Welcome, Guest


This page now contains details of events at the start of the first half-year 2019, with talk summaries where available


12th January 2019

10:30   Digital Group online


18th-20th January 2019

              SMEE at London MEX


19th January 2019

14:00           Model running, including Gauge 1


26th January 2019

  14:30         Rummage Sale (viewing from 11:00)


2nd  February 2019

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

     Talk: “The Early Years of Aviation at Farnborough” by Graham Rood.

The talk will look at the early and foundation years of the Balloon Factory and its faltering progress towards the flights of the first heavier than air machines with Samuel Cody and Dunne. It will follow the subsequent formation of the Royal Aircraft Factory and its research & development programmes will be discussed as well as the work carried out in the inter-war years up to 1939, including the Wind Tunnels. The talk will conclude with a little of the Concorde research and describe the current work of the Trust and its extensive archive of the technical and scientific work of RAE from its formation in 1918.


9th February 2019

09:00 Basic Training Part 1 day 1


16th February 2019     

10:30 Digital Group online


23rd  February 2019   

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk: “Electric Motors for Traction Applications” by Bob Walker.

The presentation will cover the general topic of electric motors, their operating principles and the different types, illustrating both their underlying similarities and their functional differences. The focus will be on the special requirements for traction applications, with particular emphasis on applications for model electric locomotives, i.e. up to a few hundreds of watts or a couple of kW output. In passing, calculations for the power requirements for a 7¼” or 5″ passenger-carrying train will be used to illustrate the design and/or selection of a motor and transmission system.  Photographs and demonstration of an experimental motor using a surplus car alternator will also be included, together with pictures of electrical waveforms and estimated performance data.  It will also be noted that modern integrated systems based on the principles of “brushless DC motors” are now available. The talk and the demonstration models are primarily intended to be illustrative and do not necessarily represent a practical system.


2nd  March 2019

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society Annual General Meeting


9th  March 2019

09:00     Basic Training Part 1 day 2

10:30      Digital Group online


22nd  March 2019

Visit to The Royal Opera House workshops Thurrock

Note that the visit is on a Friday, not the usual Wednesday. 

The Royal Opera’s Production Workshop and Costume Centre is a huge workshop which produces sets and costumes for ballet and opera at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.  The building is near Thurrock, about 15 mins walk from Purfleet station.  It  For details see  http://www.roh.org.uk/visit/tours/thurrock-tours/.

Tour is at 11:00; maximum 20 people.  Charge £13.  To reserve places, please contact Norman Billingham.


30th March 2019

14:30   Rummage Sale (viewing from 11:00)


6th  April 2019   

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk: “The role of Evolution and Technology in Information Loss” by Prof. Peter Townsend

Knowledge, information and data are key elements of life, and therefore the ways in which they are recorded and stored are critical. Surprisingly, technological progress not only speeds up the writing and storage capacity but also drives ever more rapid loss. Technology, as well as the evolution of language and culture play similar roles that are evident from literature, music and art. Peter’s talk will consider some of the key factors and underline why we have reached a critical phase where there could be almost total collapse of electronic data storage and communication.  Peter is Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Sussex.


13th  April 2019

09:00     Basic Training Part 1 day 3

10:30      Digital Group online


27th  April 2019

09:00 Grinding Course


4th  May 2019   

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk: “A century and a half of Toy Stationary Steam engines and Accessories” by Bob Lovett.

Bob will give an insight into a ‘golden age’ of steam-driven toy engines and accessories produced by manufacturers in the UK and across Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. Focussing on the best known UK and German manufacturers, he will highlight some of the social and commercial drivers behind this significant toy industry and then review the operation and some technical variations in a variety of stationary engines. In addition, he will show examples of the wide range of accessories produced for use with stationary engines. His talk will be supported with examples from his personal collection.

Bob has a science and technology background with a career including teaching Physics and Chemistry, technical product management and development, and latterly, marketing. Now retired from his last role as an international Marketing Director in the world of mobile communications, Bob has time to spend on his hobbies and interests. As a long time collector of old toys and trains, he has a particular fascination for almost anything that runs on steam. He enjoys spending time in his engineering workshop maintaining and curating his collection of ‘old stuff’ – trains and motorcycles – as well as driving trains on the National Railway Museum’s miniature railway in York. Bob is a member of the York Society of Model Engineers and serves on its committee.


10th – 12th  May 2019

SMEE at National Model Engineering Exhibition at Doncaster


18th  May 2019

09:00  Polly Course Day 1


25th  May 2019

10:30      Digital Group online


1st  June 2019   

11:00 Council Meeting

14:30 Society General Meeting

Talk: “The History of the Ferris Wheel” by Pam Williams

Pam first became interested in Ferris Wheels when her husband bought her a token from the one at the  Earls Court Exhibition in the 1890’s.  From there she collected tokens for them from all over the world.  Her collection includes the first Ferris wheels in America, the famous one in Vienna and also a couple for the London Eye.  She found a good book giving the history and working of Ferris wheels and found there are “Ferris wheel buffs” all over America.  Having learned something about the works she became interested in Ferris who made the first one.

She will give a presentation on the history and technology of Ferris wheels, and bring along a good selection of the medallions etc  for members to look at.


15th  June 2019

09:00   Polly Course Day 2

10:30      Digital Group online


22nd  June 2019

14:00    Model running, including Gauge 1

  • 11:00 amCouncil Meeting
  • 2:30 pmSociety General Meeting
  • 10:30 amDigital Group Online
Current Date
  • 10:00 amSMEE at London MEX “Ally Pally”
  • 10:00 amSMEE at London MEX “Ally Pally”
  • 2:00 pmModel Running – Including Gauge 1
  • 10:00 amSMEE at London MEX “Ally Pally”
  • 2:30 pmRummage Sale