Club History

Our Club History

Towards the end of steam on British Railways, three old work colleagues met in the end gangway of a coach on one of the "Oliver Cromwell" hauled steam tours.
They were Brian Cain, Kenny Bushell & Gordon Milnes.

The train was overbooked and so the end gangway was the only place left. They began talking about the lack of a society in Halifax for people interested in railways.
Through later meetings, along with other friends, they decided to place an advert in the local paper, the Halifax Evening Courier, asking for people with an interest in railways & railway modelling to attend a meeting in the lecture room at Boothtown Methodist School.

The Methodist School was chosen for the meeting as they had a fixed screen for film shows. During the first few meetings films and slides were shown at alternate meetings, funded with a silver collection.

Once the attendances had grown to about thirty, it was decided that the society should have a proper title and aims and, after a long discussion the title of THE HALIFAX MODEL RAILWAY CLUB was decided upon, dropping reference to general railway interests.
The first officers elected at that meeting were Gordon Milnes, Eric Mallinson & Brian Cain.
Premises were the next consideration and these were found in a flat, over a Fish & Chip shop, in the Ovenden area of Halifax. The rooms in the flat were not the largest in Halifax, so the first layouts to be built were constructed to fit. This was not too bad for the N-Gauge. However, the OO-gauge layout was very cramped, comprising a loco shed on a high level, with a main line leaving a tunnel from under the shed to a fiddle yard at the back, the fiddle yard being the imaginary station. This allowed us to run main line trains in a very limited space.

For various reasons, it was decided that we should move to premises nearer the town centre and our first move was to another flat above the historic Borough Market.
After a short stay, the club moved yet again; this time to the first floor of an old mill owned by our president, Terry Honour. Here for the first time the club was able to construct larger layouts in all gauges, something it had always attempted to do; for the simple reason that very few modellers have the space at home to run scale-length main line trains.
By the dawn of the Eighties the club was again outgrowing its premises. The hunt was on for larger rooms resulting in our purchase of the club's present home in 1984.

The club's first exhibition was in the Elizabeth Room of the Civic Theatre, Halifax during 1973; the main exhibit being from the Hyndburn club.

This brief plotted history has been done by the current members of the club, so if anybody has any further information including dates or corrections to the above then we would be very pleased to here from you.

This image by David Greaves


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