Faversham – Saturday, December 9th
With Santa hat and twinkling lights, Chris Nuttall set the scene for our Christmas Quiz. “Which steam engine runs on paper?” was the question that we all puzzled over, with a sneaking feeling that there was a bit of a twist involved. With names picked from the hat, teams huddled around their scribes to tackle Roger Harmer’s questions. John P’s trio and Ross’ lot just nosed ahead at the end. Those had a conflab and elected John Bullimore to set next year’s questions with John P. and Jackie helping with ideas.
We milled around over mince pies and warm drinks, chatting and viewing the sales table. When John P and David Ho. asked for aid in the kitchen John J. and Tim beat Colin S. to the door and grabbed the last tea towels. That made life a lots easier and we were quickly able to get back into the hall.
John Minter reminisced about transport in Birmingham during his school years. There with many photos of the decaying Snow Hill station where he’d roamed through the sad wreckage. We also saw remains of the tram network, wonderful wall mosaics depicting locomotives and the old transport and engineering museum. Exchanging season’s wishes we departed beneath Faversham’s Christmas lights. A good end to our year.
* I have had Christmas greetings from Beryl, Alan & John Poulton. They have asked me to pass on their thanks to Roger, myself and the whole team at our gauge O group for helping with Frank’s estate.
2017 December 6th – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Power on and points clicking over, Terriers shuttled about Sarre; while Pannier tanks were the theme on The Circuit. It was a companionable day with people making progress on many fronts. David Hopkins had done much for Sarre, and we now have trains moving. A mini panel with section switches is fitted by the station and the point motors are working; some with rod control provided as back up. The ‘end of the line’ baseboard will be the last to be powered up. John B. had also brought a Terrier that explored all the powered tracks and ventured behind the backscene onto the cassette. John P. was fixed platform ramps with the help of assorted heavy items and Roger planned ballasting.
Barry sent Paul’s 57xx pannier around The Circuit. Paul Honey joined us and he also had a pannier – an open cabbed version – which had a clerestory in tow. Outdoors, large sheets of ply were being sliced into smaller pieces. Jim showed us a swish motor bus and Jackie completed a waiting shelter. Chris, with festive hat, concocted a splendid lunchtime spread just across from the doughnuts. David Hayes tested the sprung wheelset of his Beatie well tank by propelling it across Sarre’s pointwork.
2017 November 18th – Saturday at Faversham
Steam loco driving and care was the order of the day when we gathered in The Fleur Hall. Vintage films featured safety and economy in 1930s LMS engine sheds, but we also saw a present day driver of main line steam. We even looked at the 1950s electrification expansion into Kent. Stuart had his latest projects on display: a four-wheel carriage from etches of LSWR stock and half of an LMS push-pull set. He’d equipped his Dapol Jinty for auto-train work; showing it alongside the coaches. The Bring & Buy table was in operation too. John P and helpers organised refreshments. We decided to pick small teams out of a hat at this year’s Christmas Quiz. Peter reminded us that we are welcome to run our stock on the Folkestone group’s O gauge layout at the Tenterden Show. Our diners had been redirected for lunch as our venue had a leaky kitchen. Luckily the barmaid from the Vaults had booked us a table at the Station Hotel.
2017 November 15th – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Parts of our three layouts were being worked on today. Sarre was gaining more back scene boards with the lift out cassette fitting neatly behind; a pair of thin tubes clipping around the rails for electrical connection. Scenic work aimed at freshening-up Edington’s appearance and The Circuit had another length of track doubled. On the modelling table, drawings of buildings and fiddleyards grew alongside construction projects. The nine of us were kept busy.
2017 November 1st Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M (photo by Ross S)
On a splendid sunny morning, at the new time of 10.30, we opened the hall and set out tables. Wagons were put on the layout, when David G carried his stock boxes in, giving us a chance to shunt and play. John P paid us a fleeting visit to check on Sarre’s station building, as we pored over a sheet of enamel signs to adorn it. Jackie arrived off the bus and, once he’d brewed some tea, painted a model. We saw Tim’s low loader, now painted, and discussed the available transfers.While David Ha. subtly passed the doughnuts and worked on brass kits, talk about disasters in Thomas the tank books got us onto photographer bishops and Peter Denny piercing rectory walls with tunnels. David Ho. was busy with a soldering iron on Sarre and beneath Edington. Ross brought his tough B4 (hero of a 54 wagon train) which spent time shunting with members clustered round. Another pleasant day.
2017 October 18th Wednesday at Badlesmere
It was mizzly and grey out, but inside it was a productive day. Chris hammered pieces of steel wire into Edington’s ballast as a way of spreading the effect of the electro magnets for uncoupling. Testing with various lengths of wire, with Dingham fitted stock, found the range before wires were glued across the existing rod end. Across the way on Sarre, under a towering pile of breeze blocks, the platform surface was being stuck, alongside work on walls and backscene preparation. John J was soldering connection plugs ready for use on the Circuit, which was gaining lengths of its second track, with Barry’s Schools class testing the electrics. A rather nice Pannier was running smoothly on Edington. A sudden influx of diesels with D209 and the Fell, joining locos from John B and Roger occurred. Then, to make the operators’ lives interesting, Steve added 9F 92092 to the tracks. The modelling table needed lengthening the for lunch as there were fifteen present. We wished well to all those helping the Beckenham crew with the show.
2017 October 14th Saturday in Faversham
Did you know that there was once a tramway from Herne Bay pier to the station to transport oysters to be carried to market? You would have done if you had come to the EKOGG meeting at the Fleur on Saturday to hear railwayman Mark Jones present ‘Herne Bay by Rail’, who used a variety of images dating from the 1840s to the introduction of the ‘Javelin’ high speed trains. We saw a sail-powered truck on the pier tramway, the first main line station building, which was transported brick by brick to become the ‘Hall-by-the-sea’ pub on the frontand unfulfilled plans for a tramway to Reculver and Whitstable. Aerial images showed the appearance of the roads leading from the 1926 station building to the sea. There was no sign of John P’s house though. Mark reminded us of the disastrous floods in 1952, which prompted the temporary reopening of the recently closed Canterbury & Whitstable line and massive rebuilding of the coast line which had been washed away. The 1959 electrification works were featured, followed by the then new EMUs. More recent footage included rail tours. Mark rounded off the evening with some images of the crowds using the station for the Herne Bay air show. The train spotter in me noted Bulleid pacific 34001 and M7 30052 and an unidentified Q1, plus an H (or was it an M7?) sandwiched between several coaches on an emergency shuttle service. It was good to see John P organising tea, and that he had plenty of help with the washing up.
2017 October 4th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M (Photos by RM and Ross S)
Brian M found us again and was soon helping as repairs were made to Edington’s point motors. Tim also appeared bearing a brass Lowmac that he is building. That got a run on the Circuit, which was out for most of the day. Barry’s Urie Arthur ran early on. It now has a little more clearance around the front bogie, resulting in smoother running. David G’s 4F ran for a while, but without the hoped-for wisps of steam and smoke. Small locos dominated after lunch. On Sarre, electrical connections were prepared. Jackie was working on lineside models. A dozen of us were present and as usual a good team helped out in the kitchen.
We heard about our team’s experiences at the Wigan Show at our first tea break. They were well received and hope to feature in the modelling press in due course.
The Beckenham Show was causing concern as “heavy lifting” members were in short supply, but with “all hands” called in we’ll manage.
The construction of easily handled fiddled yards is on the cards, possibly using a traverser. Hopefully the design would fit both Edington and The Circuit.
Ideas are being sought for future developments to the Circuit. A station, maybe with an island platform to enable trains to pass and a possible goods train refuge loop on the other track to add interest, was mentioned. I wondered what sort of setting we could locate it in. Members’ thoughts are welcomed.
We heard about our people’s experiences at the Wigan Show at our first tea break. The layout was well received and we hope it will feature in the modelling press in due course. The Beckenham Show was causing concern as our heavy lifting members were a bit short in supply, but with all hands called up we’ll manage.
2017 September 20th Wednesday at Badlesmere
As track workers, Paul W and Jackie, laid the initial stretch of the Circuit’s outer line, an EWS Class 60 roared around beside them. Earlier a Terrier had run with a short freight before Colin S had dusted off a two car SR emu, which had a good run after a nudge to wake it up. Its carriages had been used to check platform clearances on Sarre by John P. Nearby, David Ho. peered at electrics, while Jim and John J modernised Sarre’s trestles. Roger and Colin C were making measurements for buildings.
GOG’s new Con. Rep. for the South-East, Paul Honey, visited and had a good chat with us. He found a kindred spirit in David Ha. who was working on a loco tender and distributing doughnuts. As the afternoon drew on John B started the checking and crating of Edington ready for exhibiting at Wigan. As usual several people helped John P with thekitchen. It had been a productive day and we departed wishing the Wigan crew “Good luck”.
2017 September 16th – Saturday at Badlesmere
The Circuit saw good use as models were run in or tested; close coupling and pickup glitches being solved as diesels and SR 4-6-0s followed around. With books, models and magazines strewn across the tables, there was a cheerful buzz with twelve of us and a couple of visitors from the Elham Valley group. Snapped wagon sides were repaired with UV glues across the bench from Wantage Tramway stock being soldered. Jim May had been busy and showed us scalpel cut window frames, white metal vans and a warehouse front. David Hayes’s “Toby” ran at appropriate pace with Edwardian veranda rolling stock.
2017 September 6th – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Report & photos by Ross Shimmon
This was my first day back at Badlesmere after a short summer break. My homework was to bring the milk.
We were a smaller than usual group, but we had the bonus of a visitor, Steve, who has recently moved into the area from Retford, Notts, famous (in the railway world) for its flat crossing. He brought with him a model of a loco some of us had heard of, but few had seen in either prototype or model form; BR Fell diesel mechanical 4-8-4 No. 10100. Beautifully built from a set of etched parts originally prepared for 4mm scale, it ran smoothly, mesmerising us with its revolving bright red fly cranks. Spectacular, if rather incongruous on Edington. We all thought that Colin Smith would have drooled over it. Perhaps, if we haven’t put Steve off, he’ll bring it again so that he can see it. In between the usual tea and lunch breaks, John B worked on the fiddle yard at Sarre, while David G and Paul W fettled the track and repaired electrical faults. David’s SDJR 0-4-4T, John’s Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T and my KESR Terrier were used to test the track. The rest of us did what we do best, dispense advice. A good start to the autumn term.
* The EKOGG chairman was unavoidably detained in Romania.