Eastern Division

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Eastern Region Representative

As from the end of October 2014 I have volunteered to take on the position of Eastern Region Representative, my name is Paul Purnell and I live near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. I have been a member of the NMRA for over twenty years and of the Norfolk and Southwestern Group since it was formed in 2000.

My interest in railways and steam in particular started when, as a teenager, my schoolmate and I used to wander round the steam loco sheds of Rhodesia Railways in Salisbury, Rhodesia after school looking for his father, a steam fitter, to get a lift home. Elf and Safety just didn’t exist then!!!!

I got into American Railroads through a model shop in Port Elizabeth, South Africa in 1985. I was browsing the stock when I got into conversation with the owner who suggested that Tuesday nights at a house at the end of my street might be of interest to me. There I found a double garage filled with an HO layout, American outline, with all that infinite variety that American Railroads have. I was hooked.

My own home layout, the Port Mary, Jenton & Louisville Railroad, is housed in a room that I added as part of an extension to our house. My wife thought I was building a Dining Room!! Since retiring last year I have recently started “Tuesday is Trains Day” at home and host an open house from 10.00 to 16.00 for anyone wishing to visit. Please call before hand on 01284 763701 if you intend visiting. Tea and coffee are available, bring your own lunch.

That’s enough about me, as Divisional Representative I am expected to:  

  • provide members with information about activities within the Division;
  • direct members towards any relevant active groups within the Division or nearby that offer activities in line with the member’s expectations;
  • liaise with the nominated representatives of any active groups (Group Representatives) within the Division to keep up to date on meets, etc;
  • promote the establishment of new active groups and advise details of same to the Region Secretary for approval and recognition;
  • liaise with the Marketing Co-ordinator as necessary for the availability of publicity material for display at local shows and similar events;
  • provide regular details of activities within the Division to the editors of the Region’s newsletters and update and maintain the relevant pages the Region website for their Division activities, or advise the Webmaster of such;
  • apprise the Editor of the Region Directory of the Division’s activities, or delegate to the chair person of any active group;
  • provide or arrange an annual report of activity within the Division to the Region Secretary for the AGM each year. Where the Division has a number of active groups, the Divisional Representative can either collate the reports from the Group Representatives or allow them to report direct to the Region Secretary which is likely to be their preferred choice.

At the present time there are two active Groups in the Eastern Division, Thamesiders, who meet in Frating near Colchester, and Norfolk and Southwestern, who meet in Woolpit between Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket. Addresses, Websites and meeting dates are published in Roundhouse and elsewhere on this website. I am a member of the N&SW group and intend visiting Thamesiders as often as possible.

Any member who is not yet attached to an existing group would be made very welcome at either of the above and I would be pleased to hear from anyone considering starting a new group in another area.

I will attempt to contact all those on the Division membership list to find out their particular interests and to see if I can put members in touch with others in their area. However I would be pleased to hear from any member who might have any queries on anything to do with the Division or the NMRA generally. If I don’t have the answer I will try to find someone who does.

I can be contacted by telephone on 01284 763701, before 9pm please, leave a message if necessary and I will get back to you or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Happy railroading.