The idea of a railway enthusiasts’ group in the district of Wells was mooted during a conversation at a Horrington Village Fete between Mr. Martin Langley and the late Mr. Jock Ferguson.
At a place where both could remember the sounds of the locomotives working hard to lift trains over the Mendip Hills. The first meeting of the new group was held at “Hartland” the home of Jock Ferguson in West Horrington on 5 March 1968 followed by three further meetings in that year. These were held in the rooms of Canon Bailey in the Wells Deanery. The first AGM was held in March 1969 when the subscription was set at 10 shillings (50p).
Later a general meeting was held at the Old Deanery where members gave short talks. The group now calling itself the Wells Railway Fraternity formed a subcommittee in January 1970 to investigate building a club model railway layout. Despite all efforts this project did not materialise so it was decided to stage a one-day model railway exhibition. Organised by Mr. Maurice Shaw (Then Mayor of Wells) and Mr. Paul Towers, this took place in the Wells Town Hall on 12 August 1976. More than 1300 visitors came and it was deemed a great success.
The name Railwells was later adopted and it was decided to extend the exhibition to two days over a weekend and under the management of Mr. Chris Challis on behalf of the Wells Railway Fraternity. Now in its 40th year, Railwells is recognised as the West Country’s premier model railway exhibition.
The whole of the Wells Town Hall is utilised for layouts, demonstrations and exhibits.
Refreshments are available to visitors and exhibitors
The club meet regularly on the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 19.00 to 22.00 in the Indictment Room within Wells Town Hall.