Bognor Regis Model Railway Club


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Bognor Regis Model Railway Club - Junior members

As we all know, even in this age of computer games and so on, most children of all ages do enjoy playing with toy trains - many of them, with suitable encouragement, are only too happy to learn how to move from the toys to the real thing.

Railway modelling is often looked down on by some people - and yet those very people fail to realise the range of skills needed to become a railway modeller together with the social skills to do son as a member of a group. Thus, children can have an opportunity to immensely improve their life-skills. To be a railway modeller involves carpentry, electrics, construction skills with plastics, metals and other materials together with the use and care of the relevant tools and a degree of artistic ability to produce a three dimensional moving picture. Many people of all ages cannot achieve all of these skills, but working with a group with similar interests means there is always someone there who knows how and is prepared to help.

The Junior section of the club was largely borne out of an exercise in early 2011 designed to encourage youngsters to learn the first steps . With the aid of a small grant from Bognnor council we decided to hold a 12 week model railway training course for children to come and learn how to build a simple but realistic model railway as a step up from the train set. This proved to be incredibly successful with the production of the layout "Troutbeck Bridge" in time for our following exhibition.

Youngsters were led through all the stages of building a layout and shown and had the opportunity to themselves apply the many skills needed. This proved to be so popular that several of them stayed on to become Junior Members.

Perhaps, in summary, it will be simplest to set out what one of those Junior Members has to say about it:-

 

A group of young railway modellers came together last year for a 12 week course.

The course involved getting a layout together for our show in January which the young modellers started in spring last year. There was a total of 16 boys that had signed up to take the club to a total of almost 50.

Adrian Taylor the junior section's leader and now chairman of the club said "Some people claim traditional hobbies have lost their appeal. But this group of young lads have shown trains and model railways are as popular as ever"


Among those who built the layout was Harry Triggs, aged ten. He was inspired to join the club after he visited last year’s exhibition and was able to drive some trains around a display. “Building a layout keeps you quiet and occupied,” he said. “It’s better than playing a computer game. It’s more realistic.”

Fellow modeller Joshua McPeake, nine, said: “I’m happy to see the finished layout. I’m proud to see it on display.”

Aaron Wallace, 14, helped build the base of the layout and painted some of the roads. “It feels like everyone has put something towards it,” he added

As a club we think the layout the children built was a great addition to our show. All the young modellers still gather together at every last Saturday of every month, "We are eager to inspire a new generation of modellers as well as show them the skill we learnt from our past years".

Daniel Henshaw

 


You can see another example of the burgeoning skills and enthusiasm of our junior members at the foot of the article about the Allbroke Estate Railway here.