Who are we? A Little about ourselves!

The Western Province Live Steam Society was founded in 1980 by the late Jack Love, a school teacher whose hobby was the construction and running of miniature steam locomotives. In the 25 years of our existence, our membership has grown from the few founder members who joined Jack to help get things started on a piece of ground in the Cape Show Grounds at Goodwood, to over 70 members to-day. The unfortunate part of building a locomotive is, on completion one needs a line to operate it on, which makes club life so important.

But in October 1993 our miniature world collapsed around us when we were notified by the Western Province Agricultural Society, owners of the Goodwood Show Grounds, that they had sold the property and we were given six months to vacate.

Now the hunt was on for a piece of ground suitable to lay a track and start again. After almost four years of inquiring and hunting we decided to produce a colour brochure of all the Model Railway Societies in South Africa and send it to all the Municipalities in the Cape and request their help in getting ground. Within days of posting we received an answer from Parow Municipality asking us to attend a meeting at the Parow Civic Center to put our case forward. We signed a ten year lease on Erf 2040 in November 1997 and commenced building our club house in January 1998. Doing practically all the building work ourselves we managed to complete the basic building, and commence laying the line. Here we extend our thanks to Mr. Burger the Building Inspector at the time for his help and advise during our building operations.

Once a basic loop line was completed we opened to the public on the first Saturday of each month.The late Alderman Lucas Olivier of the Parow Municipality, who was Mayor at the time, performed the opening ceremony. The funds raised on these public running days is spent solely on further development and improvements. Member's subscriptions pay for coal, paraffin, charcoal, along with lease fees, tea coffee, etc. Some proposed improvements include a pedestrian bridge over the lines at the station, colour signal lights, and the continued maintenance of the line. The red brick structure next to the station is the signal cabin being built by a member and will house the controls to change the points.

The extension of the line and the construction of the bridge over the River Dry were all built by our members, including the moving of many, many cubic meters of ground with spades and wheelbarrows. The concrete safety fence erected along side the railway line was made by a member who constructed a mould from long span roof sheets and cast each and every panel himself. We have had one break in to the store where over R5000-00 worth of equipment and materials were stolen. At present we are working hard to meet the deadline of April 2011 when it is our turn to host the National Steam Meet. Members of the other eleven Societies in the Republic will be visiting us with their locomotives for the long week-end.

Members are quite proud of our little piece of Parow and we have a motto; "If this place is nice, people will come here!" and people are coming here on public running days and other Saturdays to visit, not only from the Parow community but also from further a field. We all express our appreciation for your support.


Yours in Steam