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Navigators Model Railway Group

Established 2013 with more than 150 years experience!

The following letter appeared in a recent NMRA magazine November 2014



We all enjoy our hobby, but it can be restricting and limiting without constructive input from other enthusiasts, so we may sign up for membership to make new contacts and join our local club.


But so often, this local club may be subject to ‘sniping’, unwarranted criticism, isolationist cliques, power struggles, and vindictiveness and become a place where newcomers are ignored. Sadly, many voluntary organisations suffer with such ‘anti-social’ behaviour (not just modelling clubs!), resulting in the loss of many valuable members. Why suffer the unwarranted stress, pay subs and donate our free time to such organisations?


If we ‘vote with our feet’ and leave, it doesn’t mean we have to be loners and feel like outcasts. Most of us have useful skills, are easy to get along with, and have a good sense of humour.


What to do then?

How about forming a ‘self-help’ group by inviting those who are ‘like-minded’ and who can ‘fit in’ to join! We have formed such a group in this area, mainly from club ‘fall-out’.


So how does it work?

There are no obligations and no fees.

We assist our friends/members with any project requiring it. For example, we are helping build and modify layouts and models, learning new skills, and even helping clear a loft for conversion work so that a layout can be relocated. A garage is also being converted at another location by the team for the same purpose!

The cost? Nil, except for materials paid for by the owner of the project.


We fit in these tasks when mutually convenient. The beneficiary normally provides refreshments to keep up the strength and willingness of the ‘troops’. ‘Pay-back’ for any help is not required. We do it because we enjoy each other’s company and get a ‘buzz’ from assisting and seeing a job well done. In doing so, we learn new skills, or how to do things better from members who possess a wide range of skills and proficiency.

 ‘Members’ assist when and if they wish to. There is NO pressure!

We are railway modellers out to enjoy all aspects of the hobby with like-minded friends, whatever modelling scale or regions of the world the proposed or existing layouts are set in.

 The resulting banter and ‘leg-pulling’ is hilarious, but the work gets done.

It is tremendous fun, free of cost and obligation.

This is how a hobby with like-minded friends should be!

 So if you are out there ’in the wilderness’, try forming your own local ‘self-help’ group on a similar basis. In my experience, you won’t regret it.

Mike Sheppy

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