The Kinver & West Midlands Society of Model Engineers has been on its present site 50 years and has gained a reputation for fine model making and even pushing a few boundaries of model engineering.
It all started back in the 1920's when a group of enthusiasts interested in Boats and Steam Locomotives formed themselves into the West Midlands M.E.S. whose headquarters were at Kingswinford, near Stourbridge. They built a 3.5" gauge track around an existing pool and activities continued there until the Second World War.
Several members lived in Wolverhampton and because of travelling difficulties formed an allied group which was known as the West Midlands Model Engineers, Wolverhampton Branch. They held their meetings in Wolverhampton Library and sometimes at members' homes. At a meetings held at Wolverhampton Library in May 1943, it was proposed and accepted that the society became Wolverhampton Model Engineering Society and continued to operate as such, despite poor membership until 1951.
In 1951 under the guidance of the secretary, Mr. B. Princep, the society formed itself into a Limited Company and was known as the Wolverhampton S.M.E. Ltd.. The reason for this change was to obviate insurance problems, which in retrospect was unique for this period as a good many societies today are seeking to do the same.
From 1954 up to 1961 the society flourished at Wombourne with a 600ft multi gauge track at the rear of the Mount Pleasant Inn but then had to move due to the sale of the land for building purposes. In 1962, and after many problems, management of the society secured a 20 year lease on an acre of land at the Marsh Playing Fields in Kinver. In 1970, as our interest now lay in Kinver, by a majority vote the Society became known as the Kinver and West Midlands Society of Model Engineers Limited. The following year, 1971, the track was extended to 1,200ft. Again in 1986 the track was extended to 2,150ft.
With the impending closure of the British Legion Club, the Society had the opportunity to purchase most of the site and with the generous donations of members the 'deed was done' in Autumn 2005 and the majority of the land officially became ours, with the section of track around the bowling green being leased from the Kinver Sports and Social Club