The Valley Road Model Engineering Society came into being in 1996 when the Nottingham S. M. E. E. decided to vacate their Valley Road site in the City of Nottingham and move to the then embryo Heritage Centre at Ruddington. Although it would be several years before the site at Ruddington was up and running the N.S.M.E.E. had come to the decision that it could not afford to split its resources, especially that of man power, between two sites and were resolved to dismantle the track and facilities at Valley Road. However a few members decided that they would like to keep the track and facilities at Valley Road running and struck a deal with the N.S.M.E.E. to take over the site as a running concern. This was to the Nottingham Society advantage as they no longer had to worry about dismantling the site and could concentrate on their new venture and so the Valley Road Model Engineering Society was born.

 

The site at Valley Road was first occupied by the N.S.M.E.E. in 1953 and continued to operate quite successfully under its new management until the situation with vandals became impossible. There was little or no help forthcoming from either the Police or the City Council landlords and when one day in 2000, members found the raised track rolled up like coils of barbed wire it was the end of 47 years of Model Engineering on the site.

 

The owner of a local Garden Centre had offered the use of a piece of derelict land adjacent to his Garden Centre to the east of the City, on Catfoot Lane, Lambley, this now gave fresh hope to this fledgling Society. Work began on levelling the new site in 2000, and the first loop of raised track was completed in 2002. The double loop was operating a year later and it was about then that the ownership of the land was taken over by a less sympathetic Landlord and the Society tenure of the site became insecure. It remained so until 2008 when it was taken over by a third owner who saw the presence of the Miniature Railway an asset. The Society now runs on 14 days throughout the season giving rides to the customers of the Farm Park which is part of the Garden Centre. Until this venture the Society had been unable to generate any income other than that of membership subscriptions due to Planning restrictions. For the first time in a long while the future of the Society seems more secure and a percentage of the takings add to the Society income while the remainder goes to the Landlord in lieu of rent.

 

With the need to have a Locomotive always ready to meet the power requirements on running days Keith Davies designed a freelance 5 Inch gauge Diesel Locomotive, the parts were farmed out to various members for manufacture and the Locomotive was running in 3 months. It proved itself over two running seasons and has been the mainstay on running days, now during its winter maintenance all outstanding cosmetic work on the Locomotive has been completed.

 

The track is approximately 265m (869 ft.) in length of raised 3.5 Inch and 5 Inch Gauge track and consists of a double loop folded in on itself, so has both left and right hand curves. Rotating points connect the circuit to the service line which leads to the Steaming bays and loading point. A new station was constructed to improve conditions for both customers and staff during Public Running. With a membership that has never exceeded the mid-forties and, until recently, no other income, the recycling of materials has played a big part of any projects. As much reclaimed timber as possible was used in the new Station and fencing. The short tunnel was constructed out of old Pig Pens and plywood sheet. The remaining line side features are constructed almost entirely from recycled materials.