The Bassetlaw Railway Society was founded in 1974 by a group of like minded enthusiasts interested in promoting railways in the North Nottinghamshire area.
The club is based in Retford and has its clubrooms on Platform 1 of Retford Railway Station. Club rooms consist of a general meeting room at the north end of platform 1 (by the bike racks) and two modelling rooms at the south end of platform 1.
Most weeks, we meet on a Wednesday night from 7:30pm. Once a month we have a visiting speaker or arrange a trip. We have a library of books, magazines and DVDs to borrow. Members have a wide range of interests and skills including general railway history, detailed model making, traditional and modern electrical skills, and are more than willing to give advice and demonstrate techniques. It’s a great way to learn and meet people with common interests.
The society builds and operates model railway layouts in a variety of scales. We have a large permanent OO gauge DC layout “Bassetfield”, which is available on club nights for members to run their trains.
We also have a number of portable layouts, including a OO gauge DCC layout “Langbrook Junction”, an O gauge layout “Idleford Town” and a TT layout “Taylors Trains”. At any given time, one of these will be up and operational, or being developed further. These portable layouts are also available for exhibitions. Members are encouraged to get involved and learn new modelling skills.
Retford Station was Grade II listed by Historic England in July 2020. The current buildings date from 1891-2 and the reason for listing was given as “the very rare survival of the original finishes in the dining room and refreshment room” which are said to be ornate and featuring “fine craftsmanship”; the “remarkably long and well-balanced composition in the Italianate style” of the station buildings and the “impressive” canopy over the platform; and the well-preserved platform which make it “one of the most intact medium-sized GNR stations”.
One of the oldest boroughs in England, Retford’s royal charter was granted by Henry III in 1246. In 1766 the Great North Road was diverted through the town and in 1777 a canal opened linking Retford to the river Trent. The town became a railway centre in 1849.
Today, high speed diesel and electric trains of the London North Eastern Railway and Hull Trains speed through on their way to London, York, or Edinburgh. Some 16 trains in each direction stop at Retford, bringing the capital cities only 90 minutes, and 3 hours away respectively. Further east-west lines link Retford and Worksop with Sheffield, Lincoln, and Grimsby.
Bassetlaw is an area in North Nottinghamshire, England, covering 245 Square miles. Situated between agricultural Lincolnshire and industrial South Yorkshire the district has two main population centres – the traditional market towns of Retford and Worksop. Bassetlaw is steeped in history, from the legends of Robin Hood to the story of the Pilgrim Fathers. William Brewster and Richard Clyfton left their homes and friends in Bassetlaw to sail on the Mayflower.
Bassetlaw dates back to 10th century Viking times and takes its name from the ancient Wapentake, the largest of the medieval divisions of Nottinghamshire.