October 30th – Working Party: Notes from Nigel Grant
My repeated requests to the Meteorology Preference Service turned up trumps and we were blessed with an amazing autumn day. Ten brave souls turned out, including Alastair’s son Douglas, who clambered around the balcony. Everyone quickly found their niche and got on with a daunting number of jobs transformed barn, nearly a thing of beauty. Jim and Jackie deserve a special medal for burying themselves in the murky shed. They worked out a good way of supporting the fire escape walkway. David H rigged up temporary light and power in the shed so they could see, and has plans for a more permanent metallic facility pathway (this absurd phrase comes from BT; it means cable). David was also modifying controllers. Roger, Rob and John B attacked the woodpile by the stairs, to sift the good bits from the scrap. The scrap pieces joined the bonfire pile. An old trolley wheel ready for a tip trip was reclaimed by Alastair – an essential part of his scaffold tower. Colin S clearing and carrying, told anecdotes about 100 mph train runs. Geoff Roberts was able to look in for a while. There’s plenty more to do, but we’re well on the way. A brilliant effort.
October 19th: Notes by John Plumpton
I arrived just after Barry, was closely followed upstairs by Alistair. Ross arrived as we were eating our lunch, then Maurice with his bag full of stock. Roger appeared with his wife and took boxes of surplus items for sale at the SEG0G show; passing his brother Stuart as he went.
We spent the afternoon doing some constructive talking, drinking tea and running trains. Ross ran his ‘P’ class tank at slow speed, whilst Barry ran his ‘King Arthur’ and Maurice a collection of LMS stock. A power cut ended our afternoon jaunt, so we tidied up and covered the essential tracks for winter, locked up and said good bye to the layout for a few months.
October 12th: We kicked off our Fleur Hall session with Ross Shimmon showing scenes of Southern lines from Peter Hingley’s collection. EKLR and K&ESR locos featured, along with Reading General. Hampshire and Dorset were prominent in slides that I’d found; the bias slightly leavened with pictures from Wales and further afield.
Several models were on display. Ross put out photos he’d taken at the Indian Railway Museum – plenty of scratch and freelance building opportunities! After a quick events update, John Buckle showed 8mm film of steam days on the Isle of Wight. Earlier a few had light meals at The Chimney Boy.
October 5th: With members on trips or at exhibitions, it was a quieter day at the layout. Jim May, joining us for the first time, found his way to our picnic unassisted, which few have managed. Ross was first to sign the “Running Paths” blackboard; his Hudswell-Clark moving slowly and smoothly. Barry had a G6 out, before trying his SER 4-4-0. Jim had brought a Southern Q1 for testing. John P planned for a small loco yard at Nailbourne. Ross planted Hindi signs at the tunnel abutments and played us recordings he made of O2s at Ventnor. David G took command of the electrics on Nailbourne. Soon operating improved, and his goal of people shuttling trains between terminals, while others use the circuits, came much nearer. [Photos by Rob: Q1 in our rural retreat / Jim, Ross & John P on electrical duties]
September 21st: We had 13 people turn out, lunching after we’d lugged power tools upstairs. The circuits saw a lot of use with Alan’s GWR steam rail-motor attracting much attention. On Cavedale locos shuttled to and fro. John M’s latest Victorian loco joined them and Barry’s C class worked two smart Maunsell carriages. The couplings, deep beneath the corridor connections, caused consternation. Meanwhile Paul and Nigel opened voids on either side of the loft, then fixed replacement flooring. Those around Nailbourne moved shelving to give better access. John P had us all out in the fresh air for tea, Joe S providing fruit cake and Barry bemoaning lack of wheels slowing down his loco production line. The tidy continued with yet more bin bags being taken away.
[Photos by Rob: John M’s Victorian loco / Alan’s rail-motor]