7¼″ Gauge Society

History of the Society & Awards

History of the Society


The 7 ¼” Gauge Society was the brain child of our late President and once Chairman, Dr Brian Rogers (1973/74), who in March 1973 placed an advert in the “Model Engineer” magazine, looking for enthusiasts to attend a proposed meeting, which eventually took place in West House School, Edgbaston, Birmingham with the aim of forming a Society to encompass all things 7 ¼” and 7 ½” gauge.

The meeting was attended by around 35 people and many joined at the meeting with several more soon afterwards. The Society held its first AGM in 1974, at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, the site of the original Echills Wood Railway. Subsequent AGMs have been held in a wide variety of places including Northern Ireland and Belgium (see list, below).

 There have been many notable people from within the miniature railway field involved with the Society besides Brian Rogers our founder, such as Alan Pratt, Robin Butterell and Charles Simpson, the latter giving his name to an annual prize that is awarded to the person deemed to have done most to “further the aims of the Society” during the previous year(s). That person is nominated by the membership and the final decision is taken by the Committee. (See list of recipients, below) In some years an extra award was made for people from outside the UK, which remains the main base of the Society and occasionally there have been two winners in a single year.

 The Society mainstay, its prestigious full-colour magazine, started out as a Xerox-ed News Letter, and didn’t take on its current highly polished finish till some time later. It is now sent out to members in more than 25 different counties around the world. In itself it is a potted history of the Society and all the back numbers are archived and available to be viewed on this site by members.

List of previous A.G.M Venues.

1975                Stockton Park

1976                Porters Hill

1977                Malden MES

1978                Knott End

1979                Betws-y-Coed

1980                Walsall

1981                Hemsby

1982                Runcorn

1983                Echills Wood

1984                Beer

1985                East Herts

1986                Runcorn

1987                Hemsby

1988                Moors Valley

1989                Weston Park, Shops.

1990                Millerbeck

1991                Echills Wood

1992                Beale (Pangbourne)

1993                Ruswarp

1994                Betws-y-Coed

1995                Frimley & Ascot

1996                Comrie

1997                Bentley Park, Sussex

1998                Sutton Coldfield

1999                Drumawhey

2000                Weston Park

2001                Beer

2002                Comrie

2003                Frimley Lodge

2004                Hereford

2005                Millerbeck

2006                Betws-y-coed

2007                P.T.V.F. Brussels

2008                Comrie

2009                Leyland

2010                Echills Wood, Kingsbury.

2011                North Wilts MES Swindon

2012                Woking Miniature Railway Society, Mizens.

2013                Teesside Small Gauge Railway, Stockton-on-Tees.

2014                East Somerset Society of Model Engineers, Shepton Mallet

2015                Hereford Society of Model Engineers, Broomy Hill

2016                Pecorama, Devon.

2017                Burnley and Pendle Miniature Railway Society, Burnley

2018                Scottish Model Engineering Trust - Perth

2019                Newport Model Engineering Society, Wales

2020                AGM held virtually due to Covid

2021                Echills Wood, Kingsbury

2022                Echills Wood, Kingsbury

2023                Bedford Model Engineering Society


Charles Simpson Awards

This annual award is given to a person/s who have been nominated by members who they consider have contributed the most to further the aims of the society. (A recipient can only receive the award once) 

1981          Dennis Evans.

1982          Steve Reed.

1983          Derek Burwell.

1984          Don Witheridge.

1985          George and Frank Smith.

1986          John Goulden.                            

1987          Leo and Bonnie Whisstock.   Jean Villette  (overseas).

1988          Len Hough.                    John Hagan        (overseas).

1989          Fred Beacham.                Luc Tennstedt    (overseas).

1990          Geoff Nicholson.              Bep Blom          (overseas).

1991          John Dabson.                     Clint Ensworth  (overseas).

1992          Arthur Bailey and Jim Haylock.

1993          Ron Green and Bob Smith.

1994          Brett Rogers.

1995          Colin Cartwright.

1996          Robin Butterell.

1997          No nominations.

1998          Dick Stockings and Larry Jones.

1999          David Tedford

2000          David Holroyde

2001          Mrs Anne Hazlewood

2002          Alan Westby

2003          John Milner

2004          Frank Sidebottom

2005          Ivan Smith

2006          Tony Gosling and Arthur Bezeck

2007          Claude Magdelyns

2008          Nigel Musson and Derek Payne

2009          Gareth Jenkins

2010          Jeff Stevens

2011          Rex Mounfield

2012          Mark Sharphouse

2013          Simon Hazlewood

2014          Robert Smith

2015          Colin Edmondson

2016          Anthony Siddall and Chris Baker (overseas)

2017          Mike Bailey

2018          Jeff Fox

2019          Mathew Rainer

2020          Not awarded

2021          Not awarded

2022          Antony Knowles
2023          Terry Robinson


The Brian Reading Award First awarded 2010

This annual award is to recognise excellent model engineering skills and is given for the best model brought to an AGM.

2010         Don Ketley  

2011         Cyril Chandler

2012         Paul Edmonds

2013         Derek Brown

2014         Gerry Clarke

2015         John Green

2016         Colin Edmondson

2017         Adrian Hinchcliffe

2018         Gordon Roberts

2019         Ian Dixon

2020         Not awarded

2021         Simon Mulford

2022         John Cross

2023         Frank Lewis


The Junior Trophy First awarded 2012

The idea for this prestigious award came from one of our founder members William Heller (Member No 4) who, most probably, was the youngest of the original enthusiastic group who founded our Society.

The handsome Trophy, together with a scroll, is awarded annually to a junior member who during the year has made a significant contribution to further the aims of our Society.

2012        Alex Webb

2013        Saffy Hickson-Marshall

2014        No nomination

2015        Tom Moody & James Newby

2016        Not Awarded

2017        Ian Manning

2018        No nomination

2019        Robert Woolsey

2020        Not awarded

2021        Not awarded

2022        Not awarded

2023        James Harrison

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