Thursday, December 17, 2015

Club Night at the WMRC

Morgan Turney demonstrates making trees.

How many model railroad clubs are still running today?

What with so many service clubs, churches and other groups seeing declining membership, plus the challenge of finding or keeping space for a layout, I wonder how model railroad clubs are doing.

The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club (WMRC) is soldiering on. Now in its 60th year, the Club continues to meet monthly.

Aaron Woloshyn shows how to make wood hydro poles.

Unlike many other clubs, the WMRC doesn't have a layout. Never has, in fact. (Which is why, some long-timers joke, the Club has managed to stay together for so long--fewer fights!)

Monthly meetings often feature a presentation or two about the prototype or some aspect of the hobby, plus a time for socializing over coffee and a 50-50 draw.

Like many other organizations, the WMRC has seen its membership decline. That's no knock on the leadership; it's just the way things are today. And with the Internet, there's no need to go to meetings regularly to get answers to pressing hobby-related questions.

Ian Plett shows how to install decoders.

Even the library, which once was one of the most important selling points for Club membership, isn't as compelling as it once was. If you want to know how to do DCC wiring or lay track, just Google it.

But there's still something about hanging out with real human beings and having a conversation. And that is what the WMRC continues to offer.

Ron Einarson shows how to
 model with wood.

I must confess that, after over 20 years of dedicated participation, my own attendance has slacked off of late. But I went to the most recent meeting and took these photos. It was the annual Klinic Karnival, where members demonstrate hobby techniques.

So here's to the the Winnipeg Model Railroad Club, and to all the other clubs that are still going. May you have many more years of meetings and success.

Frederik and Gerrit Braun, owners and creators of
Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland, model WMRC 60th
anniversary T-shirts.

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