The wealth of information available both official and anecdotal can quite easily be lost in a voluntary organisation such as the Sutton Coldfield Model Engineering Society, and this has made my task, as author, a formidable one.
Being conscious of the approach of the Society's 'Golden Jubilee' celebrations,
scheduled to take place during 1998, I felt it would be appropriate that these
celebrations should include the publication of a Concise History of the First Fifty Years. To this end, during the latter part of 1992.1 opened up a dialogue with a former Secretary and Chairman of the Society, Mr. David Palmer.
Unfortunately, no sooner was the task of compiling information commenced, than
David was suddenly taken ill and passed away. Undeterred. I pursued my inquiries
through the offices of Roger Addenbrooke, the son of founder member Ron
I was then most fortunate in receiving quite a collection of material from
Mrs. K. J. Jones, the daughter of another founder member, Mr. Frank Emmerson. Thus work progressed in earnest and has recently culminated in the contribution of a mass of valuable data from the only currently surviving founders - Mr. John P. Bertinat and Mr. Walter H. Laight.
Thus, by the beginning of 1997,1 was able to commence serious work on writing this history.
To those members of the Society whose names, exploits or favourite anecdotes have been omitted, I can only apologise and, similarly to those whose activities are misreported, I would ask forbearance.
I am conscious too, that there is very little included which covers activities of members wives and families. However, I sincerely hope that none of these concerns or omissions are seen to detract from the value of their participation and commitment to the success of the Society's activities.
In conclusion, I am only too aware that the coverage of the contribution made by C. F. Palmer to the evolvement of the Society could have been much more comprehensive had this history been written during his life-time. Similarly, that of the late Cyril Spencer, who contributed greatly during the period he was a member.
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