Banner Shadow

West Huntspill Model Engineering Society Mission Statement

The West Hunspill Model Engineering Society is a friendly and welcoming group of like-minded people who aim to encourage, develop and provide facilities for members as they pursue their hobby.

We have over 70 members, including some new Junior and Youth Members, who are committed to making and running models driven either by steam or electric power.

Our main interest is centred on our railway at West Huntspill Memorial Playing Fields, where, thanks to the generosity of the local council, we have a raised 5” and 3 ½” track for members to run our locomotives.

On Sunday afternoons in the summer months we have public running, when visitors of all ages can ride on our trains.

Other members will be interested in building and running traction engines, small portable and mill engines or boats and aircraft.

The Society celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2017, and in 2018 completed its new Clubhouse and a roadway, built entirely by the skill, enthusiasm and hard work of some of the members.  Our next project is to provide a ground level track around the perimeter of the site for larger 7 1/4 “ gauge locomotives.

We do, of course, want to welcome new members, and they can be assured of a warm welcome.  There will always be plenty of good advice and help for anyone who needs it, and also plenty of fun, banter and social activities throughout the year.

Roger Flower

Chairman – West Huntspill Model Engineering Society


Originally the West Huntspill Model Engineering Society was formed in the early sixties by a group of like-minded individuals with a passion for miniature steam locomotives. Then known as the Weston-super-mare Live Steam Society

As the original name suggests, it was based in Weston, sometimes meeting in local hostelries in the town but most often at the home of a founder member, Morton Street, in his rather large shed. Mort to all his friends was a signwriter and grainer by trade, so had plenty of space in the shed, and he produced some exquisitely lined and lettered engines.

He also had a 3½”/5″g up and down track in the garden, which was rather steep, so heavy braking was the order of the day or one ended up in the fruit bushes!

During the early to mid-sixties the Society had grown considerably and the decision was made to find a permanent site for a raised 3½”/5″ gauge track.

The first site chosen was in the grounds of Ellenborough Park West, Weston, and the owners of the land and the Convent School close by were approached. However they wanted rather a lot of money for the use of the park and placed so many restrictions on its use that in the end it was unviable to proceed further and the track never built.

In the meantime the membership had grown and was now quite widely spread. A number of members from Highbridge and West Huntspill approached the West Huntspill Parish Council in 1966.

By 1967, the Society had a permanent home on its present site at the Memorial Playing Field, which is held by the Council in trust as a War Memorial to the men of the area who fell in the First and Second Wars. At the same time the society changed its name to the Weston-super-Mare and Westhuntspill Live Steam Society

The Society was given a 100-year lease on an area previously occupied by a defunct Tennis Club, of which our present Running Shed is a relic, as are some patches of the asphalt court, which remain under a thin layer of soil in the conservation zone in the centre of the track. The original track was an oval with a length of 520 feet, which was to be officially known as the Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway Memorial Track.

Many of the members at this time were ex-Somerset & Dorset railwaymen. Most of the materials used in the construction of the line came from the old S&D station and works in Highbridge. (The works had closed on the 31st December 1929. Although locomotive maintenance and wagon repairs continued until 1955 when the buildings took fire and burned down the shell was still standing when the line closed on 6th March 1966.)

Our first track was completed the following year in only six weeks and opened by local dignitaries, by which time the name had changed to the Weston-Super-Mare and West Huntspill Live Steam Society.

A short while later the station building was acquired from British Rail and came from the down platform of the S&D station, Evercreech New. (It can be seen in this 1967 colour photo: -Ed)

1992 the club was renamed the West Huntspill Model Engineering Society to reflect the new direction in  and become a Limited Company in May 1996.

In 1987 the Society decided to extend the track. The new extension increased the length to 732 feet. This was made possible with a generous donation from Bernard Escritt a long-standing member, as a memorial to his late wife. The well-known railway author O.S. Nock accepted our invitation to open the extension, the tape being broken with “Ozzie” riding behind Percy Napper driving his locomotive Earlstoke Manor. A plaque in the clubhouse commemorates this even. The current plaque is a replacement as sadly the original stolen.

Following the success of the extension the Society continued with its development, and invested in signalling to upper quadrant semaphores following Southern signalling practice. Shades of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway were still around. All were managed from a purpose-built signal box and fully interlocked.

David Shepherd the railway artist was formally invited to switch in the signals and presented the Society with one of his paintings.

The society is still growing and the desire grew to extend the track once again to the fullest extent available. The work being carried over the winter of 2010/2011 and was completed and opened in time for the new running season at Easter 2011.

This extension takes the running length to 1072 feet and completes the raised track for the future. The signal box was relocated later that year and the station area redesigned including a new water tank.

The Society completed its new Clubhouse and roadway in 2018, bringing the standards of the facilities up to modern standards.


To apply to become a member of the WHMES Please click

WHMES Membership Application Form 2020 to download the Application for Membership document

 January 2020 Annual Subscriptions:

Membership Joining Fee
Age 18yrs and over £10.00
Under 18 Yrs £4.00
Under 16 Yrs  Free

Full Member Age 18yrs and over £40.00
Partner of Full Member Age 18yrs and over – Free
Additional Full Member in same household £20.00

Junior Engineers Under 16yrs £4.00 Parental / Guardian consent must be provided
Youth Members aged 16 to 18 years £13.00 Parental / Guardian consent must be provided

Please note that the Membership Joining Fee is a one off payment applicable on joining the society – thereafter normal Annual Subscriptions apply.

Note: it is also applicable if membership is allowed to lapse.

On completion of your Application for Membership please forward to the Membership Secretary by e-mail, post or by hand – whichever is most convenient.

If by post please enclose a stamped and addressed envelope made out to the address shown below.

Please make Cheques and Postal Orders payable to the WHMES

Membership Secretary
Mr Roger Flower
6 Trinity Close
Burnham on Sea

Telephone Number  07957533235

Birthday Party