Sidmouth MRG welcomes you to our Website. More news is being added regularly, which it is hoped will build up into a history of our group below in date order.
NEWSLETTER updates will form a history of our groups progress.
January 2023 Great progress is being made on preparations for our Mini Exhibition to be held on Sunday 5th March 2023 the Sid-Vale-Railway (N Gauge) is showing great progress, track laying, DCC wiring, our New z21 DCC controller etc. The Sidford Railway Company (Gauge O) is starting with brand new Marcway track and turnouts, it will be using DCC operation. Barton Marsh (4mm) is getting final tweaks and improvements to the track. An initial operating schedule has been devised and is being practiced on a regular basis. Other members are carrying on with their own projects, so all is very busy at our meetings. Do come along and join in. We are a friendly group and very much welcome new members or visitors.
Dec 2022 It is with deep sadness we have to report the passing of one of our early members, Mr John Simpson. 14th December 2022 John along with others helped to make this group into a fully fledged entity, set up for enthusiasts. A great help and modeller. John was our 2nd Chairman, and helped set the constitution, and general business like running of our group, holding great AGM's in record time so we could get on with other activities. We as a group wish to pass on our condolences to Johns Family and close friend Sue. Our thoughts are with you all. Thank You John
Nov 2022 Progress on the Sid Vale Railway and the New Gauge O layout, our exhibition planning is all in hand, lots to look forward to in 2023. For a copy of our Exhibition poster click on the links on the home page or in the diary page
Oct 2022, Our group has really started to get busy again, David W is kindly starting a new set of Gauge O layout baseboards, and also putting new shelving in place to ensure we can store everything away after each meeting. Where we would be without our store, goodness only knows. It is such a benefit to our group. No personal items are stored, its just day to day stock of our baseboards, and trestles etc. Bruce and Mike are very well on with planning for our 2nd Mini Exhibition planned for next March 5th 2023. A broad spread of interests will be shown from N Gauge (we hope to have the SID-VALE-Railway running trains on that day) through Our own Barton Marsh the OO group modular layout, onto Gauge O with 3 invited layouts by members of the Exeter-Gauge O group and our own Richard B. Light refreshments will be available on the day. Keith and the team keep working towards our March Date, with lots of testing, and kit building for the scenic side of the Barton Marsh Layout, a new Signal Box, Station buildings, and other canal related buildings have been appearing of late. Its great to think, this has all been achieved in 5.5 years. More as time progresses.
August 2022, News update the N Gauge layout has now started track laying. Also we have purchased a DCC control unit for members to use with their own mobile phones to connect and control trains at our running sessions. Yet again we are increasing our membership numbers and meeting dates. We are Now meeting every week. This is great for our members and progress on our Group layouts. Lots of our members are also bringing along their own projects to work on, as well as joining in with group projects. N 2mm,OO 4mm, 009 4mm, O 7mm, 0-16.5 7mm all catered for. CHECK out the Diary page for the Dates and times. Progress on the Barton Marsh Layout, lots of ballasting, buildings also greenery is now being added! The sid vale railway baseboards are being sorted ready for tracklaying, some innovative features on this layout, so watch this space, OR come along and have a look to see if you would like to join us. Feel free to visit, Tea and Coffee + A Biscuit! Wow.
May 2022, we have decided to increase our meetings for the future to include Tuesday mornings, in addition to our usual Wednesday evening meetings. The DATES are clearly set out on our Diary pages. Anyone is welcome to come along for a visit. We are now making some progress on the SID-Vale Railway layout (N Gauge) Basically there is a meeting once a week for the first 4 weeks of any month, so you are guaranteed a 'fix' of model making each month. Our Barton Marsh layout is now taking good shape, with regular Running sessions and continuing modelling taking place each month. Why not come along to see what it's all about with No Obligation for the first visit! These News items are now starting to build a picture of progress through the years we have been in operation. We have grown to over 35 members now in 5 years.
April 2022, the program of meetings have been booked throughout the remainder of the year. See the Diary for all the dates and times. NOTE! Tuesday mornings have now been added as a regular feature of our calendar as they have proved popular. Start time 9:30am from September onwards. Its a become obvious that as a group we would like to meet in the daytime during the Autumn and Winter months as well as the evenings. Plenty of work to do on the Sid-Vale Railway layout, and the Barton Marsh always needs more detail adding, Scenery, Buildings, improvements etc.
March 2022, unfortunately we had to cancel our planned 2nd Open day on the 13th March. We are planning to hold another at a later date. If you would like to see some New pictures of work in progress on Barton Marsh our OO layout please look at the gallery.
March 2022, Work in progress on the Barton Marsh layout is going well, trains are now running from one end to the other through the station, right through to the cassettes in the fiddle yards at both ends of the layout. Ballasting is being done on a weekly basis. Canal scenery is coming together with warehouses and workshop chimneys growing each week. Working signals to indicate to operators when a train can be accepted or is ready to be sent out. Still lots of work to do. The N Gauge layout 'The SID-VALE-Railway has stalled during this last winter, but a track plan is now ready to be interpreted onto the baseboards. The Storage room is proving to be an absolute bonus and is being VERY well used. The Roll cage idea for the storage of group layout modules is working well, they can be stored and then rolled down into the main Hall (2 people) for easy loading and unloading. Our membership is growing steadily with 2 more members joining in February 2022 WELCOME to them. Overall we have thrived since the start up in 2017, we have grown and made a very good basis for a long term group.
January 2022, Another year with Covid rife and people not really knowing what is going to happen in the next few months. Therefore we have taken a decision to cancel for now our planned Open Day in March at Sidford Social Hall. David has very Kindly agreed to fund 4 extra meeting dates on Tuesdays to help progress our OO Layout
December 2021 A NEW Group Logo has been designed by Terry Jeavons we thank Terry for kindly donating his time and skills. Further concerns over Covid have kept our numbers down at meetings, but we are still managing to attract 15 plus members to each meeting. We have decided to stop the Morning Meetings after the end of March 2022 as the evenings get lighter. Wednesday evenings will continue as normal. 7-9:30pm Great progress has been made on the Barton Marsh Layout in readiness for our Open Day March 13th Sunday. Anyone interested in Model Railways in general will be made very welcome to our meetings, come along to visit twice before we ask you to join, so you can have a look see if its what you want from your hobby before parting with a Subscription. Lets all hope for a Healthy Year in 2022.
November 2021, A lot of progress on our Barton Marsh OO layout, with wiring, scenery, ballasting, station platforms, + Running sessions, with the acquisition of a New Group Train for testing and general running sessions. (Terrier + 3 wagons + Brake-van The Sid-Vale-Railway baseboards (N Gauge) are all assembled, the storage Racks (supermarket roll cages) have all been modified to suit the store room and our baseboards. (work in progress) Plans for the track layout are being progressed General model making and the normal Tea / Coffee chat sessions are being carried out with vigour!!! Please Join in and offer help to others where possible to progress our group even further. Our new Tuesday AM meetings are popular and our Wed evenings are still as busy, this is great. Thank you.
October 2021. New Tuesday morning meeting times 9:00am - 12 Midday to get prepared for our Open Day in March 2022
September 2021, Our Annual General meeting this year 15th Sept. starts promptly at 7:00pm (please turn up before time) The Committee were re-elected and set for another year. Progress is being made on our new N Gauge Layout (Sid-Vale-Railway-Co.) We have new (2nd hand) storage cages to be adapted to suit our requirements, plus plans are now starting for a small Gauge O Layout
August 2021, Meetings resumed on August 4th, Please NOTE the 18th of August is designated a 'Running Evening' on Barton Marsh. This is to put the Layout through its paces, checking for operational issues. Plus those who want to run trains can come over and have a go. Bring your own OO Loco and train to test your skills at running on a Railway!
June 2021 Your committee held a meeting to decide the dates of our future meetings throughout this year, with some extra dates to be added to see if we can quickly resume where we left off on March 15th 2020! Seems such a long time ago now. We will let you know when we can resume meetings face to face, as the Virus has taken put us back now until August 2021. Hope you are all well. All the best Chris.
June 2021 we are holding a committee meeting during this month and will post any news here as well as emailing members
February 2021 Still no news on restarts of our meetings, I guess most member's will now have had their Vaccination or be close to receiving it. Lets hope for a better year in 2021.
December 2020 What a devastating year this has been, no meetings since March 15th, the group has been working away on there own home layouts, we look forward to getting back together in 2021.
September 2020 No meetings planned, as the Covid-19 has started a second wave. We are mindful of the safety of our members. It really does look as though it will be 2021 before we can meet again. Please feel free to contact any of the committee in the mean time if you would like to know the very latest news. One thing we have decided to do is to Donate £50 to the Sidford Social Hall in some small measure to say thank you for the continued support they show to our group and for the storage facility provided for us.
July 2020 What a bizzare year 2020 is turning out to be, July and for the first time in 3-4 months a Pub is going to be allowed to open! So much has been affected by this Virus world wide. Almost without exception every single business and club or group have been changed, ours is no different to others, we cannot see that we will be allowed to meet in the Hall again until September at the earliest. Our email group idea was not successful, not many took part, and we had some phishing emails trying to tell members there was a meeting on a certain date to encourage answers to the phishing email, which then confirms your own email address to the sender. Please be aware of such scams and always look to send your own email out rather than click or reply to a dubious looking one!! Added some information on a Shrub we had in the garden that I found would be suitable for Trees on my 7mm Layout. More info on members layouts page. Keep and eye on this website for more news. Keep well and Safe.
MAY 2020 Still in Lockdown although Social Distancing is still in place travel and Exercise is now allowed. What a change to the world this has been.
MARCH 202031st March we have started an Email Group, to enable us to keep in touch with general chit chat for the duration. The Corona Virus Covid 19 has not stopped us holding our first Open Day 15th March 2020, All due precautions were taken. We did have a very successful first Open Day, with approximately 90 people turning out on a Very Wet and dreary Sunday. Overall we had a great day with all the attending Layout performing well, visitors reports were very favourable. Keep well and Safe.
December 2019 2 meetings, the 2nd was where the first of our new N Gauge layout (Sid Valley Railway) baseboards was assembled from the flat pack Laser cut standard 900 x 400mm into quite a nice rigid construction, we now have to assemble the other 2 and make progress on a prospective complete run N Gauge track design. More to follow as time moves on. A Great year in the history of our group, 29 fully paid up members. Come and join us if you are interested in a Lively Friendly Group of men and women. You will be welcome into the 20's
November 2019 Meeting saw 28 people turn out on a wet and dreary evening to enjoy a Chat, very busy evening, welcome to 5 new visitors, thanks for coming hope you enjoyed our Group, the Pub was busy afterwards as well! We have made great progress during this year for our Barton Marsh OO gauge layout. We hope to welcome along any visitors or potential members to our meetings, POP in for a look at our group.
September 2019, We held our AGM on Sept 18th all went well we are in the Black, and have a new committee all elected freely, all completed in 22 minutes. We now look forward to progressing our Groups layouts and to organising our First Open Day on Sunday 15th March 2020. Real progress has been made on our Group layout over the Summer Holiday period, John Cavell has completed our Support trestles, (Lovely Job) 12 in all! We held two 'working mornings' where the boards were aligned and track continuity worked on, sufficient to say we now have run full trains over the entire layout. Tom's 'Oswestry Road' page has been added to the Members layout area.
August 2019, Its all been busy during August, (also Sidmouth itself had its lively with the Folk Festival) we get back to Full Modelling evenings in September (EXCEPT our AGM on 18th Sept) We will have a very Short AGM then our Speaker this year is Steve Flint the Editor of Peco Publications Railway Modeller magazine, also one of the Prime judges in the Great Model Railway Challenge the CH5 TV programme that has been such a success for our hobby. All WELCOME PLEASE COME ALONG AND SEE OUR GROUPS DISPLAY.
June 2019, our Group Layout in 4mm is progressing very well, track rail weathering is taking place this month with buildings and scenery being sited. We are preparing some publicity ready for our September AGM Guest Speaker Mr Steve Flint Editor of Railway Modeller and esteemed judge of the Great Model Railway Challenge TV programme. We do need to have some volunteers for the committee, so if you can please put your name forward.
May 2019 our first meeting in May saw great progress on the New trestles for our group layout, these have been manufactured in kit form by John C, they are designed to be dual heights, IE one height at approximately 36" from floor to rail height & 42" from floor to rail height when they are turned over and the layout modules are loaded onto them. This enables us to work over the backboards to complete scenery etc. but also gives a great viewing height when the layout is being operated for the visiting onlookers.
March 2019, meetings have occurred where progress on the Groups OO layout means that we have seen the first train run over the tracks. This is great progress and is helped greatly by Mike (Electrician) who has been completing the complex wiring required for each baseboard. Our Members are well trained at making tea & coffee, and doing the washing up!!! Speaker for our AGM in September announced
February 2019, another steady progress month for our group of modelers. Progress indeed on the modular layout, plus the test tracks are now operational for OO & N Gauge tracks, this also means we can test run 7mm Narrow Gauge & 009 Narrow gauge locos and trains as well. Kits of buildings are being built for the modular layout, see pictures featured in the gallery of progress. Plus a few pics of a personal trip to the South Devon Railway featuring a Pannier Tank Loco plus 3 Auto-coaches on Driver training days.
January 2019, Our evening out to Exeter Power box was absolutely brilliant. We were treated to a full and frank explanation to the workings of this large Power 'Signal' Box, and the total area it covers. Over 90 miles of track are controlled by three signalmen, working 8 hours shifts on a rotational basis. Concentration & a Very calm atmosphere were very evident at our visit. Some 12 of our members visited on the 30th January. This was a privilege to allowed to visit this Large Power Box 'Signal' Box and control panel based at the rear of Exeter St David's Station, where also a lot of work is being carried on to service Loco's and carriages. Inc. Diesel refuelling & Carriage / Train washing facilities. Lots of investment in this area. Thank you to those who organised and allowed us to visit.
December 2018. Thought you might like to know that last week at the Exeter Club Tom Whittington won a cup for his “cricket” diorama which we as a club were proud to see at our Club night. "Keith" We have had a very successful year in 2018, membership has steadily increased. Our location to Sidford Social Hall was an excellent choice, we are very lucky to have some storage space (thanks to our Chairman and Secretary) Our group Modular layout has now had a power point added to a few sections of track, a train has run! The OO Test track is operational although a bit of warping has taken place in the plywood base, the N gauge track is now a full loop, again a bit of wiring needs to be added to allow full circuits of model trains. It has been running on a temporary basis. A Special visit has been arranged for 12 members (maximum) to visit the Exeter Power Box on the 30th of January, contact the Secretary in the first instance to register your interest. Closing dates for registration 16th January. Thanks to Keith for arranging this event.
October 2018 After the excellent AGM & Talk/presentation by Peco we had a busy meeting signing up 5 new members. Our Bring n Buy sale evening went of really well, along with a visitor bringing items for sale some members also brought along a vast variety of 'stock'. A full and busy month with lots of friendly chatter!
September 2018 We are pleased to announce Mr Michael Pritchard Chairman of the Peco group of companies will be our Guest Speaker after our 'Short AGM' on the 19th Sept. Starting at 7:00pm Visitors are welcome to come along for the evening, an entrance fee of £2 is requested.
June 2018 the 2nd meeting of the month will see more progress on our Modular group layout, some of us are attending the Exeter-Gauge 0 Groups Open Day on the 24th June at Whimple Victory Hall 10:00 - 4:00 £2 for a Platform Ticket!
April 2018, the first of our two weekly meetings went very well. 10 members only but everybody kept busy on the layout boards, masterclass on soldering by Keith. Card kit building by JC. Walls started for the layout. JQ donated 10 or 12 kits of walls and low relief buildings for the layout. Good time had by all.
March 2018, at our meetings in March great progress was made on our 00 Scale group layout, track all purchased, we are preparing electrics, and track laying programmes. We have decided to hold 2 meetings a month, which means a change to our Diary. PLEASE CHECK NEW DIARY DATES! Our 00 Test track is now fully operational, and plans are afoot to make an N Gauge track circuit within the 00 Track, we have the controller already, so its just a case of laying the track, watch this space!
February 2018, our latest meeting was held in the freezing cold spell in the Parish Hall, fortunately the Hall heating system is very efficient! Completion of the track wiring and the fitting of the over centre latches was carried out to our test track, some small adjustments to the actual track in places to correct fish-plates is still required. All was running reasonably by the end of the evening, using the H&M dual controller donated by Len Howse (deceased) this controller will provide the facility to have an N Gauge track system in the future, designs were being discussed for approval. Alan was offering help in this regard. Future track laying was planned for the Groups module 00 scale layout, pictures of the basics posted on our gallery page. All this work and work in our storage facility has taken place in 11 months since our first meeting. A great atmosphere is building up and a lot of cooperation between members is taking place, a really good group is progressing well. Next Month is 1 year since our first meeting.
January 2018, we held our first meeting of the new year on the 3rd of Jan, with at least twenty members attending, we were very pleased to sign up 2 new members, Welcome (you know who you are) A few pictures have been added to the Gallery Page for SidMRG, so please look and see the great progress made over December, a New Test track facility for 00 with the chance to put N gauge on the same board. A New Club twin track controller (donated by Len Howse) suitably PA Tested by Mike for group use. The Storage facility at the hall was cleared and the Test Track location established and fixings put in place (Thanks Mike) Progress on the Modular Club layout is progressing well. The vertical storage shelf trolley is to slot away our modules and store them safely without damage to future scenery etc. (Thanks Garvin) Alan brought along a Kato N Gauge track set up, and ran some 009 Narrow gauge stock by Heljan and Peco. As a MERG (Model Electronic Railway Group) member, we shall see what Electronic wizardry can be put to use in the future for our group. A great deal of progress has been made and everyone was continuing our friendly and mixed bag of interests, you can see we even rolled out the Big Guns, (John) with everyone encouraged to make a small donation to the group for the privilege of drinking the tea, coffee, and biscuits provided. Please consider 50p each would help a lot to group finances over the year.... Thanks All of you.
November 2017, New Test Track available for the first time, Our 28 foot long modular Group Layout plans were laid out on all the boards and discussions took place to determine the track layout. The Local hostelry was tried as a watering hole after the meeting. All Approved for future!!!
October 2017, Our new Group 00 Layout baseboards are progressing well, first layer of cork added. The Track plan is being developed and prepared for approval by the group. Why not come along to see how we get on, Even if you dont want to join our group you are welcome come along and visit for £3 which includes. Tea, Coffee, Biscuits. see the latest developments.
Sept 2017, Our first AGM was held followed by an Illustrated Talk and Discussion by our Local Author & Railway Historian Mr Amyas Crump. Approximately 25 possible members were treated to an evening of Old and Newish slide photographs, of Railway and nearby structures from Exeter St Davids, through Topsham, & Exmouth, including the Exmouth Dock, onto Whimple, Newton Poppleford, Tipton St John, Budleigh Salterton to Sidmouth Junction and eventually Sidmouth Station its self. With lots in between. Some fascinating stories, of developments at places along these lines, with some truly vintage slides, of places such as Ladrum Bay Caravan Park in the late 1950's. Some wonderful pictures of the Railways in Sidmouth itself, including the contractors Railway from the mouth of the river Sid, along the beach & Sea Front. The AGM saw the New committee elected, John Simpson presiding as Chairman, Our Treasurer John Cavell taking membership subscriptions, with Peter Eagles keeping up with the lists etc. On show were our New Baseboard modules for the Groups new 00 (4mm) Scale layout. Kindly donated by Keith Gowen and Mike Buncombe. Even if you dont want to join our group you are welcome come along and visit for £3 which includes. Tea, Coffee, Biscuits. see the latest developments.
August 2017 Pictures in the Gallery page of the Sidmouth Station 4mm Scale to P4 Standards layout shown at Exeter has been to Sidmouth in August '17 with a resounding success in terms of visitor numbers, more than 1150 in three days! Plus some pictures from the First St Teresa's Hall meeting in April 2017. Fun with assembling a 1960's vintage Triang Train Set, plus some serious models, from 16mm Narrow Gauge Locos, A Lovely De Winton Chassis and boiler, put to test on compressed air, through 7mm (Gauge 0) fine scale models, RC control, to 4mm Hornby. John Cavell kindly gave a demonstration on the use of AnyRail layout planning software on his laptop. A great variety for members to view and take part in.
July 2017 More 'history' & progress on the SidmouthMRG, in July 2017, the group received its first bespoke baseboards for the new group layout to be built in 4mm scale. Kindly donated by Mike Buncombe & Keith Gowen. Progress on the Layout design is being carried out now. Great plans are in place for a group layout based on modules that can be expanded etc. in 4mm Scale this will give us the broad spread of stock and interest agreed at the June meeting. Work is progressing on the new baseboards. A new format for our group has been set up with a view to the long term, along with our established Treasurer (John Cavell) we welcome John Simpson (acting Chairman) and Peter Eagles (acting secretary) to progress the group forward. Also on the committee of five is Chris Ward (founder) as Web Master and Keith Gowen as Member for Technical matters. It has been put forward to have an Annual General Meeting on September and formally elect officers and members of a committee. Agree a Constitution and Subscriptions etc. We do hope you will attend.
15th March 2017 History of the Sidmouth Model Railway Group which held its first meeting on 15th March 2017. In Sidmouth At All Saints Church Hall (Lounge) 18 attended the Inaugural meeting, to discuss the viability of a local group. All model railway enthusiasts were welcomed, ranging from N Gauge, 00 Scales, Narrow Gauge, 0 Gauge & 16mm Scale.