Badlesmere – Wednesday December 12th RM
The “Circuit’s” baseboards were all joined up when I stepped into the hall. Very impressive. People had been busy setting out tables to support it and now the tweaking was taking place with Paul fixing latches. He had his team sticking down underlay at the same time. The “Sarre” workers suffered a minor setback with a point, but, with many hands available, that was soon repaired. They went on to lay wire in tube for points and ready more rail for final fixing. Shock horror! Roger found that he’d tidied everything possible, having binned or sent home yet more odds and ends. David G had the magic touch with the heating meter cards and we could then bask in warmth. The great clear up swung into action as we packed away trestles and baseboards then heaved tables back onto the hall’s low stage.
Seven of us have a drink in the Red Lion, where we encouraged the log fire to burst into life despite its explosive nature. We wondered about having an “At Home” during the summer and if we could somehow squeeze all three layouts into the hall and still have space for visitors. Reflecting on all the changes the group’s coped with in 2016, we wished each other an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
Faversham – Town meeting – Saturday December 10th 2016 RM
We had a super sticky chocolate cake, baked by Pat Shimmon, to celebrate our Group’s 30th Year. Ross showed an entertaining set of captioned photos of our history before asking people about their “30 years ago” exhibits. The afternoon had begun with the chairman’s traditional Christmas Quiz, Roger scooping the prize. Earlier many members had lunched together. The day ended with films of a snowy Somerset & Dorset Rly.
Badlesmere – Wednesday December 7th 2016 RM
Great progress was made with track work on “Sarre” and the circuit’s final baseboard, while Jim prepared lengths of rail. Equipment was sorted into new boxes to support the layouts when they take to the road. Many of those there went to a remembrance service at Throwley Church for Alastair with his family and colleagues .
Badlesmere – Wednesday November 23rd 2016 RM
Most of the day was concerned with furthering our new projects. The new circuit, half of which was set out on large tables where a tripod was the pivot for marking out the track curves. Next Paul and Barry stuck rubber underlay to three sections and joiners were adjusted. In the other corner, trestles were set up with the four sections of “Sarre” fitted together. With Ron, the Johns and David Ho. gathered around, track positions were transferred to the baseboard cork. By the end of the day rails were being lightly tacked into position and John B. sent a tank wagon rolling.
In the store Roger and David G. were making more space. A set of plastic storage boxes is awaited for keeping exhibition equipment. Jim was on track preparation duties for some time. A selection of model buildings from the Barn were on the stage for members to adopt, as was some pre-used track. We all felt that quite a bit of progress had been made over the day.
Elham Model Railway Show – Saturday November 19th 2016 RM
When I strolled into Elham’s well appointed village hall, all the hard work had been done by those who’d set up on Friday or got up early on Saturday.“Edington”, the largest layout of twelve, was running well with our operators talking to visitors while keeping trains moving. (Possibly a back siding wasn’t working, but was ‘fronted up’ with some colourful vans and wagons; and one fiddle-yard connection was re-soldered during the day.)
The GOG stand and EKOGG’s sales table was centrally positioned, with Roger kit bashing; usually surrounded by seated visitors having a chat or delving into boxes of goodies. There was a tendency for our members to congregate there between looking at the amazing n-g rotating layout and the colourful n-g with bottle kiln. The locals ran a good buffet and provided our workers with packed lunches. We all seemed to meet a fair number of acquaintances and catch up with news. I skittered off home mid-afternoon, only to wonder how the ‘take-out’ got on in the rain.
Saturday 12th November – Faversham town meeting
More than a dozen members met and heard about some of the chairman’s railway journeys around Europe. As well as high speed lines in Spain and a visit to East Germany soon after the wall came down, we saw his travels on Slovak railways and visits to the Open air Museum at Martin SK.
Wednesday 9th November at Badlesmere
Another productive day, with despite rain and chill, we ended with eleven of us and the hall’s chairman who arranged heating. (He returned at three, as we were piling out of the door, to finish his repairs.) We basked in a warm red glow from the heaters over lunch and while we worked. The complete extent of Edington was tested with John B’s latest diesel shunter with “tramway bell” (Rivarrossi) and a pair of vans, which I’m afraid reminded me of a track lifter’s train. A couple of electrically dead rails where re-connected, leaving just a fiddle yard rail slide to fix. The goods shed was stuck down and loose guttering fixed too. Ross had his B4 out on the line as well.
Meanwhile, tools were sorted to make a couple of basic/emergency sets for exhibitions and the rest boxed for sale. This made two sets of storage trays superfluous, so we gained a bit of space. That was just as well as we had to find space for the “Sarre” boards, which David Ho. had brought in. The plan had been spread on the joined boards so that we could gather around it and we put forward ideas on the track layout and how the scenery with buildings should the look. Finding space for it in the store meant for careful packing.
We were saddened to hear of Alastair Malcolm’s death in early November. Chairman during a time of great advances for EKOGG, then President, he had been struggling with ill health over the last year.
When I first met him, he had just offered the use of the extensive loft in the barn adjoining his garden to the group. We bundled into cars and threaded narrow tracks for an on-site visit, then Alastair plied us with beers as we discussed plans while sitting on his lawn. Soon we were frequent visitors; preparing for our future layout, using his extensive workshop (where he’d built his small monoplane) and brewing gallons of tea in the kitchen.
Alastair encouraged me to start fortnightly weekend meetings and occasional mid-week sessions, and was happy for us to turn up late mornings, which began our tradition of picnics on the lawn. I particularly remember him up ladders above the stairwell, repairing our ceiling. He joined whenever he could, but having many interests and working in the City suggested that I become vice-chairman.
Membership grew under this regime with the group developing skills and confidence, and assisting with barn maintenance. We were always made welcome by the Malcolm family and Alastair was enthusiastic when we began our exhibition layout. However, becoming unwell, his move to the town and our move to Badlesmere ended a splendid era.
We’d seen his family recently and, luckily, Alastair was well and cheerful, when he visited our operating session few weeks ago. A great friend, he will be much missed by us all. Our thoughts are with his family. Rob Moody, Chairman EKOGG
October at the Wimbledon Show John, Chris and Roger were at the Wimbledon Show exhibiting Roger’s “Coles Yard”. By the look of the photos they enjoyed themselves.
Folkestone Model Railway Show – October 2016 Luckily some of our members were able to take up Peter Vickery’s invitation to bring stock to the show and run on the large O gauge circuit. Colin S. said it had been a great visit running his own models and seeing the variety of trains brought.
October 19th – Wednesday at Badlesmere
“Fifteen. That’s a record”, said David Hopkins when he’d looked in the register, the largest number of members we’ve had at Badlesmere. There was plenty going on for them to take part in, with Graham and myself holding baseboards for Paul, a brass fettling table with bogie wheel sets, sorting sales boxes, assembling “Cole’s Yard” and finding how to operate it, finding info. from the books on the table, looking at Brian’s 4-4-0 and the other stock that had appeared, as well as the hall chores. Roger’s coal yard layout is going to the Carshalton Show with a few of our members, so finding how to put it together and operate it was needed. They said they were going to take magnifiers to read the wagon numbers for shunting.
October 15th – Saturday in Faversham – RM
Plans for the projected East Kent layout were laid out on the tables when we gathered in the Fleur Hall, so there was plenty to chat about. David G had come up with a film from British Transport Commission, which showed British Railways’ and London Underground’s progress in the 1950s. It jogged the memories of some of us and was a really good watch. After tea and ‘notices’, we saw a signalman’s films centred on Kemp Town, plus Hayling Island and a look at the Devil’s Dyke branch. Earlier many members had a convivial meal close by.
October 5th – Badlesmere – RJM
I caught up with happenings when I returned, hearing about planning for the mini layout. Colin Curtis, who we hadn’t seen for a while, came. The baseboards for a future oval layout are shaping up beautifully thanks to Paul. Meanwhile Barry and David had started a bogie production line. Jim shewed a nifty set of wagons he is about to finish off, while John B worked on narrow gauge stock. Several locos took turns on the minimalist track I’d brought in, including a rather swish O2 from Barry.
September 14th – Badlesmere – Ross Shimmon
We spent a lot of the meeting discussing the various options for the proposed new small portable layout. David Ho translated the ideas to drawings on paper, ending up with a full-size one. Jim concentrated on preparing one of the recycled baseboards for the new layout, drowning out the sound from the Dapol Terrier. Sound? Yes, Chris brought in his Dapol DCC ‘Thames’ in full Stroudley’s ‘improved engine green’ with sound. How did he do it? Well, he also brought along an oval of set track, together with an all-singing, all-dancing ZTC controller. Once we had muffled Jim’s noise, we could hear the Westinghouse pump, the doors closing, the guard’s whistle, the engine’s toot in response and, gradually, the loco starting its train. Very impressive. Jim brought along a Minerva Peckett 0-4-0ST, which very nice in its lined green livery and ran very smoothly. No sound, though. David Hayes handed over to Ross for possible loan to the Colonel Stephens railway museum a super model of a Ford railmotor. We were delighted to welcome Mike Perry, fresh from exhibiting his splendid ‘Tar Works’ at the Faversham show, to his first meeting at Badlesmere. Mike is still looking for a fool-proof way of introducing a convincing tar smell to his layout. Answers on a postcard please.