About Us

Urmston & District Model Engineering Society Limited was formed in 1948, with some of the founders being members of Eccles & District MES, a society which soon afterwards became defunct. The objects of the new society were to ‘bring together persons interested in model engineering of all kinds’. The society aimed to build a miniature railway track for 2½”, 3½” and 5″ gauge locomotives, the new society taking up an offer of a site in Abbotsfield Park, Flixton by Urmston Urban District Council.

This first track, an oval of about 500 feet, was completed in 1950 but was relocated at the request of the local council, to a new oval of 489 feet, by mid 1951. The track was rebuilt in 1959 using aluminium alloy rail, the 2½” gauge facility being discarded.  By 1969 a second track of 550 feet running outside the existing track was in use, together with new steaming bays, being officially opened in mid-1970.

The Society had long held ambitions of building a track round the perimeter of the park. Again with the agreement of the council, work was started in the late 70s on this huge project. A workshop extension to the clubhouse was built, in which all the 14-ft track sections were prefabricated before disturbing the park. There are two concrete bridges which required large excavations, these were dug out by a local contractor and is the only work not actually carried out by Society members.

There have been numerous improvements to the track and its facilities to the present time and these continue without lessening of enthusiasm. The reputation of the Club’s status as one of the premier model engineering societies in the UK is well deserved and hard won.

The track consumed over 2000 metres of alloy rail, 6000 wooden sleepers (ties) and 40,000 pan head screws to attach the rail. The new track was formally opened at the first ‘May Day Steam’ rally held on 1st May 1982 held in conjunction with the Lancashire Traction Engine Club and this renowned event has been held every year since until 2010.

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