About the club

Welcome to the St Albans and District Model Engineering Society. We are open to all ages for Full Membership, Associate Membership (spouse of full member) and Junior Members.

Members interests cover model boats (steam, IC, electric, and sail), steam engines, traction engines, locomotives from 5in gauge to 32mm gauge, Meccano, 3D printing, clocks, IC engines, tanks, RC cars and lorries, and workshop machinery.

Benefits include our monthly meeting with talks and demonstrations, our monthly gazette with news and articles, access to the members only section of the website, access to our tracksite and club base, Regattas and events at the lakeside, regular Zoom meetings when physical meetings are restricted, various external coach trips and BBQ events annually, help and advice on modelling and technical problems,and a chance to meet up with a bunch of friendly people interested in all things hobby related.

The Club History


The Society was founded in 1947 to cater for people interested in Model engineering and all related activities which includes model locomotives, trains, traction engines, stationary engines, model boats, yachts, barges, and general engineering and technical subjects.

The Society has always catered equally for model boating as well as model engineering enthusiasts. In the early days when electric motors were large and inefficient, and small IC engines rather expensive, the main motive power for model boats was steam, so it was natural that it should be strongly linked to model engineering. In the '50's and '60's members of the Society were in the forefront of hydroplane development and running in the UK.
It was nearly 30 years before the Society was able to build a track, located in a school in Harpenden, which served the members well for over 20 years.

After being moved out of this site (So the site can be developed) we had a couple of years without a track, but in 2001 we got a new one, this is the track we are currently using.

We now rent a private track in Chipperfield, which limits us to certain running times. More information about the track can be found under Puffing Field Track.

Chipperfield track opening_Mechanics mag 23 July 1949
D Saunders pic_Chipperfield in early 1950s
Chipperfield in 1950s
Tunnel Sign 1