News

2020

EKOGG Modellers' News from Home - May        Rob M

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.

May 19th    -    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"

May 15th     -     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.

May 12th      -     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.

May 10th      -      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.

May 7th    -     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.

May 1st     -     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. 

2019 High Summer

21st September at Badlesmere    Ross S

We arrived to find various maintenance tasks in progress at the hall, including painting of the corrugated roof. Jim and John B quickly took up residence at the modelling tables. Jim brought his superb engine shed, while John B, having completed a six-wheeled milk tank (apart from painting and transfers), was seen studying the instructions for a Slater's 4-wheel carriage. He announced that the finished model would be fully detailed. We have no doubt on that score. David Ho, in between his much appreciated catering duties, was tackling the backscene for Sarre which had suffered some creasing. It needs to be rolled up very carefully.

Richard B turned up with some exquisite scratch-built models which he put through their paces on Sarre, due to be exhibited at the Gravesend show over the first weekend in November. First up was a lovely model of an unusual prototype, LB&SC petrol railcar No.4.  David G was soon drooling over the curvaceous and be-rivetted underframe. Other locos from Richard's stable were all elegant 4-4-0s; a lined black LCDR 'M' class, an SER 'F' class 'Onward' (named for the Paris Exhibition of1889) and depicted in its umber livery; and, finally, a beautifully finished SER 'A' class. They were all run through most, if not all, of the tracks on Sarre, which was a useful exercise, not only for Richard, but also for Sarre. All too soon it was time to pack up, whereupon David G and I realised that neither us had made any progress on our current modelling tasks. 

18th September at Badlesmere    Rob M  - photo Ross S

A huddle quickly developed thanks to Ross spreading a selection of donated scenic and modelling items on the Sales Table.  Many present found pieces of potential use to them, with the profits swelling group funds.

Sixteen of us turned up on a sunny, if breezy, day; soon having the Circuit out for test running alongside the modelling tables.  Wagons featured today; with vans, opens and a six-wheel tanker being worked on and practical advice given.  An LNER 0-6-0, carriages, a long van and a small rustic station occupied another corner.  John J brought a lighthouse to construct, while David G was setting up a riveting machine.  A GWR Prairie with a mixed train and an Austerity tank with a miners’ train were first on the tracks; Barry W and others following.  Magazines and books were shown or passed one, as we found out who had flown in a Rapide, or knew about Bristol 170s, before returning to railways.  David Ho. was preparing a backscene for Sarre and keeping an eye on the kitchen, where others lent a hand.

4th September at Badlesmere    Ross S

Nineteen of us gathered on a wet morning.  Once in we saw a hive of activity. The Circuit was being erected. Paul H was firing up a chip checker - nothing to do with fish apparently. Jim H, not content with just a few ships, had a complete harbour this time. John B was drilling a hole in another tanker.  Roger had a saucer of water ready for some transfers.  Paul W was building two S&D ground signals to replace the SR standard ones at Edington. I joined the workers on the modelling tables, starting to build an ex-LSWR brake van as used on the KESR and EKR (and the Isle of Wight). It's a mixed-media kit, white metal and plywood. Barry W punctured my self-confidence by asking if the plywood planking matched the bolt heads on the white metal frames. "Nearly" was the unsatisfactory reply.  Geoff pulled in with a L&YR Pug and brake van. He then placed alongside them a lovely, shiny Oxford models Austin 7. Later he and Paul H called our attention to the financial situation of the Guild. They asked members if they would countenance paying another £10 a year to keep the Guild afloat and ensure the continuation of the high standard of the Gazette. The general feeling was, I think, positive.

Spotted on the Circuit today were Barry W's BR(S) 'C' class 0-6-0 no.31256, John P's SR M7 no.676 in striking malachite livery, and David G's nicely weathered ex-S&D 2P no.40700 with two lovely coaches in BR carmine. There was also a BR 'Gronk' 3828 in green circling around with three tankers and a brake van. I added my, as yet un-numbered and un-named, black Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T to the roster, coupling it up to a train consisting of both the red coaches and the tankers and brake van. Despite scepticism about its ability, it romped - well trundled - away with it. Later Colin brought out his electro diesel which initially slipped, but once on the move it found its feet. "Just like the real thing!" remarked Colin.

David Ho back from a holiday break efficiently provided both morning refreshments and tea and coffee to go with our packed lunches. David and his helpers (the usual suspects) earned our appreciation, but before long it was time to pack up and head home into a dry but blustery afternoon. 

News from Garth, our member in Australia

I've finished the glazing on the Janick Midland brakecoach and the seats are in place.  I'm pleased with my latest wagon, a Bachmann Brassworks 20ton tanker. Luckily I found it is not a varnished model so it's ready for primer.  We've been having a cold spell recently with some snow and high winds. The country is still in drought with water restrictions in place. Many of the towns are running out water.  I thought this photo might be of interest - This is one of theSouthern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) locos carting water to one of the mines out past Lithgow. Thirty wagons on this train. It will offload the water into the mine's storage dam.

Stop Press from Guildex Telford:  Mike Perry takes Best in Show for Landscapes - His splendid viaduct (Photo at EKOGG by Ross)

21st August   Badlesmere      David G

Jack brought his current layout, an 8’ by 1’3” shunting yard, along with some stock and locos to run on it. Its DCC, so interested members, along with the use of Setrack points which allow maximum space for sidings, being only 3’4” radius, which did not interfere with the industrial locos

Several members brought brake vans and twelve of them paraded around the circuit, hauled at a snail’s pace by the Sentinel, and then at more spirited pace behind Barry W’s G and Wclass tanks. Jim P’s mighty Merchant Navy made a magnificent authentic Bulleid sound even though the rake of Pullmans remained unused this time.

At the work tables, John B progressed his 6-wheel milk tank chassis, John H conjured up an atmospheric village garage, while Richard added more to his LBSCR railcar – an unusual but splendid period piece. Paul tackled Stevens flap signals for Edington, to replace the present ground signals which are too modern.

17th August Badlesmere     Ross S

Ten of us today; as Roger remarked, just enough. Half of us had  lunch at the Red Lion, the rest hung about a bit to await the unlocking of the hall. Once in we soon set up the tables and the Circuit. Edington was given a rest after its successful outing to Bexhill.  John P nobly provided us with tea and coffee. He had some help from others including Chris N. We were all very grateful

Part of Sarre was put out in order to try the photographic  backscene using Velcro and double-sided sticky tape. There was a startling difference between the section where the backscene was placed and that which still had the plain backing. The Velcro needs a stronger fixing method, however.

On the Circuit Barry gave his beautifully built Riddles 2-6-4T 80154 (now painted and fully lined out) an extended run, while Jim was running-in his brand new Dapol NCB (ex GWR) Pannier 7754. Painted a pale green, it has a removable cab roof, showing off a well detailed interior. The roof is fixed in place by two small magnets making it easy to place the crew. Jim ran it for half an hour one way, then half an hour the other, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. All was well.

We decided to illuminate the modelling tables with one set of the spotlights from the layouts. It made detailed work so much easier.  John B, having finished his 4-wheel petrol tank, was tackling a Slater’s 6-wheel milk tank. This has an ingenious method of incorporating the sprung coupling hooks needed because of the open framework – tricky. Chris N was painting some plastic figures for David G’s charabanc. As the group’s resident gadget-man, he inveigled me into using a battery tool to improve the figures he was working on. The idea was the remove flash and mould lines. It was much easier than using files or bits of sandpaper. Chris also brought along a ‘wet palette’ which enabled him to continue painting through the afternoon without needing water. Roger was building a BR standard box van from a kit for a grounded body by adding the running gear. Meanwhile David G was fettling the resin body of a single plank wagon prior to installing the etched components for the underframe which he managed to do before the end.

All was neatly packed away well before the official close of play. But not before David G had inveigled me and Fred into providing an illustrated session in the winter programme at the Fleur on the Isle of Wight railways.

7th August Badlesmere     Ross S

Nineteen of us gathered for a meeting of contrasting interests. By the time I arrived, Edington Junction and The Circuit were in position.  The prime task there was to fettle the layout in readiness for the Bexhill exhibition on Saturday. Soldering iron, track cleaning equipment were deployed, by Chris M, David G, Paul W and David Ho, while a 4F was used to test the track by running to and fro on every inch of track, including, of course, that on the traversers. It was a bit like a 7mm version of a Branch Line Society outing. No buffer stops, I understand, were threatened by the loco. The fault that occurred during  the Friends and Family open day was reported to have been caused one dry joint. Once that  was fixed, it was ‘job done’.

First out on The Circuit was Barry W’s superb BR 2-6-4T.  Next was Fred’s LMS early diesel shunter with jack shaft drive. It pulled a short train of GWR vehicles including a bogie bolster wagon built from an old, mainly wood, kit. Its load was heavy metal girders which, Fred said, made the loco slip slightly (but I couldn’t detect it). It’s always a pleasure to see what Colin S is going to bring to run. This time it was a BR(S) 4CEP EMU as used on the Victoria – Dover/Ramsgate services. It was immediately recognisable in its blue/grey livery. Colin often uses The Circuit as a test track. This time was identified problem: two of the coaches would not couple together. The coach with the motor bogie was riding too high; the Kadee couplers could not engage.  One of the locos on the other track was John B’s Sentinel 0-4-0 VBT, obtained recently at Roger H’s sales stand. It circled around with no  problem.

A startling sight to some of us on the modelling tables were three boats, including what seemed an enormous Clyde Puffer as once seen at Chatham. I was assured by John H that it was the correct size as he continued working on the bridge. Meanwhile Jim P was starting to build a Slater’s kit for a SR Maunsell bogie carriage. Why do the floor pan sides and roof come in two halves, he wondered. At the other end of the tables, John B continued building his oil tank wagon which is looking very promising. Stuart breezed in with, amongst other things, a fault finding chart for railcars. As the proud owner of a model AC Cars railbus he gave it to me! 

Tim arrived with the sheet of ply that will form the base of the planned working diorama.  Deep discussions ensued about the optimum track plan. It was eventually settled for this week at least, without the need for Templot. Several of us promised to bring templates or even actual points to help finalise the plans.

Too soon, it was time to pack up, wish our Edington colleagues good luck, thank David Ho and helpers who provided tea and coffee. Buzzards wheeled overhead as we left. 

STOP PRESS:  "We had a good day at Bexhill and received lots of welcoming and positive comments", David G & the Team at the Bexhill show with our Edington Junction layout.  Sat. Aug 10th 

 

 

2019 Late Spring - May onwards

Friends & Family Day    2019 July 20th        Rob M

Thanks to everyone for all the hard work which made it a convivial day.  We entertained a score of our families and modelling friends for an enjoyable afternoon, although we had a few glitches to cope with.

As a class 37 and a Southern Pacific mogul sped round the Circuit, Richard was quizzed about his Edwardian SECR stock, which had been running.  Grown-up children, youngsters and a great granddaughter peered into Geoff’s Diorama.  Ladies sat in line watching Sarre’s sequence of running; no pressure on those hand uncoupling, then.  Our Wimbledon friends got “hands on” with Edington, which relieved the pressure on Paul W and Chris M who were coping withelectrical hitches.  Jim M remained calm, up on the stage, producing a lightweight layout frame.  Roger had our sales table up there too.  Just how many times David Ho. asked visitors if they wanted tea or coffee, I can’t calculate.

Paul W and Ross had checked on space needed for the layouts and were setting out trestles when I arrived.  John B and John P were soon assisting before joining Jackie to arrange Sarre.  Richard took a lead with the Circuit. Fred and David Ha. came to help as Roger and Chris N were ferrying boxes.  Several of us dropped into the kitchen at various times to lend a hand.  Alan K brought GWR “Knight of the Garter” for a run, while Stuart provided large diesels, before moving to traverser duties.  A buzz of visitors had built up by 1pm.  Luckily Bill R and John M, who was clutching an elderly Furness “Copper Nob”, managed to join us.

As 4pm approached the hall quietened and we wound down.  Layouts were stored, people waved goodbye, leaving tired, but feeling it worthwhile; even wondering when to have the next Friend’s Day.  So, as it started, there I stood with Paul W, Chris M and Ross…

2019 July 17th      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M 

It was “all systems go” -  well, after electrics and points had been tweaked.  The full extent of Edington Junction stretched along one wall and Sarre along the other.  We had an L shaped modelling and dining table near the doors with a woodwork bench opposite, where Jim was working while talking with Tim.  Checking the layouts for wear and tear was our main aimready for our ‘Friends Afternoon’.  Paul W, plus soldering iron, went to ground beneath Edington for a fair while, as Chris M shunted his SECR stock above.  Traversers were closely inspected and newer members given an introduction to the controls.  1950s trains, including a DMU, tested that all roads were working.  The Sarre team seemed to be on top of their tasks, and found which locos were most suitable. We intend to give a run to all the stock brought this coming Saturday – Trains, Friends & Fun.

EKLR buildings, constructed by Colin S, caused great interest.  Nearby, vans, coal wagons and tankers vied with tank locos for constructors’ attention.  P class buffer replacement featured, as did sifting through donated magazines.  We heard about Roger’s team at the Pett Show, where they’d enjoyed themselves while adding to our and the East Sussex Group’s funds.  David Ho. had plenty of aid with refreshments today. 

2019 July 3rd      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M 

Sun, a breeze and the heavy scent of chestnut flowers – a lazy summer’s day.  But, in the hall, EKOGG were beavering away – and consuming chocolate biscuits while chatting over teas.  The Circuit, which had been put up in double quick time, hosted a variety of small locos, an LNER 0-6-0 and Colin S’s two-car electric set.  Ross and John P ran their locos in parallel: a tiny blue saddle tank and a GWR Mogul.  Allen’s battery/DC 08 diesel unaccountably lost power, so he and Steve were soon peering into its workings.  We needed four tables to jamb around today, with locos being worked on and half a dozen wagons.  Several of these ventured onto the Circuit for runs as the day progressed: P class, MR Pug, GWR tank engine, plus a wagon or two. 

Sarre was being tittivated ready for our Friends & Family afternoon. We talked through our outline for the day over lunch.  Members co-ordinating layout operation calculated stock needs, besides looking at space and power sockets.  We hope that all who bring a short train will have a chance to run it.  David Ho. is listing refreshments and hoping for us to nip into the kitchen and lend a hand as usual.  David G went over suggestions for a new station that could be slotted into the Circuit.  A North Kent prototype is proposed, set in appropriate scenery.  The worry was that this would make the Circuit rather large, which could restrict its appearances at shows.  Various shortening ideas were suggested, as was using it with fiddle yards at times.  We also wondered about how many years life at exhibitions are left to Edington before wear and tear takes its toll.

So, plenty of running, construction and helping each other today, plus plenty to plan.

2019 June 19th      Wednesday at Badlesmere                         Rob M  [photos by Ross S]

After the storm came the members – twenty-two of them.  A pile of people appeared so the Circuit was up in double quick time.  Being ‘Tank Engine Day’, we soon saw quite a variety.  Barry W ran his first O gauge loco; an Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2t.  He also had Southern types including W, O2 and J classes, while Roger had an R1 and H.  Smaller saddle tanks used the other line.  Fred trialled his GWR tanks, followed by John P running a saddle tank from one of the smaller GWR constituents.  A pannier and prairie appeared later

The Sales Table attracted John M, who dropped by between jobs, then caught up with news as we gathered for lunch.  Some trees were being positioned on  Sarre.  Two Davids were constructing small locos next to Bill, as he sorted the floor of a goods van.  Tank wagons and a van were further along, across from Ross, who called up Light Railway views on his computer.  Amongst the bags of doughnuts and magazines we sought tiny pieces of loco kits which had skidded into hiding.

Despite the showers, Alan came down from Bromley with Joe.  Roger found a DCC controller, Fred fixed wires and David Ho. cleaned a lot of oil from the rails.  Joe didn’t have much success with an A3 pacific, but his green Princess had a good run; Jack exploiting DCC to produce clanking and coasting sounds in addition to steaming.  Joe has the sound package taken from the actual loco, which he’d observed at the Midland Railway Centre.  Meanwhile, Alan ran his gleaming GWR express engine on the other track.  These drew quite a crowd, and we sat nearby chatting  until it was time to pack away.

2019 June 15th      Saturday at Badlesmere                         Rob M  [photo by Ross S]

Automatic operating 4 aspect signals are one project that John J is working on.  At present in N scale, but hopefully on his planned O gauge inside/outside line in the future.  Stuart shewed us his neat paint job on the 4-wheel Cambrian carriage he’d constructed. Tim was also in late Victorian mode, with fancy decoration on a lofty brick-based water tower.  I added a few pieces to a van body, with the tanker wagon production line to one side of me and David Ha. working on brass frets for locos to the other.

Some of us had brought packed lunches, Jim fasted and others had dined across The Lees Green.  Roger toted the sales items onto tables, so we were soon looking through packets of pieces or wondering about rolling stock.  Several helped in the kitchen, keeping up the supply of tea.  Magazines and books were shared on the tables.  A tree production line, well two, for Sarre was started by David Ho. 

Paul had supervised the Circuit being set out and soon he and John P were testing a GWR Pannier and stock. I found that my old Terrier was independent about direction of travel and John B ran an oil tank train.  Colin S and Barry W trialled larger locos; as a black saddle tank circled, while Ross waited for inspiration as to which livery it aspired to.

2019 June 5th     Wednesday at Badlesmere                     Rob M   [Photos by: David G, Ross S, RM]

The hall buzzed, with plenty of trains running, models of all sorts taking shape, and the sale, for group funds, of Ron Steward’s bequest.  Fred had joined the usual suspects awaiting the doors being opened.  We soon had tables up and kettles on, before setting out the Circuit.  14xxs and siphons took the tracks and Richard added a SE&CR steam railmotor.  Later, after a variety of trains, Jim P added a gleaming D1 which gentle hissed and chuffed.  Lever frames, tall mill buildings, tank wagons and an Ilfracombe Goods loco were amongst the models being assembled.  A part of Sarre appeared briefly, while a section of Edington was worked on for much of our time. 

Roger backed to the door, commandeered a table and was soon surrounded by boxes of stock and bits.  Sentinel, tram and Great Eastern 2-4-0 locos were soon snapped up as wagons were assessed.  Our GOG officers peered into boxes of partly built kits and sorted little loco parts to aid sales.  Bill R, who found us via web links, had twenty-two people to talk with.  Luckily, help was at hand for catering and tidying as counting that many for teas and coffees proved difficult.  We caught up on group and GOG news, and heard about using new train services to Cornwall and the amount of freight  seen around Remagen.  Another enjoyable meeting.  [Stop press: We think our secretaty is in Ireland.]

2019 May 18th     Saturday at Badlesmere                           Rob M

We had the kettle boiled and ready when the pub lunchers joined us from across the Lees Green.  Sarre once again ventured into the fresh air, but came inside for painting and cleaning, when the skies greyed and damp was felt.  This time Stuart provided an aged light railway carriage for photos, while John B coupled it to his green Austerity saddle tank.  Modelling was mainly confined to wagons, including one of the many Grampus p-way wagon variations.  Books and magazines were on the table, some of which were from our Bring & Buy table, as were various detailing models.  As usual, we had plenty of railway talk and updated each other on projects.

 

2019 May 15th     Wednesday at Badlesmere                     Rob M

Was it 53 or 58 wagons moving round our Circuit?  And all private owner liveries.  Trains had been coupled and sent off, then combined until they stretched halfway around the Test Track.  Terriers took a fair amount before giving way to a SDJR Class 3F.  Later various combinations of smaller locos struggled before rakes reduced.  We perched along the stage, spotting local names on coal wagons and protesting about petrol tankers next to locos.

At the table, bogie frames were folded, tiny bits added to wagons and buildings constructed.  Paul H assembled a signal cabin, while John H spread “plaster” onto a plasticard form ready for sculpting into stonework similar to the detailed cottage he’d brought.  Jim M sawed ply for the Diorama.  Sun hat on, Jackie led the way outside where we set out Sarre for David Ho. to photograph.  Hopefully they will appear in GOG’s projected layout plans booklet.  John P helped by wrapping himself in a white sheet… as Ross, Roger and I provided vans and wagons.  Barry W’s Class H, with parcels brake, took centre stage.

2019 May 1st      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M

Spring had sprung with sand martins swooping by, so we threw open the windows and got the Circuit set for running.  John P organised refreshments today, with Jackie and Chris M joining me helping.  John P and Jackie then got Sarre’s baseboards onto tables, and facing the light, to give the facia its first coat of varnish of the day.  Jim M and Barry brought plywood, destined for the new diorama.  Allen peered into the cardboard tubes revealing plans and drawings.  Fred C. appeared in the doorway clutching a non-running loco he’d made a while back, so we welcomed him to the table.  Paul W got busy fault finding and the 14xx’s drivers turned later, but a wobbly trailing wheel needed curing.  Nearby a 6-wheel carriage awaited a curved roof.

John B was wagon building at the modelling table, after giving his small saddle tank a run.  Steve had several items of stock.  Geoff mentioned the future of the “E&T” and saw that we’ve a couple of photos of models in the Guild News.  Jim P had brought a large LSWR tank and an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0st, a Tower Models’ kit in white primer.  The small loco wiggled around occasionally pausing at rail joints, leading Jim to attack the track with a garden scale cleaner pad.  Later we were shewn a DCC controller that mimics a modern loco's driving desk, while Chris N managed to fit a tiny video camera to the front of a loco on the Circuit. A Brighton D3, in BR livery, took a Birdcage carriage around our lines, along with a SR Mogul.