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72 years of model engineering

The Ipswich Model Engineers were first formed in 1945 and they are still at their site in Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

The have about 65 members from all walks of life, although it says Engineers in their title you certainly do not have to be one. “I was a long distance lorry driver for 53 years and all I ever made at school was the obligatory, poker, square and a key holder.” Says member Terry, “I joined the Ipswich Club some 35 years ago after moving form Colchester to whose club I had also been a member.

“In the last 35 years I have built four beautiful models and been awarded a Bronze medal for one of them at the London exhibition and a highly commended for another.”

The Ipswich Model Engineers meet every Tuesday evening and, once a member, you can go and use the facilities at anytime.

There is a raised track of approximately 350 feet for 3’1/2” and 5”gauge models with steaming bays. They also have an excellent garden railway that accommodates 45mm and is some 450 feet in length, this allows for G scale, Gauge 1, 16mm and anything else that might run on 45mm track. Electric and steam locomotives use this and the track is complemented with lots of sidings, turntables and an engine preparation area.

Away from the railway side there are members building traction engines, hot air engines, clocks, in fact anything.

“As most of us are bus pass holders we of course lose some members and we are looking to attract new members even if they are not modellers themselves” continues Terry, “As often recently retired people would like something to do so we would be pleased to welcome gardeners, painters, builders as our club house and garden is always in need of attention, they might then get an interest in the garden railway and give them a reason to get up and help us.”

The Ipswich Model Engineers also hold children’s birthday parties most weekends and they are a joy, as kids nowadays just do not get much opportunity to view steam engines at close quarters, last year was the Club’s best ever year holding 35 parties, everyone highly successful which helped enormously to keep the Club going. Currently the subscription is £38 per year, which is excellent value when one considers the amenities the Club have.

• For further information about The Ipswich Model Engineers you can contact Terry on 07877 193743 or via the email at terrywtel@aol.co.uk.

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