While Grimsby & Cleethorpes Model Engineering Society has occupied its present site at Waltham Windmill, on the outskirts of Grimsby, for some 25 years or so, one area has remained undeveloped throughout that period.
In view of this, it was decided to make use of that area by way of an extension to the ground-level track that has been in place for some years. It took more than two years to obtain planning permission, but this received the green light in February 2014.
The existing track, including loops and sidings etc, extends to about 860 metres – or around half-a-mile – with the main outer circuit running to almost 400 metres. The planned extension will add a further 280 metres of 5in and 7-1/4in dual-gauge track.
It will add much more, however, as it will prove more challenging for locomotive drivers – particularly steam – involving various gradients not encountered on the existing circuit.
Furthermore, it will enhance the experience of passengers on our public running days, with the extension running out of view through trees, over a 70-metre viaduct and on to different levels.
The track extension, however, is just part of an overall improvement plan for the site, planning permission also having been given for a traditional canopy over the station area, an extension to the tunnel – effectively doubling its length to around 26 metres (or more than 85 feet) – a small Garden Gauge railway and a noticeboard to keep the public up to speed with our activities and public running schedule.
Although some of the work is being undertaken by members, the estimated cost of the major part of the programme is nothing short of considerable and the society – which relies solely on the modest fares charged for train rides and the equally modest annual membership subscriptions for the upkeep of the site – is currently looking into the most appropriate means of funding this ambitious development (Lottery winners feel free to help out!).
At the same time, tenders are being invited from any suitably qualified firms to undertake some or all of the project which includes steelwork, masonry and groundwork's.
The ultimate goal is to considerably enhance the appearance of the club site, thereby contributing to the wellbeing and success of the windmill site in particular and the area in general.
We hope our aims will be welcomed, applauded and indeed supported by the community as a whole.