Blyth & Tyne Model Railway Society is the oldest and largest model railway club in the North East of England.
Below is a video of some of the layouts at our club rooms, our location and opening times.
At our recent virtual Committee Meeting we discussed the way forward for our club as the Covid-19 restrictions are gradually eased.
The good news is that we will reopen on Monday 17th May.
We will still be subject to the relevant Government Guidance and we will be subject to any conditions placed upon us either by Central Government or North Tyneside Council.
I visited the club on April 21st to give the lift engineer access for a lift service and to repair a fault. The clubrooms are just as we left them when we entered the second lockdown in December - our layouts are just waiting to be operated and worked on.
We anticipate that the Covid-19 protocols we had in place in December will apply in May if we are to maintain our Covid-Safe Status with North Tyneside Council.
The protocols on arrival are:-
Lock the external door when you enter BUT do not leave the key in the lock
Wipe the door handle
Please sanitise your hands (There is a sanitiser dispenser on the wall)
Take your temperature (There is a thermometer on the table)
Use your own pen to sign in. (If we have a confirmed positive test by anyone who has attended, we will have to comply with Track and Trace, so it is of paramount importance that you sign in.
We cannot currently allow visitors.
If a confirmed positive test is notified, the club would need to be closed for a minimum of 4 days to ALL members. (We may well get a visit from the council to confirm our Covid Safe status within the first few days of opening, local shops have had visits already to ensure compliance.
From the 17th May, The Rule of 6 will apply. This means no more than 6 people are to be in any one area and there should be no mixing of the groups. This doesn't mean only 6 people can attend, it means that a group of up to 6 people must stay as one group and not mix with other members or other groups.
PLEASE SPREAD YOUR VISITS OUT, DO NOT ALL TURN UP ON WEDNESDAYS AND THURSDAYS.
Under the terms of our lease the club is open 7 days a week from 7.00am-10.00pm Monday to Saturday and 10.00am-4.00pm on Sundays.
The electronic door lock has been removed and a new manual lock has been fitted. Please see the Treasurer for a new key if you haven't already got one.
If still mandated by the Government, Social Distancing and the wearing of a face covering will still be required.
Please do not share cutlery, cups and plates etc. We would prefer members to make their own arrangements for tea, coffee and other refreshments.
In line with Government guidance, windows must be opened when you are in the club to create ventilation. Those windows must be secured to prevent any wind gusts potentially slamming them shut. One window down either side and one window at each end of the club should be sufficient.
Please ensure that they are closed if you are the last one out before you switch off the power sockets and lights and lock up.
Remember, Hands. Face. Space. Fresh Air.
The one-way system we have will remain for now. This is not ideal but it helps members avoid passing close to one another.
Hand sanitiser, hand wipes, soap, paper hand towels and kitchen blue roll is available but please bring your own if you want to ensure hygiene.
Use the kettle for hot water.
Wipe down all surfaces that are likely to be touched by other members.
Some general club administration.
We have had to continue paying the bills for the duration of the time the club has had either limited opening or has been closed but the committee felt with almost 12 months of closure it would be unfair to ask members to pay full membership fees.
The committee is proposing that club membership fees will be
£75 for the period January 2020 - December 2020
£75 for the period January 2021 - December 2021.
The reasoning behind this proposal is that in a normal year, 70 members paying £150 would equate to a membership income of £10,500. With our Covid Grant of £10,000 and our 70 members paying £150 for a two-year period we would only have a net income shortfall of £500 by December 2021.
The treasure will work out how much each individual member has already paid and how much needs to be paid so that everyone is fully paid up by December 31st 2021
If you have any opinion on this, please let the treasurer know.
North Tyneside Council's Strategic Property Team have written to the club to formally terminate our lease on 13th October 2021.
This is not as bad as it sounds, it is a letter they have to issue.
The council officer managing our lease is recommending to the elected members that we be offered a new tenancy.
I think everyone in the club will agree that we should accept the offer, but this will be subject to the new tenancy agreement covering the annual rent and the period of the lease.
How much we rent can afford to pay will be dependent on our membership level after all Covid restrictions are lifted and we can regain some normality.
It will help with our negotiations with the council if we know what our membership numbers will be in the Autumn. If you are not planning on returning to the club, please can you let the Secretary or Treasurer know.
It has been a long wait to resume modelling for those of us without a home layout or for those of us unable to give our locomotives a good run.
Hopefully, May 17th will enable us to get back to doing what we enjoy.
Stay safe and we hope to see you soon.
BTMRS Club Committee
Our club house address is: -
First Floor Offices,
40, Saville Street,
Tyne & Wear NE30 1NT
See map below
Meeting times are :-
Wednesdays 10am - 12am
Wednesdays 7pm - 10pm
The main meetings are on
Thursdays 7pm - 10pm