Sadly, the Sutton Coldfield Model Makers lost its last founder member at the end of July. Doug Burchell died after a short illness.
Doug was one of the three founder members of the society more than 35 years ago, together with George Wright and John Nicklin. He was a local lad, living all his life in the Mere Green area of Sutton Coldfield, apart from his war service when he served with the Royal Navy in the Far East. A couple of years ago he gave the society an illustrated talk on his war experiences, including a visit to Hiroshima in 1946. Both before and after joining up he spent his working life in the insurance industry.
But it was as a modeller that I knew him; he had great skills in modelling ships – including those of the era of sail – and biplanes. His scratchbuilt 1/48th Short 184 was awarded a Bronze Medal at the Model Engineer Exhibition. Later, he started a thematic display of aircraft of the Red Cross, which formed a unique and fascinating display at exhibitions up and down the country.
Doug was also a charming gentleman, but always with a twinkle in his eye and a wicked sense of humour. He was very proud of what the Sutton Model Makers Society had become, and pleased that the society has a fine group of members taking it forward into the future. His best memorial will be the continued existence of the club.