Dear members

Last week we asked for a reply from all members so that we could make a considered approach to re-opening, unfortunately very few members replied. We can only assume that those who didn't reply are not keen on re-opening, we will therefore review the situation again in August.

You will see below that Julian is leaving us for a better life with our friends up North. A  valued member of our club since 1998. Originally a CMRA treasurer he has been club secretary and enthusiastic Exhibition Manager. He has contributed many ideas to the running of the club and offers advice and practical help whenever needed. He can often be found running strange foreign rolling stock on Havil and with his exhibition G scale layout a car show and an amazing bridge. It was Julian who installed cameras on Havil, suggested the de Havilland Lumber Company for the ON30 layout and provided aircraft above Havil. On behalf of all members, we wish you and your family well with your new house and move to Lincolnshire. We look forward to seeing you and perhaps a club visit to your new garden railway!


Phil and Nigel

Please email all submissions to  or




Adieu to Havil!


It is with a considerable regret that I formally announce my departure from DHMRS after many years as a member. As many of you have probably heard Sandra and I have been looking to move nearer our daughter who lives near Beverley in Yorkshire. At long last we’ve achieved it and are moving to N. Lincolnshire near the Humber Bridge, leaving Broxbourne on 1st July and after a short wait moving into our next abode on the 15th July.
I’m so glad I decided to try out the club all those years ago. Then it was people like Denis, Colin, Terry, Brian x2, and lots more. Most of the people have changed but fortunately the friendly, constructive and helpful atmosphere hasn’t. It has been a club I’ve been proud to have been a member of. Over the years there have been, and still are, lots of friends I shared mutual enjoyment and knowledge with. Though organising our exhibitions was a trial at times, I always felt satisfied that as a whole the club presented itself well. I’m so glad that Phil and Nigel continue to keep them running, I always feel running an exhibition gives the club so much more purpose.
The local clubs up there are further away and will have to be something special to replace DHMRS!
Fortunately, the house we’ve got allows me to a have a ground floor train room holding both my 00 and N layouts, plus there’s a big garden for the G Scale. So I’ll be busy getting them all running for quite a while!
All the very best to you all and long live the DHMRS.




A Bit of Club History Part 2


by Malcolm Olver


Picking up from the Club waiting for its new room in the Sports & Social Club’s new building, I must confess that I remember very little about the move. I do recall that it took a while for the University security staff to get used to the new car park and non-university people turning up.

 Our new room was significantly smaller and definitely cramped compared with what we had been used to. Still, we got on with settling in and finding that drilling holes in the concrete block walls was a bit more difficult than expected! Havil was subjected to some serious re-wiring which kept Dick Turner, Tony Haward and myself busy for some months. The new station section and the whole of the hidden sidings had to be constructed. The track around the castle end was laid using the wooden sleepers and pins as for the original. I made up the track sections using the jigs. Only one rail is attached on the jig as the other goes in place once the track is laid, unless it is a yard of straight track. There’s hardly any of those on Havil! It’s a lot of soldering to lay a yard of track, but it was worth the effort. There is now very little of the original type track left as we re-laid a substantial amount of the main line in more recent times.



Above and below - Malcolm soldering the rail to the pins. The next stage was to cut the pins and lay the track before adding the second rail.



Tea time in the club room. It was a little cramped to say the least.
We did manage to hold an exhibition in 2004 in the new sports hall and both Havil and Middleton were taken down to the sports hall. It was a real struggle getting the baseboards into the small lift and the stairs were not a practical alternative route!



Ken Brown working on the new section of Havil.


Around this time we were invited to the St. Albans CMRA Exhibition to have a publicity stall. We had a continuous slide show of Havil and Middleton and there were some demonstrations of weathering by David Cross and lining by Phil Carpenter. Chris was able to display his tram kits along with some finished examples, so all in all these were useful in showing what we were doing.



Denis Moore, the club’s founder, died after a short illness at the end of 2004, and further bad news came in the form of a notice to quit our room by the end of April 2005. The Sports and Social Club had been changing a lot in its outlook and with the closure of the aircraft factory and a move away from its original site to a much less accessible one, it was clear that we had no friends left in the organisation. Our room was being rented out to Saracens for training, no doubt at a much higher rent than we could ever have afforded. We were most fortunate that one of our former members heard of our problem and suggested we look at Ludwick Way Methodist Church. The rest, as they say, is history.








The Trials of a Heritage Railway Cleaner


Sunday 20/7/03

I arrived at 6.20 am and met Gerald the loco superintendent who was the driver today. Terry the fireman arrived soon after. We lit up 92 Squadron and cleaned round as usual. Gerald had to leave at 9.45 as his wife was unwell and Alan the engineer took over as driver.

Today was a four trip steam and diesel day and we therefore had trips 1 and 3. As we tried to move off shed at 10.40 we found that the brakes on the tender and the centre driving wheels were sticking. However the first train was away on time. On return to Wansford after the first round trip we sat on shed from 12.40 to 14.00 ready for the 14.30 service. This left 10 minutes late as once again the brakes wouldn’t release properly. I fired this trip with Terry’s guidance and some how we caught up time by our return to Wansford.

I was then asked by the ops manager to travel on the class 31 diesel to Yarwell and back which I did. Coupling and uncoupling the 31 is difficult to say the least, as there is virtually no room between the loco and coaches, especially when the 31 has miniature snow ploughs fitted.

Back at Wansford I cleaned the smoke box on 92 Squadron and Terry had done everything else. I was away by 5.30pm; a relatively early finish.



Sunday 27/7/03

I arrived at 6.20am and Harry the driver and Kingsley the fireman arrived at about 6.50. We lit up the Swedish ‘B’ class no. 101 and cleaned round. I had a go at cleaning the offside rods as it looked as if they hadn’t been cleaned for ages. I later found out that as soon as the engine moved the steam escaping from the cylinders turned the paraffin and oil cleaning mix into a mucky mess.

Kingsley fired the first trip to Yarwell and I fired from Wansford to Peterborough, back to Wansford then to Yarwell and return to Wansford. Kingsley took the 3rd trip back to Wansford and I took the last.

The air pump for the brakes had been misbehaving all day and on the 3rd trip we stopped only half way into the platform at Ferry Meadows.

Once on shed at 5.50 we set about disposing. Whilst raking out the ash-pan the hot embers set fire to the pit which had oil floating on top of the water in it.

Wayne had arrived in the afternoon and cleaned the J94 and pit, and then rode with us on the last trip. He then tried to put out the fire but in the mean time the tender lagging caught fire! We finally managed to finish raking out about half an hour later and were away by 6.50 pm.



Sunday 17/8/03

Surprise today! Wayne was asked if he could fire today, as he was on on Saturday and was asked by Gerald, as there was no fireman available. We arrived at 6.50 expecting to be on Swedish ‘B’ but found that Malcolm ( the loco superintendent) had withdrawn it as he had the hump over cleaning the wheels etc. Therefore we were now on the J94.

I lit up for Wayne and then did the usual cleaning. John the driver didn't arrive until 8.00 but we were still off shed by 10.50 for the 11.40 train. We shunted the continental stock into platform 2 and the class 31 took the first train. This was a two train steam and diesel service day. Wayne fired the first trip with no problems. I took the second and managed reasonably well until returning from Ferry meadows to Wansford when the fire died and the pressure dropped. Wayne fired the last trip successfully again.

At this point I decided that I had had enough of firing and indeed the railway. There was constant back stabbing which was reinforced by the minutes of the loco crew meeting received the week before. Apparently the crew don’t clean out the pit, don’t clean the loco’s etc. When you have spent many hours doing this it doesn’t exactly inspire you. Of course it was probably true of some crews but that should have been addressed with them and not by tarring every one with the same brush. Altogether a miserable atmosphere. I was pleased to get away at 7pm.



Saturday 23/8/03

So after last weeks episode here I was again at 6am with Wayne who was on 92 Squadron. As I had an hour to spare I cleaned the cups in the mess room which looked like they had probably never been washed up!

I was on the J94 today with Pete as driver but we had no fireman. I lit up and cleaned and Alan the engineer arrived later to act as fireman. We were off shed at 11.00. Alan fired the first trip and then I did the next two. Dora topped and tailed to Yarwell. All seemed to go well with firing today. Back on shed by 5pm but not away until 7pm waiting for Wayne






Below is a drawing by Denis Moore, unsigned, of a bridge that was later incorporated in a model. Hopefully members will recognise the bridge.










I have been working on this small layout to run my three rail stuff.







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Answers next week.



The first one is done for you-

What word links the following-

Swimming                      Pool                            Table
Cupboard                                                          Story
Leeds                                                                Kingdom
Bottom                                                              Stick
Space                                                               Agent
Television                                                         Point
French                                                              Pipe
English                                                             Islands
Better                                                               Hearted
Washing                                                           Market
Milk                                                                  Top
Dead                                                                Forward
Half                                                                  Warp
Cricket                                                             Stick
Blue                                                                 Bank




Answers to last weeks Quiz.