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“Please read the notices before you leave the shed.”

10 Jul 2018

Association Clothing

2018-07-10T10:14:26+00:00July 10th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Association Clothing

Unfortunately Welbeck Sports, our supplier of Association branded clothing, has ceased trading, and so it is not currently possible for members to order Association branded items.

The board will consider whether to seek a new supplier for these items.

7 Jun 2018

Help needed – engineering tool suppliers at the 2019 National Garden Railway Show

2018-10-08T21:18:29+00:00June 7th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Help needed – engineering tool suppliers at the 2019 National Garden Railway Show

A regular comment from visitors to the National Garden Railway Show is that there are insufficient engineering tool suppliers present.  Trader Co-ordinator Carol Regan invites tool suppliers each year, including those who attend other shows and those suggested by members, but all declined this year’s show for a variety of reasons, some plausible, others less so.

These are commercial enterprises who you’d expect would weigh the cost of attending against likely profit.  Not attending what is the biggest show of its type in the UK suggests that they don’t think they’d make a profit.  It might change their views if Carol could provide them with the potential level of interest in what they supply.  If she could supplement this with information about the types of products that visitors might be interested in, this might strengthen the argument to participate.

Please can you take a moment to complete this survey.  Responses are anonymous.  Results will be summarised to tool suppliers when Carol sends out invitations to the 2019 National Garden Railway Show in August.  Thanks for your time and support.

Alan Regan, Chairman and Membership Secretary

Our thanks for the many responses to the survey, which has now closed.

21 May 2018

Video from 2017 Association charter trains

2018-05-21T20:55:55+00:00May 21st, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Video from 2017 Association charter trains

Rod Nipper has edited and uploaded his videos from the two Association charter trains in 2017.

On Saturday 10th June, two charter trains ran on the Talyllyn Railway:

Then, on Sunday 11th June we were on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway:

The video and minutes of the 2018 AGM have also recently been added to the AGM Minutes and Accounts page.

18 May 2018

May mailing

2018-05-18T17:47:55+00:00May 18th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on May mailing

The May issues of SMT & Bulletin are on their way.  They were collected from Warners by Royal Mail today and should start arriving with UK addresses from tomorrow.  Mailing to overseas recipients is as usual by Air Mail and arrival dates will vary by country.  Thanks again to Suzanne and Gareth for all their hard work and to the members who contributed to the contents of these issues.

You personal Public Liability Insurance Certificate valid from 1st June 2018 is on the back of the address carrier sheet used to send your copies.  I recommend that you retain it in case you need to prove that your membership is current.  A non-personalised but nevertheless valid certificate will be available on our web site from 1st June.

Alan Regan, Chairman & Membership Secretary


9 May 2018

General Data Protection Regulations – Association Data Protection Policy

2018-05-09T09:53:33+00:00May 9th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on General Data Protection Regulations – Association Data Protection Policy

The Association’s Data Protection Policy was adopted at a Board Meeting on Saturday 5th May.  The policy describes what data we capture and what we use it for.  Your data is used to:

  • Deliver Association publications and paper correspondence
  • Communicate with you by email and/or phone if you choose to provide this data
  • Enable you to choose which of postal address, email and telephone number are provided to other members either on request to the Membership Secretary or in the annual membership lists
  • Manage your membership of the Association

Data is restricted to that needed for the above purposes and comprises:

  • Your membership number, membership type and subscription expiry date
  • Your full name including title and initials
  • Your postal address
  • Your phone number if you’ve provided this
  • Your email address if you’ve provided this
  • The names of any family members if you’ve chosen a Family Member subscription
  • The date on which you joined the Association
  • Your publication preferences in the annual membership lists regarding full name, postal address, phone number and email address

If you haven’t provided a publication preference we will not publish the data to which that publication preference applies.  If you choose to publish any of your data, your name and the data you choose to publish will appear in the applicable country/county section of the membership lists, as well as in the by-surname and by-membership number lists.

Data is captured and processed on a contractual or legitimate interest basis, so that we can deliver publications and other tangible benefits of membership, manage your subscription and observe your publication preferences in the annual membership lists.

We will continue to provide you with a copy of your membership data in November each year, on the reverse of the address carrier sheet used to deliver the November mailing.  The exception to this will be provision of the names of family members, which data will be available on request to Warners Group Publications or the Membership Secretary.  It is extremely difficult to provide this using the established process for other data and I trust that this will continue to be acceptable to those with Family Membership type.

If at any time you need to know what data we hold, please contact Warners Group Publications using the contact details in Bulletin.  Warners are also the point of contact for any data changes, including deletion of any or all your data.

Alan Regan, Membership Secretary and Data Protection Officer

5 Apr 2018

Small Boiler and LPG Tank Test Codes

2018-04-05T19:43:45+00:00April 5th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Small Boiler and LPG Tank Test Codes

In my last briefing to members, in my Chairman’s Column in February 2018 SMT, I anticipated that the revised codes would be issued 1st March 2018.  In the event it took a little longer to finalise them than expected, but the work is now done.  I’m pleased to advise that the codes are available for download and/or printing, on the insurance page of our web site.  Concurrent with the release of the codes, the insurance page has been revised, with major changes to the section headed Insurance Conditions Relating to Boilers and Gas Tanks.  A pressure vessel certificate, covering boilers and/or LPG tanks, is also available, which can be used to record hydraulic test(s) (if needed) and records of annual inspections and safety tests.  A completed sample will be added to the page in due course.

These codes are specific to small boilers under 3 bar.litres and LPG tanks under 250ml, which covers the vast majority of 16mm live steam locos.  The expectations I set in my August 2017 column in SMT remain true:

  • The codes do not envisage repeat hydraulic testing of small boilers or gas tanks unless repairs or changes have been made.
  • Hydraulic test certificates provided under earlier versions of the Association’s test codes remain valid.
  • Test certificates provided by commercial manufacturers will still be accepted as proof of successful completion of the initial hydraulic test.
  • The only change is for brass boilers, where a hydraulic test certificate will be valid for three years from the date of issue.
  • There has been no change to our Public Liability Insurance policy, which provides cover whether these codes are followed or not.
  • Members can still perform their own annual safety tests – these do not require the participation of an Inspector.
  • For most members, the only change is use of a different test record, but existing records will remain valid if they adequately cover the locomotive concerned.  As an example, the existing record could be used for a coal or meths fired loco until all rows on the form have been used.
  • There is no change to the basis on which members can run their locos at the National Garden Railway Show this coming Saturday 7th April at the Peterborough Arena.

For the first time we now have a gas tank test code.  This includes simple, non-intrusive safety tests in sections 13 and 14, which the codes recommend at five year intervals.  The new pressure vessel certificate provides for recording these tests, so you may choose to move to the new form on a loco by loco basis when these tests fall due.

I’d like to stress again that following these codes is entirely voluntary.  The Board continues to recommend safety testing as described in the codes.  It remains the case that event organisers or venue owners may have different requirements, but they may equally accept this hobby-wide set of test and safety codes.

Technical Director Mark Rennie will be on the Steam Model Loco stand at Saturday’s National Show along with Keith Bucklitch, who did much early work on these codes.  They will be available to answer questions, or to provide practical advice on safety testing.  Alternatively, email Mark at

Finally, thanks to Fred Roberts, Keith and Mark, all who worked with me on these codes within MELG, and to the other members of MELG, who participated actively in their review.  This was a team effort.

Alan Regan, Chairman and Membership Secretary

12 Mar 2018

2018 membership renewals – update

2018-03-12T10:27:12+00:00March 12th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on 2018 membership renewals – update


Firstly, many thanks to over 3,000 members who have already completed their renewal either on-line, by phone, by cheque or by Direct Debit.

Reminders are being sent today by email to members who have still not renewed their subscription.  A few points based on the experience of over 1,100 on-line renewals since we opened the process:

  • If you receive an invitation, it will include a link to identify yourself to our new renewal system.  Please don’t try to use the link included with the renewal invitations from previous years.  These links have as far as possible been disabled to guard against inadvertent use.
  • Please do read and follow the instructions in the invitation, which as recently as yesterday one overseas member described as “very clear”.  Please don’t join the Association again instead of renewing.  A few members did this at the start of the renewal campaign and the descriptions of the renew and joining offers have been revised to make it very clear what is being purchased.
  • If you find that you’ve put the wrong item in you basket, simply delete it using the red “waste bin” button next to Quantity.  Then go back to the Renew tab and select the right renewal.
  • If you haven’t received any renewal invitations so far, please check your Spam or Junk mail items, which might be on your ISP if you use an email client on your computer.
  • If you use multiple email addresses, the invitation is sent to the one we have on file, which was provided to you in the November 2017 data review, on the back of the address carrier sheet used to send November SMT & Bulletin.
  • If you don’t want to renew on-line, the invitation includes the Association’s dedicated UK renewal phone line, including the opening hours.  We don’t use a Call Centre so you may need to queue if demand is high.
  • Finally, there is inevitably a small time lag from data being collected to perform the mail shot and emails going out.  If you renewed over the weekend or today, your renewal may be in process.

If you have any questions or concerns about your renewal, please contact Warners by email or phone.  I do not have real-time access to your records so am unlikely to be able to help in the first instance.  However, you’re not satisfied with the response, please contact me at

As I explained in my last update, renewal in person at the National Garden Railway Show on 7th April will not be possible, so if this affects you, please act now.

Alan Regan, Chairman and Membership Secretary

7 Mar 2018

Staffordshire Area Group Future events

2018-03-07T19:53:05+00:00March 7th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Staffordshire Area Group Future events

Edward Hodson writes:

Since the last “Bulletin” some changes to future events have been forced on me. Amerton Railway have changed their Gala date to 30th June and 1st July, and Dave Watkins is already committed to other events on these dates so there will be no 16mm layout at the Gala.

Also for health reasons I am ceasing operating my Penkridge Light Railway portable layout with immediate effect and therefore it will not be at the Apedale Valley Railway “Tracks to the Trenches” event 13th to 15th July. The layout is looking for a new home and members interested can contact me.

Edward Hodson, 07917536270 or

2 Mar 2018

Model of the Year 2018

2018-03-02T15:20:54+00:00March 2nd, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Model of the Year 2018

One of the highlights of the National Garden Railway Show for me is the Model of the Year competition, which you can find in the Atrium. The aim of MOTY is to encourage members to develop and improve their modelling skills, by competing against their peers and displaying their work.

I hope you’ll enjoy looking at the models that will be brought along – some for the competition itself, and some in the non-competitive “loans” section to show what modelling activities have been going on over the last year.

The Roundhouse Trophy: perhaps you will take it
home this year?

I’m always stunned at the models that are entered, whether it’s new and innovative techniques, or a prototype I’ve not seen modelled before, or just seeing a project come together after a lot of hard work – and grateful to all who take the time to enter.

Perhaps this year that will be you?

As the show approaches, my question to you is: is there a model you should be bringing along this year? Please do consider whether you might enter in 2018. I would love to run out of display space! If you have a potential entry, whichever class it would fall into, please do bring it along and enter it. Or encourage a friend to enter! If there’s someone in your local group whose work deserves a wider audience: why not encourage them to enter their model this time round?

I’m looking forward to seeing what you bring to enter in MOTY 2018!

Full details of how to enter, the different classes, what the judges will be looking for, and the entry forms themselves, are in the February Bulletin and on the show web site.

Richard Huss – MOTY Organiser

28 Feb 2018

2018 membership renewals – update

2018-02-28T17:43:21+00:00February 28th, 2018|Shed Notices|Comments Off on 2018 membership renewals – update

Membership renewal is in full flow.  Over 1,000 members have registered with the new web site created to host our renewals.  Around 1,300 direct debits will be applied for tomorrow and over 300 renewals have been made by phone.  I don’t yet know how many members have renewed by cheque, but based on what’s happened in previous year, less than 25% of the membership still need to renew.

I am at Warners next week and will amongst other things review the renewal campaign to date.  As with every year there will be things to learn.  We already plan to change the invitation slightly and a second batch will be sent out late next week or early the week following – I’ll update Shed Notices when this happens.

The two most common reasons for invitations not arriving are:

  • The member has multiple email addresses and the invitation has been sent to a less frequently used address
  • Email is harvested from the server resident email box to the PC and the invitation has been trapped in the Spam filter on the server

There has been a small but frustrating instance of members joining instead of renewing.  Warners have refined the descriptions of the Joiner and Renewal subscription offers.  They read very differently: each has a concise description to differentiate them; the first lines contain either the words “new member” or “renewal”; and they’re on separate tabs in the system (though this isn’t a change).  Hopefully the opportunity for confusion should now be minimal.  I don’t know whether it’s possible to generate a warning if you try to subscribe to something you already have, but I’ll be talking to Warners about this next week.

Finally, may I remind those who haven’t yet renewed that renewal in person at the National Garden Railway Show on 7th April will not be an option.  I proposed this in May 2017 Bulletin and confirmed it the August issue, but it may by now have been forgotten.  There are various, straight forward means to renew membership in advance, so I ask those who haven’t yet done so to use one of the methods available and renew as soon as possible.

Alan Regan, Chairman and Membership Secretary