April 26th Town Meeting - Notes & photo by Ross Shimmon
About a dozen of us gathered for the last meeting of the season at the Fleur, some having had a good chat over lunch at the Vaults across the road. David treated us to some filmed nostalgia, starting with clips of the Wantage Tramway showing 'Jane' hauling a short freight amongst cyclists and cars from the 20s and 30s. This was followed by film of steam at Dover and rare glimpses of Dover trams. Members were drooling over R1s), an immaculate P class in full Southern livery, quickly followed by a majestic Lord Nelson leaving Dover Marine with a boat train express. After tea and bickies, we had a complete trip from Caernarfon to Porthmadog on the rebuilt Welsh Highland. Glorious scenery, impressive Garratts, long trains, all in full colour, without intrusive commentary - what more could you want? A fitting end to the season.
April 19th - Layouts & Running - Notes from David G
After customary, but rather chilly, refreshments outside, ten of us took shelter upstairs, marvelling at the well-tidied barn. Colin, Geoff and Barry ran impressive locos around the test circuit, with green coaches. The test circuit controllers decided to work on reduced power, so the faithful H&M was drafted in as Alastair’s visitors watched Barry’s ‘Orient Line’ cruising round in fine style. We welcomed Paul, who is considering moving to 0 Gauge. Work continued apace on Edington; sanding down, fitting cross bracing, then the cork underlay for the track bed was cut to shape and glued down. The last undertaken in almost complete silence – not sure whether that was concentration or panic! The design of the fiddle yards was debated, and plans made for testing ideas at the next session.
April 5th - Running & Construction
It all happened: picnickers fed fruit cake by Stan, splendid models running and construction progressing. The EKLR and K&ESR were represented by “Walton Park” and twin railcars 8 & 9. SECR Birdcage stock looked good and Beyer-Garret and King chassis intrigued. GWR branch line trains and railcars circled as well as LMS locos. Minor fettling of the main line and ideas for basic scenery were mooted. Colin’s diesel shunter D3459 was on Nailbourne where, with Ross, he prepared the base for a scenic coal yard as shelving was prepared below them. Edington’s team, with new member Roy, occasionally forgot that baseboards wouldn’t stay up without trestles, but overcame recalcitrant drill bits as they fitted brass dowels. They now have a large box of track components to play with. [Photos: Stan's railcars / Colin's D3459 - RobM]
March 28th - Layout Project
The busy team had given a kick start to our Edington Burtle project during the day. After prep-work they discussed details and methods over mugs of tea at lunch. When the session resumed the trestles and five boards were positioned in the centre of the loft, and the track plan was unfurled. We gathered round to go over the work schedule and discuss potential pitfalls. Elsewhere fire alarms and lighting were checked, loco facilities worked on and the great re-organisation continued. All gathered for tea in the open air before leaving.
March 15th - Town Meeting:
We had a Somerset themed afternoon with David’s plans for Edington Burtle spread along the side of the hall. The meeting approved expenditure on this new layout. We looked at the first trestle assembled by Jim, and a baseboard section. Film footage of the S&DJR Branch to Highbridge followed. This showed the numerous level crossings, including the narrow gauge peat line, and of course, our modelling location. There was the happy buzz as eighteen of us chatted about railway models and looking at the ‘Bring and Buy’. Ross talked us through short clips of the “East Kent Light” and “Shropshire & Montgomeryshire”. Ten had met for lunch, with Colin Curtis in pride of place, trundled along in his wheelchair by John P and myself.
March 8th - First Layout Session of the Year:
Dusts sheets came off, the new lighting came on, vacuums roared, floors were swept, rails burnished and wheels turned. A dozen of us gathered in the warm sun for our first picnic, as buzzards mewed overhead. Our electric team had opened up to find our home dry.
A LSWR well tank with clay wagons was first train onto the circuits, soon followed by a SR W tank and GWR steam railmotor. A tiny Fowler diesel pottered along, with a SER P tank on the other line, later replaced by the Continental Goods hauled by a BR(S) electric and D65er, as Pannier tanks were readied in the loops. Bring and Buy items were sorted, a base for Nailbourne's loco shed installed and plans for the coal siding laid. Tea was taken on the terrace and we all had a good chat.