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LMSS Masthead

The LMS Society

Photo of Marthwaite Station

Ex-Midland Railway Class 3 4-4-0 No.773, in pre-1928 LMS crimson lake passenger livery, heads a local passenger train on the 7mm scale fine scale model railway layout of one of the LMS Society's founders. The historical detail present in this view (intended as representative of the Midland Division of the LMS in the late 1920s) was based almost entirely on independent new research, some by the owner, but with a large portion in association with fellow Society members.

WHAT IS THE LMS SOCIETY ?

The LMS Society was founded in 1963 by a small group of dedicated modelmakers whose main aim was to find out as much accurate and original information as possible about the subject of their interest in the London Midland and Scottish Railway, so as to enable the construction of accurate and definitive models, be they static or working, not only for themselves, but also for the wider modelling fraternity. For those who were so inclined, a subsidiary aim was to discover sufficient information about the working of the LMS so as to allow those who were modelmakers, to operate models in as realistic a manner as possible. This in turn led to a much wider study of the LMS infrastructure, including signalling, road vehicles, architecture, not to mention the significance of the many subsidiary aspects of its inheritance from the pre-grouping companies, all of which followed naturally from the original aims and objectives.

In essence, the Society has never deviated from these initial objectives, and it has always been implicit that any who joined the Society, should, above all, be active rather than passive in terms of contributing towards the fundamental aims. This, in turn, has made it rather inevitable that those who join are either able to contribute to, or willing to research into, the growing pool of knowledge, rather than simply gain passive benefit from the efforts of others. Membership has thus, by definition, remained somewhat restricted in terms of its general approach, though it was not long before individuals with no modelling interests, found the essential "working" character of the Society to be much to their liking and, having made their interests and activities known, were invited to join its ranks. And so it has remained to the present day, with a current membership of 41.

However, from an early stage, it was realised that this specialised form of membership posed a number of additional problems in terms of disseminating information (once gathered) to a wider public, so a further prime objective of the Society was to make its' growing knowledge available to any and all who were interested, but who were, for whatever reasons, unable to make their own direct input and thus become a member of the Society. This drive to publish information, has mostly, but not exclusively, taken the form of books and articles, of which well more than 1300 examples have, since 1963, been made available to the wider public, and a number of additional book projects are currently in hand. Members have also provided advice and information "when this has been asked for" to many of the well-known model making firms seeking to reproduce accurate LMS and pre-group company prototypes.

In addition, the Society continues to offer information and an advisory service to any interested party, insofar as members are able to do so from their own knowledge and information available to them, including references to published material. However, whilst every effort is made to satisfy the needs of the enquirer, there can be no guarantee of immediate success. The principle is that a specific query should be put in writing to the Secretary, accompanied by two stamped addressed envelopes, one un-addressed so that the query can be forwarded to the appropriate member, and the other self-addressed for the actual reply which will always be offered. All queries and requests for information are included in the Members' newsletter. Even if a precise answer cannot be given, as much information as is known will be provided, along with suggestions as to which other possible sources might be approached.

The LMS Society has never been a "closed" organisation, and is always seeking to add to its numbers those who are willing to take an active role in pursuing its aims, but it has not and never will seek to enhance its membership total purely for the purposes of numerical or financial gain purposes. It provides a simple newsletter to keep members in touch between its regular meetings each year, including circulation of requests received for information, the administration of which is contained within a very modest annual subscription (currently £10 pa.), but its principal "modus operandum" has always been to function as a "networking" operation between like-minded individual members, whether it be on the model or prototype side.

In order to facilitate this process, the Society meets twice a year at locations which may vary between Scotland and the South West, with at least one visit to a local railway or similar venue. Whilst a formal meeting is generally held on a Saturday, a Friday/Saturday night hotel package at a comfortable hotel is usually available for those who wish to take advantage of the networking opportunities such periodic gatherings provide. Members come at their own expense, but it is a measure of their interest that a 50% or better attendance is quite common, with most members usually managing to attend at least one in three. On these occasions members often bring along photographs, documents and other interesting items, including models for the interest of everyone, and discussion of current and future projects are a core element of meetings. As well as Society business, there is also a social element, and for those who so wish, partners are always welcomed, provided that they are prepared to accept that the main object of the exercise is to "make things happen" and "talk matters LMS" !

If you feel you have something to contribute to this essentially two-way process, and that this sort of organisation might suit you, then please let us know something of your railway interests, by writing to or the Hon. Secretary in the first instance, or, alternatively, when the Society is exhibiting at an exhibition, please do make yourself known to us.

The LMS Society is not in any way an elitist organisation, nor does it seek to be so, but it is a group which values the pro-active contributions of individual members, who share a common interest in making more historic information about the LMS available to the hobby.

TRACK RECORD since 1963:

Society members have had more than 1300 items about the LMS published, including more than 150 books, as well as responding to several hundred enquiries for information. Talks given by members to railway groups probably exceed well over 200 in number.

Three residential LMS Teach-In events have been held, at the Model Railway Club's Keene House in 1972, Dillington House, Somerset in 1976, and at the Ormskirk College in 1978. A major exhibition to mark the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the LMS, occupied the entire Ballroom at the Queens Hotel, Leeds in 1983. The Society took a major part in the celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the LMS built Queens Hotel, Leeds, in November, 1987. Displays of models, photographs and other artefacts, have been made at many Exhibitions, including Manchester, Blackburn, Warley, Wakefield, Crewe Works Open Days, and annually at the Derby Model Railway Exhibition since the early 1980s.

The Society's 25th Anniversary in 1988 was marked with launch of a Silver Trophy for the best representation of the prototype LMS, whether locomotive or other items of rolling stock, or layout, to be competed for annually at the Derby Exhibition. Layouts, individual models and small groups of models have already been awarded the Trophy, and gauge has been no obstacle to faithful representation of the LMS, with the three popular scales of N, 4mm and 7mm all having featured.

In 2006 the Society presented to the Warley Model Railway Club a silver shield which is competed for on a similar basis at the annual Warley National Model Railway exhibition.

Modelling the LMS has always been high on the agenda throughout the life of the Society. Several members have become well-known through having their modelling skills featured in magazine articles, and in one instance, a book "Historic Railway Modelling" explains how a very high standard of modelling has been achieved. In addition, three members contribute to the availability of kits for the modeller, through their own private small businesses and members help well-known makers of RTR models in several scales with development of LMS prototypes. Helping the modeller will continue to be high on the agenda in the future. One of our members is the LMS Railway Company Steward for the Historical Model Railway Society.

THE FUTURE:

Research into the many facets of LMS operations continues, and the findings will in due course, be made available to the railway and model railway fraternity through the medium of publishing in one form or another.

The Society is also very mindful that the future well-being of the Society will depend on the introduction of new members, who are prepared to become actively involved, whether this is achieved by way of invitations to known individuals, or by those who are sufficiently keen and have the interest to write in and make themselves known. Please do the Secretary for more information.

ARCHIVAL INFORMATION:

Please see the LMSS Bibliography page for details of a list of book and article titles by members and how to obtain a printed copy if you wish.

Similarly, please see the Coach Drawings page for a list of LMS and LNWR/WCJS coach drawings held by the Society. Prints of these drawings can be supplied as detailed on the page.

Further lists of published material on the LMS are in the course of preparation.

Enquiries, general or specific, are welcomed on any aspect of the LMS, or in connection with techniques for modelling the LMS, and whilst no charge is made for replies, copies of drawings or photographs are charged at cost plus postage. All enquiries should be made initially by to the Secretary.

OFFICERS:

Chairman - Michael Byng, 83 Birmingham Road, Whitacre Heath, Coleshill, BIRMINGHAM, B46 2ET

Hon.Secretary - Arnold Tortorella, 38 The Forge, Braidpark Drive, Giffnock, GLASGOW, G46 6LB

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