Cheddar Steam Club

The model club for boats and trains

About Us

We have a delightful site where our pond and railway are available to members 363 days a year. We have a healthy membership of single members or family memberships. All of our members have an interest in boats, trains or both. There is ample parking on-site and there is plenty of space for those people wanting to maintain social distancing.

The pond was originally used by Cheddar Models Ltd, to test their steam powered boat engines. Since the company stopped trading, the club has been fortunate to be granted a licence to continue using the facility by the land owner. The pond is approximately fifty metres in diameter and is approximately anything from fifty centimetres to one metre in depth.

The club runs all types of model boats with the exception of IC powered models or high-speed electric powered racing craft. Both of these are banned by the club on this pond for safety and noise considerations. Deep-keeled sailing boats may have a problem because the pond shallows down at the sides.

We have a track layout with three large loops and a central steaming bay. The three track layouts are 32mm, 45mm garden rail and 45mm gauge one. The layout is suitable for self-propelled steam or battery powered units. It is not suitable for electric 'track pick up’ models.

Club Members have their own “key” to the gate to allow access to the site at anytime which is governed by strict club rules regarding the operation of the gate and facilities.

Our facilities include the club Pavilion that overlooks the pond. It has a kitchen and toilet facilities. The Pavilion also has disabled facilities unless the approach field is water logged, making it impossible for disabled vehicular access.

If you are a modeller or new to the hobby of model boats or train and would like to see the site and perhaps, if you are thinking of joining a club then please contact either the Secretary, Membership Secretary or the Chairman to make an appointment to visit the site. The facility is on private ground and is not open to the general public but is always willing to take on new members. There is no fee to take a look around but there is a small visitors fee should you wish to try out your own boat or train. This will be reimbursed if you take up a membership.

We used to have five or six special weekends a year (before the Covid19 pandemic) that are social events where all of our members can get together for a relaxing time. Our members come from the Midlands and from all over the South of England. The member weekends bring many of our modellers together to discuss boats and trains but more importantly, to have a good time.

Our membership is inclusive of Public Liability Insurance and includes free boiler and gas tank pressure testing for steam driven models. In order to comply with CSC rules and for our insurance requirements, all steam driven models must have a current boiler safety certificate and if fitted, a safety certificate for a refillable gas tank.

Put simply... to obtain the required certification above, club members can make an appointment with a club boiler inspector who will arrange free of charge any compliance tests needed.  This should result in the issue of a numbered steam certificate....   Job done.

We are affiliated to the Northern Association of Model Engineers (NAME)