A brief history of the model railway club in Perth.
2010 represented ATLEAST our 50th anniversary. The exact origins of the club are lost in the mists of time and it probably started as an informal group in the late 50's, rather than a club with a definite constitution. What we do know is that as far back a 1962, the club had moved into rooms at Perth General Station in a corridor between platforms 2 and 3 and there were atleast 3 members! Previous to this the club had been in abeyance for over a year due to losing its premises. An advertisement in the April 1962 issue of Model Railway News was published seeking new members.
The club did not occupy these rooms very long before it was discovered to our cost that the power supply in the station was of a diferent voltage to the control panel that had been built for our layout resulting in a burning sort of smell the first time we switched it on in the clubroom! Also the cupboard in which we kept our equipment had been broken into and some locos and other bits and pieces belonging to the members had been pinched.
We very soon moved into the room on the first floor at Fechney Buildings in Perth, it must have been before 1964 and remained there until we were advised that Fechney Buildings was likely to be sold and to start looking for other rooms. The Council let us rent part of ground floor at Pitheavlis Castle in Perth but despite putting a lot of effort in to make the room habitable, the damp played merry hell with the layout and we were fortunate to be offered the cellar rooms at Craigie Park House where the club met until the mid 1980's.
These rooms were also rather damp and not really ideal for modelling, particularly in card! Also the building was used as a funeral home and occasionally we had to down tools on a club night and keep very quiet if a family were upstairs to pay their last respects to a loved one!
Subsequently, the club leased a timber sectional building on the site now occupied by The A K Bell Library in Perth before relocating to Kinfauns. In 2013 we made a move to bigger premises at Meikleour, part of an old dairy turned into industrial units and subsequently in October 2014 another move, this time to bigger and better rooms at Perth Airport where we meet to this day.
Over the years, the membership has fluctuated, usually in direct proportion to how good our premises have been but around 15-25 people of all modelling abilities. The club has become more active over the last 20 years, now very prominent on the Scottish exhibition circuit and becoming more known throughout the UK. The idea to start running an exhibition helped this process and from starting with a one day show with 6 layouts and 2 trade stands at The Lesser City Hall in Perth we now have an event which has become a "must see" for modellers, occupying halls at Dewars Ice Rink.
We are indebted to Mr A. McCorquodale, one of the three from Perth Station days, a former member now living down South, for helping us to compile this brief history.
Perth & District MRC is a Registered Charity No. SC045282