High Summer 2015

29th August  -  Saturday session  -  David G

The big moment came as Edington was taken down the stairs and erected in the main barn. Alastair kindly squeezed the tractor into a corner, and Edington was then turned round. Although one fiddle yard was still upstairs, we borrowed Roger’s diesel shunter to start learning how the layout operates. David Ho produced some clever lampstands with neat lighting which he had made, which threw much needed light on operations.  No less than three areas of track were found to have been laid with chairs the wrong way round, and these chairs will have to be filed down. Everything else seemed to work well (once a switch had been rapidly rewired), and in the daylight from the open barn door, everything looked splendid.

August 22nd  -  Working party  -  Ross S

A small, but select, group decided to do some work to catch up at the barn in preparation for the first public appearance of Edington Junction in September.  Colin Curtis worked on the path leading up to the lamp hut and John P continued building the fencing around the main station building. Ross, meanwhile, having forgotten the (model) fire buckets, fixed the hooks to put them on and placed that trademark Edington lamp post with the ladder and upside-down bucket. It was an incredibly hot day and, having achieved a few things, we retired to brave the gridlocked roads around Faversham. RS.

August 15th - Saturday  Running & making  -  RM

Improvements being made to the exhibition layout in all corners of the loft, as well on its actual baseboards.    Windows were being installed in buildings, platform trolleys soldered, paint toned down and signal gantries erected.  Then a suspect place in the floor was pointed out, so Jim and I leapt into action, nailing a bulk of timber beneath it to stop membership numbers falling.  John had brought a coach, newly constructed from one of our sales items, which ran behind a saddle tank.  On the other main line, Roger’s electro-diesel was putting in some miles on a coal train.  We nipped outside for tea and biscuits, before getting back to the layouts.

August 12th -  Wednesday  Construction & Running  -  RM

The much needed rain was petering out by lunchtime, but was still heavy enough to confine us to barracks, where there was plenty for the eight of us to do.  Wiring and fencing on Edington were progressing, with other associated jobs fitting round them.  We all had a chance to look at info. sheets and poster ideas.  The circuits were occupied by a coal train with a SR H class 0-4-4t drawing it and a shocking blue Alco diesel with huge grain hoppers going the other way.  Several modellers sported our new polo shirts; a few even had their names emblazoned above our logo.

August 1st - Saturday Running & Construction  -  RM

I had American trains out on the circuit, while Ron and John B were running BR and GER stock.  As that circled, we tidied and discussed improving the look of the minimal scenery behind the circuit.  Every now and then we clustered round Edington to turn or upend baseboards for the team. Paul, Roger and John P were at workbenches constructing buildings and signals for Edington, while David G and David Hopkins worked on electrics. Ross brought one of the station shelters and David Hayes added to scenery. Below stairs, Jim was preparing woodwork and advising Alastair and me about the new floor surface we intend to install. Twelve of us were out in the garden for lunch and tea, keeping up to date with group planning and news. The G0G Gazette had come, so we had a range of topics to chat about, including Roger standing for G0G Chairman. Super weather, the circuits in use and modellers all over the place making things, made for a good day. (With Operation Stack was winding down, we stood a chance of easier journeys home.)

July 22nd -    Mainly construction  -  RM

You could tell it was high summer by the comma butterflies resting on hats and turtle doves cooing above; there was also the continental traffic stuck on the motorways and combine harvesters filling the lanes.  John and David let us out for lunch, but we had a working tea in the loft. A BR/LMS Crab and SR M7 hauled freight on the circuits before moving onto Edington to test the electrics. Colin Curtis made sure they didn’t overshoot. We all moved substantial pieces of the layout so that wiring of another section and fiddle yard could progress. The workbench was occupied by signal and building construction, while groundworks continued on scenic boards. Around the loft, housekeeping chores were tacked.

Into Summer 2015

July 18th – Saturday session  -  RM  -  photos by Ross S & RM

Even with the summer’s twice a weekly meetings there were ten of us.  The sun was shining and the bees, by the door, buzzing for maximum honey production.  Up in the loft a Standard tank and SR G6 were on the circuits.  A Terrier ran with a short goods before a weighty pair of bogie bolsters were coupled in.  Crimson lake coaches appeared behind a Flat Iron and an Austin 7 took a longish freight.  We dined outside and were forced to eat the chocolate biscuits as they were melting.  We moved the Edington fiddle yards and upending baseboards for access to electrical connections, both awkward tasks.  One end of the workbench produced signalling, the other end fencing.  Ballast and puddles were added to another baseboard.  Nailbourne’s foot and road bridges were worked on.  After a companionable day we braced ourselves to negotiate Operation Stack and its backlogs of traffic.

July 8th  -  Construction Wednesday  -  RM

Track on both fiddle yards, an electrical problem sorted and ballast staying where it was put, made for impressive advances over the last fortnight.  We all helped, during the afternoon, when Edington’s boards needed positioning, before considering facia construction and colours.  Across the way on Cavedale, Roger carefully regionalised the station buildings with a fine paint brush.  Colin, meanwhile, was adding track and scenics to Nailbourne.  Out on the circuits a BR/SECR E1 and an early BR diesel shared freight turns.  A Class 47’s train of bogie flats left tiny bolts at inaccessible places around the tracks.  Over tea the eight of us wondered how best to avoid “Operation Stack” on our ways home.  We left, abandoning David Hopkins to concentrate on checking circuit diagrams.

June 20th –  At the layouts  -  RM

Roger greeted me waving a personalised mug which was emblazoned with his name and our EK0GG logo. He, Barry and David G were working on the marriage of fiddle yard with base boards, having just staggered up the stairs with the yard. They had a SDJR tank engine and a SECR R1 running in the background. Later a cut down version of the R1, such as was used on the line to Whitstable, took to the circuit. Geoff brought up Weymouth Harbour pannier tank, while Barry gave a “Nelson” chassis its first run. The end sky board was being fitted when Ross arrived with a Heljan railbus, which ran beautifully (A minimal train for Edington?). Talk was of wire fence positioning when John B arrived, just before I had to depart. Outside, Alastair was having a wonderful time with a mini-digger as he and his son laid bricks for the new garden wall.


2015 June 6th  -  Saturday meeting  -  Rob M

Troublesome point motors, with ballast and chair bolts upsetting some of them, occupied a lot of the time on Edington.  Ron did a little scenic work and John P managed to paint platforms.  In the workshop Jim was titivating sector plates; adding side barriers for the stock and fitting electrical sockets into the frame.  With summer having started, we dined in the garden; birds of prey high above.  Alastair’s granddaughter heard the trains running and asked if she could come up as, “Usually, nothing is going when I call”.  (She thinks the tunnel mirror is clever.)  John B had a train reminiscent of the Hemyock branch circling, while he helped locate a short on the Midland train that Maurice was running.

2015 June 3rd  -  Construction session  -  Ross S

The gaffer had persuaded Ron to green more of the landscape at Edington. When I arrived I was directed to do similar. A mixture consisting mainly of 'pre-1928 GWR green' was prepared, but deemed to be too dark, despite quantities of white. However that will be remedied by the next coat(s), plus the expected layer of static grass. Meanwhile, Jim was beavering away downstairs on the fiddle yard bases. David Ho continued with the wiring spaghetti and testing the point motors. Ross's Hudswell Clarke saddle tank circled around with a short goods train. The loco was borrowed to do a little testing on Edington. Paul continued to work on the beautiful signals, but broke off to help David G to manhandle one of the (heavy) fiddleyards down the stairs for Jim to work on. Alastair breezed to check on progress.


May 20th 2015 - Construction session - Ross S

Members who weren't at the barn on Wednesday, may need to re-orient themselves at their next visit. Edington Junction was lifted up one section at a time, reversed, and moved down the room a little to make room for one of the fiddle yards to be put in place. It's surprising how different the layout now looks. Meanwhile, Roger worked on the 'corrugated iron' roof of the distinctive goods shed, John P continued laying the platform, while David G and Ross spent therapeutic time on the grass and shrubs and ballasting. Jim could be heard downstairs fettling the fiddle yard sector plates (I think), Paul was soldering and sawing as he made great progress on the impressive signals. David Ho and Barry constituted the wiring gang. Any spotters present would have copped no less than two SDJR saddle tanks, double heading a short train of four wheelers from the DG workshops and an Ixion Fowler 0-4-0 with a Dapol SR pillbox brake van, the latter being used later to work out capacities in the embryonic fiddle yard.

May 16th 2015 - Saturday Meeting - RM

Summer must “be a coming in” as we were able to dine outside; Alastair joining us for a good chat at tea, where the great debate on paintwork applied to obscure ironwork continued.  David G had opened up and put the kettles on before preparing for the construction tasks.  Maurice soon had trains on the circuit, including a “Flatiron”.  Roger brought Edington’s goods shed for a trial fitting; shaping its roof with our roll-bars.  Paul positioned the bracketed signal posts, then did some fettling.  Ross, who was ballasting, had brought the carcase of the platform shelter.  Copious amounts of glue were spread by John B, as he and David G “greened” the scenery.  David H discovered a soft patch of floor where the electricians had been working, so there is now a piece of board placed there for us to stumble over. I joined him in the workshop to finish off the sector plates, ready for adding the tracks. Upstairs we could hear John’s saddle tank with its little freight train. It had been another day of steady progress.

May 6th 2015 - Wednesday session - RM

The star of today’s running was undoubtedly Alan’s GWR Knight of the Garter heading six gleaming chocolate and cream coaches around the circuit.  David G put his S&DJR 0-4-4t on the rake for a spirited run, before Alan, who was test running a King, added a B-set to the consist.  Meanwhile, John and Ross added ballast and vegetation to Edington, where John had positioned the station master’s house across the track from David G’s painted platform canopy.  Barry and David battled with pesky point motors.  Cavedale is now shortened, giving easier access to the main circuits controllers.  Roger and Alan fitted two points with push rod controls, ready for ballasting.  The cold wind was still battering the trees when we left.


2015 Early Spring

May 2nd 2015 - At the layouts - John Plumpton  [photo - Ross Shimmon]

We started with continuing the station platforms, when David G arrived with an almost completed platform canopy.  David and Barry discussed the best way to drill square holes in the platform to secure the canopy.  Ross arrived with a mock-up of the other platform shelter.  More time was spent studying drawings and finding etchings and plastic strips for the main platform building.  These have been taken away to be studied by me as well as the rest of the platform surfaces for painting.

Jo and Alan took great interest in what was going on and were soon ballasting, and trimming the stuck on carpet felt.  Ross also found time to help with the ballasting.  Jo ran his 'Princess' (?) loco and as usual Maurice kept the red flag flying with his 'Flat Iron' and 'Johnson 1F' and the usual mix of red vehicles.  David H was quietly swearing behind an upturned baseboard, when he kept finding wires that didn't go anywhere, but finally at the end of the day came out smiling, with most problems resolved.  Roger and Richard with hammers and chisels and saws lifted ballast and track and shortened 'Cavedale' to make better access to the test track controllers.

A dozen members; a lot of activity; I think a good day was had by all.

Mid-week session - April 22nd - RM

John’s ex-LSWR O2 put in some miles around the circuit as we got on with jobs.  David G’s 3F was on the inner line with a beautiful S&DJR coach and a LSWR road van behind it.  Alastair opened up the regulator and sent a Czech mallet loco, with tinplate train, whizzing round.  Boxes cleared from the stair head, Roger enlisted Ron’s help to lift track at the end of Cavedale.  (Maybe a final incarnation?)  I spent time moving trestle supports, then bodged a platform to support Charing station, before polishing tracks.  We ventured out for afternoon tea when the sun came out.  Gradually, bit by bit in the case of ballast, Edington progresses.  The David H and Barry turned their baseboard right-way up, and at the press of a button automated couplings happily responded.  Much needs to be tweaked and soldered, but with David G's stock on the track, it certainly looks a “Railway”.

April 18th 2015 - Layout session   -   John Plumpton [photo - Ross Shimmon]

John and Ross started by studying plans for the platform waiting room; sorting out the component parts which Ross is taking home and will start by making a mock-up of the building. David H and Barry worked, all afternoon, sorting out the many electric wires for the panels. Ron and Colin busied themselves with carpet felt; Ron thinning it out ready to stick and Colin clearing the excess off the layout. John continued laying the supports for the platforms. Painting the actual platform surface is also well under way.

Ross ran a Terrier around the test tracks before being persuaded to attempt ballasting on Edington.  Stuart bought in some of his buildings for Nailbourne and added them to the station.  Alistair called in later in the afternoon to be updated him on progress.  A good day all round, and we even managed to have our lunch and afternoon tea out in the sunshine.

April 4th - Layout day - RM

It was still chilIy up on the heights, but the kettles were soon keeping a dozen members sustained.  I was impressed by how tidy the loft was and what progress had been made on the exhibition layout.  A beautifully liveried SE&CR express loco took to the tracks, with a LNER/BR 0-4-4t.  A pair of Hudswell Clarks appeared on wagons and light railway stock.    Nailbourne and Cavedale continue to be quietly added to.  Edington’s “works in progress” included ballasting at one end, platform constructing in the middle and vegetation planting at the other.  Sector plates had been sent down to the workshop, while threading and soldering multitudes of wires happened in silence alongside. Nearby, signal posts were burnished and a signal cabin stairway built.  John B was greeted by a standing ovation; having navigated himself to us for a first visit – quite an achievement.

March 21st Layout Day – Ross S

Dick laid a temporary length of track and fired up his incredibly good sounding Rio Grande narrow gauge loco.  It was cold. I retreated a little early. I had planted the tree and continued laying the 'grass' which Ron took on when I left. Earlier I had run the CS Museum's EHLR Terrier, which David G had painted, with an SR brake van. The latter lost a buffer (I now seem to have trouble with buffers as well as buffer stops!) But Colin S spotted it on the track. Ron ran a lovely ex-GER 4-4-0 with a rake of BR Mk 1s in blood and custard. The loco ran very hesitantly until Ron discovered that it ran better without its tender! The short circuit fixed, it ran nicely.  David G. was going great guns on the ballasting, while John P continued building the platforms. Colin S ran his EPB on the main circuit and then took some measurements for the wood yard at Nailbourne. David Ho was sorting out the wiring, calling for assistance to distinguish between the colour coded wires with stripes and those without. (Something to be done with good eyesight and in strong light!) Apart from the cold it was a good, productive session.

March 14th 2015                EK0GG Town Meeting                   Ross Shimmon

About 20 of us gathered at the Fleur for John Minter's talk: 'Folkestone's Place on the Railway Map'. It was a fascinating, carefully researched and presented session, accompanied by a series of pertinent illustrations. John’s boundary was an eight mile radius around the town. He unravelled the tangled rivalry between the South Eastern Railway which reached the town in 1843 and the London Chatham & Dover which arrived in 1865.  Most of us had no idea that Folkestone had so many stations over the years. Naturally the steeply-graded Harbour Branch featured strongly, illustrated by pictures of several R1s blasting up the incline. Other engines mentioned included 'Bulldogs' (no, not the GWR ones), Cramptons, the elegant SECR D class, and at the other end of development, Bulleid pacifics and the class 71 electrics. In the era of the Channel Tunnel and budget airlines, John said that "It is hard to comprehend the impact [in 1848] of being able to travel from London to Boulogne and back in a single day, but in the first five months after the line was opened around 20,000 people made the crossing". During a brief interval for refreshments, Roger reminded us of 0 gauge events in the pipeline. David mentioned that Barn sessions were about to begin and that extra sessions  to get Edington Junction ready for exhibition later this year would be announced shortly. Prior to the meeting, about 8 of us took lunch in The Vaults.

March 4th - Layouts  -  RM

Covers were off, kettles were boiling and vacuuming could be heard as we drove into the paddock; layouts were out of hibernation.  While boxes were being sorted below, John P and I supported David 2 above the layout - with a broom - as he fitted a new fluorescent unit.  We lunched in the loft, defeated by the cold wind outside.  Roger’s blue 47 circled with appropriate stock, while Geoff tried out Terriers and Maurice cleaned track.  Edington was surrounded, as usual, with David G showing Ron his approved ballasting method; Jim fitting back-scene boards; Barry and David 2 discussing electrics; John constructing platforms; and David 3, somewhere beneath, testing point motors.  It was after our 3 o’clock cuppa, when spray painting along the tracks commenced, that a general exodus began.  When the miasma cleared a few of us were left scraping the railheads.


February 14th - AGM and Model Competition - RM

While we awaited the totting-up of the Model Competition votes for the twenty entries, we took the opportunity of identifying ourselves for new members and hearing about everyone’s modelling interests.  The higher maths by then complete, results for the “Best in Show” entries.  A signal cabin secured John P a certificate.  Dick S’s narrow gauge D&RGW caboose won freight stock.  Barry’s 31470 took best loco, and David G led the carriage stock with a polished MR milk van. The AGM portion of the meeting recapped on the past year, showed a healthy balance and saw no change in the Committee, who thanked the membership for their active support. (Earlier a dozen members had lunched in The Vaults.) Over on the Display tables was a Rye & Camber train, a selection of carriages, a Terrier, plus the station house and buildings from Edington. Several people came to the aid of John P and Jackie in the kitchen, giving them an opportunity to enjoy the wide range of model entries.