Modelling from the female perspective

As one of the minority lady railway modellers in our hobby, I found your March editorial most enlightening, particularly your first two paragraphs in which you described the broad spectrum of interest among us.

Within our own club – West Sussex N Gauge RMC – we have exactly the spread of modellers you described. While I like railways, I have very little technical knowledge, and terms like prairie, Spam Can, DMU etc. just flow over my head. I, together with several others in our club, specialise in scenery and historic realism. We also have those who just like running long trains on the basic modular layout which is set up every club night, or on the scenic modular layouts we take to exhibitions.

Visitors to the International N Gauge Show in Stuttgart in November 2017 liked Gilly North’s ‘Staffordshire Potteries’ layout so much that they voted it best in show.

Others specialise in electronic gadgetry, remote control by PC or mobile phone, loco repairs, decoder fitting, DC and DECC systems, electronically operated multiple points or just using a rod or changing a point by simply pushing it across, and all other aspects too numerous to mention.

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I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think that anyone in the club has every skill, but between us there is always someone who can help. In a male-oriented club, I probably need their help more than anyone.

My advice to all who enjoy any aspect of railway modelling is to join a club that makes you welcome. We are predominantly, but not exclusively, modular, and there are many opportunities for us to display layouts at exhibitions and chat to the visitors, which is constructive and rewarding. Some of our members often tease me that chatting is what I do best! 

Exhibitions we have attended have been throughout a large part of England, and as far away
as Stuttgart in Germany. I am so glad that I took up this hobby in maturity, and I’ll be forever grateful for the help and comradeship I have experienced from all our club members and exhibition visitors.

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Gilly North,Email

For more Letters, Opinion, Reviews, News and Views, see the April 2019 edition of Modelling – available now!

For a complete list of stockists and how to get your copy, visit:

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt