By Maz Woolley
MAR magazine often included a short item on Club News written by Rod Ward. Since going online we have had a page of fixed information about clubs but have never had the same regular round up of news. In a recent email exchange Barry Lloyd the editor of Wessex Smalltalk and Vice Chairman at Wessex Model and Toy Collectors suggested that we really ought to revive the regular club roundup. So here at MAR Online we will create our Club News slot and will update our readers from time to time with news of what clubs are getting up to. If you belong to a club that is not mentioned on our club page then get in touch and we will add your information, and clubs who pass on their own news letters may be mentioned in the club news posts we make.
Starting with Wessex (WMTC) as Barry Lloyd got the ball rolling again. An excellent club magazine, Wessex Smalltalk, keeps everyone updated with what is going on at the club even if they cannot always attend meetings. Like many clubs they adopt a charity each year and collect money for them through auctions and other events. Recently they have auctioned off surplus club special models which had remained unsold to benefit Bath Cancer Unit Support Group. For many years the club had special Brooklin models made but that ended last year when Brooklin adopted a minimum order policy that is too high for most clubs. A 2017 club model has been sourced elsewhere and should be with the members soon, but like other clubs they are wondering whether they will commission a club model for 2018. Their monthly meetings attract members with a wide variety of interests and the August meeting had everything from a nice pair of Victory MG TFs to an OO scale garage and Tinplate Railway items.
Further along the British south coast you come to South Hants Model Auto Club (SHMAC) who attend many events showing their models and publicising the hobby. Their most recent club magazine Wheel Nuts describes their attendance at the Andover Modellex show where the club showed six cabinets of models with everything from NASCAR to Traction Engines. There were also trips to display Ford Models at the Ford Fair at Silverstone, and at Breamore House Classic Car Show. Club nights see the Model of the Month competition which attracts a wide variety of entries from tanks to racing cars. Chris Derbyshire produces an excellent club magazine which always have excellent articles from members, often covering real vehicles with modelling and collecting connections. In October’s edition there was a great article about Ecurie Ecosse at Le Mans in 1957. I can vouch for the friendliness of the monthly meetings having attended one earlier in the year.
I will have to watch what I say about Coventry Diecast and Model Club (CDMC) as I am a member! Monthly meetings at the Midland Air Museum are usually in a show and tell format with members sharing their models. And there is a good range of models in a variety of scales, materials and ages on display. This month it will be “battery versus clockwork” which will undoubtedly bring out some interesting models. The quarterly magazine Wheelspin is edited by Will Roe and includes articles by members as well as news and interesting looks at the clubs past. The cover this month shows one of Will’s drawings of a Coventry Corporation Number 2 bus just like the one that this editor used to catch into town in his childhood.
Maidenhead Static Model Club (MSMC) is Britain’s oldest club having been founded in 1969. Regular monthly meetings are held and a they produce a club newsletter called Wheelbearings. The newsletter is produced by Adrian Levanto whose book on Blue Light Models was reviewed recently in MAR Online. Members enjoy club nights with talks, quizzes, competitions, and a social event in the lead up to Christmas too. The club raises money for charities from auctions and events. The Windsor International Toy & Train Collectors Fair is organised by the club and is a big effort for all involved.
West Australia Collectors Club (WAMAC) hold regular meetings and publish a club newsletter Showcase. This is another club whose members are looking forward to a pre-Christmas lunch together. Meetings include competitions and show and tell sessions. The club news covers a wide range of subjects: Trax code threes, search and rescue vehicles, and Matchbox Lesney models for example. Members of course also show road train models celebrating that unique Australian transport system.
Natal Diecast Model Collectors (NDMC) is another club founded may years ago which still publishes a regular newsletter as well as holding Club Nights. The Latest newsletter shows the variety of models members brought along for the Mini themed evening in July as well as an interesting article about Jaguars that has been published across three newsletters. September will have seen their annual diorama competition and in October a member is showing models at the Hobby-X exhibition in Durban. They even find time to keep up a club website at http://www.ndmc.co.za/index.html.
The Canadian Toy Collectors Society (CTCS) is a well established club covering a wider range of toys than many. The newsletter edited by Des Barnes is produced ten times a year and the club has monthly meetings in Toronto. It sponsors toy fairs which cover a wide range of collectibles. Club nights are a mix of competitions and members displays. The October theme was Dioramas and the wining member had built a wonderful display based on the real-life Lucky Lott Hell Driver Show from the 1930s to 50s showing cars stunting and the transporters that got them to site.
Nederlandse Algemene Miniatuur Auto Club (NAMAC) has local groups meeting in various regions: West; Brabant; Veluwe,; Utrecht; Noord and Noord-Holland. Local groups seem to be active in visiting transport museums, having meetings to display their models and the usual club nights we have here in the UK. The monthly magazine is a full professional production auto in miniatuur. It features reviews of new models as well as news of trips made by members. Slot Cars are also covered which is outside the scope of many UK model magazines. There is a fabulous article in the latest edition on creating dioramas for photographing with both 1:43 and 1:18 models set ups shown. The club also holds a very influential collectors poll to vote for the best models in a wide range of categories.
Brooklin Collectors Club
This club has an annual meeting but has worldwide members and its newsletter is the main way of bringing collectors together. Unfortunately MAR Online cannot comment on the newsletter as it is one of the few that we do not see.
The club meeting this year was held in Bath and was combined with meeting with Brooklin staff and talking about the many changes which are going on at Brooklin. Members seem to generally accept a need for higher prices to cover the increased level of detail being included but there seem to be reservation amongst Brooklin collectors in general about proposed new, more complicated, and more expensive packaging which was discussed with Brooklin over the period of their visit.
Reading all the club newsletters I see is encouraging. The clubs seem to be very welcoming to new members and give you an opportunity to learn more about collecting from other enthusiasts which is always a great experience.
I hope to visit many clubs over the next couple of years as I find it a great way to meet and learn from other collectors.
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