About the Society
Our members’ ages range from 5 to 85, and we have more ladies than most railway societies.
Adult membership costs £30.00 per year, plus an attendance fee. There is a special joint fee of £45 that covers member+partner. Juniors (under 18) have free access to the clubroom and to meetings when accompanied by an adult.
The attendance fee is £1.00 for members, while for guests it is £3.00 when we have a speaker, and free on other nights. Any prospective member is encouraged to visit us for up to three times before deciding whether or not to join the Society. There is no attendance fee for the Annual General Meeting – democracy should be free!
Tuesday evenings are for modellers – you will find them working on the Society’s layouts or maybe preparing for an exhibition. You can put your skills to work or even learn new ones by working alongside some more experienced modellers.
Thursdays are for speakers, presentations or simply an opportunity to run your new locomotive on our multi-gauge Test Track while chatting with other members about anything that takes your fancy. There is a library, a selection of the latest magazines to read and a DVD loan facility that operates for a very modest fee. Then there is always a tea break!!
Please check the meetings page for details of normal and special events, and directions. We invite you to visit up to 3 times before deciding if you wish to join. Membership details are available from the Membership Secretary, Martin Catford.
Our members come from all occupations, ages and backgrounds, and we do our best to have fun. Of course, on most club nights you can join the argument about which railway’s engines are best, use the Test Track, or just relax and read a book from the Society’s library. There is also a video and DVD hire section. Ladies and younger members are always welcome and we try to be as inclusive as possible. You don’t have to attend every week but if you don’t, you’ll be missed.
A Brief History of Wimborne Railway Society
The society was founded by Vera Hutchings in 1975, who arranged the first meetings at the R.A.F. Association hut, in Wimborne. When the club moved to a room at the Griffin Hotel, opposite Wimborne Station, we made a start on a ‘OO’ gauge model of the station before the last real trains ran in 1977. Layouts in ‘O’ and ‘N’ gauge followed (though not based on Wimborne). In June 1979 the first WRS exhibition was held, at Colehill, at the same time as the society was preparing to leave the Griffin, which was to be demolished.
The move to our current premises in Chapel Lane was made in August 1979, and the layouts rebuilt to suit the new arrangements. They had to be made portable, to be replaced in a storeroom after each meeting. The prophets of doom said that the club would not be the same without permanent layouts, and they were right – attendance at meetings increased by over 100%!
Since then, a format has evolved of Thursday nights for social chat, model running, and occasional guest speaker or other special event, with the Tuesday nights for active modelling, maintenance, and occasional operating nights.
The success of the society can be judged from the levels of membership — over 100 full members — and the fact that many of the founder members are still with us.