Change of Premises and Status
Change of Premises
Sadly, last autumn our landlord of many years advised us that he thought it was time we found alternative premises. When we moved in some 15 or so years ago we were a small club and the meeting room and the parking were adequate to our needs. Since then the club has grown and so has the farm and there was a concern that with the larger farm machinery and the higher number of visitors, something had to give. Fortunately, Colin our landlord gave us 12 - 18 months to move out and we have spent a lot of time and energy working on just that.
We are happy to report that we think we have identified new premises, sadly still not in Market Deeping and not without its own challenges. Negotiations are ongoing with a new landlord with a view to us building bespoke premises with a 25 year lease, a much larger area (with toilets) and at a hugely preferential rent. To be able to enter into a lease and to contract with solicitors, architects and builders we have decided that the best course of action is for us to convert the club to a charity and this we achieved last month. We are now Market Deeping Model Railway Club CIO Registered Charity No. 1187779. Matters are currently in the hands of solicitors with regard to the lease agreement and we hope to hear further very soon.
The first trustees of the club are:-
David (Dash) Ashwood, Peter Davies, Brian Driscoll, Alan Hancock, Rod Fitzpatrick and Brian Norris.
We have much work to do as the ramifications of these changes sink in not least in that all our logos and branding need to be updated and shown below is a draft copy of our amended roundel logo.
We will naturally publish more information as and when we can and please keep an eye on our Club News section for more news.
We suffered the worst type of vandalism at our May exhibition that the hobby has ever experienced. It was traumatic and heart-rending to experience at first hand the wanton damage and destruction.
Over 1000 emails and messages of support have been received, along with financial donations from over 5500 people from across the world each of which we have tried to acknowledge. Donations “in kind” to help us rebuild came from several hundred more. They have all proved to us both the uniqueness of the event itself and how generous, kind, sympathetic and genuinely caring so many people are (while sometimes not even being interested in our hobby). Donations are still coming in and it has been truly overwhelming, humbling and very emotional, hearing donors’ stories of why they wish to support all those involved in the disaster.
All we can say is THANK YOU! Thank you very much.
Rebuilding for us, has started and Woodcroft is very painstakingly being brought back to exhibition standard. Plans are taking shape for a new layout to replace ‘Knowl End’, our youngsters layout which sadly could not be saved. Its replacement will be called Mitchell Junction in memory of Michael Roy Mitchell who donated much of the track and stock and which will, eventually, rise in its place.
Planning for the Future
Other plans, too, are taking shape. To protect and ensure the proper management of both the financial and “in kind” donations, a charitable trust is being established. Its primary aims will be:-
- to support those directly involved in the disaster,
- to support the establishment of youth railway modelling projects
- to disseminate through education projects the arts and skills involved in railway modelling.
Already exciting autumn youth projects are planned to commence in Stamford, Market Deeping and in the north of Rutland. We hope others will follow.
Meetings are also being held to take forward ideas related to increasing awareness of railway modelling with manufacturers, magazines, traders, others involved in the hobby and the wider public. It is a very exciting time for us and doors are being opened on possibilities we didn’t even know existed!
For those of us who “just wanted to model”, it has all come as the most enormous challenge, bringing a huge change in responsibilities.
Thank you all for making that possible!