Not long after, came more news. There was a room available in Leicester Row, in a warehouse there. This, we discovered, was the warehouse by the canal basin, at the end of Foleshill Road – the traffic used to go straight past the front door in those days, before the Ring Road was built.
When we saw the size of this new room – 65ft x 18ft (20m x 6m), we couldn’t quite believe it. In through the same iron door we still use, we could just about dimly see the other end wall – no lighting and the windows had last been cleaned about Armistice Day 1918! The Winford Stokes layout was dismantled and carted to the new clubroom, where it was put in one corner. What to do next?
Answer – build a clubroom within the clubroom, for meetings and so on, plus allowing us to heat just a small area – we were still skint, so we couldn’t afford to heat the whole room in winter – without all today’s mod-cons, it was absolutely freezing in winter! Then the planning started – we put up Winford Stokes and began to add to it. Then we designed the new layout that became Bystone St. Johns (featured in the Model Raliway Constructor in 1973) on one side – where the Gosford Green now stands, but the full length of the room to loop round and join the original.
What about N Gauge, you may ask? Simple – it didn’t exist until the late 1960’s, other than horrendously expensive Continental models, which no one was interested in.
When our president, Mr. Bennett died, we then elected a new president – again, a benefactor and the owner of one of the best model railway shops in the country at the time. Although it was called ‘Finister’s of Coventry’, in Humber Road the shop was acquired by Peter Bartlett, an amazing if somewhat eccentric character, a brilliant, modeller, who taught loco building skills to anyone who was interested.
Right up until his death (probably totally worn out) Ron Ellis kept beavering away for the club – doing anything and everything – organising trips to raise funds (as far afield as the Bluebell Railway in 1965 and the Ffestiniog in 1967 and even the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch). Others came and went, but at least, the club survived.
This covers the history of our club up to about the late 1990’s.
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