News

Autumn 2020

After the Government's latest rules were issued on September 10th, we have cancelled all meetings until further notice.

2nd September 2020   Wednesday at Badlesmere    “Show & Tell – Lockdown Projects”   Rob M

A great sweep of tables around the hall shewed our modelling projects.  A varied selection of ‘Bring & Buy’ items were traded from the ends of tables.  Modelling was quietly continuing at the rear of several displays.  Jim P, John D and Steve S returned to the fold today, and two visitors were introduced by Geoff. 

At noon, we heard about the projects.  From behind an impressive range of models, David G showed the diners in his twelve wheeled restaurant car, an iconic S&DJR 2-8-0, and a Class 24.  Fred’s table was fronted by an engineer’s train behind a Dapol 14xx.  David Ho. displayed a tin platform store in SR colours.  That was from a resin kit, but he also had laser-cut models ready to assemble.  Production of Edwardian strollers and adding others to a backscene was Chris M’s theme.  Steve showed an early BR diesel, in the D25xx series, which he’d assembled from an old and quirky kit.  Geoff, brought along a Pullman he’d made some years back for the late Roy Chambers. 

John D brought a Lynton & Barnstaple open wagons; others are being given added detail by him.  John B had a selection of stock from his light railway; some of it adapted from pre-owned items and kits.  From behind ‘Bring & Buy’ boxes, Roger described some of his ‘modern’ stock, as well as a ‘special’ tanker for a well-known aerosol paint.  Tim had been productive during Lockdown, assembling an 0-4-0t loco, a grain hopper and an insulated van for his brewery layout.  A gleaming SR liveried H16 4-6-2t was shewn by Jim P.  Mike’s creosote and sleeper depot now has a pressure vessel with a working hatch.  Ross brought us up to date with news of the diesel and wagons he’s made for the Tenterden Museum.  I finished ‘Show & Tell’ with PO wagons loaded with glittering coal.

Later there were chances to inspect locos, wagons, carriages and station buildings, and to learn more tips from the builder’s own facemasks.  Tim, Mike and the Committee packed away, after the other eight members had disinfected and cleaned down.  Many thanks to all who spoke, helped and made it an enjoyable session.     [photo: Projects on David G's table / Rob's loaded coal wagons.  See the Gallery for more.]

2020 Summer

Saturday trial meeting 22nd  August                       Rob M

It was good to see John J and Bill R drop in making 10 attending.  With the Circuit and tables ready for us, it wasn’t long before I’ had a mixed train moving behind a BR(S) O2.  Paul H, our District Rep, ran a gleaming GWR Warwick Castle, which he plans to fit with a DCC chip.  John B arrived with models to work on and a SR Terrier to pull his freight train.  Next, the diners arrived; Paul W and David Ho. wending their way across the Lees. 

D2861 in BR green, built by Roger, took to the rails with Lowmacs and a Dancehall brake van behind it.  (It wasn't actually carrying a sanitiser spray and paper towels for the controller, as it may appear in the photo.)  Luckily, he had brought a DCC controller, as the next arrival was Tim with his little apple green loco.  With an occasional whistle, this 0-4-0t pottered around, gently puffing.  Paul W, constructing our new baseboards, stopped to watch, then produced his Split Headcode Class 37 in BR green, which made an impressive sight on a freight.  The GWR returned to the Circuit with Bill’s tender loco being checked and tested.

David Ho. lit the grain of wheat bulbs he’s put into lamp-standards.  On the next table, David G constructed stock.  John B and Paul H had chosen tables next to windows for their work, both giving finger-powered runs to underframes during the afternoon.  Members liked having the ring of tables, and as Paul H said, our Circuit is the icing on the cake for all who attend.  After a friendly and productive session, our team cleaned down surfaces and packed everything away soon after 16.00, Paul W making sure the hall was secured.

 

Waiting on the doorstep was Tim with his first kit-built loco to show, closely followed by Paul W lugging a new baseboard section.  This time we positioned the Circuit overlapping the stage, to find if that would give more room to play with.  Again, we had eleven attending.

GWR and Western Region stock was soon running, besides Light Railway trains.  Geoff’s shunter later joined Fred and John B’s models, as did Roger’s “Yellow Peril” industrial diesel.  Built on a Lima powered-bogie, it could slowly circle, but, if sharing a line, rapidly tried to overtake.  Once more, Paul W’s worksite was the centre of the Circuit.  The new baseboard was given a zig-zag of stiffening, and later we saw temporary legs being fitted.

Chris M examined the track plans while waiting for little figures to dry.  The Edwardian people had been given grey undercoats and were now gaining colours from acrylic paints.  John B and Geoff’s table had several items of rolling stock being worked on, along with a BR(S) M7.  A pair of high capacity modern opens were being assembled on the next table.  Lamppost production continued, as David Ho. planned to fettle a baseboard from Sarre at future sessions.

Mike P appeared with part of his creosote depot to work at: the drill-shop for track sleepers.  He is hoping to enter it for the Gauge O Guild’s “Virtual Show” in the autumn, so keep an eye open for it.  I’d found a few more pieces in my box of bits, so was adapting them to provide brake gear for an 8 plank wagon.  David G used bending-bars for a short carriage, while reporting on the funeral service for Les, where he’d represented our Group.

August 5th      Post Lockdown Trial Meeting     RM      [Photos - Ross S] & Rob M]

Eleven members donned their masks on August 5th and ventured to Badlesmere, and were greeted by a short train of Welsh stock pottering around our tracks.  Sitting on the shady grass, I saw most of the arrivals before they sanitized hands, at the door, and checked in with Roger.  Equipped with drink and food, plus small space modelling projects, they took a place on well distanced tables.

Small Edwardian ladies were being readied for the Margate seaside by Chris M (I guess they’d have more space than post-lockdown crowds.).  Area Rep, Paul H brought a steam railmotor to work on, and was discussing his battles with the driving bogie with David G, who was laboriously folding the floor of a bolster.  As others fettled stock, David Ho. produced a row of platform lampstands. Geoff dropped by, after lunch, to see how we were getting on.

In splendid isolation, Paul W worked on new baseboard sections, in the centre of circling locos and short trains.  Weathered coal- hoppers were propelled by a matching grimy 08 of Fred’s, with John B’s light railway stock on the second track.  Ross hitched his latest pair of wagons to my saddle tank to check their running.

 

The previous day, our Committee opened every door and window, before setting out tables and the Circuit under the watchful eye of Ian, the hall manager, who showed us the sterilizer auto-dispenser and all the measures installed for protection.  He told us that the roadworks were expected to end soon, along with the deserted roads.  Those wishing to dine at the Red Lion must book a place by phoning beforehand.

It was good to talk to other modellers and see what they were making.  We felt that the session had worked well and welcome feedback from members.

Photos: 1 John B at his modelling station; 2 Ross hitches his wagons to Rob's loco and brake van; 3 Modelling tables.

2020

EKOGG Modellers' News  - August 2020        Rob M

August 4th - Mystery Lockdown Loco puzzle?   Ross,"John M got very close in late April when he said, “ Hm- looking at your loco chassis- six couple, with big chunky balance weights and a smaller bearing at the end- is that for a jackshaft drive? Maybe a small early BR diesel shunter?”  Roger identified it as an 04, but then changed his mind and suggested an 03.  Well, I can now reveal that he was right first time! My Lockdown Loco is a BR Drewry 04 from an old Vulcan Kit.  So, well done John and Roger – no prizes however!  The finished loco is destined for a display at Tenterden depicting a short freight train in the last days before closure in 1961.

"It is still a long way from completion. At present I am pondering how best to fix the glazing in the cab before assembling it.  Another puzzle is the chequer plate surface on the footplate. It is represented really well on the white metal casting. It carries round to the edges of the footplate. I’ve have studied many photographs of 04s and I am still not sure if it does on all examples of the loco. It is further complicated by the fact that the casting on one side is impaired by the joints. I will have to file them off and as a by product filing away the chequer plate on that side."   Photo in Gallery.

August 1st      Chris M has sent us photos of his embryo Margate Sands layout, more of which can be seen in our Gallery.

July 26th        Ross  "As I should have understood from the beginning, it is getting harder to avoid revealing the true identity of my lockdown loco as the build continues.  The vert deep buffer beams are now fixed to the frames and the working buffers are fixed. It would have been easier if I had fixed the buffers before the beams were bolted to the frames. The frames have received a coat of primer, plus two coats of matt black. The beams have an undercoat as well as primer.     Has anyone guessed its identity yet?"

Sadly, we have heard of the death of Les Gibson. 

He was one of our founder members, present at the first meeting of EKOGG, back in 1986.  He took part in events in Sittingbourne and Deal Barracks, and features in photos of the group’s early meetings in Faversham.  A modeller with a loft layout and a variety of interests, he was a very private person. However, we heard tell of negotiating South London tram lines on wet evenings as he cycled back from work.  He was pleased to see our display layout at the Folkestone Show last year, and continued as a regular at our Fleur Hall Meetings, where we last chatted to him during this year’s AGM/Model Display.

Evening draws in on Richard B's diorama of a SE&CR freight depot.

Do send us news and photos of your projects.  We can add what you've been doing to our News sections and website Gallery, where you can also browse photos from earlier Years.  There is even a puzzle set by Ross.

July     -     Ross S.  "I bet you had forgotten about my lockdown loco!  There’s been long hiatus because some parts were missing, including some BA nuts & bolts. I ordered replacements but they took ages to arrive. Meanwhile Roger and Barry W came to my rescue. So I have restarted the project.  The photos show progress so far.  The underframe has been painted. The buffer beams have been bolted on the frames, the buffers have been assembled.   Various appendages to the frames (air cylinders, sandboxes have been painted ready for fitting. The result is what the heritage magazines call a ‘rolling chassis’.

June    -    Out on his patio John D. added a mixed gauge track to his circuit by usingTenmille plug in chairs.  Richard B. has erected a fence along the boundary of his Goods Depot, so you can now peer through the railings at the horse and carts waiting for the weighbridge.  His grandchildren were equally creative with a vividly coloured layer cake for him. Meanwhile Geoff R. has restored sadle tank 51353, which he bought as a wreck.  Also to be seen on his diorama is early BR co-co diesel # 10000.

-    Ross S. has successfully weathered the Black Rock Quarry wagon shown below.  He has added photos to our Gallery of the real wagon and the model as it is now.  Not one to be idle, there is also a photo of the low-sided wagon he's just finished with its load of detritus.

-    Tim S. is working on his 'Green Leaf Brewery'.  Set in the early 1960s, the idea is that the layout shows all the brewing processes that would have been in existence then including a barrel wash house, cooperage, power station, malthouse, brew house and racking sheds.

 -    In our Newsletter John P. wrote about his SR / GWR Layout, and John B. brought us up to date with his ‘Faversham and Maidstone Junction Railway’ project.  Scratch building Victorian locos was John M's theme.  Kits for locos and stock suitable for his Brewery Layout were Tim S's subject.  A Morris 30cwt lorry was shewn by David G., while Paul W. had a photo of the section he's constructing to extend our Circuit, alongside the Diesel Depot that Roger H. has started.

May     -    Richard B. has added some photos of his Goods Depot project to the Gallery.  They feature several of the horse drawn carts he has made.

May  -    Roger H. "With a number of members building layouts, I thought I should join in, too.  This is the basis of what will be a small diesel refuelling point.  The shed is based on that at Peterborough but will be single-ended rather than the through shed of the prototype.  At home it connects to a permanent fiddle yard but for exhibitions there will be a hidden siding cassette (like Sarre) at the right hand end so that the whole thing is just 9' 9" long. More pictures when there is progress.    Roger"

-     John P. has been busy in his garden and finding different routes for early morning walks along the seafront, but has prepared a piece for our newsletter, so look out for that in the next issue.

-     Ross S. has reviewed “Small Layouts Volume III” (compiled by Charles Oldroyd) for our newsletter.  Here are some extracts to tempt you:   “… Despite the appearance of numerous small 7mm layouts in magazines and in exhibitions over the years, many modellers still believe that 0 Gauge takes up too much space. It is true that compromise is necessary, but …      Thirty-five layouts are featured … There is a track diagram of each … in the two-page description with photographs. … There is one ‘roundy roundy’, filling a room … approx. 11ft x 11ft. …

Apart from a US backwoods lumber line and a free-lance 0n30 scale layout in the style of the Wantage Tramway, featuring a continuous run via a double-ended fiddle yard, all the rest are standard gauge.  … three ‘completely pointless layouts’ and three micro layouts, take up very little space. … Truly anyone can find space for an 0 Gauge layout.  … But don’t spend too much time reading it. As the compiler says, ‘Have a go yourself’.”

-    Geoff R & Richard B    -    Both Geoff and Richard are making small scene dioramas to show and photograph their stock.  A good deal of interest can be added to these projects, should they wish.  hopefully we'll see photos of these soon.

-      Richard B has added photos of his local wagons to our Gallery.  Scratch built, today's selection features ones from Broadstairs & Ramsgate, Whitstable, Herne Bay, and Queenborough.

-     Ross S "I have dug out a part-built Peco kit for a 20T pig iron wagon. Not my style at all; more like something Roger might build I suppose. It is quite old with a Beatties price tag – remember them?  I propose presenting it as a wagon used to collect spent ballast and other scrap. I think that I have everything I need to complete this one. ...  I have acquired a spare body for my Minerva Manning Wardle. I plan to replace the conventional firebox door with the ancient drop-down sort. I hope to model mine as ‘Ringing Rock’ as running on the Selsey Tramway."     Photos in our Gallery albums.

-     John D has cats that like to stalk his trains as they run on his patio circuit. He is wondering if anyone can tell him a source of O gauge battery powered locos, as his patio circuit's rail is not suitable for wiring.

-     Ross S is awaiting fittings for his mystery loco building puzzle, which you can follow in the EKOGG gallery.  In the meanwhile he is tending small sheep on his diorama.

 

April 2020 News compiled from EKOGG members' reports      Rob M

           I guess that the majority of us are “banged-up”, as Roger puts it.  However, please do keep in touch with your modelling and railway friends at EKOGG.  We can be contacted by whichever method you prefer: email, WhatsApp, letter (if you’ve got any stamps left) and phone.  On our website I’ve been dribbling bits of members’ doings onto the NEWS page and adding photos to the GALLERY section, where you can browse over the eras of EKOGG.  David G is compiling our monthly newsletters from the pieces you send, so do keep them coming.

           Sad news comes our way too, and I was sorry to hear that Jim May had died in Medway Hospital at the beginning of April.       At the Throwley Barn, I spent many sessions as his ‘gopher’, as Jim used his joinery skills for layouts and repairs.  Jim prepared and laid the flooring that kept us safe, up in the loft with the layouts; people having made serious attempts to fall between the joists.  Then we recovered most of that timber before moving to Badlesmere.  Industrial railways were a great interest of his, and I gained quite an insight into those along the Swale and Medway from him.  A bit cagey about showing his models, we nevertheless saw an increasing amount of stock that he’d made or adapted.  Luckily, with Roger’s and others’ nudging, Jim’s splendid loco shed appeared at this year’s AGM and Model Show, gaining a Distinction certificate.       We’ve all lost a helpful and amusing friend. 

           My modelling, so far, has been confined to adding weight to a couple of WR vans I’d made some time back and dusting several buildings, including one, made from a cereal packet and a wine box, of Charing station.  The only ‘bought’ parts of that were the brick paper and glue.  Like Alan K, Barry W and David Ho., I have been mainly in the garden.  Chatting to Les G, I found that he also used to holiday on the Isle of Wight - so that’s two of us put out by the postponement of Ross’ talk.

          Ross had started the ball rolling for our ‘EKOGG at Home’ items with news of the ‘BLACK ROCK QUARRIES, Portishead’ wagon that he’s restoring for the Tenterden Museum, including knotted couplings.  Over the phone, he is gently goading Colin into increasing his stock of Southern Region locos.  In our latest website album you can try to puzzle out which loco Ross is building.  He is adding photos from his workstation as the project progresses.

          David G is working on a SDJR 7F, while Roger seems to have a glut of modernish mineral wagons.  Richard B has sent us photos of Edwardian horse drawn carts and vans, including the Herne Bay ‘Gospel Caravan’ and has some local PO wagons in the pipeline.  Geoff R is preparing an Irish narrow-gauge diorama, so hopefully we’ll hear more about that.  

          Some members have WhatsApp on their phones.  That’s useful for warning a group about postponed meetings or asking someone to, ‘Please bring the milk today’, but can also be used to exchange modelling info. and questions.  Jim F has been receiving for advice about taking a Class 45 apart, David Ha. had found skid brakes on early Victorian wagons and John D was putting a small circuit of n-g track on his patio, by the look of it.

          When talking with Joe Sp., I heard he was mainly in the garden keeping an eye on several small dogs which are on vacation with him.  However, his workbench holds models being finished or tweaked: a 4F, a Coronation’s motion, and an A3.  He hinted of some coaches and is wondering about a Peppercorn…  So, whether you’re modelling, hibernating, as Les G says he is, or borrowing a neighbour’s garden, like Jackie D, do keep well and in touch.                Yours from hiding, Rob M   

March 4th     Wednesday at Badlesmere   -   Circuit Running & Modelling

On the Circuit, O gauge stock was briefly dwarfed by John D’s garden-gauge locos.  Before the electrics were connected, the big locos squeezed past Fred’s tankers and his gleaming 08.  Jackie’s just completed van ran in a short freight behind John B’s Terrier.  Soon the SECR took to the rails as Chris M sent his R1 off with round-ended coal empties.  We’d seen some of them in our AGM model  competition last month.  Roger’s winning brake van was out on the other track on a rake of low sided ballast wagons with an electro-diesel.  More competition stock cadged a lift behind the R1; my two fruit vans, David G’s Somerset Coal Co. wagon and a few others.  Keeping up the Model competition theme, David’s class 0395 (ex-LSWR) took over the engineer’s train for a while, before he tested a 2-6-2t.  More locos and stock ran during the meeting.

Several wagons were being constructed or restored.  On the stage John D had a tiny ring of track with a Simplex loco pottering round.  Nearby, John P tackled platform deformation on ‘Sarre’.  David Ha. was distributing doughnuts.  Plans of stations were consulted and point motors adapted.  Brownie points were gained by John P and his helpers in the kitchen, while others shared chores.

February 22nd    Model Display & AGM in Faversham      Rob M     [photos- Barry K ..  More photos in our Gallery]

A swathe of scenic items, from modern structures through classic buildings to vintage vehicles; a whole yard of freight, including creosote trolleys; 4-wheel carriages and a milk tanker; followed by gleaming steam locos, Victorian to BR.  What a lot of difficult choices amongst our competition models!  With scores so close, we awarded Distinction to Jim M’s well populated Loco Shed and Winner to David G’s Charabanc with its canoodling Edwardians.  Roger H’s brake van, restored from a wreck, came ahead of the goods wagons and vans.  A light railway carriage gained John B a Distinction, with Stuart H’s Cambrian Rly. carriage being the Winner.  Winner in the Loco section was Barry W’s BR Standard Class 4 tank engine.

Maybe, fear of finding something worse caused the Committee to be re-appointed.  Usually our costs are being covered by meeting fees, so Roger H has waived our yearly subscription for the moment.  Mike P offered to organise one of our Faversham meetings.  Ross S is hoping to fix a date for a visit to the Bluebell Railway.   Bill R suggested that ‘neighbours’ can co-operate on travel to this and GOG events.  David G asked us to keep an ear open for a local venue, where we could make a real clubroom and leave projects out to work on.

John P and Jackie D took charge of the kitchen, with its new all singing and dancing water boiler, helped by John M and Bill R amongst others; while more people set out tables and chairs.  Thank you all.  At noon a group, to which you are all welcome, had dined at The Phoenix.

February 19th    Wednesday meeting at Badlesmere       Rob M

W21W, a Western Region railcar swept around our Circuit along with parallel running by Class 33 diesels and some steam locos.  The railcar was made in the early years of EKOGG by Geoff R as part of Peter Hingley's "Make a loco for less than £15" challenge, with a Lima power bogie, plasticard sides and a balsa wood roof.  Wagons, 4-wheeled coaches, BR parcel vans and a church were noted on our modelling table.

We heard about the Tonbridge show from our main operators and visitors.  The wet and stormy weather made the end a bit difficult, but the day had gone reasonably well apart from Paul W having to deal with some electrical gremlins around a goods yard point.   

February 15th   Our layout 'Edington Junction' operating at Tonbridge MRS        Ross S

February 5th   Wednesday at Badlesmere   -   Preparing Edington  &  Modelling      Rob M

In the store, John P was holding a basin above his head while balanced on a step ladder.  Very trusting, as Ian was tipping water into it.  The fluorescent tube was kaput and its diffuser full of water…  Ian had opened up for us and initially repaired heaters while the early crew had prepared tables and the kitchen. 

Centre piece on the tables was Jim M’s impressive loco shed; lights gleaming to illuminate a worker in the stores and off duty staff resting outside.  John D worked on ‘garden scale’ vans alongside brass kit construction.  Mike compared creosote pressure vessels and their trolleys, as I tried to concoct a silo from a tube.  Paul H was programming dcc chips whenever there was a quiet period.  On the wagon builder’s corner, the pursuit of small errant pieces continued alongside assembly.  What with people nipping around or hiding beneath layouts, it was hard to count how many teas we needed, but we settled on twenty-two. 

Near the stage, Bill, with station buildings and GWR stock, and the ‘Sarre’ workers had a place in the sun.   Platform sections were being improved and electrical transformers examined.  Geoff had brought along a green battery motor luggage van, such as served the quaysides at Dover.  Geoff often promotes Gauge O at events, so was very pleased when Fred presented him with a rural backscene for his ‘diorama’.   

‘Edington’ was set out to prepare for exhibition with backscene to the windows, which gave Fred a challenge as he repainted the sky.  Once the layout was all in place, a variety of rolling stock ventured onto it as operators learned the controls and tested electrical sections.  I noticed shiny SECR tank engines, speeding S&DJR tender engines, a little Sentinel, Panniers, diesel shunters and a blue electro-diesel.  Several of us held down traversers as damp wood was eased.  Future areas for refreshing were noted.

January 18th  Saturday at Badlesmere   -   Modelling & Planning Circuit Extension     Rob M    [photo Ross S]

Corrugated round huts proliferated across the tables – Colin seems to have started series production.  One of these was destined for ‘Sarre’, along with a lot of weeds.  These iconic buildings, ex-military, appeared on the Colonel’s light railways as stores and even camping huts.  Badlesmere was beautifully sunny, but rather chilly.  We positioned the tables between two heaters, but they crept closer to the electric sockets while David Ho. was brewing us tea.  David Ha. was preparing brass parts for a tiny loco and Ross produced an R1.  John’s short wheelbase coach gained end steps to the roof line and brackets for two sets of running boards, as I made up running gear for a 12ton coal wagon from a selection of spare pieces. 

Sheets of paper taped to tables, metre rulers and templates for pointwork announced that full size plans being drawn out for the Circuit’s extension.  This is being modelled on a North Kent Line station, as these offer a practical track layout and specific station buildings to work on.  We intend to construct track from C&L parts, and to get a feel of Kent into the scenics.   

2020  January 15th  Badlesmere   -   Modelling & Fettling Edington      Rob M 

Out of the downpour squelched twenty-one of us for the first meeting of 2020.  It proved to be a busy day with our ‘Edington’ layout swiftly set out for its initial pre-exhibition fettling and plenty of modelling around the block of tables.  Barry K and Chris M have taken charge of our new DCC controller, planning to test a variety of locos with it, in case we need a booster to cope with big beast diesels.  After a hiccup with our Newsletter, David G is going to check the mailings list.  Geoff brought us up to date with Guild matters.  We were reminded about our sales table and which model shows  are on in Kent.

Jim P tackled an elderly Rivarossi German 0-6-0 tank that had been refusing to run for John D, removing screws into a tray for safe keeping and achieving movement.  Coloured glass windows were being fitted by John H into what is quite a large church.  I was cleaning loco wheels, just along from the kit assemblers; John B on short wheelbase coaches and Roger into bogie units.  As always, there were books, magazines and conversation around the table and elsewhere.  The aroma of Chris N’s lunch cooking and coffee brewing crept from the kitchen.  David Ho. and John P distributed drinks and were later aided by several members in cleaning up.

Despite some electrical hitches being dealt with on ‘Edington’, numerous locos and items of stock managed short runs: gleaming green ACE expresses, a variety of diesel shunters, including a Class 10, and some tank engines. 

December 14th  Faversham - Our Christmas Quiz 

We had our Christmas Quiz in Faversham, with David G posing questions set by Jackie and himself.  As usual, our teams opted for their not so good choices or went completely blank, as I did about a line I’ve travelled on.  There was a good spread of scores for the wide-ranging questions.  John J, Roger and John M hadn’t been flummoxed, so were our winning team.  Earlier, ten members had met in The Phoenix at noon, but some still managed a biscuit, or two, and a mince pie when refreshments appeared.  John P got the kitchen organised for us today.  During discussions, the ‘Sarre’ people mentioned re-wilding the layout into light railway form and mention was made of re-wiring that layout.  We spoke of Ross’s idea to trial moving to 4th Saturdays for Badlesmere meetings after April, and the pattern of layout operating and ‘Themed running days’.  An order for EKOGG shirts is about to be sent off so contact me to reserve your size. We wished all well for Christmas and the New Year, locked up and headed into the night.                                                               

 

December 4th  Badlesmere - Running, Modelling & Christmas Lunch    Rob M     [photos: John Denbury & RM]

A bright frosty morning began an enjoyable day with some modelling, a fair amount of Circuit running and our Christmas lunch, before we ended with coffee and Lebkuchen in our hall.  Twenty took lunch, or joined us for a drink, across the Lees green at the Red Lion where a very nice meal was served.  Running also continued.  My American stock was all ready for the winter weather with a 'snow-plow' taking the line.  John D's garden narrow gauge used the line as it runs on O gauge track.  A reassembled Flying Scotsman test ran alongside a SECR R1 and Bill's DCC LSWR liveried Terrier.  We now have a DCC controller for the group. before a variety of Class 33 diesels had long runs.  David Ha. and Ross investigated brass kit assembly across from Paul H, while Jim F looked into his Class 09.  The committee even tried to thrash out our coming programme.  Before we cleared away, Roger let loose another US model, a 'Doodlebug' gas-electric, made by late member David Newton.  A good time was had by all. 

20th November at Badlesmere    Rob M

We had another good gathering of members, 20, with plenty happening.  It was sunny, but cool as Fred and I bumped along the track to find a huge storage container lorry and trailer unloading alongside the hall.  We opened up, John B coaxing the small light switches to work.  Later we used one of our lighting rigs to brighten the modelling table. 

John P led The Circuit erecters, others chose a U shape for tables and parts of Sarre readied for working on.  Sales items included wagons from John B and tools from John D; some of which were gifted to members.  Chris M trialled his 0-4-4t again and was given practical help from others about pick-ups and wiring.  Amongst the stock I saw going round was Jim F’s 09 diesel having a good run and the Fell diesel on a freight working. When a visitor from Thanet arrived with a Flying Scotsman loco, we gathered hear that it had leapt through his loft hatch, breaking its fall on some wagons that accompanied it.  The damage was less than we feared, when examined; Steve and others offering help.

A steam rail motor, GWR type, is under construction by Paul H.  He worked alongside David Ha., who was ready with a resistance soldering unit as he fettled fine pieces for a small loco.  Barry K, opposite, was recovering small parts that pinged into the distance.  Bill fitted parts of a lazar cut wooden weigh-bridge hut, the brickwork showing up well.  Large scale stock was being assembled by John D, in the style of a Lynton & Barnstaple bogie van model that I believe run on O gauge track.  Jackie, Richard and I concentrated on wagons and vans, while John B has started a 4 wheeled coach.

16th November in Faversham    Rob M 

Margate Sands, one of the many disappeared stations on the Isle of Thanet, was Chris M’s theme today.  We saw photos from its Victorian heyday, including stock forced through the frontage, and aerial shots from the 1920s.  As all train workings from Ashford and beyond had to reverse at Ramsgate Town then be drawn or reversed out of Margate’s platforms, we chipped in with questions and ideas of how these would have been managed.  An intriguing talk that got the eighteen of us thinking. 

David Hopkin's team organised tea and coffee.  There was plenty for us to look at and discuss, with models from a late friend of Mike P for sale and Mike’s “Old Viaduct” model on display alongside his GOG Trophy.  Mike told us about making the buddleia shrubs which need bottles of Rioja to provide thin wire stems…  Maps of Thanet from the 1880s and 1920s shewed the changing pattern of lines, including the East Kent Light at its fullest extent.  Earlier, eight of us met at noon and enjoyed lunching in The Phoenix.  The afternoon ended with film clips, including preserved Pacific locomotives coping and not coping with steep gradients, before Jackie shut down the Fleur de Lis Hall.

6th November at Badlesmere    Rob M 

Twenty-two today!  Members that is - so there was quite a buzz, including that from the fourteen EMUs and locos on the Circuit

Operators told about our layout at the Gravesend Show, where they had a couple of enjoyable days operating and meeting other modellers.  The Sarre team also featured in the last issue of the Gazette, with a colourful article.  We heard that Raymond Walley, who we often met at the East Sussex OGG had died.  Colin was going to the EKR Shepherdswell site to check on progress after their disastrous fire.  Geoff mentioned that there was a small layout competition in the offing at GOG.  Both Jack and Richard had brought items to our sales table; books plus many little pieces and some wagons that were part of a lot at the Ashford auction.  We planned a Christmas lunch in the Red Lion on December 4th, during or running session.  Members were reminded that we’re using The Phoenix Inn, Faversham before town meetings, should they want lunch.

A far-away look betrayed the fact that David Ha. was monotonously shaping intricate pieces of metal, while others worked on a variety of freight stock.  Jim P. bravely sat near the diorama that John H. was working on – glue being sprayed on the slopes below the church tower.  Nearby Chris was firmly fixing passengers, and their seats, into a maroon Birdcage carriage.  Across the way, once trestles and baseboards were stowed, the Sarre team were tittivating layout sections after the exhibition.  Fred was experimenting with a photo end scene to match the one along the back. 

Some stock was turning its first wheel in years, others were being tweaked or having a good stretch of running.  SR electrics took a prominent part; a 2BIL, a “Nelson” 4 car Pompey set and SR 20001; in various greens – Very evocative.  Steam included pre-grouping classes from an 0-6-0, 4-4-0t, Prairie, a posse of late Victorian SECR and little and large saddle tanks: a MR Pug and an Austerity.  Paul had been replacing some worn connecting leads between boards during this.      

Sarre at Gravesend - November 2nd &  3rd  Roger H  [ photo Geoff R ]

When Gravesend Railway Enthusiasts Society held their annual exhibition we were invited to take Sarre.   

David Ho, John B, Chris M and Roger H set up on the Saturday morning.  Each had taken various bits of Sarre home after the club meeting on 19 October. This helped to maintain the “no van required” ethos and avoided having to collect the layout on the Friday before the show.

Sarre sat nicely on the two tables provided and, as a bonus, Geoff R had been put alongside us with one of his dioramas.  He also showed the Guild banner.  There was a small contact problem with one of the points but David fixed it before he had to leave.  Apart from that Sarre ran well all day using our tried and trusted sequential timetable, the only occasional issue being provided by driver error………

On Sunday, Chris had to be at home so David came back and John J joined us, his first exhibition with EKOGG.  He eventually got the hang of the 3-link couplings (wish we could say the same about your scribe (also see driver error above)….) and spent some time front-of-house talking to the visitors.  Sunday also threw up a few problems with the same point and some track alignment over baseboard joints so there is remedial work to be done.  Sunday provided two people who expressed an interest in joining the Group and took our website details for the meeting dates.

The show closed at 4pm and we were packed up and on the road 45 minutes later tired but content. (The food had been superb!)  Again, we took bits home to be returned to Badlesmere at the following meeting three days later.

 

2019 October 19th            Saturday in Faversham               Rob M

At our meeting in the Fleur Hall, Tim said that he and Chris M hoped to get the first track down on the shunting layout this coming Friday, after which he will be looking for helpers to get buildings made.  He has some drawings and says that most will be low relief types, apart from those which will receive shunted wagons, hopefully from a working wagon turntable.  Peter and Colin were quick with practical advice about construction, so do get involved too.  Tim and Chris M haven’t been able to source their first choice DCC controller, due to the factory being trashed by extreme weather, but are considering the close seconds which are available.  We also heard more about the Folkestone Exhibition and the layouts it displayed.

Our discussion was bracketed by films selected by David G.  The first followed the re-birth of the railway line from the Red Sea to the mountain capital of Eritrea.  Workshops, closed for 25 years, reopened with basic foundry and machine shops being worked by the original craftsmen.  Several restored steam locos took the first freight and tourist trains up steep grades and above deep cloud filled chasms.  The afternoon ended with a 1944 film of Waterloo which shewed the working of the station and ended with a ‘leave train’ arriving from Portsmouth – scores of sailors leaping from the moving carriages to the platform.

Thanks to all who helped with setting out the hall, serving tea and clearing away.  Earlier a few of us had lunched in The Phoenix, which served reasonable meals and has a light airy bar/dining area.

2019 October 16th            Wednesday at Badlesmere                      Rob M

Sarre’s trestles went in Roger’s car, John B and David Ho. saw what they could fit in, and Chris M took the last base board.  All those bits should meet up again at the Gravesend show, where John J hopes to join them.  They and others had got the layout’s photo backscene sized and fixed during the meeting. Fred awaited his chance to blend painting with the photo to carry the effect of East Kent landscape around onto the end boards, using his brushes, several bottles of paint and a large mixing tray to keep the tones the same – an impressive job.

The Circuit had plenty of traffic with David G’s ex-LMS 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 working a set of carmine and cream locos, while John P’s SR 0-6-0 had a green rake on the other line.  Chris trialled a 0-4-4t that needs some tweaking.  Lighter locos and stock appeared, including some DCC tank locos gently chuffing and tooting.  A large Southern diesel undertook test runs later.

Narrow gauge stock to run on O gauge track was being fettled by John D at the table, where we had quite a variety of projects being worked on.  John H had a Dinky Toy Foden 8 wheeled flat-bed lorry to go with the factory and loading bay that he is working on.  Brake vans, goods stock and ex-LU special wagons surrounded me.  Jim M had found a weed killing wagon with low square tank and a guard cum tool wagon with a cabin at one end, reminiscent of the Folkestone Harbour branch.

Despite oddities with the water supply, tea and coffee appeared.  Every ivory table was pressed into service for dining and railways.  Several of us helped in the kitchen, with Barry W finding Allen and myself more and more errant mugs.

October first Weekend at Folkestone MRS

EKOGG members seemed to have turned out in force at the Folkestone Club's Show.  Peter V was ushering visitors through the entrance and down to the Hall where we found Steve S helping out as a steward.  When first seen he was aiding the maker of an O gauge light railway layout and operating.  Stock was early 1900s with plenty of interest, and a fox crept along the path it had worn in the tall grasses.  Nearby, John P was taking to his friends from France, who had a portion of the ring route of lines around Paris as their layout.  Joe S chatted to us by another O gauge that depicted a brickworks.

Further on we met up with our friends from Wimbledon and watched the Alsager group's LNWR station with its coal line interchange, as they let youngsters loose on the controls.  Geoff R was in the main hall where the local group had a GWR branch in O.  Also in 7mm was a splendid iron stone quarry light railway featuring tipping wagons and petrol railbuses above a branch line terminal.

2019 October 2nd             Wednesday at Badlesmere                      Rob M

The rain ceased, the sun shone and EKOGG rushed to Badlesmere.  Soon fortified by tea and coffee, we moved to put the Circuit in place and set Sarre out.  Space was at a premium on the L shaped table, so the overspill of members perched nearby for lunch.

The procession of locos and stock was pretty varied today: GWR mogul with Fred’s goods train, SECR P tank, LSWR Terrier, MR Pug, SR E1, SR S15, D6300 (precursor of the Warship DH locos), BR/SR O2 with bogie ballast hoppers, SR electric locos, and several that I missed.  Two scratch builds that intrigued us were Richard’s Brighton railcar and Geoff’s NE Sentinel self-propelled works crane.

The long search for a DCC controller started when we realised that several locos waiting for the Circuit needed DCC.  Usually a couple of suitable controllers have crept in, but today…  However, the call gradually percolated the whole length of the table and one was taken to the rails, where despite a gathering of the great and good, little progress resulted.  We’d better acquire an all singing and dancing one for the group soon, then show everyone how to get it operating.

Amongst the projects under construction were Ross’ LSWR road- van, David Ha.’s Dukedog, Paul H’s Hall chassis, Jim M’s saddle tank, Chris M’s SECR tank engine and a Grampus or two from Roger.  John H was scaling up model buildings onto sizable sheets of card.  Sarre’s team were industriously fitting printed backscenes.  We plan to have the layouts out for training/familiarisation running during the next meetings.