About IPMS Birmingham

A branch of IPMS(UK) we are a club for modellers and those interested in modelling in Birmingham and surrounding areas, we welcome people of all abilities to attend our meetings on the third Sunday of each month - please see "About IPMS Birmingham" page for venue details and times.

Gone but not forgotten.

This page is dedicated to the memory of those members and people who have supported our club over the years who are no longer with us

Bill Nicholls

Bill passed away at 10.00 PM, 20th May 2015 at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital with his wife Ann and sons Matt and Glen at his side, after a long period of failing health.

He was one of IPMS Birmingham's founding members and a staunch supporter of both the club and the society nationally, you rarely saw Bill anywhere without an IPMS pin badge in his lapel.
Born on the 1st October 1931 and christened William Arthur Nicholls, his early years were  spent in Acocks Green and by the time of his 8th birthday World War Two had broken out and as his son Matt says "He looked up into the sky with great wonder at all the aircraft. This in turn started his interest and love for aviation. He spent a lot of his childhood building balsa wood flying models and continued to do so for his whole life".
His sister, Joy, remembered that they moved into an old Ewardian house in Moseley with high ceilings, soon to be filled with his models. Bill was evacuated during the war but continued to build models when he returned.
Bill applied to join the Royal Air Force but was turned down, he then pursued a career in brass and copper metal spinning until his retirement. In 1956 he married Ann with whom he shared the same birthday and they had two sons, Matt and Glen.

While he had other interests modelling was Bill's passion and he formed a long standing association with Bobs Models and he is seen here displaying one of his models, a galleon, on their stand at the Boat and Caravan Fair in the old Bingley Hall during the 1970s. The model was also used in a TV drama feature as a prop by the BBC and is still on display at the family home.
Matt recalls:
Every Thursday and Saturday he would visit Bobs Models on the Coventry Road in Small Heath and soon became a fixture. I remember him coming home always with a box wrapped in brown paper yes another 'bloody model'. He would soon run out of room, then he began to stash them on my wardrobe saying 'don't tell your mother'. Dad got me and Glen involved in the hobby at a very early age. I think I was five and was soon enrolled as family member with the IPMS, with a 1615 membership number he became one of the founder members of Birmingham Branch, meeting at the old post office building in Birmingham. However the true glory days were at Ladywood community centre.
Linked to his model making was his interest in full size aircraft. As a family we would attend the Gaydon Air Show and always visit Abingdon. In later years just myself and Dad went and enjoyed every minute with laughs all the way. He recalled to me when he visited the Farnborough Air Show in 1952 and witnessed the tragic death of John Derry in the DH 110. Dad was stood, fortunately, at the other end of the field. 
A keen cyclist and lover of Classical music and Glenn Miller. Once again he would take me to the Town Hall in Birmingham for the Proms.. he was overwhelmed meeting the late Ron Goodwin, famous for the Battle of Britain and 633 Squadron film scores. He was my greatest fan always taking great pride in my work even if the model was rubbish. Then, when I became employed as manager for Bobs Models, Solihull, it was the best job ever according to Bill. Always a supporter of local shows he loved the involvement at the nationals always suited up and badged. He loved Bomber Command and the aircraft involved. Always wishing they would make a 1/32 scale Lancaster, he complained when he saw the test shot, but I knew he was chuffed. Guess I will have to buy one now in his honour.
He loved anything that flew but only flew once himself and hated it. As his health became worse his ability to build models became more and more difficult. The last model Dad built with the help of his much loved grand daughter Leah was an Airfix snap together Messerschmitt Bf.109. Thankfully we were able to get him to Scale Model World 2014 when he was awarded Life member. Dad was stuck for worlds, the pictures say it all. We also talked about him making an appearance at Midland Expo although now not in person, definitely in spirit.
Bill's fascination with the Avro Vulcan V-Bomber was legendary as was his support for the restoration of XH558 to flying condition, helping to raise funds by selling raffle tickets to friends, family and club members. His love of RAF bomber types extended beyond the Vulcan and he personally funded the Bomber Command Trophy at the Nationals/SMW.

Another subject that became inextricably associated with Bill was tombolas, at any model show where one was being run you always knew where he could be found, spending his money in the hope of winning yet more kits. So much so that it was suggested by some club members at one point that his middle name was in fact “Tombola”!

Until his deteriorating health prevented him from doing so, Bill was a regular “fixture” at Scale ModelWorld's award ceremony organising the trophies. At a local level he was always a great supporter of IPMS Birmingham, generously funding trophies and other projects out of his own pocket.
As mentioned by Matt, at the 2014 Scale ModelWorld Bill was awarded a Life Membership of IPMS (UK) and, as the smile on his face in this photograph of him being congratulated by Pete Betteridge, the Branch Chairman at the time, shows, that honour meant a great deal to him.
He was a true Brummie to the core taking immense pride in the city of his birth and supported institutions as diverse as City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and “The Blues” (Birmingham City Football Club). At model shows, if Birmingham were playing a match he would have a transistor radio in his pocket with an ear-piece listening to the commentary and passing on the highlights to everyone around him, supporters or not.

Bill will be remembered with great affection by the members of IPMS Birmingham, it is true that he could at times be cantankerous but that was only because he expected things to be done properly and there was never any malice in him, as Matt says “At times (he was) grumpy but always had a smile, a very generous and kind man that I am proud to have had as my Dad”. But above all it is the comradeship and humour that will live on, often unintentional because Bill had a wonderful knack of choosing the the wrong words at just the right moment! 
Left; Bill receiving his IPMS (UK) Life Membership from Society President Paul Regan.

Bill was one of the club's great characters and will be missed by all that knew him.


There really are far too many "Bill moments" to recall over the last 20-odd years. Best to say he was a total one-off and will very much be missed I have many memories of Bill  from when he was given the  tablets of stone but the one that always amuses me is an image of Bill sitting at a show with his radio listening in to the Blues game frequently chuntering away and muttering " He's got to go" about the manager every time they conceded a goal.

Bill was the club to so many of us. He will be missed greatly
 Roger Hartill, Former Branch Chairman

As a new member of the club I did not know Bill particularly well; in fact I think I only met him three or four times. However, each time we met we did speak, and I was deeply touched by his warmth, kindness, and good humour. Despite his obvious frail health he delighted in telling me about the models he had built and was always willing to chat endlessly about motorbikes, one of my other favourite subjects! He once told me it  was nice to see "a girl giving the boys what for" on the competition table, which did make me laugh. It's a very sad, hard time for the club and for Bill's family, but I am sure that everyone has some happy memories to share and that will be Bill's legacy to the club as much as anything else.
Gem Hover 

 This  is  so  sad,  I'm going  to miss you Billy.
Bill Mohan
Vulcan Bill, It was so sad to have him fade away like he did.
Mike Gossage 

So very sorry to hear the sad news. Bill's wit and presence will be missed on our side of the Pond as well. Drinking a toast to Bill!
John Kesler, IPMS Syracuse, New York

Inevitably  this month our meeting and other  club activities  are overshadowed  by the sad news of the death of Bill Nicholls, he was an integral part of our lives and irreplaceable.  As most of you will already be aware Midland Expo 2015 is being dedicated to his memory.
Roland Turner, Branch Chairman

Lynne Gossage.

Lynne, the wife of long standing club member Michael Gossage, was always a great supporter of the branch's activities and a good friend to its members with a delightful sense of humour and fun she indulged us in our chosen pastime. Often she would accompany Michael when he visited model shops in the Birmingham area and was well known to their customers. She also acted as hostess to John Kesler (and Jim Marconi in 2011) of our twin chapter, IPMS Syracuse, New York, on his bi-annual visit to Scale ModelWorld.

Lynne was a keen runner and had taken part in a number of marathons and half-marathons over the past decade.

Sadly, she was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer just before Scale ModelWorld 2012 and passed away at 06.41 on Monday 27th May 2013. Our condolences go to Michael, their children Elizabeth, Michael and Matthew and grandchildren.

Bob Deeley

Bob Deeley, photo courtesy of Terry Walton
Bob Deeley, former Branch Chairman and Competition Secretary tragically passed away on Friday 18th January 2013 at the age of 65.

Noted for his mischievous and irreverent sense of humour Bob was a popular and respected club member specialising in figure models.

The club stand, designed and built by Bob Deeley

Until taking early retirement Bob had worked as a carpenter for the housing department of Birmingham City Council and used his skills to design and construct the club stand,  in use for many years at the annual Scale ModelWorld show.

Photo courtesy of John Duffield

At the December meetings Bob had a knack of choosing probably the most esoteric kit in the Hospice Trophy draw and in this photograph can be seen examining his winnings from the 'lucky' dip, on this occasion a bus shelter with individual bricks! Needless-to-say a source of much humour and ribald remarks.

Sadly, in recent years, Bob and his wife Sandra suffered the tragedy of losing their only son Adam in a freak accident when he died at a charity cake eating contest. Bob was later diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and following treatment for a while seemed to have recovered.

Modelling was not his only interest, Bob was also a keen angler and devoted time to the Scouting movement as well as teaching carpentry to disabled and special needs youngsters.

We of course extend or condolences to Sandra, his family and many friends

Ron Adams

In Memory of Ernest Ronald Adams‘Ron’

Born 8th April 1927, passed away 10th August 2012.

Son of Parents – Elsie and Ernest Adams.

Brother of Stanley Adams.

Husband of Doreen Iris Adams (nee Newbold) – who he Married 28th March 1953.

Father of sons – Steven and Stuart. Grandfather of Grand Daughter Jennifer and Grandson Ben.

Ron was born in Tindal Street, Small Heath, Birmingham on the 8th April 1927 to parents Elsie and Ernest Adams.

He attended Tindal Street School until he was 14 years of age, with his teenage years spent growing up throughout the Battle of Britain and ‘The Blitz’. He did however succeed in getting his first job as an Assistant Dealer within a firm of Birmingham stockbrokers, a job he held until he was ‘called up’ to join the Army on 19th April 1945. He was enlisted to join the newly formed Army Intelligence Corps.

After training, Ron was sent, via Cyprus, to serve in the Middle East – with service in Egypt and Palestine, during the formation of the state of Israel. Based out of Haifa. He was to serve in the region for 3 1/2 years.

His time serving in the region was not without incident, as supported in personal photographs found recently. He was part subjected to the terrorist attack carried out on the train on which he was travelling, on the 30th September 1947. Two mines fitted to the track exploded, de-railing the engine and the first two passenger carriages of three, carrying the army personnel.

On completion of his service, Ron returned to Birmingham, to the same office of stockbrokers. Ron remained in the stock-broking business until he retired at the age of 65. His working career took him and the family to live in Bournemouth for 3 years, returning to the Midlands in 1972.

Ron’s hobbies include:


Music – His passionate being for Classical and the Big Band genres.

Photography - particularly the subjects of flowers and plants, and air displays in Oxfordshire and naval days in Portsmouth.

But his true love and passion was ignited in the early 1960s when he joined the newly formed International Plastic Modelling Society (membership number 167) – where he made many friends and acquaintances.

Ron’s skill and keen eye for detail, led to him winning many awards, and to the publication of many features and articles within the international trade press.

His particular passion in later years being all types of shipping and naval related models and books, earning him the nickname of ‘Admiral’ amongst his IPMS club colleagues.

Whilst he was never a big sport fan. He was also a follower of ‘The Brummies’.
Ron was always a loving and caring Husband, Father and Grandfather, always generous, always caring, and always willing to listen and give sound advice when asked for.

With a caring heart, thoughtful mind and good natured humour, he abhorred bad manners, bad language and never suffered fools gladly, he was selective in his friends and supportive in any time of need.

He will be dearly missed.

The above text (from Ron's funeral service) and photographs were kindly supplied by Ron's son Steve.

Tribute from John Kesler, IPMS Syracuse, New York.

"Can't tell you how very sorry I am to hear the news. We have lost a true Gentleman!

I learned to appreciate and look forward to our discussions at Scale Model World over the years and will miss Ron immensely on future trips! His hospitality, humor, and insight was always one of the highlights I brought back with me from Telford.

My deepest sympathy to his family and many friends!"

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