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Ninety-year-old Chadwell Heath model railway club highlights showstopping trains

PUBLISHED: 15:00 12 March 2020

Paul Wallington, Ken Mayor and Trevor Edmead of the Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club. Picture: Ken Mears

Paul Wallington, Ken Mayor and Trevor Edmead of the Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club. Picture: Ken Mears

Ken Mears Photography

A Chadwell Heath railway club is celebrating its 90th anniversary and showing off one of its trains at the biggest festival in the country.

The Ilford and West Essex Model Railway Club (IWEMRC) was started in Ilford in 1930 by railway modeller Ronnie Riddle as a way to get fellow railway enthusiasts together.

Five years later the club combined with the West Essex Model Railway Club and following the Second World War it set up its headquarters in Romford before moving to its present site next to Chadwell Heath station in 1955.

The club holds open days on the first Sunday of each month from April to September . Picture: Ken MearsThe club holds open days on the first Sunday of each month from April to September . Picture: Ken Mears

The club has grown to be the fourth oldest model railway club in the UK and this year it was invited to showcase its large N gauge model layout at the London Festival of Railway Modelling at Alexandra Palace.

Originally titled Bolland Road and Riddle End, the N gauge layout was renamed Bolland Road and Turton Green in honour of one of the club's long-time members, John Turton, who died shortly after its 2009 exhibition.

Chairman Trevor Edmead said the club is on the hunt for any new members who want to join the club as it celebrates its milestone, particularly girls and women.

He said: 'Model railway is not just for boys.

Model trains are fun for boys and girls, men and women. Picture: Ken MearsModel trains are fun for boys and girls, men and women. Picture: Ken Mears

'We'd love to hear from all enthusiasts, male or female, young and old, who want a club to enjoy what is becoming a really good hobby to take up.

'It's not just for those looking for something to do when retirement beckons but the youngsters can have something to do during the school holidays.'

The club is also holding its annual model railway exhibition, West Essex Modelrail, at St Edward's Church of England Academy in London Road, Romford over the weekend of April 25-26.

At the exhibition, for the first time the country's four oldest model railway clubs will be exhibiting club layouts all under one roof.

Trevor said: 'This is truly an event not to be missed if you are an aficionado of model railways.'

The club holds open days on the first Sunday of each month from April to September where the public can take rides on the 7 1/4 miniature railway.

Details on the club can be found at www.iwemrc.org.uk

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