The Roundhouse Journal February 2004


Hello from sunny Dorset, a new year and I find myself as the editor of the Journal (how did that happen?)
Many thanks to Mark for all his efforts over the years keeping the Journal going through thick and thin.

Due to the paucity of the material this will be of necessity a slim edition. I believe the Journal is an important part of the society, it keeps members in touch, passes on knowledge and is a forum for members views and news. Having spoken to members around the site I hope in future issues to include a letters page, news of projects around the site, a junior news page, a members items for sale and wanted page. Plus all club news, advance notices and anything pertaining to model engineering. Remember it is your journal, so any ideas or contributions will be gratefully received. See contact detail below.

Its AGM time again!
The committee do a very good job all year working for the society. They deserve our support, so please make the effort to come along to the AGM, have your say and give the committee your backing.

AGM Friday 5 March 2004 at 8.00pm sharp!
See you there, MIKE O'BRIEN

I can be contacted at:- The White House, 8 Sandy Lane, St Ives, Ringwood, Hants BH24 2LE Telephone :-01425 474395

1. The vertical mill is in the process of rewiring after changing the control box position to allow the mill to be placed closer to the wall and to improve maintainability.
2. The Universal tool and cutter grinder is awaiting electrical testing prior to being commissioned.
3. The nine-inch pedestal grinder and the engraver are waiting for 415v sockets, as is
the tool bit grinder.
4. The workshop services now consist of an air supply, 240v sockets, 11Ov sockets,
and 415v sockets all serviceable.
5. The bench is complete with vices and wall-mounted services.

All the turning machinery has been levelled and is fit for use.
The mills / shaper now have guards.
I have yet to order the hydraulic platform for moving heavy equipment.
I have not yet started the manufacture of the chuck and vice stands.

Having been asked to take the position of workshop manager I started the process of installing the newly acquired equipment. It was pointed out that the current electrical system was not up to being extended. The workshop was closed for two weeks in August whilst a heavier main supply was installed and the lighting was upgraded and extended into the new section. The power points were also installed during this time. I asked for 110v supplies to be included, as this had been overlooked in the initial requirements, this was granted and subsequently installed. All this electrical work was carried out by P. Henley which required a big investment in time.

The bench was constructed on site, fitted and vices acquired. The lions share of the bench construction and fitting was carried out by D.Wilkins and P.Pullen with assistance from the rest of the Saga team.This work of major refurbishment was carried out with only the August period in which the workshop could not be used. Contrary to some sour grape comments this was the only period of closure, at all other times at least one of each type of machine was usable and a vice and bench section was maintained.

Machines have been individually out of service while they have been moved or exchanged but are now in their final positions. The only machine still to be exchanged is the hacksaw. Some of the machines had faults on them, the electrical faults have been sorted by D.Smith and P. Henley, I have dealt with mechanical failures assisted by W. Smith. J. Mottram extended and up rated the heating system. General assistance over a wide range of work has been carried out by Dennis and Brian. Without the willing assistance of members none of the above works would have been possible in the time frame.

The club now has a workshop with uncluttered working surfaces and machines that are fully available. (The workshop is no longer an executive karsy i.e. is not separately locked and is available to all). This of course puts the safety issue also on everybody. May I state here that if you are using the workshop then you are responsible for working safely, some guards are provided but if what you are doing cannot be adequately guarded with what is provided then either you do not do it here or you make the operation safe by other means yourself. You are responsible for the safety of others not just yourself. After that bleat I hope many members avail themselves of the facilities but please leave things in a better condition than which you found them.

L.Broadley l5 Feb2004

Len after writing the workshop report and John has just heard the "all day" big breakfast is being served! Captured on camera at the Model Engineering Exhibition, Wembley 2004.

Discussion paper prepared by Stuart Walker

For many years our society has been ably managed by a central committee with little or no change. Whilst democratically elected each year at our Annual General Meeting, the committee operates behind closed doors seeking no decision- making involvement from the general membership. This top down approach has, none the less, enabled the society to successfully manage the estate and operate a model railway that is principally dedicated to raising funds by providing entertainment for the paying public. However, this approach presents two unfortunate consequences. Firstly, it severely limits and discourages model engineers who have wider interests beyond that of building, maintaining and operating model railways and secondly it alienates members who feel that they have no voice in an organisation who's committee seems both narrowly focused and unwilling to promote any group discussion with the membership. It has been pointed out to me on several occasions that the majority of members are simply not interested in change and are quite happy to accommodate the present "them and us" situation where they do nothing and a small group of dedicated members( mostly committee members) do all the work. Such an apathetic approach leads the society toward a declining membership, with a dwindling band of ageing volunteers and a growing of number of ordinary members feeling increasingly alienated by poor communications and a lack of inspirational leadership. For other societies this would spell out terminal decline, but within our own society such decline is conveniently cushioned by a significant estate income. Nonetheless, things are heading in the wrong direction and there is need for significant change if this is to be halted and subsequently reversed. It has been pointed out that such change could be accommodated by deselection and the election of a new committee. Whilst this may at first glance seem the answer, it is by no means necessary nor, in my view, desirable.

The proposals for change set out below are not intended to limit the present activities or discourage those who have done their very best to improve the societies facilities and keep it together. They are simply designed to help develop a self-sustaining way forward that will not only better stimulate involvement by the majority of members in making the best use of the facilities we already have, but also offer a future based on improvement that benefits us all. They are also designed to help new members explore the fascinating world of model engineering and enjoy the benefits of being part of our successful model engineering society. I believe the key to success could be best achieved by providing :-

• A clearly defined and accepted vision of how the society sees itself. Clarity here is critical as the vision is needed as a reference when considering the value of what we say and do.

• A people centred leadership which is prepared to facilitate effective group discussion aimed at stimulating membership involvement and commitment to achieving the shared vision.

• Published plans that clearly show the work of the society, broken down into individual projects set within an overarching programme.

Each project needs to be defined in terms of why it is needed, what has to be done, budget, timetable and team. Whilst the success of the team should be defined by the project, the success of the project leader should be assessed by his/her ability to get the participants to work together as a team and for each to get personal satisfaction and suitable recognition. • Publish reviews of all projects. These must be realistic assessments of what has been achieved and not used as a means of casting blame or seeking retribution; nor should they be used to make out that complete perfection was achieved. The purpose is complete openness so we can all learn how to do things better.

There is no need for a large committee to make this happen, simply a compact executive comprising a president who is responsible for establishing and maintaining the vision that binds us together as a model engineering society and a small team comprised of little more than a chairman, secretary, treasurer and programme coordinator to work together as guardians of the societies assets and facilitators to bring about a much wider involvement and genuine commitment of the membership to the society and each other.

I would suggest that all the societies activities should be described as projects. These may be seen as new capital works, ongoing maintenance or event activities. Any member should be able to propose a project and put together a proposal for discussion and majority agreement during regular formal meetings of the society members. The project sponsor may, or may not, become the project leader but the leader, once agreed by the membership should be responsible for developing the full proposal for acceptance. Once accepted the leader should ensure that the team delivers not only value to the society but also value to the individuals involved in doing the work.

To help new and existing members to more easily explore particular avenues of model engineering, I would suggest we set up a register of specialist interest champions, made up of members who have a particular interest and who are prepared to offer advice and introductions to other members, in particular new members who are trying to find their way into this fascinating but also complex hobby. Members offering these services would also help provide a focal point for members special interests and help advise on internal projects and what is happening elsewhere. In addition there should also be a published list of all members that provides contact information, describes their model engineering interests and commitments to our society.

To help widen our involvement with the local community, extend our technical skills and find new members, I would suggest establishing permanent contacts with schools, technical colleges and universities and may be local business and community groups.

To make all this happen and spread the workload as wide as possible, I would suggest monthly meetings of the membership, which are run by a small team of facilitators using a pre-published agenda with support papers to draw out the views of the membership and obtain consensus and commitment on the best way. The outcome of the meeting should be reported in terms of simple action notes available to the members that same evening so that there is no doubt over who has agreed to do what.

The above should be read as a discussion paper that may be used for preparing formal proposals for our next general meeting.


As Treasurer I look after the financial matters relating to the Society but I also manage the ice cream sales, shop and ticket office on open days.

I have lost a few of our regular helpers due to personal commitments since last year and I am currently looking for staff to run these facilities on 2004 open days. We URGENTLY need willing volunteers who are able to give a hand in selling ice creams & lollies, tickets and running the shop. Ideally we ask volunteers to give advance notice of which dates they are able to assist but often offers of help on the day can make the difference between a facility being open or shut! Timescales are from 13.45 to approx 17.30 and can be on a rota system if enough volunteers are available. I will be on hand throughout the day to provide support as required.

If you are interested in getting involved with this varied and interesting way of assisting the Society, would you please contact me either by E-mail, by phone 01892 525313 or by writing to me at the address shown below.

Mike Evans
Brunel House
234 Greggs Wood Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN23HU.

5" Electric loco complete or chassis only, anything considered.
Basil Bloom, phone:-0208 894 7149

Industrial and Provident Society Acts
The Committee has reviewed this new Act which comes into force this Spring. It applies to the club because the club is an Industrial and Provident Society.

Most of the provisions of the Act appear to have no significant impact on the normal operation of the club. However after discussion with our solicitors, the committee has agreed to create the following new Bye-Law. The rule is based upon a rule defined by the Charity Law Association, while the club is not a charity this does provide the basis for a suitable form of words.

Whenever a member of a committee or sub committee has a personal interest (or a personal business or other relationship with a potential supplier related thereto) in a matter to be discussed at a meeting of the relevant committee or sub-committee, he or she must:

(1) declare an interest at or before the beginning of discussion of the matter;
(2) withdraw from the meeting for that item unless expressly invited to remain in order to provide information;
(3) not to be counted in the quorum for that part of the meeting; and
(4) withdraw during the vote and have no vote on the matter.

The Rules of the Club, as registered under the Industrial and Provident Society Acts, empowers the Committee under Rule 29 to make Bye-Laws. The Club's Bye-Laws are held in a document called MDSME-Bye-Laws for Administration, Operations and Construction, a copy of which is available in the clubhouse. The committee is currently reviewing the contents of the entire set of Bye-Laws to insure continued relevance and that they are up to date. At the February committee meeting, Section 7.1 Club Bye-laws, General will be reviewed. It is in that section that the new rule above is being placed.