Who are we? What do we do?

We are a leading model railway club in the East Midlands, an active group of modellers with wide ranging interests. As well as in the City of Nottingham and its surrounding County, we have members living much further afield, in various parts of the country, and we are always delighted to welcome new members. Amongst us, there are members modelling railways in different scales, and eras from most decades of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Several have had articles published in the model press. We cater for all modellers, whatever their interests.

A view across Trent Lane Junction, showing the various bridges under construction, with one line already ballasted

For some obscure reason, despite being a Society, we always seem to refer to ourselves as ‘The Club’!

We have our own clubrooms in an old scout hut in Mapperley, Nottingham, a couple of miles north-east of the city centre. We re-located to these in 2008. There is access and ample free parking for cars, and we are very well-served by public transport. In the clubrooms we have a very extensive reference library, together with a comprehensive magazine collection, plus DVDs and videos. There are layout building and modelling facilities, and space for a natter and a cuppa. We meet on Tuesday evenings from around 7pm onwards.

The club’s latest big project is Trent Lane Junction (seen in the illustration at an early stage). There are other layouts under construction or being worked on, of course, some belonging to the club, some to individual members.

Whatever aspect of the hobby you’re interested in, we’re always happy to receive new members. At present, about 25% of the club are professional railwaymen, so if we need to know how something is done on the real railway, we’ve got a choice of folk to ask!

The Nottingham Model Railway Society (formerly the Nottingham (Bulwell) MRS, but, back then, known simply as the Bulwell MRS) was formed in 1971, as a result of a group of five like-minded folk, all with interests in railways and railway modelling, getting together. At the time, the group were all employees at Nottingham City Transport’s Bulwell Bus Depot. Although none of the founders are still current members, since then there has always been at least one member connected with the city’s public transport.

After meeting in various places, the fledgling club settled at the Bulwell Youth Club and even held its first few exhibitions there. In the late 1970s, there was a need for the Youth Club to expand and there was nowhere for the NMRS’s equipment to be stored. Two former Education Department temporary classrooms were moved, and re-erected, on a nearby site leased from the City Council. The NMRS stayed there for some twenty-eight years, until September 2008.

There are currently club layouts in 2mm (N gauge), 3.5mm (HO gauge), 4mm (OO and OO9 gauge) and 7mm (O gauge) scales, and our members’ interests also include P4, narrow gauge, North American, and Continental. Over the years, our speciality has been the construction of near-scale, authentic, working overhead electrification systems. Layouts with Overhead Line Equipment include Deepcar, which features the 1500V DC electrification of the Woodhead route, and formerly Carstairs, which featured the 25kV AC electrification of the West Coast Mainline, plus computer control of the signals.

We raise money to fund our activities by holding exhibitions and selling donated model railway equipment.

Please contact the secretary (sec.nmrs@yahoo.co.uk) if you require any more information about the Nottingham MRS, its facilities or activities. Everyone is most welcome to call in at our clubrooms to have a look around and meet us but, again, please contact the Secretary beforehand, so we can put the kettle on!