Origins of The 2mm Scale Association
As far back as the early 1920s , the late Mr H B Whall (who became the Association's first President) was experimenting with 2mm scale. 1927 saw its first proper introduction to the modelling world when a locomotive by Mr A Walkley ran successfully at the Wimbledon Model Railway Club's Exhibition. Then, at the 1928 Model Engineer Exhibition, Mr J J Langridge won a silver medal for his LSWR 0-4-0 tank and Adams goods locomotive.
Over the following years articles appeared in the modeling press describing the efforts of a number of 2mm pioneers. Everything had to be scratchbuilt, including motors and wheels. However, in the 1950s, things started to change thanks to the efforts of Mr Whall, who introduced a catalogue offering a range of components and finished models that he manufactured himself.
In late 1959/early 1960, letters appeared in the modelling press, inviting interested parties to form what was then going to be called "The 000 Scale Association". The inaugural meeting was held on the 23rd of April 1960 at David Byram Wingfield's flat in London and at that meeting, the Constitution of The 2mm Scale Association was agreed and the first Committee appointed. This was:
- Chairman: Major M E Stone
- Secretary & Treasurer: J D Willis
- Editor of Publications: D Byram Wigfield
- Committee: S C Hine; L H Brown; P Marshall and P Purdie
The early 1960s saw the construction by Mr H H Grove and his son Bert of "Rydes Vale". The Groves created a new set of track and rail standards which were instrumental in giving a faultless performance at the MRC exhibition in Central Hall, Wesminster, London, for three years. This resulted in the Groves' standards being adopted by the Association, and it is the 2FS standard in use today. Bert Groves was president of the Association for many years until his death in 2008. The Groves were also very active in other areas of model making; hydroplane racing and N gauge in the garden as two examples.
Since those early times, the Association has gone from strength to strength, providing ever-increasing support to its members in the form of shop items, advice and mutual support, through Area Groups, Annual Expos/Supermeets and the Internet. As specially commissioned products have increased, so the necessity to scratchbuild has diminished, and this has no doubt helped to encourage more people into the scale.
In 2010, The 2mm Scale Association celebrated its 50th anniversary with an exhibition featuring 28 layouts. Stewart Hine, one of the founding committee members, attended the celebratory dinner.
The 60th Anniversary fell in 2020, but the Covid pandemic meant the planned exhibitions and events were unable to take place. At the time of writing, they've been scheduled to run in 2022.
Membership of the Association is now over 800, with members in all continents of the world.
- The Groves and Rydes Vale. Nigel Cliffe. Model Railway Journal 185, p223
- On The Wire Website, a history of Groves contribution to tethered hydroplane racing. http://www.onthewire.co.uk/groves.htm