Founded in 1948 by a small group of enthusiasts, the Chichester & District Society of Model Engineers has grown through the past sixty years into a well supported organisation covering a variety of members interests.
The aims of the Society are simple: to bring together all persons who are interested in the construction and, or working of models, and to provide a well equipped workshop for the purpose of lectures and instruction for the improvement of the individual craftsmanship of its members.To encourage these activities the Society provides excellent facilities at its headquarters. In the Society’s grounds of one acre there are three railway tracks for model locomotives. Behind the main building is a small elevated track for the guage one and gauge 0’ sections of the Society while the other elevated track of 560ft is of dual gauge for 5in and 3½in gauge locomotives. Around the perimeter of the site there is 735ft. of ground level dual gauge 7¼in - 10¼in track. . Both tracks are served by stations with platforms and there is vehicular access to the steaming bay facilities.
The large clubhouse has comfortable lounge accommodation, fully equipped kitchen, washing and toilet facilities and a very well equipped large workshop. The workshop is vital to the encouragement of model engineering in view of the initial cost of machinery. The machinery includes an 8½in centre Harrison lathe, a 4½in centre Alpine lathe, a large vertical mill, engraving machine and surface grinder. Casting work is also undertaken with foundries for aluminium. Members also benefit from the wealth of knowledge given by the older members (including precision engineers) making this interchange of advice a vital part of the Society’s function.
Although the steam locomotive is the interest of the majority of the members, the Society also caters for all forms of models, including, petrol hydraulic locos, battery powered locos, traction engines, clocks and watches, stationary engines and specialist tools.