Categories for 2020

11 July 20

Statement by Norwich & District Society of Model Engineers – Facebook controversy

It has been brought to the attention of the management committee (the directors) of the society  that comments of a controversial nature have been made by a facebook member who also describes themselves as a driver at the miniature railway.  The society does not condone such statements and wishes to disassociate itself from any such views, which were made in a personal capacity.  A full investigation into the circumstances will take place and we wish to apologise for any offence that may have been caused.

The society is committed to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and expects all its members and servants to act in accordance with the principles therein at all times.

07 Jul 20

Arrival of the Superloo

Today, the much debated and long awaited superloo was delivered.  Amazingly, the lorry crew were able to crane it straigt into position from the adjacent road!  Next steps now are  plumbing, electricals and the construction or an accessible walkway.

This project was mandated by members at the AGM in 2016.  Now, at last, your committee has delivered the goods!

02 Jul 20


To all members,

,The AGM for 2020 was originally planned for August 12th 2020.

Owing to the coronavirus situation and the difficulty in holding mass meetings your committee has decided that the AGM should be delayed in the expectation that the situation will become clearer.

Under our regulations the meeting can be delayed until November 13th 2020 although we would want to hold it earlier than that.

The committee will be meeting within the next few days and a revised AGM date and format of meeting will be discussed. If a mass meeting is not possible a postal voting option might be a solution.

We hope the position will become clearer over the next week or two and we will keep you informed when there is anything to report.

25 Jun 20

Use of the WC at Eaton Park, in “emergency situations” only

The WC at EP is a potential hotspot for virus.  Covid 19 has been detected in both liquid and solid human waste.  When a wc is flushed an aerosol is generated which can then settle on other surfaces, particularly in a confined area.

The original thought was to shut the wc out of use, however some members have requested use of the wc “in an emergency” when no other arrangement is possible.  Therefore the following procedure has been agreed by the committee.


The wc is to be kept locked by default .  A key is in the key safe.  This is to deter casual use.

In an “emergency” situation, obtain the key.   After use you should sanitise all surfaces with your own anti-viral solution.  A solution of >70% alcohol  is recommended.  Keep the door open while you are doing this.  When all surfaces have been sanitised (eg taps, seat, lever, lid, door handles etc), shut and lock the door and return the key to the key safe.  REMEMBER HOWEVER, you take a gamble on whether the previous user has followed this cleaning procedure (as you may recall, there are some that don’t  even flush!).  In this case you may consider doing the cleaning routine before use, as well as after.  You are responsible for your own safety here.  Remember, the virus is still out there and is likely to be so for a considerable time yet and it is in your own interests to follow this guidance

Please read the detailed guidance here

24 Jun 20

Further relaxation of restrictions, 23/6/2020

Government measures are changing.  Most constraints on commercial and social life have been, or soon will be, removed.  The ndsme directors (committee) have considered and passed the following,


“To permit unrestricted activities outside of the clubhouse including private projects”.

This will, for example allow members to operate private engines on society tracks or bring traction engines for runs.  It will allow the Saturday Raised Track Group to resume, subject to a max of six participants  Any such activities must conform to existing society bye-laws, in particular the requirement for two members to be present.  In addition, such activities must conform to any government guidance that may be in force at the time, in particular the requirements for social distancing and also the maximum group size, currently 2m and six respectively.  Use of the clubhouse remains restricted.

This may be enabled because research has shown that the risk of infection is very low in outdoor situations providing that govt advice is followed.  As the risk of infection remains significantly higher indoors, private project work is not permitted in society workshops for the present time and this should continue to be done at home.  Only essential care, maintenance and repair of society assets may be performed indoors and only then subject to the existing conditions already notified in previous documents, especially social distancing and limit of two persons at a time.

This guidance partly modifies Clause 2 of the guidance of 04 Jun 20 here (previous post)

The directors reserve the right to review all guidance in the event of further relaxations, or renewed restrictions, from HM Govt.

This announcement should be read in conjunction with previous messages.

04 Jun 20

Limited reopening of the Eaton Park site

The directors (committee) have agreed to a limited reopening of the Eaton Park site, with imediate effect, for care, repair and maintenance work only, ie work on society infrastructure and assets only. At present, work on private projects is not permitted and such projects should continue to be done at home. This is to conform with the present law.

Guidance notes for members wishing to attend the site are available here      Members should read and agree to these before attending. 

Your atttendance at EP will be taken as signifying agreement with the conditions.  If you feel unable to comply then please do not visit EP at the present time.  The virus is a potential killer for most of us and that is why we have authorised such guidance during extraordinary times

This guidance is subject to constant review and may change again in succeeding weeks.

Please note that the WC is currently out of use.

02 Jun 20

Can anybody assist with this request?

Has anyone got a short length of 3/4” outside diameter copper or brass tube?  I need two pieces about 6.5 “ long, if so, please contact Chris Poore on 01953 423053. Thanks.

13 May 20



The coronavirus lockdown has resulted in cessation of all but essential activity at Eaton Park. This has affected both club meetings and the operation of the railway.

For the purposes of financial planning the committee has made a conservative assumption that the railway will not operate for the public before May 2021 and thus there will be no income from that source until that time. It also assumes that railway income will be lower than historic levels for the period May 2021 to September 2021. Club type activity may be able to commence before that depending on Government directives. The committee has also decided that no expenditure will be incurred in the meantime other than committed, contracted or other unavoidable expenditure.  The committee has considered it to be prudent to plan for a worst case scenario in a situation where the future is still largely unknown

The lack of railway income and the commitment to spend £11,520 on a new toilet block, as mandated by the membership at the 2019 AGM, has resulted in the need to find other sources of finance to cover the period to May 2021 when railway income is assumed to resume albeit at a reduced level.

Sources of Finance

A loan of some £7,000 from the Northern Federation related to the toilet installation is not likely to materialise as their approval committee is not planning to meet in the foreseeable future.

A sum of £10,000 was received from the Government under a new coronavirus relief scheme. This is a grant and does not need to be repaid but is also considered as income for taxation purposes. It is exempt from our 20% charitable obligation.

A loan of £5,812 from HSBC bank has been applied for. This is a Government backed scheme and the loan is on very favourable terms with no interest for the first year and no penalty for early repayment should finances permit this or other sources of finance become available.

Cashflow for the period to June 2021

A cashlow statement for the 15 month period from April 2020 until June 2021 has been prepared and issued to members by e-mail and is based on the assumptions noted above of:

  •  No railway income till May 2021 and then at a reduced average rate of £200 per weekend
  •  Grant from Government and HSBC Loan
  •  Expenditure kept at a minimum in the meantime

The forecasted bank balance is £3,674 at the end of April 2021 and before railway operations are assumed to commence. Should the worst happen and the railway does not open in May 2021 other sources of finance may need to be considered. This could include, as a last resort, disposal of club assets.


The coronavirus emergency has disrupted club and railway activities but the committee are confident that with the financial measures taken the future is assured beyond the end of the current crisis.

13 May 2020

Please note that the society visit to Riverside Miniature Railweay at St. Neots has been abandoned.  It will be rearranged for 2021.