From small beginnings of a single person in a garden log cabin to a workshop with a team of dedicated full-time staff, GLR came to life in October 2016. Steven realised that the model railway hobby was full of enthusiasts that needed a little help with one or more aspects of the hobby. He started small by upgrading locomotives and DCC chipping before helping people with wiring their layouts and then moved on to building complete layouts for customers. The company now has people heading up each department of the business leaving Steven free to lend his hand to whichever area needs some help.
To add to the success, GLR won the BVBC Best New Business for 2019 Award. Also in 2019, Steven and Alex from GLR competed in The Great Model Railway Challenge on Channel 5 in the team ‘Who’s Counting Rivets?’ where, after a very tense series, finished as runners up after a very tense final.
Steven Dodd - Managing Director
Steven has had many jobs over the years prior to starting GLR. He began his working life at 16 in a Garden Centre where he worked for several years before changing jobs and working in (and eventually running) a PC Repair Shop. From there Steven took another change of direction and moved to WHSmith and finally found a working home in an excellent Model Railway Shop, Lord and Butler, in Cardiff where he built on his hobbyist knowledge in the model railway world.
Steven comes from a military background and has always been involved in some way. After spending many years working with the Air Cadets (which he later came back to) he made the decision to join the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a logistics mover with 4624 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton. GLR was born to allow Steven more flexible working hours so he would be able to give more time to the RAuxAF.
GLR was originally supposed to be a small side earner for Steven but the business grew far beyond expectation. Steven says, “I quickly realised it can be quite daunting building a railway, what with all the new technology available. As I began providing more services, I recognised a good opportunity to set up and run my own business. Hence why GLR was formed to offer the large range of services that we now have. It’s been an exciting process and I am really excited about the future of GLR!”
Lance Clark - Workshop Director
Lance was an RAF Chaplain for many years, but now retired he jumped into the world of model railways and is involved in all projects at GLR. With his background in electronics and skills in woodwork he heads up the building of all the baseboards and finishes the wiring on many of our customer’s projects.
Lance has a natural gift for interacting with people (the running joke being that he seems to know someone everywhere he goes!) he is our front man at our exhibitions which leaves other staff free to operate the exhibition layout.
Shirley Dodd-Clark - Financial Director
Shirley has her own full-time job running exercise classes for older people and spends what little free time she has painting and drawing. However, she still manages to find time to keep tabs on the company finances and keep the books spick and span!
Along with Lance she engages people, deals with sales, and helps to run the layout at the various exhibitions that we attend.
Martin Willoughby – Workshop Engineer and Servicing
Martin started working for GLR early 2019 and with him brought a wealth of knowledge and experience of DCC fitting and detailing of locos. We are always busy with repairs, upgrades, DCC fitting and servicing of customer’s locos that Martin spends almost all of his time on this. When he is able though, he also gets involved in various ongoing projects and comes to the occasional exhibition when he isn’t fixing up his Classic Mini!
Martin has his own N gauge layout so has knowledge from both the hobbyist side but also from an engineering perspective. If you need advice on anything railway related then Martin is your man to call – just not when Pop Master is on Radio 2 haha!
Colin Wilkins – Woodworker and Workshop Assistant
Colin (affectionately known as Walter) has been a customer of GLR from the very beginning and now also helps out in the workshop several days a week. He has a passion for all things model railway and is a dab hand at woodwork so works well alongside Lance on all the customer projects. When not working around the workshop he can be found listening to Pop Master or enjoying chips from the chippy at lunch time!
Matt Slade – Media and Front of House Shop
Matt has a very successful YouTube Channel (which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYLLoL_z0z1J6eHeGf8zAeQ) and works for GLR part time in the workshop. He has a great customer facing personality so you will likely see him working in our front of house shop if you pop in to browse, buy, or drop things off for work.
Kirsty Stuart – Coupling Production, Website Design, and Online Orders
Kirsty joined us in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown after being put on the furlough scheme with her other employment. She joined us just as we were pushing our new range of magnetic couplings and she worked at home to get them made to order.
Now that she is in the workshop, she has taken over all coupling manufacture as well as the website design and management, and the online order system. She can be found hiding in the background working on the website, or prepping and packing your orders ready for shipping!
Alex Bingley – Workshop Assistant and Social Media
Alex (affectionately known as the Hobbit) joined GLR in September 2020 during the local lockdowns in Wales. He was offered the job and jumped at the chance to get involved and moved to Wales from Derby to join us. A model railway enthusiast and 3d printing guru he spends his days helping in the coupling department, managing the business social media accounts, working in the shop front, helping on all the customer projects, and talking about D&D.
Since the Great Model Railway Challenge in 2019 Alex has been planning some exciting 3d printing projects of unique model railway designs that will be going live very soon. Maybe even in time for Christmas… Watch this space!