Railway club fears hitting buffers: Southwark and District Model Railway Club in search of a new home

BY HATTIE BREWIS
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

Model railway enthusiasts fear they could be on a one-way ticket to the buffers if they don’t find their next stop.

Southwark and District Model Railway Club will be derailed if it can’t find a new home as redevelopment plans and rent rises force it to relocate.

It now hopes that someone with an interest in crafts, and a bit of extra space, will help it get its 32-year-old club back on track.

The club members and their intricate layouts have moved location eight times over the years – from schools to church halls to underneath a Lewisham car park, and are now in a temporary base in St Peter’s Church, Liverpool Grove, Walworth having left St Philip & St Mark’s church in Avondale Road, Walworth on Wednesday of last week.

But the 15 members have struggled to find a long-term secure base to work from at an affordable price. Club secretary Ray Blanchard said: “We have always tried to be self-sufficient.

“We would much rather be spending our time working on our projects than having to spend it trying to raise more money to pay ever increasing rent and expenses.”

The club has played an active role in community life since its establishment in 1986, organising shows and exhibitions, offering training courses on modelling skills and participating in charity telethons.

Now its members need somewhere to work on their layouts – and the space to store them, along with some tools and equipment.

Members are willing to consider all types of facilities – anywhere that can offer a decent amount of space at a reasonable rent – and, ideally, “could do with a sponsor”.

Mr Blanchard said: “We do not have any special requirements, only the usual toilet facilities and somewhere to make a cup of tea.

We are quite happy to share facilities and are flexible and adaptable in how we work and willing to participate in the activities of other groups.

Is there anyone out there who can offer us something suitable, a community centre, school, college, church hall, unused space above a shop or somewhere we have not thought of?”

If you can help, call Ray on 020 7732 9675 or visit https://southwarkmrc. wordpress.com/.

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