Autumn 2017

Faversham          -              Saturday, December 9th      -      RM

With Santa hat and twinkling lights, Chris Nuttall set the scene for our Christmas Quiz. “Which steam engine runs on paper?” was the question that we all puzzled over, with a sneaking feeling that there was a bit of a twist involved.  With names picked from the hat, teams huddled around their scribes to tackle Roger Harmer’s questions.  John P’s trio and Ross’ lot just nosed ahead at the end.  Those had a conflab and elected John Bullimore to set next year’s questions with John P. and Jackie helping with ideas.

We milled around over mince pies and warm drinks, chatting and viewing the sales table.  When John P and David Ho. asked for aid in the kitchen John J. and Tim beat Colin S. to the door and grabbed the last tea towels.  That made life a lots easier and we were quickly able to get back into the hall.

John Minter reminisced about transport in Birmingham during his school years.  There with many photos of the decaying Snow Hill station where he’d roamed through the sad wreckage.  We also saw remains of the tram network, wonderful wall mosaics depicting locomotives and the old transport and engineering museum.  Exchanging season’s wishes we departed beneath Faversham’s Christmas lights.  A good end to our year.

* I have had Christmas greetings from Beryl, Alan & John Poulton.  They have asked me to pass on their thanks to Roger, myself and the whole team at our gauge O group for helping with Frank's estate.

2017 December 6th - Wednesday at Badlesmere        -     RM

Power on and points clicking over, Terriers shuttled about Sarre; while Pannier tanks were the theme on The Circuit.  It was a companionable day with people making progress on many fronts.  David Hopkins had done much for Sarre, and we now have trains moving.  A mini panel with section switches is fitted by the station and the point motors are working; some with rod control provided as back up.  The ‘end of the line’ baseboard will be the last to be powered up.  John B. had also brought a Terrier that explored all the powered tracks and ventured behind the backscene onto the cassette.  John P. was fixed platform ramps with the help of assorted heavy items and Roger planned ballasting.

Barry sent Paul’s 57xx pannier around The Circuit.  Paul Honey joined us and he also had a pannier – an open cabbed version – which had a clerestory in tow.  Outdoors, large sheets of ply were being sliced into smaller pieces.  Jim showed us a swish motor bus and Jackie completed a waiting shelter.  Chris, with festive hat, concocted a splendid lunchtime spread just across from the doughnuts.  David Hayes tested the sprung wheelset of his Beatie well tank by propelling it across Sarre’s pointwork.

2017 November 18th - Saturday at Faversham     -       RM

Steam loco driving and care was the order of the day when we gathered in The Fleur Hall.  Vintage films featured safety and economy in 1930s LMS engine sheds, but we also saw a present day driver of main line steam.  We even looked at the 1950s electrification expansion into Kent. Stuart had his latest projects on display: a four-wheel carriage from etches of LSWR stock and half of an LMS push-pull set. He’d equipped his Dapol Jinty for auto-train work; showing it alongside the coaches. The Bring & Buy table was in operation too. John P and helpers organised refreshments. We decided to pick small teams out of a hat at this year’s Christmas Quiz. Peter reminded us that we are welcome to run our stock on the Folkestone group’s O gauge layout at the Tenterden Show. Our diners had been redirected for lunch as our venue had a leaky kitchen. Luckily the barmaid from the Vaults had booked us a table at the Station Hotel.

2017 November 15th - Wednesday at Badlesmere        -        RM

Parts of our three layouts were being worked on today.  Sarre was gaining more back scene boards with the lift out cassette fitting neatly behind; a pair of thin tubes clipping around the rails for electrical connection.  Scenic work aimed at freshening-up Edington's appearance and The Circuit had another length of track doubled.  On the modelling table, drawings of buildings and fiddleyards grew alongside construction projects.  The nine of us were kept busy.

2017 November 1st Wednesday at Badlesmere                Rob M   [photo by Ross S]

On a splendid sunny morning, at the new time of 10.30, we opened the hall and set out tables.  Wagons were put on the layout, when David G carried his stock boxes in, giving us a chance to shunt and play.  John P paid us a fleeting visit to check on Sarre's station building, as we pored over a sheet of enamel signs to adorn it.  Jackie arrived off the bus and, once he’d brewed some tea, painted a model.  We saw Tim’s low loader, now painted, and discussed the available transfers.While David Ha. subtly passed the doughnuts and worked on brass kits, talk about disasters in Thomas the tank books got us onto photographer bishops and Peter Denny piercing rectory walls with tunnels. David Ho. was busy with a soldering iron on Sarre and beneath Edington. Ross brought his tough B4 (hero of a 54 wagon train) which spent time shunting with members clustered round. Another pleasant day.

2017 October 18th       Wednesday at Badlesmere                 Rob M

It was mizzly and grey out, but inside it was a productive day.  Chris hammered pieces of steel wire into Edington's ballast as a way of spreading the effect of the electro magnets for uncoupling.  Testing with various lengths of wire, with Dingham fitted stock, found the range before wires were glued across the existing rod end. Across the way on Sarre, under a towering pile of breeze blocks, the platform surface was being stuck, alongside work on walls and backscene preparation. John J was soldering connection plugs ready for use on the Circuit, which was gaining lengths of its second track, with Barry’s Schools class testing the electrics. A rather nice Pannier was running smoothly on Edington. A sudden influx of diesels with D209 and the Fell, joining locos from John B and Roger occurred.  Then, to make the operators' lives interesting, Steve added 9F 92092 to the tracks. The modelling table needed lengthening the  for lunch as there were fifteen present. We wished well to all those helping the Beckenham crew with the show.

2017 October 14th       Saturday in Faversham        -              Ross S

Did you know that there was once a tramway from Herne Bay pier to the station to transport oysters to be carried to market? You would have done if you had come to the EKOGG meeting at the Fleur on Saturday to hear railwayman Mark Jones present ‘Herne Bay by Rail’, who used a variety of images dating from the 1840s to the introduction of the ‘Javelin’ high speed trains. We saw a sail-powered truck on the pier tramway, the first main line station building, which was transported brick by brick to become the ‘Hall-by-the-sea’ pub on the frontand unfulfilled plans for a tramway to Reculver and Whitstable. Aerial images showed the appearance of the roads leading from the 1926 station building to the sea. There was no sign of John P’s house though. Mark reminded us of the disastrous floods in 1952, which prompted the temporary reopening of the recently closed Canterbury & Whitstable line and massive rebuilding of the coast line which had been washed away.  The 1959 electrification works were featured, followed by the then new EMUs. More recent footage included rail tours. Mark rounded off the evening with some images of the crowds using the station for the Herne Bay air show. The train spotter in me noted Bulleid pacific 34001 and M7 30052 and an unidentified Q1, plus an H (or was it an M7?) sandwiched between several coaches on an emergency shuttle service. It was good to see John P organising tea, and that he had plenty of help with the washing up.

2017 October 4th Wednesday at Badlesmere             -             Rob M [Photos by RM and Ross S]

Brian M found us again and was soon helping as repairs were made to Edington’s point motors.  Tim also appeared bearing a brass Lowmac that he is building.  That got a run on the Circuit, which was out for most of the day.  Barry’s Urie Arthur ran early on.  It now has a little more clearance around the front bogie, resulting in smoother running.  David G’s 4F ran for a while, but without the hoped-for wisps of steam and smoke.  Small locos dominated after lunch.  On Sarre, electrical connections were prepared.  Jackie was working on lineside models.  A dozen of us were present and as usual a good team helped out in the kitchen.

We heard about our team’s experiences at the Wigan Show at our first tea break.  They were well received and hope to feature in the modelling press in due course.

The Beckenham Show was causing concern as "heavy lifting" members were in short supply, but with “all hands” called in we’ll manage.

The construction of easily handled fiddled yards is on the cards, possibly using a traverser.  Hopefully the design would fit both Edington and The Circuit.

Ideas are being sought for future developments to the Circuit.  A station, maybe with an island platform to enable trains to pass and a possible goods train refuge loop on the other track to add interest, was mentioned.  I wondered what sort of setting we could locate it in.  Members' thoughts are welcomed.

We heard about our people’s experiences at the Wigan Show at our first tea break. The layout was well received and  we hope it will feature in the modelling press in due course. The Beckenham Show was causing concern as our heavy lifting members were a bit short in supply, but with all hands called up we’ll manage.

2017 September 20th Wednesday at Badlesmere           -               Rob M

As track workers, Paul W and Jackie, laid the initial stretch of the Circuit’s outer line, an EWS Class 60 roared around beside them.  Earlier a Terrier had run with a short freight before Colin S had dusted off a two car SR emu, which had a good run after a nudge to wake it up.  Its carriages had been used to check platform clearances on Sarre by John P.  Nearby, David Ho. peered at electrics, while Jim and John J modernised Sarre’s trestles.  Roger and Colin C were making measurements for buildings.

GOG’s new Con. Rep. for the South-East, Paul Honey, visited and had a good chat with us.  He found a kindred spirit in David Ha. who was working on a loco tender and distributing doughnuts.  As the afternoon drew on John B started the checking and crating of Edington ready for exhibiting at Wigan.  As usual several people helped John P with thekitchen. It had been a productive day and we departed wishing the Wigan crew “Good luck”.

2017 September 16th - Saturday at Badlesmere      -      RM

The Circuit saw good use as models were run in or tested; close coupling and pickup glitches being solved as diesels and SR 4-6-0s followed around. With books, models and magazines strewn across the tables, there was a cheerful buzz with twelve of us and a couple of visitors from the Elham Valley group. Snapped wagon sides were repaired with UV glues across the bench from Wantage Tramway stock being soldered. Jim May had been busy and showed us scalpel cut window frames, white metal vans and a warehouse front. David Hayes’s “Toby” ran at appropriate pace with Edwardian veranda rolling stock.

2017 September 6th - Wednesday at Badlesmere        Report & photos by Ross Shimmon

This was my first day back at Badlesmere after a short summer break. My homework was to bring the milk.

We were a smaller than usual group, but we had the bonus of a visitor, Steve, who has recently moved into the area from Retford, Notts, famous (in the railway world) for its flat crossing. He brought with him a model of a loco some of us had heard of, but few had seen in either prototype or model form; BR Fell diesel mechanical 4-8-4 No. 10100. Beautifully built from a set of etched parts originally prepared for 4mm scale, it ran smoothly, mesmerising us with its revolving bright red fly cranks. Spectacular, if rather incongruous on Edington. We all thought that Colin Smith would have drooled over it. Perhaps, if we haven't put Steve off, he'll bring it again so that he can see it.  In between the usual tea and lunch breaks, John B worked on the fiddle yard at Sarre, while David G and Paul W fettled the track and repaired electrical faults. David's SDJR 0-4-4T, John's Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T and my KESR Terrier were used to test the track. The rest of us did what we do best, dispense advice. A good start to the autumn term.

* The EKOGG chairman was unavoidably detained in Romania.


Summer 2017

Loco line up August 16th & SR 10201 on the 19th *August news below Open Day article.

Friends Open Day – Saturday July 15th – Badlesmere [ Photos: Ian Earl, Ross S & RM ]

We raised our glasses to “EKOGG and Friendly Modelling” then welcomed our visitors. As well as 21 of us, we had some 39 people drop by; family, people from the village and modellers from Kentish groups.

We’d slotted four displays into the hall by curving The Circuit beneath Edington’s fiddle yard and lapping its end onto the stage below the Tinplate layout.  Sarre was being worked on just inside the entrance, from where sales tables flowed into the outside world.  David Ha.’s soldering display perched by running lines, opposite a display of static stock, and Colin C’s warehouse construction found a table by the kitchen entrance.

Way before other visitors, John J. turned up off night shift and was quickly enlisted to help us setting up.  Later we also gained Brian M. and Tim.  Many visitors stayed for several hours, chatting and joining in.  Paul kept a varied selection of trains running on The Circuit, including Dick’s 2-6-6-2 saddle back loco from the USA, so that everyone saw their models moving.

Edington glowed with colour and, during Stuart and Alan K.’s tenure, hosted a K&ESR Terrier, a GWR 2-8-0t and a Minnesota & St Louis diesel, that squeezed past the platform and signal cabin.  While explaining track construction, Sarre’s operators shuttled short trains across the points. Above all, on the stage, Colin S. and John B. entertained children and adults alike with a wealth of tinplate, buildings and accessories; accompanied by the rattle of electric and clockwork trains.

A great “Thank You” to all our members for making it so convivial, especially those who came early to set-up, the many who assisted in the kitchen and the large team who managed the clearing away. Rob M

Mike Scott - We heard of Mike's death after various health problems over the last years.  Very knowledgeable about railways and interested in scratch building, Mike recalled visiting the layouts of Jack Ray and contemporaries. Despite failing sight he had continued attending all our town meetings and joined us for a meal whenever possible. A long term member of EKOGG, he had been treasurer at the time of our expansion into The Barn. He will be much missed.

Saturday 19th August 2017  -  Badlesmere

Small locos had been the order of the day until Colin S put enormous Southern Railway diesel on the through roads. 10201 is scratch built and is having a few problems with its lengthy wheelbase. We'd set up tables as Geoff made teas, before Joe S. and Alan breezed in, swiftly followed by John B. We settled on using Edington with John J help with boards  and Colin to uncoil wires. David Hopkins heaved old trestles onto the new shelving. David G and Joe were soon discussing their carriages at the modelling table amongst other building projects. Sarre was being worked on at the next table. Some members had picnicked in the hall, while others arrived after lunching in the Red Lion.

Wednesday 16th August 2017  -  Badlesmere

After John J had replaced a plug, we were in business on Edington with an increasing number of locos appearing.  A smell of hot solder indicated that connections were being repaired too.  Running trains around John B, who was sprucing up the scenic, Allen, John J. and Tim got an idea of how the controls functioned.  Unfortunately, the excitement did cause repairs to be needed to the loading gauge, but that was soon mended.  In the store, our new shelves were taking shape. Edwardian carriages were looking very good at the rolling stock end of the long table. Lineside buildings were rising at the other end. With fourteen of us, and trays of doughnuts, it was becoming cosy at lunchtime.

Roger subtly filled a siding on Edington with motive power, then left the afternoon operators to release them.  Light railway saddle tanks rubbed buffers, with a small diesel, a tiny S&DJR shunter and the notorious Jinty.  (I feared for the buffer stops.)  Brecon and Barry vans were joined by more wagons and the Folkestone Harbour branch brake van.  An enjoyable day.

Wednesday 19th July 2017  -  Badlesmere

It was a construction day with two Davids fettling tiny pieces on brass models of a panelled carriage and some vans. Another David was looking at electrics on Sarre, where the station building was being renovated. Over on The Circuit, a slight hump in the track was being ironed out. Everyone had thoroughly enjoyed our Open Day; some asking when we'd do it again.

Wednesday 5th July 2017  -  Badlesmere [Jim M and Colin S are pictured with Ross' loco]

Coach sides and beer van continued to be in production  when we gathered. That seems to go hand in hand with the consumption of doughnuts at three tea breaks for fourteen people. John B and Colin S were talking over which tinplate models they wish to run on the stage and how to use the space; some clockwork and some electric. Ross opened a large box to reveal a SR mogul that had gained a bit of dust over the years. Soon several sections of the Circuit were carefully positioned and power applied, whereupon the loco creaked into life for its first run with Allen acting as buffer stop at the board’s end. Ross also tried running a Leeds Model Co. tank loco, but the insulation between wheels and body was in a parlous state. Sarre was out with everyone peering at point motors, which are due for connection after our Open Day.  Later John B supervised its storage, keeping those fittings free from knocks.  A warm and enjoyable gathering.

Our new Circuit is running thanks to the efforts of Paul, Barry and their team.  Wednesday June 21st 2017  -  Badlesmere

A red letter day! Paul Weeden and Barry Weston fitted the final connections, applied power and were clapped by everyone as the first loco ran around the Circuit. That marathon of soldering was over. Now we were back in business. John Bullimore’s 08 and Jim May’s Sentinel opening the running. Well done to Paul and Barry, plus all who’ve aided this project.

That wasn’t the only happening by far, with lots of models being made at the long tables and around the hall. That’s when we weren’t eating David Ha’s doughnuts. Colin C added to warehouse models and progress was being made on Sarre. Over lunch, we agreed that we like the printed version of the Guild News with its easily accessible insights into how other groups operate and happenings in gauge O.

As usual everybody helped with making refreshments, clearing the layouts and tidying the hall.  A very enjoyable day.

Saturday June 17th 2017  -  EKOGG at Badlesmere  -  Rob

We took our first break for drinks on the lawn, well grass, outside the hall while the breeze cooled the interior.  High summer had arrived.  John P set the tasks for Sarre's and David Ha. did the under platform work.  Jim placed his new Sentinel loco upon the tracks.  Colin C compared warehouse fronts with John B.  Stewart brought in a carriage and a lowmac that he is constructing.

Wednesday June 7th 2017  -  EKOGG at Badlesmere  -  Rob

South Western enthusiasts had a treat when Brian opened the box he was cradling to reveal an A12 Jubilee.  Cunningly the crew and footplate detail had been assembled separately then could be slid into place.  The next treat came with David Hayes and Ross in the shape of multiple bags of doughnuts, which they kindly distributed.  Good things come in threes, so later the door swung back and a windmill entered with Geoff close behind.  That is destined for Sarre, being based on the one at the village – Thanks Geoff. Roger had been flying the flag for O gauge at Chatham, so mid-session Dean, who has a garden line,called in to see what happens at our meetings.  Over on Sarre, David Hopkins was trying out the cassette while Ross made space for it in the track bed.  Paul, revitalised by the Austrian Achenseebahn, was soldering on the Circuit alongside Barry, once we’d located some essential connecting strips. Over on the modelling table, it was chips with lunch as Chris and Allen carefully cut wires to enable DCC. Jim was organising refreshments and showing his purchases from a charity shop’s cache of railway books. Lineside buildings were being constructed by John B, while David Ha was happily working on beer wagons. Having seen his model of a Ford Railmotor in their museum, the K&ESR have got themselves a full size one delivered: picture by Ross Shimmon.

Wednesday May 17th 2017  -  EKOGG at Badlesmere  -  Rob

We had a full complement of Johns, Davids and Colins today, not to mention more than a smattering of others. Modellers included: Colin C adding coffee stirrers to the tall front of a warehouse; John B assembling a ground frame cabin; Jackie painting a shelter; and Roger building a rake of substantial mineral wagons. Barry continued his soldering marathon for The Circuit by one window and David G nipped into the next patch of sunlight, for working on a carriage kit. We have another module available for Sarre. Using it would allow the rear third for fiddle yard, let the sidings gain 18” length and give room for scenics including a windmill, modelled on the real Sarre. Watch this space… Further along, John P was directing his gang to install the platform. Before long, Colin S and Ross were shaping the platform surface for the station building. Thinking about our Open Day*, John B measured the stage where he plans to have a couple of circuits of tinplate. Another interesting day.

Saturday May 13th 2017  - EKOGG at Badlesmere  - Rob

A beautiful day brought a select group of modellers to Badlesmere. Barry was ready and waiting when I drove along the track. John B followed us in and with three sets of hands we set out some tables. The kettle had boiled when the milk arrived with David Ho; the other members slowly appearing from The Red Lion. Paul and Barry settled down for a long wiring session with sections of The Circuit, Stuart joined Roger in sorting some sales items and David looked at wires on Sarre. John and I worked on own project buildings. John organised tea and Roger produced chocolate biscuits. After catching up with gossip and news from the Reading Larger Scales Show we turned our minds to our July “At Home”.

Ron Steward  - We were sad to learn that Ron Steward had died in April. The group’s “doctor”, he had been an early member of the group from “Loco Bodger” days, then was much involved in building our fixed circuit at the Barn, and latterly took an active part in constructing Edington Junction. He was particularly interested in and entertaining about the Great Eastern lines in East Anglia where his father had been a driver. Despite becoming increasingly unwell, during the last year, he joined us at Badlesmere running sessions whenever he could.

- Photos: Foxcote Manor by Ross Shimmon & RM

It was rainy and dull, but we were busy inside the hall.  Barry had embarked upon a marathon soldering session on The Circuit, dealing with curved end sections.  Chris and Allen were deep in discussion about how their DCC home layouts were developing when Geoff dropped by with a couple of surplus signal cabins.  Further along the table Jim and Roger examined drawings of Kentish timber warehouses prior to lunch.

We’d decided to have Edington Junction, in its entirety, out for testing prior to public showings, so it was all hands to lugging around trestles, baseboards and fittings.  We even had the lighting set up – just as well with cleaning and minor repairs to deal with.  Annoyingly, one of the fiddle yards had decided to warp so David Ho. moved a holding bolt and we found a large sprung clip to coax it back a bit.  Deprived of Sarre for the day, John P, and John B joined us to shuttle wagons and coaches about – great fun as David G’s coaches now have magnetic couplings. We asked if it made them easier to join with the little Brio ones.  With a third tea break over, Chris and Ross, wielding soldering iron and UV glue, dealt with a missing inch of rail.

Spring 2017

Thanet Group's Open Day - Saturday April 29th - Rob M with photos by Jackie Davidson

Birchington’s sunny streets were full of EKOGGers as I approached Kearn Hall.  Inside Chris and the others were holding the fort on Sarre, which after a shaky start was running with locos on every siding, in the fiddle-road and on the ground.  They told me it works under the one engine in steam rule.  Well, I had a go at making more space, attempting to run a loco off the headshunt, only to be thwarted by  John B.  Jackie then took command of directing moves, although reliant on those with glasses for uncoupling. Nearby, short trains slowly shuttled along the colourful Walls End Crossing diorama. (It had a Silver City Bristol 170 trundling across its sky to Manston.) Roger and Richard were on the stage beside the sales stock, manning the GOG table with David Ha. Geoff was dishing out tea and coffee – each with a free biscuit.

Thanet’s huge circuit was operating: coarse scale on the top track and fine below.  Brian had trains running, while John P had a  freight for his O2 and Q1, or anyone else who wanted a train, to haul.  The top level saw much tinplate being used: modern ACE, Hornby and scratch-built.  Graham, David Ho. and Jim, formed an audience and gave warning of derailments. Ladies arrived to collect their menfolk and we began to decamp as 3 o’clock approached, thanking Thanet for inviting us.  [Photos feature Brian, Rob & John B.]

Badlesmere, Wednesday April 19th 2017 - Rob M

With Alan K, Chris and Ross ready to cheer, Paul and Barry fixed the final length of rail onto our new Circuit.  Electrics to finish and the second circle to start now.  Over on the modelling table, Jim was working on a wooden warehouse and Jackie finishing smaller buildings, while Chris and Geoff mused over magazines.  Over on Sarre John P had produced the wooden front of the platform and they were preparing end plates to hold the baseboards during transport.  Another good day at the hall.

Fleur de Lis Hall, Saturday 15th April - Ross Shimmon

A dozen members gathered at the Fleur to hear Rob Poole's illustrated talk on the Railways of Gravesham. Gravesham? do I hear you ask? Well, as Rob explained, it's the borough that includes Gravesend, which includes 17 stations. The backstory went right back to 1802. Admittedly it was not a railway as we know it - Pitcher's Truck Way, built to carry chalk and lime down to the river. New to most of us was that Brunel had proposed an atmospheric railway in the area and that there was the Horlock loco works at Northfleet. Rob recounted the history of Strood canal tunnel's conversion to rail, including an illustration of the interim stage with the two side-by-side. The presentation was packed with information; included in Rob’s well-researched and illustrated book: Between Downs and Thames

Inevitably the rivalry between the SER and the LCDR intruded into the story, followed by electrification, privatisation, new trains and the rebuilding of Gravesend station itself. We saw the characterless Ebbsfleet station, the Hundred of Hoo Railway, the Gravesend West branch with its signs in Dutch for the boat train traffic, and Gravesend Town pier with its London, Tilbury & Southend sign for the ferry to Tilbury.  After that comprehensive Cook's Tour, we had tea thanks to David Hayes who went to Iceland - No, not that one - to get the biscuits!

Badlesmere, Wednesday April 5th 2017 -  Rob M

A bright mild day brought a dozen of us to the countryside. Tables were out and the kettle was bubbling as we were assembling Sarre and connecting a controller.  Allen swiftly cleaned track, with a Terrier on standby for testing. However, all was not plain sailing with point conductivity being poor. Cleaning of switch blades cured some, but a couple needed re-wiring and switches to the frogs. With David Ho. on the soldering iron, John P. and Colin had planned the likely platform type. while John B. prepared to paint rail sides. Paul was soldering connections on the Circuit with Jim and Graham in attendance. On the modelling table David G. was adding detail to a Stanier 8F, which had a short run on Sarre. Jackie, Roger and Geoff were huddled around a cutting mat further along. We managed to fit in two tea breaks besides our lunch, so had time to talk over summer events .

Faversham, Saturday 18th March 2017 - Ross Shimmon

Fourteen members and one guest gathered for Tony Riley's 'History of Railways in Kent'. Illustrated with some glorious photos, Tony deftly untangled the tangled story of the development of railways in our area of the country, starting with the Canterbury & Whitstable, through the London & Greenwich and the original East Kent to the bitter rivalry between the South Eastern and the London, Chatham & Dover, culminating in the working agreement leading to the South Eastern & Chatham. Tony also presented a series of maps which demonstrated the growth of the network throughout Kent. Among the photos were several of the elegant early South Eastern locos, original station buildings, signals and early track layouts. The Grouping of 1923 saw the process of rationalisation; reducing the number of towns with more than one station, although this legacy of the competition lingers.

During the tea break we were able to study an album of photos taken in Faversham. I was especially interested in those showing the Faversham Creek branch and the unusually large number pictures of staff - many of them identified in the captions. One even included the engine shed cats. Earlier, many of us lunched in The Vaults.

Badlesmere, Wednesday 15th March 2017 - Ross S

On the modelling table David Ha was constructing a LTSR horse box (well he likes older models), using his well-used, nay battered, resistance station. David G was alongside building a SR PLV from a CRT kit with a conventional iron. Luckily David Ha had brought along his rivet punch gadget as there was a tricky set of rivets alongside the stanchions to be punched. Further along the table Jackie was assembling a telephone kiosk. A little later I noticed that, watched by his (unpaid) consultant, Roger, he was using a 4mm waiting shelter as a template for a scratch-built 7mm version. Meanwhile, over on Sarre, grown men were having a serious discussion on the likely dimensions of a single farm track overbridge. Later David Ho and John P tried to beat the clock to complete the wiring, so that test running could take place at a Thanet Group meeting. On the roundy-roundy, Paul and Barry were conducting operations to ensure the next section of track conformed to the 6' radius and that the correct transition from the straight was observed. Colin S was salivating at the thoughts of big engines and trains running smoothly round the circuit. David Ha had brought along half of his Ford railmotor set, now in a realistic weathered brown to be loaned to the Museum. Ross had brought along his part-completed model of St. Michael's tunnel, KESR, from which the railmotor will poke its nose. At the appointed time (when else?) the fourteen settled down to lunch amid the usual banter, smell of soldering and cries of 'where's the rice pudding?'

Badlesmere, Wednesday 1st March 2017 RJM

So, “The Circuit” borrowed the solder and flux from “Sarre”. Then “Sarre” borrowed it back. So, the modelling table was asked for some flux and solder, which David G donated, but after a while David needed to use it and…. It was just as well that each group had a soldering iron. On “Sarre” the points were being fitted with wire in tube leading to the backscene where motors may be located. With that done John B, David Ho. and John P stuck down more track, then wagons were zipped back and forth to check rail joints. Over at “The Circuit” every section of base board was joined, leading Paul to conclude that 1/16th inch needs planing from one board’s end. More underlay was glued down and weighted, before bus bar wiring began.

We continue to have a good turn-out of modellers, so there was help at hand when difficulties arose on the modelling table.  Roger was working on getting elderly wagons to run smoothly despite one having a warped frame and Jackie was discovering which glues would hold a telephone box sides and windows. Jim seemed to be supplying cramps and hammers to the micro engineers around him.  David G’s SR utility van was taking shape as small brass pieces were selected from the fret.  Early on we had a preview of Barry’s latest project, a “King Arthur” from the Urie batch.  Allen was shewing his live steam loco, giving us visions of it puffing along in sun – role on summer.   Geoff had dropped in before he heads to Kettering for the GOG Show.  Some donated wagons and bits for sale, in aid of our funds, were brought in by Ross.

Faversham AGM & Model Show, Saturday 18th February -        RJM

After a swift AGM, which ended with, “What shoes does a porter wear?” [platform soles] we grabbed cups of tea and inspected the array of models shown and entered for our modelling competition. They certainly warranted a deal of considering as we voted for two items from each section. A smart varnished portion of “The Circuit” out for us to see, with a loco body and coach underframe on its track. Older clockwork locos, wagons and the colourful end of a siding with an older coach were amongst the “Interest” section.

I noticed a decrepit P-Way hut in the scenic section, along with an American water tower and Geoff’s crane, which took that prize. Eight freight wagons were displayed; Barry’s “Queen Mary” brake van and Mike P’s creosote tanker battling for the certificate. Passenger stock featured SR utility vans, but it was David G’s DMU and Joe S’s inspection saloon that caught voters’ eyes. Locomotives ranged from a huge SR diesel, through weathered steam to a maroon industrial tank, ending with gleaming express locos; from which Alan K’s “Merchant Navy” gained the accolade.

Badlesmere, Wednesday 15th February   - RJM

Another productive day with two layout projects being worked on plus many wagons and buildings in evidence.  Half of the 'Circuit' was having the inside track laid while 'Sarre' saw sidings positioned and buffer stops fitted with the help of John B's D3045.  Brian was working on a laser-cut signal cabin.  Further along was a a SR utility and a BR p-way wagon.  Amongst the LSWR stock was a van with the Xed bracing, all fitted with tab in slot.

Badlesmere, Wednesday 1st February   - Ross S

What a hive of activity! I arrived a little late, though just in time for a cup of coffee. A record attendance of 16 enjoyed a chat, inspected some models brought in, including an Adams Radial in SR black and a GWR 4-8-0T, nicely weathered, while some of us brought out our ongoing projects and others worked on club projects.  Sarre is a minimum space layout making use of some previously constructed modular baseboards. David Ho, John P, and John B concentrated on laying the Peco trackwork.

Meanwhile, half of our 'Roundy-roundy' test track had been erected. Paul and Jim were setting out the track on the track bed. Particular care was taken to align the curves across the joints, using a tripod, a long piece of wood, some string and a weight consisting of three bricks. Don't try this at home!

On the modelling tables, Roger was in exhibition demo mode, building an Engineers' Department wagon, showing guest Allen how it's done. The word soon got round that Allen had a live steam loco, which he promised to show us at a future meeting. David Ha was showing his flares to David G -  flares on the sides of his LSWR tender that is.  Chris encouraged me to resume work on my SECR Bircage bogie. But first he demonstrated a new piece of kit, a gadget that secures joints using epoxy resin and UV light - magic! We all want one. He used it to put together an axle guard that disintegrated at the last meeting. Borrowing David Ha's drill, a large pair of pliers with suitable cushioning to hold each axle guard we took it in turns to drill them out to take the top hat bearings. I managed to drill right through two of them. We tried to glue them on the bogie frames with two-part Araldite, but we ran out of time. Did I forget to mention lunch? No rice pudding this time, but Chris microwaved his Cornish pasties. Earlier some doughnuts were distributed at the tea break. Only one more meeting before thye AGM, modelling competition and display.

Badlesmere, Saturday 21st January   - RM

The week of the doughnuts continued with Jim passing the custard variety to willing recipients; just right with our hot drinks, which he’d also organised.  It was a glorious frosty day, up on the hills, and those who’d lunched at the Red Lion had liked the log fires. In the hall, many people gravitated to the modelling table, where transfers were positioned amongst wagons.  Stuart, having showed us many photos of mid-20th century railways, sparking memories. With trammel at the ready, Paul had organised his minions to put out half of the “Circuit” so that the track could be set out. By the session’s end a couple of lengths had been laid and a wagon was on the rails.

Badlesmere, Weds 18th January  - RM

Quite a throng at the hall, despite the frosty weather. I was soon passed a hot drink and a doughnut, thanks to two of the Davids, while the third David was putting up the final storage shelf. John B was working on “Sarre’s” track, with Roger finding buffer stops.  At the busy modelling table, Barry was engrossed in discussion about LSWR locos, while at the end,  castings for white metal vans were in preparation and Ross inspected a LSWR pull-push driving coach. Sections of the “Circuit” were being lugged around by Graham ready for track bed to be glued down; which Paul kept in place with a large fire extinguiser… Geoff and Jim were talking to Brian about his scratch built SR tank, No. 2325. Over lunch, we wondered about having an outside photo session for our favourite models – the lighting would be better. After making progress on all fronts we closed down the session just before 3 o’clock.

Happy New Year! We are starting the year with two major projects rapidly taking shape in addition to our continuing to show our exhibition layout.  The modelling sessions at Badlesmere will include a practical "do it together" on lining of freight and other stock.  Two talks on Kentish railway history are lined up for the Faversham meetings and, of course, there is our Model Display and Competition in February. RM

Badlesmere, Weds 4th January  - Ross S.

Eleven of us gathered at Badlesmere for an historic first! Well, in the world of EKOGG anyway. For a reason lost in the mists of our illustrious history, we have never met in January. But in our 31st year we have a new schedule. By the time I arrived the lunch table had been set up and John P was serving teas and coffees. While we were eating, there was a curious, persistent mention of rice pudding. The reason became clear when Chris sat down with a bowl of Ambrosia! On display was Roger's new Dapol 350hp diesel in BR green (though in certain lights it looked black) - terrific detail and great value for money. Also on display were several old EKOGG trophies, including the MR Single 'Spinner', bequeathed to us by the late George Knowles. Several groups got down to work; John P, John B and Roger on the trackwork on Sarre, David Ho on increasing the shelves in the store, despite the cold, David G and Ross, helped by Chris and David Ha, made progress (of a sort in my case) on their respective etched kit bogies, while David Ha almost nonchalantly worked on the tender for his LSWR Jubilee 0-4-2. The work on the bogies involved drilling holes in whitemetal axleguards in order to fit top hat bearings. Luckily David G is not faint hearted, but unfortunately I am ... Towards the end a member of the Hall committee with his teenage son popped to meet us. They seemed quite impressed. All too soon it was time to pack up, using the large scale colour photos showing the correct way to stack the tables and chairs on the stage, helpfully provided by the hall management. All in all, a good start to the New Year.