‘End of the line’ for rail society

editorial image

A popular model railway group has been asked to leave its Bletchley Park home after 18 years.

The Milton Keynes Model Railway Society has been given notice because it can no longer be accommodated at the site which is making space made available for exhibitions relating to the Park’s heroic codebreakers.

Despite warnings they may have to vacat their ‘home’ members were in shock to be informed a permanent move was on the cards.

Dennis Lovett, chairman, said: “Unfortunately we have been told by the new organisation that despite all the empty buildings on site none can be made available to us and model railways are not part of their future requirements.”

A lot of the exhibits, including all of the permanent layouts, have been taken apart and destroyed. The society is down to just three portable layouts, one of which will be at the Warley national Model Railway Exhibition in October.

Mr Lovett added: “Our members have dismantled 18 years of hard work since June, it has been soul destroying. We still have to dismantle a large outdoor layout which was only completed earlier this year at a cost of £3,000 together with a full size working signal and associated equipment.”

The group are now looking at alternative accommodation before the moving date on December 1.

They have already looked at a number of properties which have been deemed unsuitable or too expensive.

Iain Standen, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, said: “We are enormously grateful for the support the Model Railway Society has given the Bletchley Park Trust over the years. But as our visitor numbers continue to soar, the museum needs to grow to accommodate them.

“We now need to start moving exhibitions about the codebreakers of World War Two into some of the buildings where they worked, including Hut 11A, which housed Bombe machines. We wish the Society every possible success in the future.”

Anyone with a potential new home for the MKMRS can call vice chairman Chris Hughes on 01908 605417.