July 24th - Saturday Afternoon
Roger and John B were being industrious on ‘Sarre’ when I arrived. The platform ramp had been positioned and John was drilling holes for the nameboard and fence posts. Roger re-instated the gate and boundary fence to allow for the ‘round tin hut’, then raised the ground level there. Hedging and shrubs were being sorted. John’s diesel mechanical and Roger’s brake vans were ready to assist.
Tim and I brought our own projects to the worktables. I checked through an old kit’s parts for a BR shock van, then smoothed and prepared pieces. Tim continued the tidy of the storeroom by checking the innards of the refreshment boxes, then condemning contents. Tim then produced coffee stirrers which he stuck to the sides of 4“ high half-cylinders. These will be vats in his brewery complex. You may be able to glimpse them through doors and windows, when installed. As usual, our chat ranged far and wide; from being in Tyne Yard watching Clayton 17s hump shunting, through working at Hoo Junction, to a cab ride at Longmoor Military Railway, and Eastern Europe.
July 21st - Trains were circling track, models being made and layout work in progress. EKOGG was back in action.
Harvest was in full swing too when we resumed our regular meeting pattern. Paul W, Roger H, John B, John P and Fred C opened doors and windows, then set out tables and readied the Circuit. On our ‘Sarre’ layout, progress towards creating more of a light railway feeling was well in hand. Both Johns and Roger made space next to the water tank by shortening the platform. They then slimmed the platform and prepared to install a new ramp. Bushes and scenics were salvaged along the way.
David G’s green Class 24 was early off the mark; later joined by a blue Class 50. These paralleled Fred’s GWR Castle and railcar at times. John P ran an ex-Cambrian saddle tank in GWR livery. The south-east’s pre-grouping colours were seen on locos that Chris M brought. Paul eventually coupled crimson and cream carriages to run behind a split-headcode Class 37. John B and Bill R added a Terrier and Pannier, so the Circuit had constant use. Geoff R displayed a range of Southern locos: M7, B4 and others including 3-rail tender locos. While working or dining, we heard members’ news and shared magazines and info packs for reading or taking home.
July 7th - We met in the open air at Badlesmere, but the drizzle at midday sent most of us under cover for lunch.
At various times, we saw 14 members. Tables were on the grass, where models were shown and some model making took place. Roger got his troops to move storage boxes off the shelves and out for sorting. Extension cables were given their own crate. The boxes we take out with exhibition layouts were also being tidied and lightened. David Ho. went through heaps of smaller electrics; those to keep, some to bin, other for sale. John B waded through bags of scatter materials and kilos of ballast. We hope to sell many of those to members, along with plastic card building sheets and strips.
Fred displayed his diorama and a weathered train of hopper wagons. He also had a large copper-capped loco which he is fettling. Richard shewed an impressive selection of his horse-drawn carts. One of Geoff’s lockdown projects was a BR / LSWR M7 which he brought along with Alice, an industrial Peckett. Chris was threading chairs onto rail ready to go on his bridge's deck. Narrow-gauge locos had accompanied Tim, away from their brewery, to be displayed with some rolling-stock. John J is taking one of his lines into the garden, and had photos of the raised track, which is demountable for winter.
The new station’s baseboard sections are ready. Paul W and his gofers attached the final folding leg, then joined that section with the previous pair. The three sections seem light and certainly were easy to disassemble and stow away. Great progress. You’ll be able to assist with making this station.
June 2nd was EKOGG's first meeting after nine months of Lockdown. R M
We met in the open air for a combined 'Show & Tell' and 'Bring & Buy'. In all sixteen members arrived, by bus and car, to find that Roger H, David G and Paul W had set out a ring of tables, on the edge of the shade outside the village hall. Keeping suitably spaced, we inspected newly made models, had a good chat, and looked at the sales items and give away magazines. We ate our picnic lunches in brilliant sunshine, a light breeze keeping us comfortable, amid a buzz of banter. It was great to catch up with each other's news and see so many models displayed. [More photos in our Gallery section.] We've now seen Barry K's Colas 67027 in its splendid livery and heard about Fred C's weathering,"The BR ex GWR mogul was bought probably on my first visit to Badlesmere... The weathering process that I use combines MIG washes and airbrushing with quite a lot of wiping and smudging to achieve the effect that I am after."
June 16th Check on store and layouts - Small planning group. RM
Paul bagged the cool shade outside the hall for his work bench and was already adding folding legs to the new station’s baseboards. Inside the hall, with plenty of windows open, the temperature was reasonable. David and Roger were close on my heels, with John B arriving, as Ross couldn’t make it. Our check of the storeroom was swift, as the main result of Lockdown was dust and cobwebs. We puzzled over the contents of boxes and where they were stacked, before getting down to inspecting the layouts.
Sarre came out to be assembled on tables, Roger making noting parts that had suffered, as he moved along the baseboards. Powered up, the track was tested by a very free running bogie bolster, and an 0-6-0t of David’s, a couple of parts having suffered. Having vacuumed, I sat back to get an over all feeling of the layout’s appearance as we discussed tweaks to enhance the feel of a Colonel Stephens line, including the iconic circular tin hut made by Colin S. We joined Paul in the shade for lunch.
Back inside, Edington now occupied the tables, the loco finding glitches with a couple of points. We all worked along the sections, noting places where paint had flaked and platform slopes needed improving. Vegetation appears to be feeling tired, so we hope to strip some back, then re-seed it for the local Somerset habitat. Meanwhile, Paul being satisfied with the progress of his woodwork, we stowed all the layout sections.
A good day’s work, but how we wished to get back to real meetings.