The Society was formed in 1946 by a small group of enthusiasts who were members of the Colchester Engineering Society. There was a large exhibition of models held in Page’s Garage that year and it was there that application forms to join the Colchester Society of Model and Experimental Engineers emerged.
Originally the interests encompassed model railways and model boats as well as live steam models of locomotives and traction engines. Initially meeting in rented premises the Society was able, through the generosity of a few members, to acquire a freehold site in Lexden, Colchester which was then a collection of pig sties. Hard work over the ensuing years has seen the creation of a superb club house complete with meeting room, extensive library, hobby room, toilets and kitchen.
The challenging folded-figure-of-8 raised running track was added with 3.5″ and 5″ gauges, fully signalled and track circuited.
The ground level has developed over the years and now has twin running tracks each with both 5″ and 7.25″ gauges, station, turntable and two goods yards. The line is fully signalled and controlled by two signal boxes as well as a smaller crossing control box.
The Gauge 1/Gauge 0 track was added to all running of small scale live steam locos in one corner of the site.
Over the intervening years the interests of the society have changed to the extent that the model railway interest has led to the setting of the very successful Colchester Model Railway Club and the model boat interest spawned the Brightlingsea Model Boat Club. Despite this there remains a healthy interest in model railways and boats amongst the current membership. The main interest though is in live steam models of which there are plenty in the ownership of members. These are run regularly and some really outstanding models can be seen performing.