I trust you and your families had a lovely Christmas and that you had a relaxing period spent with loved ones and friends.
2014 promises to be another milestone year for our club and your continued help and support will go a very long way to making that so. The latter is something that your Chairman is very proud of, the help that many of you give freely and I look forward to seeing this help and support in action as we start the year with our own Annual show at Felpham over the weekend of 10th, 11th and 12th of January 2014.
Richard Rundle has stepped into the vacancy left by Paul Hopkins and he promises that this year's show will be our biggest and best show to date. I urge you and any family help you can gather to play a big part in this goal by fully supporting our new Exhibition Manager. The show is our chance to not only show off our own club exhibits, but to build on an excellent reputation in the South of putting on an excellent weekend exhibition. It is also our best opportunity to raise much needed funds for the club, our new premises and to ensure we continue to grow by attracting new members, old & young.
Before looking forward, I would like to write a few lines looking back at 2013 highlights.
- Mike Burton and his team, of which a number are members of our club, have continued to make excellent progress over the past 12 months to get the Signal Box looking wonderful and the subject of much plaudits from the passing public. I would encourage all members to do give any help they can to Mike and his team going forward so that this project is complete in 2014 and we as a club can start to benefit from such wonderful premises as a meeting room.
- Our 2013 show was to be Paul's final go at this mammoth but essential club task. A great show and a great start to the year. These events don't just happen and Paul with John's assistance demonstrated why we need to be grateful to them both. Audrey and her family also made 2013 her last show and I'm sure we will all miss her crumble nad bread pudding.
- 2013 was also most notable for the gigantic effort put in by the volunteer team working on the Barn. Norman, Jock, David to name but a few who helped out making a tired old building into the very good looking and useful space we now have. Still a little way to complete but it has now become a very good space to operate, particularly when you see how tired our old club building is now looking.
- This last year also see us join with the other user groups on the Community Centre site to participate in Aldingbourne Alive 2013. We opened the Barn door to show off our work and put on a mini exhibition. Thanks to all who helped out, particularly John M, Neil & Dennis who were recipients of praise from the event organisers and a Chairmans thanks to Jane, Heidi & Cliff who put on some really good refreshments for the club volunteers - this proving to be a really good practice run for our 2014 exhibition!
- Finally the club was lucky enough to benefit from some fantastic publicity earned by Paul Hopkins. Paul and his wonderful layout Redford Junction made it into print via the Hornby Magazine and the following month's DVD compilation. Congratulations Paul.
2013 has been a great year for your Chairman and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the helm. It's hard pleasing everybody, indeed impossible but I hope you agree that the club has taken a big step forward and is well placed for us all to enjoy our hobby going forward. Last year my message mentioned a target desire to have a club that we could all be proud of and one where we could all, whatever our leaning and favour, enjoy.
I think we are fast getting there.
2014 promises to be just as interesting and exciting for the club. We look forward to moving into new club meeting rooms once the Signal Box has been completed and we should have achieved a fully functioning and fully equipped Barn to work from and store our exhibits. We have a growing junior section and Stephen and now Steve Shrubb have some exciting challenges for them this year. Steve has agreed to work with the older 'juniors' to build the raffle layout for 2015. We continue to exhibit our layouts and have a first invite to Canterbury MRC show this year. We will also be exhibiting at Midhurst, Shepton Mallet, Brighton, Patching, Alton and many other venues. Thank you to all who will be journeying and flying the flag for BRMRC.
- All the officers of the club for their hard work and support given this last year. We need to remember that without their support and voluntary time given that we could not continue as a club.
- John & Paul for putting on an excellent 2013 show
- Stephen for fronting an exciting year for the junior members
- Cliff & Bob for carrying out refreshment duties throughout the year
- Jane, for some great minutes, great cakes and a lot of support throughout the year.
- Norman, Jock & Dave as my right hand men working on the Barn
- SITA, ACSC Trust and Aldingbourne Parish Council for grant funding
Happy New Year everyone.