Luton Model Railway Club Logo

Luton Model Railway Club

A founder member of the Chiltern Model Railway Association Chiltern Model Railway Association Logo

 Club History

The Luton and District Miniature Railway Club was founded in 1953 and met at the Railway Mission on the corner of Old Bedford Road and Station Road.
Over the years the Club has had a bit of a nomadic existence because it never owned its own premises.  It has rented the use of a GNR Weighbridge Hut (a bit cramped!), schoolrooms, church hall and a wooden TA hut.  However, the premises etched on the minds of senior club members was the tack room in the old GNR stable block in Guildford Street.  At that time (1960s), one had to run the gauntlet of an irascible Shire horse whose home was next door and took great delight in trying (succeeding on occasions) to bite and kick out at members when it was exercising in the smelly yard.  Needless to say, this affected the membership. In 1991, two Club members purchased our present premises and, when they retired and moved out of the area in 2001, they generously gifted the premises to the Club.
Bute Lane 0 gauge model railway, Luton Model railway Club
  Bute Lane in the 1960s
The Club had success on the exhibition circuit with the layout 'Bute Lane'; on a number of occasions, we won prizes.  In 1961 and 1962, it was exhibited at the Model Railway Club's exhibition in the Central Baptist Hall, Westminster.  The locomotives and rolling stock were kit-built, but the buildings and scenery were all buit by hand from scratch.
The exhibition baton is now carried mainly by the '0' gauge members of the club who have over ten layouts between them.  There are also two 'N' gauge exhibition and one 4mm layouts available for exhibition.
The Club is outward looking and, in 1968, it was actively involved in promoting the Midland Railway London Extension 1868-1968 Celebrations and set-up displays at the Luton Central Library and the Luton Museum.  It now puts on biennial exhibitions and the 0 gaugers stage 7mm exhibitions in alternate years to the ones run by the Club; these are held in the local district where no model railway clubs exist.
Luton Model Railway Club was one of the founder members of the Chiltern Model Railway Association (CMRA, founded in 1965) to facilitate the avoidance of clashes of exhibition dates, to provide a means of communication between the clubs and to encourage mutual support.  Since that date, the Association has gradually expanded with approximately 130 member organisations covering a large area of England.

The Association membership includes a number of national 'scale/gauge', company and nationality interest groups so that, in all, the Association may represent over nine thousand individual modellers.

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Last Modified: May, 2023
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