History of the Society
“The Elizabethan Railway Society” (E.R.S.) was founded in 1959 by two former pupils from “The Queen Elizabeth Grammar School for Boys” located in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. (Hence the ”Elizabethan”).
“Elizabethan” was also the name given to the Monthly Magazine of the E.R.S., produced from January 1962 to late 1965. The magazines have proved to be extremely valuable information sources during research into our history. (Today's equivalent is the Internet).
Quoting from the “Elizabethan” Vol. 1, No. 6 (Special Exhibition Number) June 1962:-
“.... For the benefit of those of you who do not know anything about us, we have been formed for nearly three years and have already held one successful Exhibition in October last year. We have been to many areas up and down the country such as Swindon, Darlington, Doncaster, Crewe and our latest 1st July, to Carlisle. All of our members have one thing in common, they are fanatically interested in Railways. Some of them prefer to specialise in Modelling, Photography, Railway History, or just watching the trains go by. At the moment anyone over the age of 12 years can join our Society (this will be raised to 14 soon) and the annual subscription is 5/-. We are hoping to obtain a regular meeting place in the near future and indoor meetings will commence in September. We are also looking for adults who are interested in local Railway history. ….”
Our first regular meeting place is documented in the “Elizabethan” Vol. 2, No. 1, January 1963. This was a four-room flat, above a shop, in Stanton Hill (Sutton-in-Ashfield). Two years later we moved to premises, above a shop, on Station Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
Clearly the early days were dominated by members interested in visiting Loco Sheds and Works.
Since October 1961 we have staged an Annual Exhibition. Not 2020, though, because of Covid-19.
With the impending demise of UK national steam, the interest of members turned more to model railways.
An ex Territorial Army wooden building measuring 60 by 18 feet, located in Mansfield, was purchased, removed, stored then re-erected by our members in 1969/70 at our current site in Sutton-in-Ashfield. This enabled the E.R.S. to offer more space for members to actively develop model railways within the Society's environment.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck in 2004, when vandals set fire to the wooden building, which was then written off. Replacement buildings form the Society's premises today. Through the great resolve of our members, the E.R.S. moved forward from that setback and now have various model railway layouts as listed here.