Autumn 2018

December 15th 2018      Saturday in Faversham  -  Christmas Quiz                         Rob M

You could hear muttering from the teams, “I’m sure I know this one…” and “… got it” as the Quiz progressed.  Teams of twos and threes had appeared from John P’s hat, and as always results were close – elevens, thirteens and the leaders with fifteen – Jackie Davidson and David Grimwood.  Well done.  We thanked John Bullimore for setting the questions across the swathe of our interests.

Ross, co-author of ‘Colonel Stephens and his Railmotors’ showed us his copy when we'd collected our hot drinks and were tucking into mince pies.  We thanked John Plumpton for all his work, over several years, in organizing our refreshments.  David Hopkins has offered to take on the task, but will need a deputy in case he cannot get to a meeting.  Thanks also to the usual suspects who squeezed into the kitchen to help, plus Colin Smith and all who set out the hall.

The meeting continued with films, selected by David G, featuring Pathe News extracts of the North Sunderland branch; GWR’s streamlined railcar; naming the first LNER “Footballer” loco, …  With Christmas wishes we headed off into the sleet and rain.

Earlier, at The Sun Inn, the committee had grabbed the seats nearest the bar before being joined by six others for a cheerful and tasty lunch.

December 5th 2018         Wednesday at Badlesmere                          Rob M

 With gentle chuffs and crows on the whistle, Tim sent his London Transport pannier around the Circuit to run in.  As usual there was plenty of help for John P as he organised refreshments and with moving all the baseboards and furniture.Wagons and locos were in evidence on the table, Sarre being fitted out nearby and major works in progress on Edington - so, all in all, a usual EKOGG day. 

Over lunch we suggested our hall as a venue for a GOG Modellers’ Workshop session.  We’d provide light refreshments, but would point participants to the Red Lion for lunch.  Once again it would raise our club’s profile.  We wondered about being able to have DCC available for visitors; maybe a controller/power pack for one of the Circuit’s tracks. 

We found out more about DCC over lunch, but as Barry K predicted, found that our users had each selected a different system.  Both Tim and Jim P had brought DCC controllers to the hall today, settling on using Jim’s Lenz system.  Usually systems seem to cope with another’s chips.  Chris N said that a controller which could access 4 digits codes would be of most use to visiting modellers.  David Hopkins hoped that a friend of his could drop by during a future meeting and tell us about the experiences of DCC at his group.  We’ll consider whether to acquired a controller in the New Year.

The second traverser for Edington was being aligned today; lots of work from Paul W, supported by both Barrys and David G, who was musing on future projects for the group – Ideas welcome.  Further along, spring had come to the layout as Chris M sprayed adhesives and spread greenery ready for 2019’s exhibitions.  The haze of glue reached Jim M who was fixing corner curves, made of card laminated around a bottle, to the backscene of Sarre.  John P and David Ho. were smoothing platform gaps and fixing buffer stops.

At the table a cluster of people watched Roger as he slid methfix transfers into position on a van.  Wagon underframes concerned John B and Chris M.  Between distributing doughnuts, David Ha. was checking an Ironside saddle tank; rolling the loco through pointwork on the layouts.  Tim had photos of his growing range of brewery/factory buildings from his industrial layout.  All was done to the accompaniment of locos having a good run: the pannier, a SER 4-4-0 of Geoff’s, Jim P’s “Blue Star” Merchant Navy and John B’s freight train drawn by a Terrier.

November 21st 2018    Wednesday at Badlesmere                    Rob M

The flags were out for us in the hall, when sixteen of us gathered.  It turned out to be the Badlesmere hall’s committee preparing for the village’s quiz night.  We easily worked around each other as we prepared hot drinks and set out the tables.  Warmed inside and out, we readied the Circuit and had two sections of Sarre out for the scenery to be worked on.  John P and David Ho. Were joined by others as they replaced the platform’s edging boards.  

On the table, modellers were pretty busy with Chris M preparing underframes for his batch of SER vans, near where I added slates to a cottage roof.  David G, working on loco parts, and Jim M discussing a squeaking 4F.  Jim 2 was fettling an 0-4-0t chassis, while John B was collecting today’s subs. and working on his light railway stock.  David Ha. assembled more of his 2-2-2 chassis alongside Ross S who was folding the etches of Queen Victoria’s LSWR saloon.

Barry W ran a South Western G6 and his latest SECR loco.  There was also a Terrier, in SECR livery, that Ross is lightly weathering for the Tenterden Museum, plus a light railway mixed train belonging to John B.  James (Jim 3), our other new member, produced a green Class 37 to which he added three Pullman cars.  When the team got them coupled-up and table lamps lit, they did running-in circuits, paralleled on the outer line by Geoff’s Ivatt 2-6-2t.

Over lunch members suggested the idea of a summer day out to either the Bluebell Railway plus the Lavender Line; or to Pendon and a steaming day Didcot.  We spoke about the Gauge O Guild, saying that our Group finds the present organisation, its publications and the events it puts on, suits us very well.  The only caveat seemed to be that the Forum should be modelling focused.  In the next sessions it will be the turn of Edington to be refurbished.

November 17th 2018     Saturday in Faversham             Rob M

We all thanked David Hopkins for putting on this afternoon’s meeting. He arrayed himself in a Lavender Line hi-vis to recount the history of that preserved railway. His photos included several of the daunting floods that tore away their works several years back. The variety of locos that had been billeted on or hosted by the short line was amazing: War Department 2-10-0 from Greece; various saddle tanks, including the pair of ultra low bodied ones from Par Harbour; a Southampton Docks diesel, a Class 73; Thumpers; Wickham Railbus Laboratory 20; a Belgian steam tram engine… Certainly a well kept secret in Sussex. A film promoting British steam loco building from the 1940s, with hot metal being drop hammered and huge steel sheets rolled to make smokeboxes was next out of David's case.

We chatted over teas and coffees; hearing about the practicalities of managing the Folkestone Show, besides bringing all up to date with group goings on. David’s final selection was very relevant to layout builders. It focused on re-vamping a layout, reminding us of many techniques and introducing others. Many thanks to John P, Barry W and John J for tackling the kitchen chores; Jackie for locking up and to all the others who’d aided to make it a very enjoyable meeting. Earlier some members had lunched in our new venue, The Sun, in West Street.

David Hopkins photo collection: David in control of the Southampton Docks diesel; the beginning of the flood damage; Par Harbour low bodied saddle tanks.

November 7th  -  Wednesday at Badlesmere  -  RM

A rainy windy day saw twenty people to Badlesmere – we setting out extra tables and John P organising yet more refreshments.  The Circuit was soon up and running; David G’s Ivatt 2-6-2t being first out and Barry W trialling his latest loco.  An industrial tank engine, with skirts, was pulling an aged CCW wooden coach of SER design.  David Ho. gave us a  surprise by running a Basset Lowke Class 20 Diesel.  John P’s SR O2 was in great demand for hauling stock, including Chris M’s newly acquired local wagon.  Later it waited patiently while Ross and Jackie battled with the couplings between a Darstaed corridor brake and a SR utility van.  Our Longfield visitors, Jim and John, had bought an impressive Heljan Prairie on their way to us and had it purring along our tracks.  My old Canadian Pacific 4-4-0 nipped around while Geoff waited with a large bunkered Terrier.

* Our pre-meeting lunches in Faversham will be at The Sun in West Street, gathering at 12.30.

Around Chris N, a huddle of kit builders occupied themselves: Paul H slating a station roof, Jim M with an 0-4-0t, John B making a wagon and David Ha. assembling a chassis of a 2-2-2 loco.  Roger had shown us all the new photo backscene for Sarre, which was being tittivated nearby.  Paul W, Barry K and Jim 2 clustered around an Edington baseboard to replace the troublesome point motor in the yard.  We had our usual chatty lunch, sharing news and ideas, and hearing about the Gravesend Show from Roger and John B, who'd taken our display table there.  As several members use DCC, we’d like views about which version to select and the pitfalls to avoid if we install it alongside our present controllers on our Circuit.

Folkestone Show  -  October 5th to 7th . Friday  to Sunday     -     RM

On Saturday, it was good to see members visiting.  I managed to talk with Les G, David Ha., John M, Mike P, Paul H and Geoff R.  Vouchers towards lunch were provided, and we took turns to have a look at the exhibits.  Our team of four operators was joined by Martin, a friend from the Wimbledon Club on the first day of the show.  Martin coped with the new traverser, while Roger, David G, Paul W and I took other controllers.  We had a goodly number of appreciative comments from the visitors and hints of future bookings for the layout.  More O gauge layouts were on show than we've seen for some time.

On the Friday, I was waiting at the top of the Leas Cliff Hall’s unloading slope when the van arrived with David G and Paul W.  Roger and Tim soon joined us to fit our kit into the lift and descend to the Channel Suite.  (Unfortunately, John B was unwell so couldn’t join us.) Paul W checked on pointwork while the setting up proceeded swiftly.  Leaving arranging stock and final preparation until the morning, we departed in various directions.

Sunday brought a new team of operators with David Ho., Chris M, Tim and John P.  David G and Paul W focused on tending stock and the layout, both of which were getting hard use.  Our hosts were very welcoming and we met many old friends, including John P’s from France.  The sun shone on our take-out, as we wore a path across the grass to load.  David Ho. and I waved the layout’s van off, then followed with the stock.

[photos: Martin managing the traverser & Paul W locating the hidden magnetic uncoupler]

It was good to see more of our members visiting, and I managed to talk with Les G, David Ha., John M, Mike P, Paul H and Geoff R.  The previous evening we'd had Tim S helping with transporting and settling up the layout.  Our hosts were very welcoming and we met many old friends.  [Martin managing the traverser & Paul W locating the magnetic uncoupler]

October 3rd at Badlesmere                      RM  -  photo Ross S

Seventeen of us thronged the hall and hoped that the water pressure would keep up for our mugs of tea.  Southern vans, stock being fettled and tiny locos being constructed filled the modelling table.  Over the other side operators were under training, using a variety of members' locos.  We saw Steve's BR diesel and 2-6-0 alongside John P's SR M7 and a variety of Somerset & Dorset engines.  Testing of the traverser reached the stage where all was considered good, while checking the lines ready for Folkestone's exhibition continued. A team of us will be moving the layout to the show venue on Friday.

A pretty busy day.

September 8th & 9th at Faversham Model Railway Club's show        Rob M

I found our Sarre layout in the second hall of the Abbey School, and was greeted with the news that they’d been asked to attend the Beckenham and Gravesend Shows in the future.  Good going indeed.

There was quite a crowd of our people in the halls; watching layouts, meeting friends and operating.  John B was out the front chatting to those watching, and if there were children around Roger H would be keeping stock moving while waiting for trains to appear from off stage.  Chris M was in command of the storage cassettes with Stewart H when I first looked, but everyone was taking a turn.  Tim S was at the controls when John P took time off for a tea, and Ross S, released from editing Colonel Stephen’s books, soon appeared behind the layout.  Mike P was helping nearby at the Cement Works diorama, where I’d met our John M, and Richard B had previously dropped by.  (Jackie D and David H joined the operators on Sunday, while others helped with transport.)

Amongst the layouts I stopped at was the 3mm Somewhere in Southern England with small terminus and a harbour with fish net stores and the AFS testing its pumps on the slipway.  The OO steam shed at night was interesting and the BLS Swiss bridge with galleries clinging to the mountain side provided an entertaining procession of trains.

September 5th 2018                       Wednesday at Badlesmere                          Rob M

On a dull and drizzly day, the fifteen of us went into exhibition prep mode and had a productive day.

Sarre was running Roger’s improved operating sequence to check for glitches – we clapped when, at lunchtime, they’d succeeded.  John B, with timetable to hand, kept train speeds realistic, with Jackie at the control panel, as Chris M and John P filled the cassettes with stock.  The day ended with us checking the list of essentials to take to the weekend’s show and boxing the baseboards for transport; David Ho. marking the bolt holes.

The Edington crew had the traverser and a couple of baseboards out.  John J was soon soldering connections and work continued with inspecting the loco release tracks. These were puzzling Paul W, Barry K and David G, having a voltage drop and a ‘short’, but with due time and consideration were dealt with.  Meanwhile, I sploshed green paint on facias, considerately waiting to do those in use ‘til we were stowing away.

While Paul H constructed a GWR tank engine, plying a mini blow torch, at one end of the modelling table, David Ha. was making a small Ruston diesel using resistance soldering at the other.  Barry W and Jim M had very fine mesh for the grills and vents.  Those who’d travelled to Telford told us about Guildex and how they’d resisted, or not, buying from the traders.  John P and David Ho. organised refreshments and many leant a hand.