SKIPTON'S model railway club is appealing for new premises, after its current clubrooms were condemned just before Christmas.

The Skipton and District Railway Society, which was formed in 1968, in the same year British Railways imposed a ban on all mainline steam traffic, had been using a former scout hut in Middletown as its base.

But, last month it received the sad news that the clubroom, leased from Craven District Council, had been condemned on safety grounds and its 19 year lease had come to end.

Members are now in the process of moving all their equipment, gathered in almost 20 years, to somewhere else where it can be stored safely.

Club secretary, David Carter, said: "The former scout hut, a familiar sight in Middletown, despite the club’s efforts over two decades to improve the amenity has now been condemned with floor joists failing and the building is at end of life.

"It is likely to be demolished. The club now seeks new rooms in the Skipton and would appeal to people to identify a venue for us. It need not have such space, or be separate but we need a home."

The Skipton and District Railway Society was formed in Skipton in 1968 at a special meeting held in Skipton Town Hall - the last year of steam on British Railways.

Mr Carter said: "The society is now entering it’s 55th year. We still have a founding member with us in Geoff Holmes. The club secured rooms under the High Street branch of Skipton Building Society before moving to the basement of Ermysted’s Grammar School.

"The last move being into its current rather larger and suitably grand but ageing former scout hut in Middletown. The club transformed the then new club rooms but time marches on and the hut now has reached end of days.

"People will know of our annual model railway shows in August each year. These were originally in the town hall but then moved to Ermysted’s Grammar School, then to Aireville School with last show before Covid."

Mr Carter said the club provides a 'super amenity' to young and old people across Craven with an interest in active modelling and railway history, and has a winter season of speakers and events.

"The club now seeks new premises and faces the challenge of finding them. It has survived on community amenity and town landlords’ good grace on setting a very low annual rent to make it viable for the people of Craven.

"Commercial rents would be unaffordable but quality use of just one or two permanent rooms and club member improvement of such is our model, if you would forgive the pun."

A spokesperson for Craven District Council said: “We identified that the building is unsafe for occupation in its current condition. Unfortunately alternative premises have not been found. We will keep their interest in mind should one become available in future, we will contact the society. We wish them all the best."

The club needs Craven's help to survive with new rooms and any help would be most gratefully received. Contact chairman, Nicholas Field by email: or mobile 07973 430258.