Bognor Regis Model Railway Club
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Updated Sept 2014
We are more fortunate than many other model railway clubs in that we have our own premises rather than having the inconvenience of a shared hall and spending more time erecting and taking down layouts than actually working on them. And, of course, we are also largely free from time constraints.
Sadly, however, our present building is not only proving too small (if all the members turned up we wouldn't have room for a layout!) but it might best be described as being well past its use-by date.
At the Aldingbourne Sports and Community Centre where we are based, there is a substantial concrete block building usually referred to as "The Barn". It has been used for storage of groundworks equipment for the Centre and for storing sports equipment and included changing rooms. Nevertheless it became apparent that it was greatly under-utilised as many of these facilities had been replaced by the more modern Centre buildings.
It has recently been agreed with the Centre's Trustees that the club can take the Barn over as part of our new facilities. This means that we will be able to use Barnham Signal Box as our meeting rooms while the barn can replace our existing storage facilities (even more time-expired than the club room)
As part of this arrangement, the Club is undertaking the clearance and renovation of the building but will also re-furbish one of the changing rooms as a facility for football referees.
Needless to say, this is a fairly mammoth task, but we are making rapid progress with a hope of attaining full occupancy by the year end.
With the renovations nearly complete and the proximity of the signal box, the Barn had, by now, attained the appearance of a further railway building - intentionally of course! As a consequence iot has been renamed to the railway structure it most closely resembles and is now known as "The Goods Shed".
In the first picture you can see a little of the chaos facing us. Apart from golf posts, stacks of timber and opccasionally strange unidentifiable objects you can just make out one end of a 12 wooden shed actually erected in the barn!
Here, on the first Tuesday evening that work was started some of our members can be seen flexing their muscles (or muscle!)
A lot of clearance has been undertaken - but that shed still lurks in the background!
Another view of the front area after a few weeks work. Earlier it wouldn't have even been possible to stand in the place this picture was taken from!
At last - the shed dismantled, re-erected in the compound outside and the roof felted.
Shed? What shed?
Here is the new electrical cupboard containing fuses meters etc
Here we see the new dividing wall under construction ...............
................. ready for a paint of coat ...............
................ and painted! (with our beloved Chairman lurking in the background!)
Looking towards the main door from the newly plastered outer room
........ and looking inwards
The inner area with plasterboard in place ...............
................ and looking in the opposite direction
It is now June 2013. Huge progress has been made and it is now becoming possible to appreciate what a huge asset to the Club that the barn is going to be. It is planned that it will be ready for use on the Aldingbourne Community Centre's Open Day on 1st September. The pictures will, we hope, be self-explanatory by comparison with those preceding.
A view of our workers on the outside of the barn
And a shot of the entrance with the signal box alongside
A few days later, what a transformation. Construction of the signal box balcony and stair have been started and the barn itself has had matching cladding applied to much of it. It would only need a train to bring the old Southern Region back to life.
We have reached the point where the Goods Shed is very close to completion. Below you can see a view of the front. We're not quite sure what happened to the colour reproduction here - it is cream and green as you can see in the previous photo of the sides!
And on the inside, a critical step forward was the new set of stairs to additional storage space at high level. A sort of a cross between a loft and a mezzanine!