Newport Model Railway Society
Newport Model Railway Society



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NMRS Open Days

Newport Model Railway Society
 Open Days

2015 Open Day

Newport MRS in association with NAGNAG (the Newport and Gwent Neighbourhood Area Group of the Scalefour Society) are holding our second* biennial open day on Saturday 7th March 2015 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Shaftesbury Community Centre in Evans Street, Newport, NP20 5LD

The open day isn’t meant to be an exhibition rather an opportunity to chat with fellow modellers and share a few experiences. The layouts won’t be operating as they would at a conventional exhibition giving visitors and club members alike a chance to swap tips and thoughts. Hopefully visitors will have the opportunity to run one or two of their locos too.

The emphasis will be on Scalefour, with Bernie Baker's Allt-y-Graban Road* (, Mike Edmunds’ Cwm Du (, the micro-layouts created for the NMRS ‘P4 in A4’ initiative** and NMRS’s work-in-progress Little Mill Junction (with working fiddle yard but the remaining boards in bare-board state). 7mm will be represented with the club’s O gauge BR(SR) layout, Frecclesham.

Additionally Ian Penberth of PenBits Model Railways ( with be present with some of his wares and the Welsh Railways Research Circle ( will be in attendance.

Admission will be free (but our Treasurer has never been known to turn down a donation). Light refreshments will be available during the day.

* Unfortunately Steffan Lewis's Maindee East will not be at this year's open day due to unforeseen circumstances, Allt-y-Graban Road, though is a worthwhile replacement.

**Details of our previous open day and  ‘P4 in A4’ can be found in the Nagnag section of the Scalefour Forum and else where on this website.

We got a mention in Scalefour News;

and similar words in the Model Railway Journal!

There was a poster locally;

and they came in their droves.

OK, not exactly heaving, but well attended. Of course, our big project Little Mill Junction was on display. Having received the last board from its builder, Chris Yates, earlier in the week this was the first time we had put up all of the main boards in one go. Its impressive/large/mad/extensive/a lot of work, choose your own description. Below is the south end where the sharply curved line to the brickworks diverges.

Here is the continuation onto the curved boards for the south end. We have 4 of these boards left to build for ourselves.

This is the fiddle yard which was also on show at the last Open Day.

Here's the site of the junction with the main line to Hereford to the left and the Usk branch curving off to the right.

Well, these guys are enjoying the day.

Rob Foot (above left) produced BrIAns Brewery (provisional title) for the P4 in A4 challenge. Yes, this does all (less stock) fit into an A4 boxfile.

Obviously the title is a twist on Cardiff's BrA1ns Brewery.

Have you seen that?

Cwmdu has evolved under the guidance of Mike Edmunds, aiming to represent a South Wales scene.

Compare to Cresselly Crossing in Mountain Ash.

Industrial steam held on very late in the Cynon Valley.

What could be more Valleys than a 56xx.

PC Claude Cox keeping an eye on proceedings.

More conversation.

Another P4 in A4 challenge entry was Terminus by Dave Hagger and the late Tony Bennett. Mike Cwmdu is discussing presentation and viewing angles.

I really must put something over the blue at the front.

Apologies to Bernie, but this is the only shot I have of Allt-y-Graban at the moment. He helped us enormously by agreeing to come at the last minute.

P4 in A4 challenge number 3 is Pont Llados from Steffan Lewis. These shots concentrate on the scenic bit, but in all it is about 8ft long appearing from the boxfile.

Ian Penberth came with his Penbits range of diesel bogies.

The club's Frecclesham was present of course. Its been well photographed so there's not much new to show.

Except the vary nice Lionheart pannier tank and autocoach built by Alastair Wagonman. sometime soon Frecclesham will be transferred from the Southern to the Western Region.

2013 Open Day

Our second open day in 42 years, any more regular and it will become a habit! First a few thank you's to those who made this day what it was. To Dave Hagger, Rod Hall who initiated and put the majority of the work into organising this event, to those who brought and exhibited, whether a layout or models, thank you. Without everyone pulling together it would not have worked. We were missing some of our regular members but I'm sure they were looking down in approval, as Dave said at the start of the morning..."to absent friends".

So here we are on a lateish Friday night setting up 6 layouts and getting them in running order, including dismantling LMJ and then putting her back up.

Having moved everything out of the corridor and into the hall it was time to get stuck in and get going. Bernie was off and running with Mike E not far behind. A little known fact over the guest layouts - all came in one car and their owner - no vans involved. Mind you, seeing Rob Foot draw up in a Corsa with all his kit, now that was quiet a squash!

LMJ - up, Crock - up, Cwm Du - up, Frecclesham - up, Allt-y-Graban - getting there, Llanastr sometime in the future! LMJ was having electrickery problems but the youth section was on the case - exercising his right to use expletives about P4 layouts! By now it was getting on for eleven thirty and it was time to go home and have a fresh start in the morning.

The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that LMJ has become infested with wagons since yesterday evening, this is all the work of wagonman. This is what has been produced so lovingly produced over the months and years that Alistair has been with us. But as you can see...we need many, many more!

Justin was preparing for the coming onslaught. All his work was open to inspecton including the latest batch of etches that had arrived the week before. So everyone was here...except lazybones Hall, who was the senior perpertrator of this particular brand of mayhem at NMRS duly arrived = LATE = but soon made amends by making the tea!
At 10:25 we had our traditional toast of cold tea wishing everyone a good day. So at 10:30 we opened the doors and let the waiting masses in, Dave had checked 5 minutes earlier that there was a queue to get in...there wasn't.
But within 5 minutes we had our first visitors and so the day started.

Bernie's masterpiece attracted a lot of attention.

Justin had an endless stream of visitors including the 'Snooze' editor Mr James Moorhouse.

One of our Bristol visitors brought with a large collection of vans, wagons and trucks that he wanted to test - this is what the open day was really designed for - and the fiddle yard was used extensively throughout the day. You can see Paul Hutfield's train on the far right of the picture. But I must stress - in the interests of fairness - none of these were built by Paul and it was Tim Venton's motive power used...just so no-one thinks Paul has actually finished a model of his own! While mentioning Tim's engine the 2MT he brought with him was superb, in running qualities and appearance.
It would be unfair to finish this page off with out reference to our own layout Frecclesham. It ran all day, operated by NMRS without error, it looked superb and I wish I was a better camera man to do it justice.

It just works, the concept and the actual layout - it all works, there was a slight problem earlier in the day when one of the coaches came away from the track and we had to call the police to search for the stolen flanges from said coach. This caused some confusion for the youth section, who then had a series of flash backs to dealing with coaches on Belle Vue!

Was the day a success, unreservedly YES. The visitors who came did not just hang around for a 20 minutes or so they stayed for hours. I don't think I have enjoyed myself at such an event for many years, I don't want to call this an exhibition because it wasn't, it was an open house day to come and try and chat and laugh. Did it matter how many came through the door - no, the important thing was enjoyment. Those that came certainly did that, they enjoyed themselves, frankly it does not get any better than that. No doubt there will be another one in years to come, hopefully it won't take us 42 years to repeat the same thing!

I wish this was better photo because it captures what was important about our open day...someone looking after the Southern Comfort !


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