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Club Activities

The club meets regularly every Wednesday evening from 7.00pm to 10.00pm in the club house at Washford Click here for map (map open on separate page - close to return to this page) Members can gain access to the clubroom at any other time during the week by arrangement with the committee, in order to make progress on specific layouts or for maintenance on the hall.

The main annual event in the club's diary is the Rail-Ex Taunton model railway show in October each year. Since 2010, the venue has been Taunton School, where the show is held in the main sports hall, with refreshments available in the main school refectory. Other activities are held from time to time in accordance with the consititution, such as visits to other model railway shows and 12 inch to the foot lines. A list of activities is shown below with links available if more detail is required,

9th April 2022: Open Day and exhibition of Club layouts at Washford Memorial Hall

Our Open Day at Washford Memorial Hall was a great display of layouts from the Club and its members. We took Bradford-on-Tone, Waveybridge, Gorbriton Hill, Box Yard and Kilve, while Brian Palmer brought along his small 0-16.5 shunting yard.

During the day Bradford was operated by Steve Pike and Liam and Martin Hebditch, while Waveybridge was in the capable hands of Colin Bentley and Gordon Pilgrim who found the day to be a useful practise for exhibiting it at Shepton Mallet in June. Darren Berry’s layout Kilve was run by George Guppy, while Box Yard, after some precision preparation by Ozzo, was operated by Ian Luty taking turns with Daniel Luculescu. Jason Kristunas was able to assist in setting up Gorbriton Hill and then Bill Blackborow was in charge, using the Club’s Gaugemaster Prodigy wired DCC handset during the morning, before switching to a Fleischman wifi control later. He is now a convert to wireless control. Later on, Don Willsmer came along to lend his support.

Washford Picture

One of our young visitors was particularly taken with the harbourside scene on Gorbriton Hill

As well as showcasing layouts we also had a display of dolls houses created by Jane, and a demonstration of model building construction by Mike Carter who brought along several pieces from his layouts. Murray Bush had a half size plan of the new N gauge layout which will replace Kitcheners Yard on show and was able to explain to visitors the thinking behind it.

Don Askew took the opportunity to dispose of some of the unwanted items from our store cupboards and made £25 for the club. Digger (unsurprisingly) took charge of the catering arrangements accompanying tea and coffee with a selection of cakes baked by Pam Glaister (which went down very well!) In the kitchen he was assisted by Cilla Palmer and Kit Smith, now happily recovered from Covid. It was also good to see that Brian Garwood felt able to lend a helping hand around the show. Dave Drew must be mentioned – he had planned to be at the show but unfortunately went down with Covid the day before and so was unable to be with us.

Among the visitors to the show were Darren and Josh O’Connor and their families, and we look forward to seeing more of them.

This informal event showed the strength of the club spirit, with so many members “mucking in” to make it happen, and collaborating to transport the layouts, set them up, run them and then take them away again. Despite some earlier predictions that we would need to be working into the small hours to get everything ready, setting up was more or less complete by 10pm on the Friday, and everything had been packed up and was back in the Club Room by 7pm on the Saturday -a (relatively) gentle re-introduction to the practicalities of exhibiting. Futhermore, looking to the future the opportunity was taken to speak to the show’s visitors to tell them about the Club, and one or two expressed interest in our activities which may lead to new members joining.

3rd March 2017: Post Valentine's dinner at the Mason's Arms, Williton
1st February 2017: Club AGM at the Blue Anchor Hotel.
22nd & 23rd October 2016: Annual club show at Taunton School - Rail Ex Taunton 2016.
18th September 2016: Club trip to the "open day" on the Mid Hants Railway
19th February 2016: Club dinner held at the Mason's Arms in Williton.
3rd February 2016: Club AGM at the Mason's Arms in Williton.
4th and 5th December 2015: Distllery Branch, Winter Barton 2 and Brio exhibited at the Tithe Barn during Dunster by Candlelight Celebrations
24th & 25th October 2015: Annual club show at Taunton School - Rail-Ex Taunton 2015
3rd & 4th October 2015: Club show held at the Beach Hotel, Minehead in conjuction with the West Somerset Railway Autumn Gala weekend.
4/5th and 11/12th July 2015: Thomas the Tank Engine Weekends on the West Somerset Railway (Minehead Station)
30th May 2015: Distillery Branch appeared at a model railway show in St. Margaret's Hospice in Taunton as part of the annual Spring Fayre. It is believed to be the first model railway exhibition to have taken place within a hospice building! The Spring Fair raised £3 500, which is enough to pay for a whole week of care in the 'In Patient Unit' - well done to all involved.
15th April 2015: Mr Phil Gannon gave a most informative illustrated talk on the West Somerset Mineral railway, which was built to carry iron ore from the Brendon Hills to Watchet harbour for onward shipping to the blast furnaces of South Wales. For more information see West Somerset Mineral Railway website.
13th February 2015: Post Christmas Celebration Dinner at the Mason's Arms
5th and 6th December 2014: Distllery Branch exhibited at the Tithe Barn during Dunster by Candlelight Celebrations
25th and 26th October 2014: Rail-Ex Taunton 2014 Show Report
4th October 2014: Distillery Branch exhibited at Seaton and District Lions Club Model Show
5/6th and 12/13th July 2014: Thomas the Tank Engine Weekends on the West Somerset Railway (Minehead Station)
29th and 30th March 2014: Spring Gala Weekend on the West Somerset Railway (Minehead Station)
6th and 7th December 2013: Winterbarton exhibited at the Tithe Barn during Dunster by Candlelight Celebrations
26th and 27th October 2013: Rail-Ex Taunton 2013 Show Report
6th and 7th July 2013: Thomas the Tank Engine Weekend on the West Somerset Railway (Minehead Station)
28th April 2013: Swithland Steam Gala on the Great Central Railway
15th and 16th March 2013: Spring Gala Weekend on the West Somerset Railway (Minehead Station)
27th and 28th October 2012: Rail-Ex Taunton 2012 Show Report
16th September 2012: Vintage Bus Trip to Heritage Transport Gala on the South Devon Railway in Buckfastleigh
22nd April 2012: Coach Trip to the Severn Valley Railway
20th January 2012: Post Christmas Celebration Dinner
22nd and 23rd October 2011: Rail-Ex Taunton 2011 Show Report
8th May 2011: Coach Trip to the Pendon Museum and Didcot Railway Centre
Click for a larger picture Club members and guests outside the Pendon Museum
Click on the image for a larger picture
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