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23 Oct 2015

Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

2016-10-12T13:53:43+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

FR1I am pleased to advise that the Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway plus the Help and Advice DVD, as one package, are scheduled for collection by Royal Mail from our mailing house today. Those being delivered to UK addresses will as usual be sent first class and those going to non-UK addresses will be sent by air mail. UK residents can expect to start receiving their packages from tomorrow onwards, but overseas deliveries will take longer and vary by country.

There is an important message for all members concerning changes to subscription management on the back of the address carrier sheet used to deliver the package. Your attention is drawn to this letter using what we hope is an unmistakable red banner containing bold white text on the front cover of the carrier sheet, just below the mailing address. I ask all members please to spend time reading and digesting the letter and its contents.

You will see that the final paragraph of the letter commits to a frequently asked questions list being made available on our web site and in November Bulletin. I unfortunately am experiencing a severe eye infection which is limiting my ability to type, so whilst I have started writing this, it will be a few days before this appears on our web site. I very much hope that this will be available during next week, subject to sufficient improvement to my vision. My ability to read and respond to emails is also limited, so please bear with me pending a return to what I hope will be normal operation.

Alan Regan, Chairman & Membership Secretary

12 Oct 2015

Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

2016-05-28T17:01:13+00:00 October 12th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

I’m very pleased to announce that after a long wait, the Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway, which focuses on its early years, goes to print today. It’s taken longer than anyone wanted, volunteer editor Andrew Charman especially, to get this out, but I’m sure that this 84 page guide will be greatly appreciated when it arrives and that we’ll again be singing his praises for a high quality publication. The printing and distribution cycle generally takes a couple of weeks, so UK members should expect to start receiving it from the end of next week and overseas members will start receiving it from the week after (W/C 25th).

I’m equally pleased to advise that our membership count has reached the same level as that where we ended 2014, namely 4,425 full and affiliate members. We are therefore poised once again to report net growth for the year, which will be at least the 7th year running that we have achieved this. We reached this milestone over the weekend, when two new members joined and three lapsed members rejoined. Members who join or rejoin the Association before the end of the year will also receive the Festiniog Guide, which we hope will support continued strong recruitment for the rest of this year.

A member phoned me over the weekend and asked how the Association was. My reply was “in rude health”. I hope you agree.

Alan Regan, Chairman & Membership Secretary

20 Sep 2015

Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

2016-05-28T17:00:34+00:00 September 20th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Modellers’ Guide to the Festiniog Railway

My last message on this topic set expectations that the guide would be completed by the time of the W&LLR gala at the end of the first weekend in September. As it was being finalised, Andrew recognised that new copies of two important pictures were needed. His editorial view, which I respect, is that these are needed to complete the guide to the desired standard. The pictures have been requested and the guide will complete as soon as they have been provided by the owners. Hopefully this should not take more than a week or so. Shed Notices will be updated as soon as the guide has been signed off at the printers.

Alan Regan, Chairman

19 Aug 2015

August SMT

2016-05-28T16:59:43+00:00 August 19th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on August SMT

I’m pleased to advise that August SMT & Bulletin will start to arrive with UK residents from tomorrow, Thursday 20th August. Suzanne and Gareth got both magazines finished early in the month and the printers and mailing house have pulled the stops out to get them quickly on their way. Overseas recipients will from experience receive them during the next two weeks, depending on where in the world they are. Thanks to all for getting both publications to members before the coming UK holiday.

I have been with Andrew (Charman – editor of the Festiniog Guide) on the Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway today and he tells me that the guide will be signed off with the printers before the W&LLR gala which takes place 5th and 6th of September. It will then take between two and three weeks to print and distribute, so a realistic expectation is that it will be received by members towards the end of September. The Help and Advice DVD, featuring some of the demonstrations from the 2014 National Garden Railway Show, will be included with the guide.

Alan Regan, Chairman

29 Jun 2015

Publication of Association child protection policies and advice should traders not deliver goods you have ordered

2016-10-26T21:59:39+00:00 June 29th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Publication of Association child protection policies and advice should traders not deliver goods you have ordered

We have added a number of child protection policies to the website. These can be read on the policies page – please scroll to the bottom of the page to see the policies. Members who might have contact with children at events and shows are urged to read these documents.

On a few occasions the Association has been contacted by members who are experiencing difficulties in receiving goods they have ordered from suppliers. While the Association is not a trade policing body, nor is it setting out to be a consumer arbitration organisation it recognises that there are a handful of occasions when its members have problems when dealing with traders. The Association will not get involved in individual cases of dispute between members and traders, however it has  produced a document as a means of advice where things go wrong. You can read the document on our policies page.

28 May 2015

New Company Treasurer

2016-05-28T16:59:01+00:00 May 28th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on New Company Treasurer

Following the election of Colin Slight as Company Treasurer at the AGM on 11th April, a hand-over process has been taking place between Colin and Carol Regan, the former Company Treasurer. This has now been completed and Colin will now formally take over from Carol. Carol will continue to serve on the Board as Trader Co-ordinator, responsible for trader attendance at the National Garden Railway Show.

26 May 2015

SMT and Bulletin mail out

2016-05-28T16:56:58+00:00 May 26th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on SMT and Bulletin mail out

I’m pleased to confirm that the May issues of SMT and Bulletin are being packed by the mailing house and will be collected by Royal Mail later today. UK members should receive their copy before the end of the week. Mailing to overseas members is by air mail and does vary by country, but I would expect most to receive their copy during the first week in June. As usual, contact the membership secretary at if you have any concerns.

Alan Regan, Membership Secretary

20 May 2015

Rob Bilsborrow

2016-10-12T13:53:43+00:00 May 20th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on Rob Bilsborrow

Rob Guinness writes:

It is my sad duty to record the passing of my good friend and 16miller, Rob Bilsborrow, after a short, sharp battle with cancer, at the age of 64, on 12th May 2015.

Rob worked in science through his life, finally at Daresbury Labs in Runcorn. He had varied interests, having won awards for brewing beer from scratch, none of this kit rubbish! A great fan of curries, he often concocted his own creations. Astronomy was another interest, as was model aircraft. I believe it was after one expensive crash too many that he decided to stay on the ground with railways.

A confirmed steam fan, Rob laid his Mossala Hill Railway to 45mm gauge, with a Colonial theme, and a strong Indian influence. The line was typified by Garratt-hauled trains of curry sauce tankers, and the Madras Mail, with his coal-fired Bangalore Belle. In recent times, he developed an interest in things German, and had collected some LGB Saxonian stock to run with his IIIK.

Rob was a competent model engineer, and helped most of our local MAWLAG’s with repairs, or know-how. We both built the Association Victory loco, and modified them in different ways. His Colonial interests led to his occasionally turning up at an unknown small line with a loco that was not comfortable. He then spent a good deal of time crouching down to tweak things, to the amusement of onlookers.

It was typical of his character that, while at hospital in March, waiting for his scan, he perused Facebook and found a cancelled Roundhouse Stanley. He promptly bought it, and had it delivered the following day. I visited a few days later and we ran our Stanley twins together.

Rob was unable to make the journey to the Peterborough show, so I took his Victory for the parade. When I arranged to return it, I found he was admitted to hospital on the day. During this final stint he was on the smartphone again, negotiating another loco purchase, and planning mods to it. Sadly this was not to be.

Rob was actively supported in his ferrinequinology by wife Maria, who manned the buffet car on his open days. A friendly, helpful guy, he will be sorely missed by all at the Mersey And West Lancs Area Group.


13 May 2015

May mailing

2016-10-12T13:53:44+00:00 May 13th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on May mailing

May’s issues of SMT and Bulletin are complete and with our printers. We expect mailing to occur W/C 25th May. As usual, UK recipients will be sent by first class mail and all overseas members by air mail. We know from experience that delivery times vary enormously country by country, but if you have concerns contact the membership secretary at Please also note that your personal copy of the Public Liability Insurance Certificate to end May 2016 which is provided as part of your membership subscription will be on the back of the address carrier sheet used to mail the May package, so please retain this for future use.

Andrew Charman is finalising the Festiniog Guide and many pages have already been provided to the printer for preparation and proofing. Publication is expected in June but remains predicate on Andrew’s busy professional life.

6 May 2015

David Shotter

2016-05-28T16:50:47+00:00 May 6th, 2015|Shed Notices|Comments Off on David Shotter

Terry Collins writes:

People who knew David Shotter, who was a member (No. 41) for many years, will I am sure be saddened to learn that he has passed away on Monday 4th May, after a long illness, at the age of eighty six years.

David was a good friend of mine for getting on for thirty years. He was also a great friend of Peter and Don Jones and of John Bonfield and Alan Craney. David was also active in the larger scales up to 2ft gauge, and a very active member of the Fareham & District Model Engineers Society including working on their 32 & 45mm line.

David made a big contribution to the hobby as a truly remarkable engineer, producing among many other things a correctly scaled Decauville locomotive which even had working brake blocks. But what he will best be known for were the huge number of people (myself included) who sent him locomotives for repair, and who received them back working in “as new” condition. He was very reluctant to charge anything for all his excellent work, and spent so much time repairing other people’s locomotives that he once told me that he never had the time to build a line for himself – although he always intended to.

He was always a real gentleman. Despite all his achievements, despite all of that knowledge and expertise and despite of all the help he had given, he remained a gentle and unassuming man, always polite, always ready to have a quiet chuckle with everyone he talked to. Everybody from the most experienced to the newcomer felt at ease with David and liked him from the first.

Terry’s full tribute to David Shotter will appear in the August 2015 “16mm Today”.