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Model railway society name new room for passionate ex-member

PUBLISHED: 08:24 05 February 2015

The Thetford and District Model a Railway Society invite Rose Harris to unveil a plaque on the door to their new home at The Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford.
 Picture by: Sonya Duncan

The Thetford and District Model a Railway Society invite Rose Harris to unveil a plaque on the door to their new home at The Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

A model railway society have named their new home in memory of a long-standing member with a passion for the hobby.

Mike Harris died last year before he could see Thetford & District Model Railway Society’s new home at the Charles Burrell Centre.

A plaque dedicating the room as the Mike Harris Memorial Room was unveiled by his widow, Rose, after members decided it would be a fitting tribute.

Ian Dixon, society chairman, said Mr Harris was a “consummate modeller”.

“His contribution was extensive. Mike had a passion for all things railway starting while he was still living in Birmingham. He knew a great many of the great doyennes of the hobby.

“He was always building something and instigated the building, by the club, of a permanent “OO” gauge model railway at Bressingham Steam Museum. “He used to volunteer at Bressingham and was often seen as a guard on their minature lines,” he said.

Mr Harris was a keen collector of older models of model railway, but his real passion was for narrow guage railways, according to Mr Dixon.

“Mike and Rose spent many holidays on the Bay of the Somme Steam Railway travelling up and down the metre gauge lines and enjoying the railway view from hotel bedrooms.

“In the last couple of years he had been building, out of plastic, models of the unique County Donegal Railway (CDR) rolling stock in 16mm to the foot scale.

“The models were so good that the Chairman of the CDR asked for a model of one of their railcars, it now sits proudly on display in a showcase in their museum,” he said.

His contribution to modelling also included helping to organise a school model railway club in Brandon and helping to plan and run the 16mm Association Shows at Breckland School.

He helped to set up and run the Thetford & District Model Railway Society Shows in Brandon and elsewhere, held the post of Secretary at the Club as well as taking layouts to other venues.

Mr Dixon added: “The loss of Mike and his skills is felt by the members all the time,”

Have you or a group made a special dedication recently? Email tbw.news@archant.co.uk or call 01842 752510.

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