off we go. As for working around the track I sit on a under car trolley and push myself around which can be hysterical to see but works well.
As I say&#8230;&#8230;where there's wheels there's a way
 
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