History of the MMRCSA
The MMRCSA has been established since 1971 by the name of Mr Howard Simon who
was the official repairer for Marklin and Scalextric to a shop know as The Hobby Shop (then famously
situated in Gawler Place, Adelaide. Many of the clubs older members so fondly remember gawking and
salivating at the mouth as youngsters, staring at the shelves and shop window.
The Hobby Shop had to close down, and there went our only supply to Marklin. Mr Howard Simon then wrote letters, in July
of that year, to all the people he had repaired their Marklin trains, proposing a club be formed that the initial meeting would be held in a church hall somewhere in
Croydon. Howard got quite a few people to attend, some of the names that come mind are Mr Karl Schoffel, Mr Dusan Vavic, Mr Joe Rothnagel (with
his mother, brother and sister in tow) and off course Howard'sons John
and Greg as well as his wife, Min.
Mr Howard Simon even had the sense to write
a letter to the Marklin factory asking permission to use their name in
our club title. Lo and behold, he received a reply giving us permission,
and as far as we know, we are the only club in the world to have that
First meetings were held in church halls with the old style folding tables
that churches used to have when having their jumble sales. M track was
brought to the meeting by several members, as well as a transformer. The
track was put together and off we went, running our trains. The ladies
brought cups, coffee and sugar (I'm pretty sure that tea bags hadn't
reached the Australian shores at that stage, although I could be wrong)
as well home made cakes and the ubiquitous YoYo and Nice biscuits so
that we could enjoy them while having a bit of a chinwag.
After about six to nine months we were not able to use the Croydon church
hall, and we moved to the Ancient Order of Water Buffalos at Norwood, a hall tucked away behind a store on The Parade. We lasted their six
months and then we moved to another church hall in Croydon, these
became our so called permanent digs that we could finally start a club
From those subscriptions of $10 per year and having small raffles, we eventually cobbled enough funds to begin our layout.
And what a layout it was, four 6' x 4' by three quarter inch thick chipboard, with a 6' x 4' by half
inch Canite board on top. The Canite was used as a material for notice
boards and had a great sound deadening quality, as you might well know,
M track on chip board is like a big down pour of rain on a tin roof.
These boards were also re-enforced with 3" x 2" pine along the edge and
the middle. Of course there were two levels as well. Now all these
boards were housed under the stage of the hall, and every meeting they
had to be brought up and then taken down, many a skinned knuckle was
had by a few of the members.
The Club was travelling so well, that Mr Howard Simon in his wisdom decide that
the club should hold an exhibition. So June, 1973, one of the very first
model train exhibitions was held in Adelaide at our church hall in Croydon.
The club had the Channel 9 News crew there on the Saturday filming and we were prominent on their News that
night, free publicity. The exhibition was set up on the Friday night
and some of us actually stayed the night to make sure that nothing
happened to the exhibits. The club layout was shown, and Mr Karl Schoffel even had 12'
x 4' layout with the bases being thick cardboard, twin level, and K track, as well as with some real nice scenery.
Eventually we were again asked to leave as Ministers changed in the church. We then moved in
Port Road in 1974 behind the premises of Industrial Trucking Company. Mr Stan Ellis the owner
of the business and the landlord of the buildings met with Mr Dusan Vavic and offered
what was a drafting office upstairs of a building next to Stan's business. The club gratefully accepted this
wonderful large room that even had a kitchen and a lounge area.
During all that time the club steadily grew, Gerhard and his wife Gerda,
sons and daughter became members, as well as Lee Rodda, the kid with the HAG Red Arrow, who used to
drive everyone nuts with it.
The club moved to Woodville Table Tennis Club 1975 of
which this story will continue once the history research has been