Club Rooms Start
Our move from Warwick Mill Middleton was fueled by two events. Firstly we wanted to build a larger 0 gauge layout to include a continuous run rather than the end to end limitations of the current layout "Wrye". This would involve renting more space in Warwick Mill and negotiations with our landlord had reached a satisfactory agreement where we would have use of almost another 1000 square feet. We were just waiting for the designated area to be cleared and made available.
But before we could start work on extending our area in the mill news filtered through to us that there was a definite possibility that the mill was being sold for the development of luxury flats and offices. This left us with serious doubts about the security of our tenure at the mill and it was decided to postpone the development of the additional space and look for other premises to secure the future of the club.
After a lot of searching by members of the committee we found available space at Park Works in Heywood itself. This space would be large enough to develop the new 0 gauge layout and also give us room to include our own kitchen and meeting area along with our own toilets. In other words the group could become totally self contained and not have to rely on any other outside parties.
After holding an extraordinary general meeting with all of the club members it was voted unanimously that we start the process of the move to the new premises in Heywood.
Our fears that Warwick Mill may be sold were well founded and about 12 months after our departure all the other tenants at the mill were given just a couple of Months to pack up and move out.
Below is a pictorial history showing the existing condition of the premises and the progress in developing it to suit the needs of the club.
It is doubtful that we will have everything in place to just move in and erect layouts, but we should have the basic things needed in the form of the kitchen and toilets. Once the areas of the main floor have been made tenable after moving in then layouts can be put up and used.
Our first look at what was on offer.
At first it looked derelict and run down but it was huge at over 5500 square feet and we realised that it had great potential following a lot of work.
Some idea of the size of the place can be gleaned from this picture where a car was being stored in the property
Another view of the property showing the stored car and a trailer tent again giving an idea of the size.
From a different angle. Some members of the committee can be seen in the distance discussing the potential of the property.
Note how bright the place is from just the natural light provided by the clear panels in the roof.
Also note the convenient roller shutter door for taking out and bringing in models.
The first wall of the kitchen and meeting room is being erected.
The supporting pillar is getting higher and 3 cubic metres of concrete has been laid to fill in what was a large depressed area in the floor found after removing one of what we called "the pig stys". These were the small cubicals, some of which can be seen in the first picture and would be of no use to us for model railway work.
Another two sections of the wall for the kitchen area are being constructed ready for lifting into position and fixing.
The sections shown above are now in place and a doorway space has been inserted.
The beginnings of the two toilet cubicles are taking shape here.
nother view from inside the kitchen area.
More work on installing the mains power cable to provide the necessary power sockets within the room.
Further progress with cladding the walls. A first coat of paint has been applied to the chipboard panels and we are now almost along the full length of one wall.
The tool and modeling area is taking shape here with the work benches making good progress.
Plasterboard and the door frame has now been fitted to one of the kitchen walls.
All of the plasterboard now installed on the kitchen and general meeting room. It is now awaiting the window frames.
The pillar to support the fire damaged roof beam has now reached its full height. This will also provide a convenient recess to locate the kitchen sink in the dining and meeting room.
More progress on the toilets with all the studding in place ready for adding the plasterboard.
The temporary workbench where all the major sawing and routing is being carried out. In the background are the panels that are being used to cover the existing walls.
These will extend up as far as the cable tray above. They will provide some thermal resistance and be much easier to paint than the rough bricks behind.
The amount of the wall covered to date with the chipboard panels. There will be a further part panel to go above those seen here once all of the mains cables have been installed.
The vestibule and office are being built and here all the timber studding is in place ready to accept the plasterboard.
Two toilet cubicles are now fully fitted and working.
They are both large enough to accept a wheelchair should we have any disabled members or visitors.
Another view of the vestibule and office showing the double door from the entrance and the single door into what will be the office. All that is needed now are the sheets of plasterboard to complete them.
At long last a start can be made on erecting the models that have for so long been unusable.
Here our permanent layout "Sumner Brook" is being assembled.
Looking from inside the kitchen area with one wall now fully complete awaiting the fitting of the door and the window frame.
A view standing further back from the previous shot. Here the panel being built on the floor is the first of those needed to create the "Vestibule" that will be an interface between the Loading door, the entrance door and the main room.
A start is made on building the "Vestibule". This will provide an airlock between the main clubroom and the entrance / shutter doors so that when they are opened less heat will be lost fom the main room.
It will also provide a storage space for the trailer that can be seen parked inside.
Suddenly when after several weeks of seemingly making no significant progress it all starts coming together.
This is the kitchen / meeting area which now has the equipment installed along with electric supplies and a start made on the floor tiles.
Three of the large 00 gauge layouts are now erected and our permanent layout Sumner Brook is working so that trains can again be run
Midhey and Townley Summit will soon follow.
The 0 gauge Wrye and N gauge Warwick Mill are also being erected and should be functional within a week or so.