About the Society
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Our members’ ages range from 5 to 85, and we have more ladies than most railway societies.
Adult membership costs £20.00 per annum, plus an attendance fee. Juniors (under 18) just pay a 50p attendance fee.
The attendance fee is £1.00 for members, while for guests it is £3.00 when we have an speaker, and free on other nights. There is no attendance fee for the Annual General Meeting – democracy should be free!
Please check the meetings page for details of normal and special events, and directions. We invite you to visit once or twice before deciding if you wish to join. Membership details are available from the Membership Secretary, Martin Catford.
Our members come from all occupations and backgrounds, and we do our best to have fun. Although we try to concentrate on railways on Thursday evenings, some members’ jobs don’t get forgotten! You could tell a traffic engineer why his latest scheme drives you up the wall, or a bus manager what’s wrong with his services, or even find out why your Hoover doesn’t work. We also have a local councillor (his heart is in the right place — it’s his brain that’s the problem!). 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.
A Brief History of Wimborne Railway Society
The society was founded by Vera Hutchings in 1976, 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 new 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.
Last updated: 2014 February 12
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