As part of their activities in model engineering, the members of PEEMS constructed a portable miniature railway to take to local shows and other events in and around Ryedale. This 7 1/4 inch gauge railway has approximately 80 metres of track, two sit-in coaches and a locomotive which is driven by a small petrol engine.
This system was made entirely by the members and is a great attraction at a variety of events throughout the year. Painted in the club’s colour of green, the locomotive and rolling stock form an attractive feature at the events we attend, giving rides to many hundreds of small children – and some older ‘children’ too! The track needs a level area for laying but is flexible enough for all the sites we visit.
Shows attended are Malton Show, currently held at Scampston Hall in mid-July and Ryedale Show, held at Welburn near Kirkbymoorside at the end of July.
In addition to the shows, the club also visits Welburn Hall School, which provides support for children who have special needs, be these physical or emotional. This is a private event for the school, taking place during the summer term, and the members of the club also take other items as well as the railway to give the children rides. These include model traction engines – which are up to 6” to the foot in scale, or half size – and model cars. The event is much enjoyed by the youngsters and club members get a great deal of satisfaction from holding the event.
The purpose in visiting the shows is wider than just to give rides to young people. It is also a way of achieving a wider profile for the club and its activities. Usually a display of members’ models is also taken along to show the wider remit of the club. This has lead to more people being aware of the club and what it does and has lead to additional members joining. The railway is operated to strict standards and safety in operation is a key aspect. The railway was a great project for the club and although it does on occasion stretch the resources of the club to operate it, the delight taken by those young children who ride it, and the publicity gained for the club, make it all worthwhile.