New Year 2016 & Autumn 2015

AGM  February 13th

Two dozen of us and visitors piled into the Fleur hall for our AGM.  (A dozen had joined for lunch earlier.)  Our searching out a new home for our test track was the hot topic.  Although we have some possibilities lined up, members are continuing to look around, with Paul Weeden and Ross Shimmon helping to co-ordinate this.

Wanted: a space 30’ x 17’ or thereabouts, preferably in the vicinity of Faversham.

We had a smaller display of models than usual, perhaps because many were on the exhibition layout.  Still there was plenty of interest with the winning entries being: Colin Smith’s Rye & Camber station, Mike Perry’s LMS 0-8-0, and David Grimwood’s S&DJR carriage and brake van.  We also had three tables of sales items for our Bring & Buy.

February 2016

After a successful and enjoyable year we have a new challenge - leaving The Barn and finding a home for our layouts, but I reckon we'll cope.

I'm sure we would all like to thank Alastair for the great times we've had over the last dozen years; picnicking in his garden, hammering in his workshop and modelling.

Rob Moody, Chairman EKOGG

The year's programme will continue as planned until Autumn, by which time we hope to have a home for our layouts in addition to our Faversham monthly meeting place in the Fleur Hall.

January 2nd / 3rd -  Our layout operating at Edington in Somerset, its home location!

December 12th  -  Christmas Gathering  -  RM

Amongst the twenty-two gathered for the Christmas quiz we were glad to see Ron Steward, Stan Clark and Joe Spinks.   Geoff set the questions; John Bullimore, Roger and myself vying for the honours.  As we munched mince pies we wondered how to celebrate “EK0GG's 30th" in 2016” ….

December 2nd  -  Show Preparation  -  RM

I joined one of the sessions, led by David G, for developing a timetable of moves for the next show; siding capacity and fiddle yard working coming to the fore.  One sector table needed 15mm shaved from a corner to better align the storage tracks.  It was accomplished with an enormous saw and everyone holding the offending board.  We became familiar with the sequence of switching controls and keeping the traffic moving.  All members are asked to “learn the ropes” for operating.  [More photos in our gallery.]

November 14th   –   Faversham Meeting   -   RM [photo Ross]

Brian, from the Faversham MRC, was able to join a mass of us for lunch before we helped bring over tool boxes to the Fleur Hall, ready for his informative session on soldering.  Soon a selection of irons and equipment were spread on the tables with us gathered around.  Brian explained what was available to use and demonstrating soldering wires to rails.  He stressed having an iron with enough power to cope with the heat loss and how to tin both wire and surface before soldering together.  We were admonished never to take a file to a modern soldering bit and to keep the tool clean with wipes on the damp sponge.  Then it was time to ask questions and “have a go”.  John P and Jackie soon had refreshments on the tables as we milled around exchanging information, before Paul, John B and Colin S led the cleaning up team.

November 7th  -  Layout Season Finale

Terriers had started appearing on the line when Stuart arrived; his Thames on local PO waggons soon joined by Jim’s SR version for parallel running and double heading.  The eleven of us who’d emerged from the wind and rain, agreed that the G0G Gazette had done our group proud with their colourful article.  Edington was titivated and checked in readiness for transporting; boards being placed face to face and the endplates to be bolted on.  Wiring tucked in, these crates were manhandled down to the waiting cars to be packed in with all the paraphernalia needed for its visit to Somerset.  We could now see the completed new surface for the floor and were quickly out with brooms.  Peter climbed up in time for tea; his first trip through the lanes verging on traumatic.    My Susie-Q diesel, with a few boxcars, had started the running next to Colin S’s 2BIL, his first 0 gauge piece made some years back, before Barry’s M7 went skimming round the circuit.    “Nailbourne Timber”, made by Colin S, was added adjacent to the yard of the terminus.    Then the power failed for a second time, a rural problem, and, covers on, we called it a day.

October 10th  –  Faversham Saturday Meeting

Exploring the far reaches of Scotland’s railways was featured in our films. Fifteen of us turned up at the Fleur Hall; eight of us including Mike S having lunched in The Vaults. It was good to see Joe B, who hasn’t been well for a while; and Peter V, up from the White Cliffs. John P’s expanding refreshment team were thanked for their efforts. Jim had been out to the loft and has screwed down the last of the new floor covering. (He was wondering about stock-unloading and new shelving.) After chatting we watched 1950s film of heavy haulage, followed by a study of York Station.

October 3rd - Saturday at the layouts

Out of the fog we gathered, but the sun broke through, so it was outside for lunch.  The afternoon felt balmy, partly accounting for the time we chatted over tea.  Sage green paint along Edington’s facia still needed a wet paint notice when members swarmed in.  Signal work began straight off and, after a quick tidy up, an awkward point and new vegetation were dealt with.  Beneath the sink a new stop cock was fitted, which entailed tictac men conveying messages to our president who was down a hole controlling the mains.  Floor panels were being fitted at the stairhead.  A Lord Nelson was tested on the circuits, finding a gap in the procession of LMS trains.  With space to work, the leapt into action to lay in the loco yard, and succeeded in running a huge SR electric.

Back at base camp Jim May soon had us positioning our improved floor.  Edington was erected on this smooth surface for the fault fixers to get to work.  Maurice was cutting back ivy from our walls, Stuart rolling up old carpet for a tip trip, and John P collecting rubbish sacks. (I got the bin washing job.)  Although Roger had just missed becoming G0G Chairman, he did not escape Scot free as he is to act as Area Rep. down here in the SE. With a record fifteen present, we almost ran out of mugs when we went out to the garden for tea.  RM

By the close of Wednesday’s meeting the majority of our exhibition layout’s difficulties had been ironed out.  We’d taken a relaxed outside lunch, with a willow warbler bathing in the gutters above.  Paul was planning powered signals, Colin touching-up paint, John adding scenic details and David Ha. doing something tiny and complicated.  Locos from Jim, David G and Roger were shuttling around Edington with confidence.  Beneath our feet smooth flooring spread towards the stair head.  Geoff and his wife briefly dropped by while my UP Consolidation - a delivery from Telford- circled the loft with a combine.  RM

12th September 2015 - Edington Junction’s first public showing! [ Ross and Ron's photos of the day are in our gallery section. ]

David Grimwood - On 12thSeptember, with careful planning and a lot of hard work on Friday, the layout arrived at the Bysing Wood Community Centre, and was set up and looked great. Unfortunately, a short circuit had paralyzed most of the layout. Fast and furious work by David Hopkins resolved most of the problems, just in time for the opening. We were able to run trains all day, quite an achievement bearing in mind the limited time for testing. The layout did look superb, and visitors admired the care taken with the details and buildings – a tribute to all who have contributed in so many different ways over the last year or so. Lots of EK0GG members came along to see and support, which the operators appreciated immensely. Despite the layout’s gremlins, we received provisional invitations to no fewer than four shows over the next year!

David Hopkins - I hope you have recovered if you were operating Edington at the Faversham show, an enjoyable day although stressful at times, especially with ‘shorts’, the show opening in 5 minutes and unable to run anything. We managed to isolate and fix one line. The other short (still to be investigated) I think is caused by failure of point motor contacts, or touching wires. We also had an operating rod snap off another point, which meant we were unable to use one line through the station. The gauging was slightly out to one of the points, there were a few dips and humps, plus one fiddle yard seemed to tighten up during the day. But there were a lot of plusses, I heard comments about how good scenery was, praise for the station building, signals and signalbox, and I saw fellow members having a good day. Seeing Edington has been constructed so quickly, normally it would take 3 years or longer to construct a layout of this size, I think we can all feel proud of ourselves, even with the minor hic-cups. Thank you everyone, even the members who just came to visit us at the show.

September 2nd  -  Layout development  -  RM

From sector plate to sector plate a procession of trains tried out the exhibition layout, with Paul noting any glitches as they passed.  This afternoon Edington’s team were learning the controls, after a swift demonstration from David Ho.  John, with everyone organised, led us to fill kettles and jugs with water, the taps having finally given up.  Roger was primping wires, and Ross and David Ha enhancing the scenic.  Colin kept a weather eye open as the last baseboards were manhandled downstairs. Geoff, with a box of carriages, joined us for lunch in the garden.  Bereft of Edington, the loft looked quite empty as a SR Terrier took to the circuit.  We planned the floor’s re-surfacing after our previous strengthening work.  After tea in the garden, beneath a swirl of housemartins, it was back on the tracks.  Locos ranged from a tiny DM to a Class 47!  A BR Terrier and O2 found a couple of tight point blades and checked train lengths.  Quite a day!

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.