The Felixstowe Area Group was first formed in the late 1990s by Chris Shum. Contact was made with a number of society members in the local area and regular meetings commenced.
The group members have a wide range of modelling interests including; steam, modern image, continental and American. Many of the early meetings were general discussions about modelling and railways in general, learning about the different members interests and experiences.
Whilst a couple of members have layouts on the exhibition circuit, and some have home layouts, it was decided to look at a group project. A number of options were discussed, including producing a group layout, but after some debate, it was decided that we would produce modules to the N Mod standard. This was felt to give a number of benefits, as members can produce modules to their own design / interest, they can work on the modules whenever convenient and they are fairly easy to store and transport. It also allows the wide variety of stock available to be run together without looking too out of place. In 2001 the group was invited to join the N Mod layout being shown at the Warley exhibition. Two of the group modules, built by Chris Shum and Bob Sutherland were exhibited.
In 2000 the group was approached by Ray Hansen, with a view to forming a team from the Clacton, North Essex and our own Felixstowe groups to arrange the 2001 N Gauge society AGM, and associated exhibition. After much effort by all concerned a successful AGM / exhibition was held at Cambridge in May. This also enabled us built up a good bond between the groups, with continued co-operation and support for each others events.
In 2002 the Felixstowe group held its first exhibition at the Trinity Methodist Church hall. By now we were able to show some finished and part finished modules, alongside layouts from our own members and the nearby area groups with support from the N gauge society shop.
A similar show was organised and held in 2003 with a similar selection of exhibits.
In 2004 we intended to hold our 3rd exhibition. After struggling to find a suitable date when the venue, members and visiting layouts were all available, we decided to postpone and concentrate on arranging an exhibition for 2005.
Having missed our show we were looking for an opportunity to get together and operate our modules. Hence we decided to arrange a module day. This was held in late November in another local church. In addition to our own modules, we were joined by another one, from one of the local groups. After a rather slow start in getting the modules up and running, we had a successful day with a number of visitors. Following on from this success we intend to hold further module days (see events).
2005 has been a successful year for the group with three module days and an exhibition in June. We have seen increasing support at our events and the group has been joined by one new regular member with others showing interest. Following on from this we intend to hold a similar range of events next year
2006 has again seen the group running three module days and another successful exhibition. The number of group members has further increased with further modules planned / under construction. The group has also exhibited at the Bressingham model railway show.
In 2007 the group has continued with its now standard pattern of events. The exhibition was particularly successful thanks to improved advertising and coinciding with an event in the town. Sadly Cyril Powell who was instrumental with securing the use of the Methodist hall for our exhibitions, passed away, but the group will complete the module Cyril was working on and display it in his memory. The group has exhibited at other local shows and received further invites for other events.
2008 has followed are familiar formula with three module days and our exhibition. The module days were again a success with a number of visitors to see us and an opportunity for us to have play. Our exhibition expanded slightly this year with additional space for more layouts. The module started by Cyril is now complete and shown for the first time at the exhibition, an additional pair of modules with a main line station are taking shape and have been included in our display. In addition to these events the group has exhibited at the 'ONE' railway model show, a return visit to Bressingham and we supported a locals Lions event in Felixstowe. The group membership has further expanded with Chris now having a packed house for our meetings.
2009 has again been a busy and successful year for the group. Once again the tried and trusted formula of module days and an exhibition has been used again. In addition to our own events the group exhibited at the Mid Suffolk Light railway in August and again at the Felixstowe Lions event in October. Group membership remains strong. For next year we hope to expand our railway exhibition using an additional hall at the Methodist Church.
The group normally to meet on 1st Thursday on the month. Visitors to the meetings are always welcome, but please contact us first to check when / where we are meeting.