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Fifty-year-old Romford Model Railway Society saved from closure

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 March 2020

Members of the Romford Model Railway Society. The group is hoping to recruit more members. Picture: Andrew Ruff

Members of the Romford Model Railway Society. The group is hoping to recruit more members. Picture: Andrew Ruff

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A model railway club that was in a “crisis” position has been saved from closure after the Recorder published an appeal for members.

The Romford Model Railway Society (RMRS) has been running in the borough for 50 years.

In December the Recorder featured the club and published an appeal for members after it said it didn't have the money to keep going.

The RMRS meets regularly in a room in the Fairkytes Arts Centre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch and the membership wasn't enough to cover the rental of the centre.

Speaking at the time Laurie Calvert, from Rainham, said the club was in a "crisis position" as most members had either died or moved away.

Members of the Romford Model Railway Society working on train tracks. Picture: Andrew RuffMembers of the Romford Model Railway Society working on train tracks. Picture: Andrew Ruff

But in the past couple of months, new members have flocked to the society.

Laurie said: "Just a few months ago we were all eating biscuits around a table.

"Now we actually are invigorated with our new members who run trains and build, too, with us.

"One member is even travelling from Kent occasionally and we are building a layout for her using club members' skills."

Members of the Romford Model Railway Society working on train tracks. Picture: Andrew RuffMembers of the Romford Model Railway Society working on train tracks. Picture: Andrew Ruff

The RMRS used to hold annual shows at Marshalls Park Academy in Pettits Lane.

In 2017 a record-breaking turnout of more than 600 model railway enthusiasts flocked to the Romford school for the exhibition.

The members meet to socialise, play with the trains or even build their own models.

People with an interest in the hobby are invited to attend and use the trains which have the three most popular gauges, 'O', 'OO' and 'N'.

Laurie said the Recorder's story had done "wonders for the club" and it is now up from 11 members to 19.

"We have dropped from two evenings to just one - a Monday, so as to lower our overheads," said Laurie.

"Plus we have had six new members."

The RMRS will be holding an open day on September 5 at the Fairkytes Art Centre so people can drop in and find out more about the society.

Members meet every Monday from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Contact the chairman Alan Kay on 07946 615381.

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