Romney Marsh Model Engineering Society Company Limited

    

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History of the Society


The Society was founded in 1969 and by the end of the year membership had risen to 25. The following year, a small portable track was built to take to fetes etc. to give children's rides and boost income. In 1971, member Bernie Brooker offered to lease for a nominal rent, a piece of his land at Rolfe Lane, New Romney and a permanent track was constructed.

As well as regular track meetings during the summer at Rolfe Lane, visits were also arranged to other clubs and also to local places of interest. In 1977 the first coach trip was held when members visited the Brighton Engineerium.  Visits were also arranged annually to the 'Model Engineer' Exhibition in London.   By the end of the seventies, membership had reached 100 and a 'OO' gauge section was formed to cater for the smaller scales.


In 1981, the permanent track at Rolfe Lane was extended to 566ft. and it was officially opened the following year by Laurie Lawrence, Editor of Model Engineer magazine. In 1982 a Japanese TV Film Crew visited the track in connection with a documentary they were making. A visit to Lille in Northern France in May 1983 to a 5"g. ground-level railway was the first overseas coach trip for the Society. An unusual trip the following year was an outing on the paddle steamer Waverley up the River Thames to Tower Bridge in London.


In 1986, a BBC-TV crew visited Rolfe Lane to film some material for a children's TV show and the following year, the Society was featured in a programme on Radio Kent, a local radio station. In September 1988, the Society hosted the 'LBSC Memorial Bowl' competition which was held annually in conjunction with Model Engineer magazine and the following June, 100 members and friends celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Society with a trip on the local Kent & East Sussex Railway. By now the membership had risen to over 150.

In 1990, the first circuit was completed in the garden railway at Rolfe Lane and the following year, members started building a new clubhouse in place of the old temporary building. Sadly in 1994, the landowner Bernie Brooker passed away but he kindly left his land to the Society.  At the following Annual General Meeting, on the recommendation of our Solicitor, members decided to go ahead for the Society to become a Limited Company.  This came into force on 1st October 1995 and since then, the permanent track has been extended further and is now nearly 700ft. long.

In 1998, a large new storage building/workshop was erected on the premises and a ramp over the track was installed to make access to the steaming bays easier.  In 2003, the clubhouse was extended and a new kitchen was incorporated within it.  

The new toilet block was completed in 2004 and also in that year, a start was made to completely rebuild the garden railway.  Five tracks were completed and in  operation by Easter 2005.  By the end of the year, it was apparent that more interest was being shown in the 'G' scale tracks so it was extended in 2006 and completed in 2007.  

Towards the end of 2007, mains drainage was connected to the site at Rolfe Lane.  In 2008, a swing bridge was constructed for easier access into the centre of the site and was fully operational by the end of the year.  In 2011, a new siding was constructed to connect the steaming bays to the main line.  Between 2011 and 2013, all of the track on the main line was replaced with steel profile rail and some of the beams and bases were also replaced.

 

 

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