May 19 2024 Best layout at our exhibition

Ourexhibition in the new halls went well. Thank you so much to everyone who made it happen. That’s not just to our 2 Exhibition Managers, Brian S & John C (& our 20+ dedicated Members ) but various partners & friends who gave their valuable time to help us, & also to  all the invited Exhibitors & Traders who brought so much interest, value and “vibe” in supporting our 44th Exhibition in Ely.

Alsothere were all those lovely home made cakes, sandwiches & other food offerings from our volunteer run cafe…The winner of the  ‘Malcolm Hine Memorial Tankard’ for the best layout voted by the public was ‘Fordon Hill’ exhibited by 14 year old Oscar Robinson  & his dad Ken. 

Runners up were, the superb ‘Rails Through Histon’ & ‘Providence Collery’ who featured highly in the votes – indeed, every layout at our show today got numerous votes. Well done all!

We are so pleased Malcolms widow Ann & other family members were able to visit the exhibition & helped to present the trophy to Oscar & his dad.

April 2024 Visit to Pendon Museum

Nearly 30 members & guests had a grand trip out on a vintage Bristol coach to visit the Pendon model railway museum at High St, Long Wittenham, Abingdon, OX14 4QD. We all agreed it was well worth the visit see photos & link below. We also enjoyed a good lunch at The Plough Inn just up the road.

February 2024 Update on this years exhibition

Our 44thModel Railway Exhibition in Ely will be at Ely College (CB6 3DY) on Saturday 18th May 2024 and will, for the first time, be held in the newest part of Ely College.  This superb space (2 large halls and a spacious entrance lobby – see pictures) offers our visitors, invited model railway exhibitors and invited traders a number of significant improvements.

One of the main advantages will be completely level access to all the (directly interconnecting) spaces throughout.  Alongside the new location of our visitor cafe, we will also have access to a large adjacent quadrangle where we hope to have Royston Model Engineers offering train rides for young families.

Another advantage is that it should be a lot easier for our invited model railways and traders to set-up their layouts and stalls.  Our Exhibition Managers are putting the final details into place and will be in contact with you all in the near future with the final exhibition pack/paperwork.

And a further advantage is that we will have the use of Ely College onsite car parks (part of the old area and all of the new area).  We will also have access to a large car park area at the adjacent Highfield School (2-3 minute walk from the show entrance).  And the best bit – we are also doubling the number of car-park marshals to help direct you to all these extra spaces and all the car parking is FREE.

As many of you will remember from last year’s show, if you wish to come by train we’ve got you covered too.  We should again have a lovely vintage coach shuttle service running between Ely Railway Station and the Exhibition at Ely College. This is FREE – but Charles the driver would be delighted to accept voluntary donations onboard for Macmillan Nurses.  We will publish a timetable for this vintage coach shuttle nearer the time.

And when you arrive at the new Ely College entrance to the show, this year we will have TWO payment desks (both accepting card or cash payment) and so hope to significantly reduce any queuing (we open at 10.30am, close at 4.30pm.)  Note that Ely College is a non-smoking site.  Dogs are not allowed on site either – except assistance dogs are welcome.

You will also be delighted to hear that, for the third year running, we will be holding our entrance prices, offering a good value day out to both modellers and families alike.  This year we also hope to have a miniature traction engine offering rides around Ely College grounds for the children too.

December 2023

Our annual dinner at The Red Lion Soham was great sucess & congratulations to Terry Jordan for being awarded the Michael Murfitt Memorial tropy for club member of the year.

Several members & friends had an enjoyable day out on the Railway Touring Compay’s Flying Scotsman trip to Worcester

At our modelling competion & mince pie night there were some very good examples of kit & scrath built “00” wagons with Terry Jordan’s entry of Esso tank wagons being voted the winner. Well done Terry & thanks to Bob for the mince pies. Chairman Andy Wilkinson presented the David Townson Memorial Trophy to Terry .

30 September 2023 Stock Check day

This weekend we had a stock check on our big OO “roundy-roundy” exhibition layout, Wickham Market (in our Clubroom). We took a few snaps and quite a few videos (just on mobile phones). . Videos & photos can be seen on the Facebook below

The layout ran superbly well and the prototypical stock looks superb on it. Enjoy!

26 Sept 2023 Weathering demo.

Recently, we had a truly superb loco weathering tutorial by Gary Welsh of Model Behaviour.  In our Clubroom and in front of our eyes he transformed a (more or less) out of the box ‘ready to run’ Black 5 into something one would recognise as typical appearance during woking operations.  The guy is a master and he explained everything he was doing really well.  If anyone is interested, Gary’s rates for doing this kind of work also sound extremely reasonable.  (You can visit him at the shop in Long Melford and/or find out more on the Facebook page Thanks again Gary!  A superb evening…and we very much hope to see you as a yet another quality Trader at our next Ely Model Railway Exhibition at Ely College on Saturday 18th May 2024.

13 August 2023 Club update

Planning for our May 2024 Exhibition is well underway. Analysing “Best Layout” votes at our show earlier this year we found one visitor came from Japan. . Seems our online & Facebook presence is starting to pay dividends with Exhibition attendance from far and wide! 😜

In other Club news…

There has been considerable activity over the past few weeks – which not everyone (even in the Club) will be aware of.

1. A team have almost completed the repairs to external brickwork of our Clubhouse with a coat of bitumen to be applied in a few areas to finish off. Many thanks to everyone. A great deal of “housekeeping” has taken place, with areas cleaned, LED lighting and sockets fitted & fixed, the water heater wiring re routed etc. (now we have hot water available again!) Much stuff taken to the recyling centre. . The external grass areas have been strimmed and treated with weed killer so that emergency exit is now a practical reality!

2. Wickham Market has been assembled, and levelled using a laser tool and the sections bolted together more tightly. As a result the layout is working well and the mysterious”voltage drop” in the vicinity of the junction has gone – and now is perceived that it may have been a gradient issue that’s gone now it is level in the new part of the Clubhouse.

3. We have started work on reviewing the Club rolling stock to the degree that 2 express trains, a branch line train and goods trains have been identified and assembled in aepresentative configuration of the time. Locos have been identified, some of which need servicing (volunteers please), and our “El Presidente” has been working hard on the wagon stock. The Club have purchased a quantity (4 at this stage) “Trainsporter” stock boxes into which a train configurations can be stored in order and readily accessed for operation going forward.

4. The baseboards for the new, big OO roundy-roundy DCC layout project have been delivered to the Clubhouse. The N gauge crew are hard at it with much track laying on Dalwhinnie. We are looking forward to having “Club rolling stock running nights” – with tuition for those who wish to become involved in layout operation on Wickham Market – and Fullers Wharf.

5. The Spalding exhibition date for Wickham Market has been postponed for 12 months as Spalding Club had double booked 2 large layouts. The proposed Club trip to Great Central was postponed – until a later date. Watch this space.

Good times ahead for everyone to get involved.

20th May 2023 Annual exhibition

Thanks to all the visitors , exhibitors, traders & vintage coach owner who came to our our exhibition and made it the sucess it was. We hope you all enjoyed you day. The layout voted by the visitors as Best Layout was Books Bridge by Stuart Marshall and Barnwood was the runner up.

Stuart Marshall the builder of Books Bridge was presented with the Malcolm Hine Memorial Tankard by Sophie (Malcolm’s niece).

See also

24 March 2023 President’s 90th Birthday

In other news, our President Derek, otherwise known as “El Presidente” is a remarkable (and amazingly healthy) 90 years old today! On the day before at a normal Thursday morning club session members first met for breakast and then moved onto the clubroom. One of the Member’s wives made this super cake as a surprise & which Derek cut it in our new Clubhouse extension!

Derek’s cake

20 February 2023 Clubroom extended

In late 2022 a change of tenancy of the farm we are based at meant that we had to negotiate with a new Landlord  who agreed to extending our Clubroom into an adjacent space – effectively almost doubling our  floor space.  Once again we erected new stud walls/dry lining, fully insulated the structure and fitted LED overhead lighting and of course ample power points. We are looking forward in anticipation to the coming year with new projects mapped out. 

This extra space means we are now able to welcome new Members into this fantastic hobby of ours.  This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and become involved in existing and new projects.  You can see details about us on our website and on our Facebook page. If you are in of East Cambridgeshire/West Suffolk and interested in joining then simply contact us via the website

See pictures on “Our Clubroom”


Congratulations to our club president Derek Buck for his winning entries in The David Townson Memorial Cup competion for locomotives & rolling stock ( a GWR goods train) & The Peter Batker Memorial Cup for scenic work ( a signal box for our Wickham Market layout).

Derek with the the cups , beside his goods train

Congratulations also to committee member Brian Smith in being awarded the Michael Murfitt Memporial Trophy for club member of the year for his contribution of wiring on Wickam Market

Derek & Brian with their trophies @ our modelling & mincepie night.


SOLD IN AUGUST – N Gauge DCC Layout – Westgate Park

Westgate Park is a large double track ‘roundy-roundy’ layout. It has been built by a group of modellers at Ely & District Model Railway Club over the last decade as an exhibition layout and features a large through station, an elevated branch up to a mine, beautiful scenery and an extensive fiddle yard. It was exhibited at our Club’s May 2022 exhibition and can be seen in action in sections of the visitor YouTube video below.

The layout is 20ft and 0.5 inches long x 3ft deep, comprising five 4ft x 3ft boards, and incorporates route selection using MERG systems and DCC control. The two MERG DCC controllers and of course the control panel will be sold with the layout. The control panel is (approx) 10 inches deep x 45 inches long and mounts on the back of the layout – see pictures. However, note that no stock nor the lighting rig will be included in the sale.

The price is £1,500 ONO.

If you are interested in discussing this and wish to visit the Clubroom to meet with the crew that run the layout/see it in operation please contact the Club Secretary David Abbott on 01353 721280 and by email on


Thanks to all the visitors , exhibitors and traders who came to our Malcolm Hine Memorial Exhibition and made it the sucess it was. We hope you all enjoyed you day. The layout voted by the visitors as Best Layout was Nonsuch Tudor Railway and Shortwaite Hill was runner up. Derek Reeve the builder & creator of Nonsuch was presented with the Malcolm Hine Memorial Tankard by his wdow Ann Hine.

See more on this layout at

For video of exhibition please click below


Details of the invited layouts & traders for our exhibition on 21 May 2022


On Thursday 16th some members of Ely MRC & their friends joined The Railway Touring Company Christmas White Rose Express trip to York. It was a beautiful sunny day and we had the privelege of being hauled by LMS loco Black 5 no. 44871 on the way there & LMS loco 46233 Duchess of Sutherland on the way back. After Peterbough the train took a leisurely route through Spalding, Sleaford, Lincoln, Gainsbourgh, Doncaster & onto York. We all had an enjoyable day.

Black 5 No. 44871 Water stop at Sleaford.


Well done to Jamie Rands for being awarded the Michael Murfitt Memorial Sheild for club member of the year for his contribution of working signals for our Wickham Market layout. Also to the modelling competition winners, Neil Watson, The Peter Barker Memorial Cup for scenic items with an O gauge scottish bothy (cottage) and Derek Buck, The David Townson Memorial Cup for locos & rolling stock for his rake of 00 scratch built wagons.

Jamie, Neil & Derek
Jamie, Neil & Derek