Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club
The home of Railway Modelling since 1930
IntroductionHistoryLocationMembershipMeetingsGive as you Live
History of the Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club

The Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club was formed in 1930 and is one of the oldest model railway clubs in the UK - only a handful of clubs such as The Model Railway Club and the Wimbledon Model Railway Club and the Manchester Model Railway Society are known to have a longer history.

The Past

It all began back in 1930, when a young gentleman by the name of Ronnie Riddle (front right) advertised for like-minded railway modellers to attend a meeting in Ilford. The response was encouraging and the seeds of the Ilford & District Model Railway Club were sown.

Then, in February 1935, the West Essex Model Railway club (which had formed three years earlier) and the Ilford & District were amalgamated to form Ilford & West Essex Model Railway Club. Ronnie Riddle was the club's founding Secretary and became Life President, enabling his later years to be the most enjoyable as the club continued to grow in strength.

After the war the club established its headquarters in Hearne Road, Romford. Then in the mid-1950's a site was found adjacent to Chadwell Heath Railway Station, which to this day provides the club with its headquarters.

The first incarnation of the club house back in the mid-1950's was two Nissen huts with an LNER E4 cab as an entrance. Then in 1966 a pre-cast concrete building replaced the Nissen huts.

The club exhibition in those days was a four-day affair held at Ilford Town Hall, with nearly 10,000 enthusiasts attending at its peak. Unfortunately, as the number of clubs and events has grown it has not been possible to repeat these numbers.

The Future

There is no doubt the Covid-19 pandemic affected everyone's plans - in our case we have had to cancel the 2020, 2021 & 2022 Annual Exhibitions, and all of our 2020 & 2021 Open Days.

We hope to return to some level of normality with our Open Days in 2022 and WEST ESSEX MODELRAIL in 2023.

Coming up...


Sun 03 Jul 2022
Sun 07 Aug 2022
Sun 04 Sep 2022

Train rides, model railways and cakes!




Sat 29 Apr 2023
Sun 30 Apr 2023


Home | About the Club | Club Sections | Layouts | Exhibitions | Steam Days | Contact Us | Links | News | Diary | Gallery | Members Area | Site Map
Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Cookies 2005-2022. I & WEMRC. All rights reserved. Last updated 30 June 2022. E & O E.
Fasthosts powered web hosting