Coronavirus disruption to Normal Service

HMRS Society Update

This page has been created to inform both members of the society and those who use our services via this website of our current situation. That is – what is likely to happen, depending on how the pandemic progresses, and what the Government guidelines about re-opening the Country (such as they are) might permit. The Trustees held a long overdue but short Trustee meeting via Zoom on Saturday 13 June 2020 and made some proposals about these matters.


As always the local area group leaders will continue to decide about their meetings within the overall Government Rules taking into account the fact that many members are in the higher risk groups of society. Some Groups have been using the ZOOM conferencing application to continue distanced meeting in some areas and this we would like to encourage. Since we are now past our original Spring program there will be no physical meetings until September at the earliest but this will depend on the virus situation then and the decision may be made to defer any close contact meetings until January.


Following our trial use of the free 40 min version of ZOOM (twice!) for our first Trustee meeting for 4 months we decided to pay the licence fee to move to the pro version and continue to use this for Trustee meetings in future to supplement physically meeting. This enables us to have full participation even when we can hold normal personal meetings in the M&SC and will also help us keep our travel costs down and enable trustees at a distance from the meeting to take part. In addition, we felt that when the AGM occurs, we can allow members to view the proceedings and take part via the chat facility. We hope to use this as a trial at the deferred AGM.

We are tentatively setting a date on a Saturday in October for the delayed AGM but this is obviously subject to the situation then and members will be informed via the newsletter etc.




The building remains closed as part of the complete closure of the Midland Railway Centre and this is likely to continue until the end of July at the earliest as they have to abide by both National Guidelines for attractions and also by other legal and insurance matters. Unfortunately all our sales stock is held there (apart from Transfers) and so we are unable to fulfil orders made on the website for books, photographs and drawings and misc items and delivery is not yet predictable.

Once we are allowed to return to the site we will focus on the backlog of orders first and priority and support will be given to those doing that. Bearing in mind that the main officers involved have to take care with any exposure to the virus and we expect to have to observe distancing for a while, there will be no general member access booking available for the predictable future. Only specific – pre-booked personnel will be allowed for specific tasks so please do not turn up on the off-chance as you will not be allowed in even if you are a member. If you have sent a surface mail item to the site address it may be awaiting the site opening so do not be surprised if no reply comes. If you are waiting for an item, we apologise but we are a volunteer society and do not have full time or even part time staff waiting to receive every order!



WEBSITE: Our current website is in the process of being renewed for the latest version of the software and a few new additional facilities should be available. We hope this will go live seamlessly later this year. The front page will be different but existing services will be there and we hope to be able to add more about our archive resources.


BOOKS: As noted we cannot access our book stock at present but orders outstanding will be honoured. The next book we will publish is ‘Southern Style: Southern Railway’ by John Harvey. This book is at the printers ready to print but awaiting the physical re-opening of the M&SC to receive the stocks. The announcement and outline is here. It will be added to the book catalogue for purchase via this site when stocks are ready at the study centre. We do have another title being prepared which we hope will be published in 2021.


Southern Style

The Southern Railway

Southern Style Southern

The three principal companies which formed the Southern Railway all had distinctive characters, and it took some time and experimentation for a new corporate design approach to be developed. This was undoubtedly influenced by the team brought in by the General Manager to give the company a modern image. After a period of stability, the appointment of Bulleid led to a new period of experimentation, only to be curtailed by the outbreak of war. Once things began to return to normal, Bulleid was able to continue his experiments and develop a new house style, only to have his work cut short by nationalisation. This volume takes up the story in 1922 and charts the development of the company’s liveries through this turbulent period on everything from locomotives to lamp posts, carriages to containers and wagons to signalling equipment. The author has made extensive use of contemporary written sources, the meticulous records kept by several observers, the vast number of photographs taken during the period and also original paint samples from a number of sources. It should prove an invaluable, authoritative source of information for the modeller of the Southern Railway and those restoring the artefacts of that company, as well as a permanent record of the liveries of the Southern Railway during its 25 year existence.

The volume includes details of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway’s liveries from 1898 until closure and the blue Somerset & Dorset carriage livery of the 1920s.

Supplied with the book is a card containing 17 carefully prepared paint samples covering all the principal paint colours used by the Southern Railway.

ISBN 978 0 902835 37 5

Price expected £35.00 + p&p, HMRS members £25,00 + p&p


©Historical Model Railway Society 1996 - 2019.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation No. 1166144

VAT Registration No. (GB) 231 1977 75

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