Friends & Family Day 2019 July 20th
Thanks to everyone for all the hard work which made it a convivial day. We entertained a score of our families and modelling friends for an enjoyable afternoon, although we had a few glitches to cope with.
As a class 37 and a Southern Pacific mogul sped round the Circuit, Richard was quizzed about his Edwardian SECR stock, which had been running. Grown-up children, youngsters and a great granddaughter peered into Geoff’s Diorama. Ladies sat in line watching Sarre’s sequence of running; no pressure on those hand uncoupling, then. Our Wimbledon friends got “hands on” with Edington, which relieved the pressure on Paul W and Chris M who were coping withelectrical hitches. Jim M remained calm, up on the stage, producing a lightweight layout frame. Roger had our sales table up there too. Just how many times David Ho. asked visitors if they wanted tea or coffee, I can’t calculate.
Paul W and Ross had checked on space needed for the layouts and were setting out trestles when I arrived. John B and John P were soon assisting before joining Jackie to arrange Sarre. Richard took a lead with the Circuit. Fred and David Ha. came to help as Roger and Chris N were ferrying boxes. Several of us dropped into the kitchen at various times to lend a hand. Alan K brought GWR “Knight of the Garter” for a run, while Stuart provided large diesels, before moving to traverser duties. A buzz of visitors had built up by 1pm. Luckily Bill R and John M, who was clutching an elderly Furness “Copper Nob”, managed to join us.
As 4pm approached the hall quietened and we wound down. Layouts were stored, people waved goodbye, leaving tired, but feeling it worthwhile; even wondering when to have the next Friend’s Day. So, as it started, there I stood with Paul W, Chris M and Ross…
2019 July 17th Wednesday at Badlesmere
It was “all systems go” – well, after electrics and points had been tweaked. The full extent of Edington Junction stretched along one wall and Sarre along the other. We had an L shaped modelling and dining table near the doors with a woodwork bench opposite, where Jim was working while talking with Tim. Checking the layouts for wear and tear was our main aimready for our ‘Friends Afternoon’. Paul W, plus soldering iron, went to ground beneath Edington for a fair while, as Chris M shunted his SECR stock above. Traversers were closely inspected and newer members given an introduction to the controls. 1950s trains, including a DMU, tested that all roads were working. The Sarre team seemed to be on top of their tasks, and found which locos were most suitable. We intend to give a run to all the stock brought this coming Saturday – Trains, Friends & Fun.
EKLR buildings, constructed by Colin S, caused great interest. Nearby, vans, coal wagons and tankers vied with tank locos for constructors’ attention. P class buffer replacement featured, as did sifting through donated magazines. We heard about Roger’s team at the Pett Show, where they’d enjoyed themselves while adding to our and the East Sussex Group’s funds. David Ho. had plenty of aid with refreshments today.
2019 July 3rd Wednesday at Badlesmere
Sun, a breeze and the heavy scent of chestnut flowers – a lazy summer’s day. But, in the hall, EKOGG were beavering away – and consuming chocolate biscuits while chatting over teas. The Circuit, which had been put up in double quick time, hosted a variety of small locos, an LNER 0-6-0 and Colin S’s two-car electric set. Ross and John P ran their locos in parallel: a tiny blue saddle tank and a GWR Mogul. Allen’s battery/DC 08 diesel unaccountably lost power, so he and Steve were soon peering into its workings. We needed four tables to jamb around today, with locos being worked on and half a dozen wagons. Several of these ventured onto the Circuit for runs as the day progressed: P class, MR Pug, GWR tank engine, plus a wagon or two.
Sarre was being tittivated ready for our Friends & Family afternoon. We talked through our outline for the day over lunch. Members co-ordinating layout operation calculated stock needs, besides looking at space and power sockets. We hope that all who bring a short train will have a chance to run it. David Ho. is listing refreshments and hoping for us to nip into the kitchen and lend a hand as usual. David G went over suggestions for a new station that could be slotted into the Circuit. A North Kent prototype is proposed, set in appropriate scenery. The worry was that this would make the Circuit rather large, which could restrict its appearances at shows. Various shortening ideas were suggested, as was using it with fiddle yards at times. We also wondered about how many years life at exhibitions are left to Edington before wear and tear takes its toll.
So, plenty of running, construction and helping each other today, plus plenty to plan.
2019 June 19th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M (photos by Ross S)
After the storm came the members – twenty-two of them. A pile of people appeared so the Circuit was up in double quick time. Being ‘Tank Engine Day’, we soon saw quite a variety. Barry W ran his first O gauge loco; an Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2t. He also had Southern types including W, O2 and J classes, while Roger had an R1 and H. Smaller saddle tanks used the other line. Fred trialled his GWR tanks, followed by John P running a saddle tank from one of the smaller GWR constituents. A pannier and prairie appeared later
The Sales Table attracted John M, who dropped by between jobs, then caught up with news as we gathered for lunch. Some trees were being positioned on Sarre. Two Davids were constructing small locos next to Bill, as he sorted the floor of a goods van. Tank wagons and a van were further along, across from Ross, who called up Light Railway views on his computer. Amongst the bags of doughnuts and magazines we sought tiny pieces of loco kits which had skidded into hiding.
Despite the showers, Alan came down from Bromley with Joe. Roger found a DCC controller, Fred fixed wires and David Ho. cleaned a lot of oil from the rails. Joe didn’t have much success with an A3 pacific, but his green Princess had a good run; Jack exploiting DCC to produce clanking and coasting sounds in addition to steaming. Joe has the sound package taken from the actual loco, which he’d observed at the Midland Railway Centre. Meanwhile, Alan ran his gleaming GWR express engine on the other track. These drew quite a crowd, and we sat nearby chatting until it was time to pack away.
2019 June 15th Saturday at Badlesmere
Rob M (photo by Ross S)
Automatic operating 4 aspect signals are one project that John J is working on. At present in N scale, but hopefully on his planned O gauge inside/outside line in the future. Stuart shewed us his neat paint job on the 4-wheel Cambrian carriage he’d constructed. Tim was also in late Victorian mode, with fancy decoration on a lofty brick-based water tower. I added a few pieces to a van body, with the tanker wagon production line to one side of me and David Ha. working on brass frets for locos to the other.
Some of us had brought packed lunches, Jim fasted and others had dined across The Lees Green. Roger toted the sales items onto tables, so we were soon looking through packets of pieces or wondering about rolling stock. Several helped in the kitchen, keeping up the supply of tea. Magazines and books were shared on the tables. A tree production line, well two, for Sarre was started by David Ho.
Paul had supervised the Circuit being set out and soon he and John P were testing a GWR Pannier and stock. I found that my old Terrier was independent about direction of travel and John B ran an oil tank train. Colin S and Barry W trialled larger locos; as a black saddle tank circled, while Ross waited for inspiration as to which livery it aspired to.
2019 June 5th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M (Photos by: David G, Ross S, RM)
The hall buzzed, with plenty of trains running, models of all sorts taking shape, and the sale, for group funds, of Ron Steward’s bequest. Fred had joined the usual suspects awaiting the doors being opened. We soon had tables up and kettles on, before setting out the Circuit. 14xxs and siphons took the tracks and Richard added a SE&CR steam railmotor. Later, after a variety of trains, Jim P added a gleaming D1 which gentle hissed and chuffed. Lever frames, tall mill buildings, tank wagons and an Ilfracombe Goods loco were amongst the models being assembled. A part of Sarre appeared briefly, while a section of Edington was worked on for much of our time.
Roger backed to the door, commandeered a table and was soon surrounded by boxes of stock and bits. Sentinel, tram and Great Eastern 2-4-0 locos were soon snapped up as wagons were assessed. Our GOG officers peered into boxes of partly built kits and sorted little loco parts to aid sales. Bill R, who found us via web links, had twenty-two people to talk with. Luckily, help was at hand for catering and tidying as counting that many for teas and coffees proved difficult. We caught up on group and GOG news, and heard about using new train services to Cornwall and the amount of freight seen around Remagen. Another enjoyable meeting. (Stop press: We think our secretary is in Ireland.)
2019 May 18th Saturday at Badlesmere
We had the kettle boiled and ready when the pub lunchers joined us from across the Lees Green. Sarre once again ventured into the fresh air, but came inside for painting and cleaning, when the skies greyed and damp was felt. This time Stuart provided an aged light railway carriage for photos, while John B coupled it to his green Austerity saddle tank. Modelling was mainly confined to wagons, including one of the many Grampus p-way wagon variations. Books and magazines were on the table, some of which were from our Bring & Buy table, as were various detailing models. As usual, we had plenty of railway talk and updated each other on projects.
2019 May 15th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Was it 53 or 58 wagons moving round our Circuit? And all private owner liveries. Trains had been coupled and sent off, then combined until they stretched halfway around the Test Track. Terriers took a fair amount before giving way to a SDJR Class 3F. Later various combinations of smaller locos struggled before rakes reduced. We perched along the stage, spotting local names on coal wagons and protesting about petrol tankers next to locos.
At the table, bogie frames were folded, tiny bits added to wagons and buildings constructed. Paul H assembled a signal cabin, while John H spread “plaster” onto a plasticard form ready for sculpting into stonework similar to the detailed cottage he’d brought. Jim M sawed ply for the Diorama. Sun hat on, Jackie led the way outside where we set out Sarre for David Ho. to photograph. Hopefully they will appear in GOG’s projected layout plans booklet. John P helped by wrapping himself in a white sheet… as Ross, Roger and I provided vans and wagons. Barry W’s Class H, with parcels brake, took centre stage.
2019 May 1st Wednesday at Badlesmere
Spring had sprung with sand martins swooping by, so we threw open the windows and got the Circuit set for running. John P organised refreshments today, with Jackie and Chris M joining me helping. John P and Jackie then got Sarre’s baseboards onto tables, and facing the light, to give the facia its first coat of varnish of the day. Jim M and Barry brought plywood, destined for the new diorama. Allen peered into the cardboard tubes revealing plans and drawings. Fred C. appeared in the doorway clutching a non-running loco he’d made a while back, so we welcomed him to the table. Paul W got busy fault finding and the 14xx’s drivers turned later, but a wobbly trailing wheel needed curing. Nearby a 6-wheel carriage awaited a curved roof.
John B was wagon building at the modelling table, after giving his small saddle tank a run. Steve had several items of stock. Geoff mentioned the future of the “E&T” and saw that we’ve a couple of photos of models in the Guild News. Jim P had brought a large LSWR tank and an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0st, a Tower Models’ kit in white primer. The small loco wiggled around occasionally pausing at rail joints, leading Jim to attack the track with a garden scale cleaner pad. Later we were shewn a DCC controller that mimics a modern loco’s driving desk, while Chris N managed to fit a tiny video camera to the front of a loco on the Circuit. A Brighton D3, in BR livery, took a Birdcage carriage around our lines, along with a SR Mogul.