We're a group of like minded people interested in all things model engineering, specifically model locomotives, both steam and battery powered, traction engines, stationary engines and specialised workshop equipment. The club is also responsible for running the Ryton Pools Miniature Railway at Ryton Pools, near Coventry. The railway runs every Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday from Easter until the end of September.

The club has a great social side, with regular meetings, steam ups and events such as the annual efficiency competition and fish & chip supper. There's a huge pool of knowledge and experience in all things engineering within the club so it's a great way to learn and teach new skills. We also arrange a club stand, portable track and workshop at the locally held Midlands Model Engineering Exhibition each year.

If you're interested in model engineering or would simply like to help run the miniature railway you're more than welcome to join our friendly club.

Find us

The society is based at Ryton Pools Country Park near Coventry which is on Leamington Road (A445), near Bubbenhall.(postcode CV8 3BH)

Join

If you would like to become a member please download the application form and return to us along with your fees using our postal address

Alternatively you can hand your application and fee to a member of the committee any Saturday afternoon at Ryton Pools and be introduced to others members of the society.

Annual Subscriptions are due on or before the 1st November. New members joining part way through the year pay a discount as shown in the table.

Joining Date Member Senior Junior Family
1st Nov - 31st Jan £44 £32 £7 £3
1st Feb - 30th April £33 £24 £7 £3
1st May - 31st July £22 £16 £4 £3
1st Aug - 31st Oct £11 £8 £4 £3

A detailed definition of the 4 different types of membership are:

Type Description
Membership
£44 per year
Membership of the Society is open to anyone between the Ages of 16 and 65. Members have FULL voting rights within the society and are entitled to request a Gate Pass to the Country Park.
Senior Membership
£32 per year
Senior membership is open to anyone over the age of 65. Senior members have FULL voting rights within the society and are entitled to request a gate pass to the Country Park.
Junior Membership
£7 per year
Junior membership is open to anyone under the age of 16. Note that Junior members have no voting rights within the society and they are NOT entitled to apply for a Gate Pass for the Country Park

Note - applications for Junior membership MUST be countersigned by a parent or guardian
Associate Family Member
£3 per year
If you are already a Member or Senior Member and have other family members living at the same address, of any age, who would also like to become members, then they can become Associate Family Members for an additional £3.00 per person per year.

Note - Associate Family members do NOT have any voting rights in the Society NOR are they entitled to apply for Gate Passes for the Country Park in their own right.

Contact Us

You can contact us via email info@coventrymes.co.uk

You're welcome to visit us on a Saturday or Sunday (when Ryton Pools Miniature Railway is open to the public), a friendly face is always available to answer questions.
If you would like to join the society please fill in our application form.

You can also write to us at the following address:

C.M.E.S.
c/o Visitors Centre
Ryton Pools Country Park
Ryton Road
Bubbenhall
Coventry
CV8 3BH

  • The early years...

    Our Humble Beginnings

    From reports in back issues of Model Engineer it would appear the society was inaugurated as early as 1904 or 1908. There were reports of the society exhibiting, amongst other items A large ‘O’ gauge layout at the March 1922 exhibition.

    After getting involved with the wireless craze of the period the model making part of the society fizzled out in 1925.

  • 1934-35

    Pre war

    The Society next appears in 1934-35 as the Coventry Society of Model and Experimental Engineers. For the first year or so regular meetings were held in the Reference library, Derby Lane.

    Then in 1937 came a change of name to the Coventry Model Engineering Society with a change of venue to premises over a shoe shop in East Street. Sadly following severe damage during the Blitz these premises were vacated and machinery was either sold or distributed to Society members to avoid further losses.

  • 1943

    Post war

    In 1943 a few members held a reunion and as a result monthly meetings were resumed at the Ragged School. Then in 1948 the meetings moved to the B.T.H. Social Club and an ‘OO’ gauge railway was established in a cellar there.

    This group eventually broke away to form The Coventry Railway Society based at the Coventry Canal Warehouse. When this venue closed in 1963 the Society transferred to a schoolroom in Wheatley Street School, only yards away from where the original Society had met some 60 years earlier.

    In 1970 the Society moved to the Maudsley hotel and it was here on the 12th February 1975 that the Coventry Model Engineering Society was formerly wound up and formed into a limited Company - The Coventry Model Engineering Society Limited.

  • 1952

    War memorial park

    During its life the Society has built and operated three tracks. The first was in the Coventry War Memorial Park. The Track was officially opened in 1952 and ran for over 27 years until it was finally closed in 1980.

  • 1981

    Stoneleigh Abbey

    For some time the Society had been looking for a new site which would allow for larger radius curves to accommodate some of the visiting club's locomotives. A new site was eventually acquired at Stoneleigh Abbey

    After much work rebuilding the track and facilities, public running at Stoneleigh Abbey commenced in 1981.

  • 1997

    Ryton pools

    Following the transfer of ownership of Stoneleigh Abbey and its 690-acre estate by the then owner Lord Leigh to a charitable trust in 1996, the society was once again in search of a new home. This led us to our current location at Ryton Pools Country Park - our latest home where we started building our current track in 1997, it looks like being the biggest and best yet!

Frequently Asked Questions

These are just a few of the common questions people ask when they are thinking about getting involved with the Coventry Model Engineering Society

Do I need to be an engineer?

NO – Although many of the society members are engineers there are also other members who have either NO engineering training or very limited skills. For those who wish to learn some of these skills there is a vast pool of knowledge available from members – all you need to do is ask. The only problem you’ll experience is just whose advice to take.

Do I need to own a Locomotive?

NO – Many members don’t own their own locomotives. The club owns various steam, electric and petrol locomotives, and provided you have the necessary skills (training is available) and meet the safety requirements then you can drive those.

If I do own my own loco can I use the track at any time?

YES – Provided the loco has all the appropriate certificates (current hydraulic and steam test) then club members are free to use the track at any time (as long as you don’t interfere with public running – the track is fully signalled), the only limitations are that members MUST NOT run locomotives on their own for safety reasons. So provided there is another member in attendance then the track is available for use. If members don’t own their own locos then they can run the club's locos at "Steam Ups" provided they are qualified to do so.

If I want to build something can I get any help?

CERTAINLY – As much help as you need, there is a vast pool of knowledge within the society and all you need to do is ask for help. In fact one of the main reasons to join is to be able to tap into this knowledge.

Do I have to work at weekend?

NO – There is no "required" working, the railway is maintained and operated on a voluntary basis, the only commitment we like members to accept is to help crew the railway during public running periods. This usually amounts to four Sundays between Easter and September where we operate the railway between about 13:00 and 16:00, even this isn’t compulsory.

Volunteers usually work Saturday afternoons, with the occasional all day Saturday dependent on workload, and Wednesday evenings on track maintenance, refurbishing buildings etc but this is all voluntary.

Can I learn to Drive a Steam Train?

YES - Although they are only small they operate just like a full size steam loco but as well as being the driver you’re also the fireman. So provided you meet the safety requirements and age limits then club members can teach you how to operate and, more importantly, "look after" a steam loco and once it’s felt that you are competent you would be qualified (subject to age limitations) to carry the public during public running.

You can also learn to drive the club's electric and petrol locos which although they are less involved still have their peculiarities.

What if I just want to “Work On the Railway”?

Not a problem either; we have several members who are not really interested in model engineering but just like to be involved in operating a railway. For public running we usually operate with a crew of four. So in addition to the driver there is a Guard, who is really in charge of the Train – (you need to be qualified for that seat!)

There is also the important job of manning the ticket office, whilst the fourth member does the running around and is in charge of the platforms, this involves organising passengers and helping to load and unload them. You will also need to assist the engine driver in keeping the loco running (supplying coal, water etc), clipping the tickets when the train is loaded (that’s the fun bit) and generally keeping an eye on what’s happening.

Does the club have a Social Side?

YES – During the year we organise several “Steam Ups” where members and their friends & families meet at the track for an afternoon of just "Playing Trains" and enjoying themselves. At these events we usually arrange for BBQ food to be available as well as hot and cold drinks.

We also hold regular meetings featuring talks, slide shows and videos. We also have an annual "Bring and Buy" Sale which usually has a good selection of tools and materials as members try to make room in their workshops - for more tools and materials!

What do I do Next?

If you want to learn more about the Society then please come up and see us, although members are often at the track during the week there is always someone there on Saturday afternoons who will be more than willing to talk to you about the society and show you around.

If you’d like to join the society then just complete the application form.

We look forward to seeing you soon......

HEALTH WARNING!

We would like to point out that the hobby of model engineering is addictive and many members who had no initial interest in model engineering do get hooked. There is a great deal of satisfaction in "making" something that actually works. In the days of steam, loco-men would often say that steam locomotives were alive, a living thing, and although our steam trains are tiny in comparison the feeling is just the same. So beware!