Worth looking at the Northern Counties Transport Society topic viewtopic.php?f=2&t=329
I myself was never actually a member of Dalescroft, NCTS grabbed me. There were of course many similar shed bashing societies in the 1970's and I gather even more in the 1960's, most locally based. I know Ian Prince who is a regular contributor to this forum was a member following absorption of Northern Railfans and I am sure will be able to add something.
Dalescroft comes up regularly in the chats I have had recently regarding the history of NCTS and I have amalgamated various comments that have appeared on other forums below, some from me, some from others, into a summary of what has been said.
Not sure of the exact origins but by the early 1970's Dalescroft was being run by Dale W. Fickes who presumably founded it. It was actually called Dalescroft as Dale fickes's parents lived at Dalescroft Rise in Allerton Bradford. It was pretty much started in a room at home with most of the paper work and visit lists etc done their. Mr Fickes was quite a character and is still apparently about. The Inter-City Railway Society came about due to a 'falling out' within Dalescroft in 1973. Similar to a 'falling out' in Northern Counties Transport Society in 1976 that led to the short lived South Yorkshire Railway Society. By the 1980's I believe Dalescroft had transformed into the National Railway Enthusiasts Society. The early origins of Phoenix Rail Tours also stemmed from early Dalescroft splinters.
A little known fact is that Dale Fickes actually approached BR in the late 1970s about working for them full time with a proposition that he would oversee the entire country's permit requests, which would take over from individual depot & works managers having to organise and distribute permits nationwide. They asked him to put a plan together but nothing came of it, now can you imagine if that had come off and every society had to write to him for permits to be authorised and sent??
There was some underhand goings on that weren't Dales's fault, there were some of the regional organisers on the southern that 'reportedly' had taken money for tours and permits individually and pocketed it so it never came back in to the society. Malcolm Riley of RCTS has never seen eye to eye with him, there was at least one occasion that their bus turned up at a depot, could have been Barrow Hill, and RCTS were already on their way around, Dale jumped on the back of the party with his own coach and walked straight around piggy backing RCTs permit which didn't go down well.
It all went wrong and ended in a very sticky meeting in a solicitors office in Bradford. it was actually registered at companies house as a bonefide business.
Dalescroft/Mr Fickes was, along with the Worcester Locomotive Society by 1974, producing pocket book size loco-shed style books in competition with Ian Allan where as Northern Counties Transport Society were producing duplicated listings. If anybody has spare copies of these early books or can provide a scan that would be very much welcomed. I am not aware of any appearing before the great re-numbering.
In away Dale saw the future trends in the hobby that the RCTS who were better placed failed to grasp and acted on them. The origins of Platform 5 have a Dalescroft footnote.