What is the Summer Retreat?
The Summer Retreat offers an opportunity for existing modellers to learn and improve their skills in a supportive, enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere where you can work at your own pace on the project(s) of your choice.
Unlike our Modelling Weekends, where the accent is mainly on learning new modelling skills, the focus is on hands-on modelling and making progress, in a way that’s rarely possible at home. See the item “Weathering Tutor Chris Hopper’s layout on the cover of Railway Modeller” in our news section for a description of how Chris used his time at a previous Summer Retreat to progress his layout.
The Summer Retreat is not a tutored course in the way that our weekend courses run, but is a golden opportunity to work on your own projects. Some of our regular tutors including Tony Gee, Tim Watson, Jerry Clifford and Chris Hopper will be on hand to offer advice and support, and a wealth of practical experience is available for you to draw on.
The expertise of your fellow modellers forms another valuable resource while a small amount of our airbrushing equipment will be available throughout your stay for you to use if needed.
Who is the course for?
The Retreat is not aimed at the outright beginner but if you have skills but lack knowledge or want to put theory into practice the Summer Retreat may be for you. The modelling emphasis is on the learning of new skills or development of existing ones, but gauge or scale is irrelevant and the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. Each year we welcome loco-builders and scenic modellers, painters and weatherers, tracklayers and electronics people.
How does it work?
You’ll have your own workspace and your own agenda. Some people have wired up their layouts, some have built entire landscapes. Others have worked on a variety of projects – the choice is entirely yours. Our goal is to enable you to take home a project that not only works reliably, but may be well on the way to completion.
What do I need to do before the course?
It is important you have an idea of what you will do before you book and that you plan what you want to do and have the tools, materials and resources you need. You’ll be contacted shortly before the event so we can finalise how we use the facilities and space we have.
Where is it held?
Missenden Abbey provides high-quality accommodation and classroom and studio facilities and a wide variety of excellent modeller friendly food, a bar and peaceful gardens. If you live close at hand, you can join the Summer retreat at reduced rates as a non-resident. Partners are welcome to stay at the Abbey for a break and possibly enjoy some of the attractions the local area offers. Great Missenden is just off the A413 between Amersham and Aylesbury, amongst the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire. It is about 30 miles from central London – an hour by car and 40 minutes by rail from Marylebone Station.
How do I book and how much does it cost?
The prices are unchanged again this year at £865 residential and £495 non-residential. It will be possible to pay in 2 stages by bank transfer – half on booking, balance by 21st June. Details will be on the booking pages.
We are exploring the offering of some half courses for 3 nights (Sun – Wed, or Wed – Sat) provided we can match attendees to make a full course.
These courses are organised voluntarily as a resource to the railway modelling community, please book early so that we can gauge demand and ensure that we have sufficient numbers to go ahead.
If you have not attended a Missenden event before, you may find it more suitable to come to a weekend event first. If you have any doubts then please make use of the Contact Form to check before booking.
For details on price and how to book, see the Booking page.
What about Covid 19?
The course will obviously be subject to any conditions resulting from following the Covid regulations that the Government have in place at the time the retreat happens.
If you have questions or concerns, please use the Contact Us page before booking.