Summer 2014

August 16th At the layouts

Despite living there for most of the week David G and John P early.  They certainly had a lot to show those who hadn’t visited for their mid-week sessions: track now extended to Edington’s limits, some of it painted; buffer stops had sprouted; several points were motored and more being prepared; while below - the bed of the first sector plate was ready.  The roof, well our end of it, had kept them dry during Monday’s storm, but water dripped through the end wall, pausing awhile in the plastic tub – the one with the hole…

We had our traditional outside lunch and tea; catching up on news.  David and Stuart ran saddle tanks.  Ross was adding to Edington’s buffer stops.  Stuart checked his glazed footbridge on Nailbourne as Colin laid pavement.  Cavedale’s coal merchant now has fencing thanks to Roger.

August 2nd Layout session

We had a dozen turn up to witness the first powered loco on Edington.  It picked its way along the little section of complete track as construction proceeded around it.  We’d lunched and taken our tea-break in the garden.  On the circuits trains were tested and a station building made a first brief appearance.  Cavedale had a couple of push-rods fitted to points, while Nailbourne’s bridge was positioned and blue sky dawned behind the coal yard.  We are having several mid-week sessions this summer, so do check our dates.

July 19th Layout

With fallen oaks and split ash trees in the lanes eleven of us arrived at the layout to find that both it and Alastair had weathered the storm.  It was hot outside at lunch and sweltering in our loft, so it was open the windows and look out the fan.  The track builders and electricians, hard at work, discussed having some midweek sessions.  Out on the circuits Maurice was cleaning and soldering to get trains running.  Ross ran a saddle tank with a Dapol brake van while Ron and John M tried out locos they are building.  John P and David H told of their friendly reception at the Pett Show when taking our sales stand there.

July 10th Layout: Working Party

Grimy is the only word to describe John P and myself after cleaning up and re-fixing the blue plastic ceiling – very grimy in John’s case, as he spent most time atop the ladder. We studied photos of Edington with Barry and David G during our break.  They’d been working as far away from us as possible, at the clean end of the loft, assembling Edington’s first point.  Despite a major sweep, we’ll all need to vacuum track and polish rails before running next time.

July 5th Layout: Notes from Roger Harmer

Eleven of us met at the barn.  David G and John’s primary task was track laying on Edington Junction where a significant amount was done.  Barry was in the workshop grinding rails to make the point blades.  Jim and David H measured up for the fiddle yard; Jim also prepared for work on the fire escape.  Much fun was had moving Edington along three feet; we had exactly enough people to do it without disaster.  Paul replaced the dodgy floor panel by the controllers before working on uncoupling magnets.  Colin got the Nailbourne coal yard looking really scruffy before moving on to the loco stabling point. Maurice, meanwhile, replaced a point on the mainline to give a smoother run into the loop.  While we (well, some) were slaving, Geoff ran a modified Lima 4F, an 04 diesel shunter and LMS 10000 in the black and silver livery.  Paul ran his 14XX and Maurice a couple of red engines (of course) including a "Crimson Rambler" - Midland Compound.

O gauge stuff was loaded into David H's car as he and John P are to take it to the Pett show on Sunday 13 July to sell.

June 21st Layout: Exhibition layout progress, modelling & running

The second rail was laid on one of Edington’s sidings and a finger powered wagon sent speeding along.   David G had been impressed by the team’s progress.  Sleepers, chairs and rail continued to be produced.   We had lunched first; sitting in the hot sun catching up with the news.  Out on the circuit was Tenterden Museum’s refurbished Austerity tank and a SR W tank was at the head of SR parcels vans.  Over at Nailbourne there was preparatory work for loco sidings.  With an erstwhile member visiting, we had twelve at the tea table looking at kits, tools and parts - all for sale.  [More photos in our gallery]

June 7th Layout: Running and Construction - notes by John Plumpton

I arrived at the layout to find Ron already there, and with Barry on my tail. We awaited the arrival of others, boiled up the kettle and got our chairs out into the sun for lunch.


Those with nimble fingers started assembling the rails and chairs with others glueing sleepers to the baseboard template, whilst I continued attaching rail/chairs to the sleepers.  Maurice entertained us by running his locos around the test tracks, whilst Colin was building coal staithes for Nailbourne yard.  Others arrived from the show at Faversham.  We unloaded Roger’s car and sorted through the sale items spread across our picnic table - we managed to find space to have our afternoon tea. An interesting afternoon.  [photo: Barry's SR W class -Ross S]

May 17th Layout: Running and Construction

With two fettled controllers the circuits all ran well.  A saddle tank, with added nameplates (virtually straight), was first away with a mixed train, while Ron tried out the chassis of his GNR triplets on the other line.    Barry ran his C class then a “Merchant Navy” who’s motor is suspect.  A 2P on maroon coaches followed, but the twelve wheeler proved prone to buffer lock.  A slow and steady Fowler DM joined in.  Meanwhile John kept the “Edington” team happy and productive as they positioned sleepers, slid chairs onto rail then carefully applied solvent.  To rest their fingers, they were allowed out for tea and biscuits in the sun.  A dozen of us, and a dog, basked and chatted.

May 11th: Kent & East Sussex Railway - Ross organised for six members to visit the Carriage and Wagon works to see restorations, including the LNWR inspection saloon, a 1860s District Railway coach and the SER Edith Cavell van, used to repatriate her and other victims of WW1, plus a restored Maunsell boat train "nondescript" carriage.  They met at the museum, noting models made by Peter Hingley and Richard, before the curator led a tour of the station site.  Next it was a ploughman's lunch as they rode to Bodiam behind USA tank No 65.  For the return they sat in the Birdcage coach. [photo- Ross S]

May 10th:Temple Ewell Show - Nine of our people attended: Geoff Roberts, organiser, with a diorama; Roger selling items for our funds while Maurice kept an eye on his layout; Mike Perry with Tar Works; and Richard scratch building wagons.  (Others attended the Reading Larger Scale Meeting.)

May 3rd At the layouts

The sleepers were down and the air heady with solvent as the chairs were slid along the first rail – Edington Junction was on its way.  David G and John talked us through the processes prior to starting.  Ron patiently threaded chairs for successive teams of gangers.  Outside, Jim was preparing baseboard supports with Paul’s help.  We were out in the garden for lunch when a Dingham coupler weight went missing!  It was heads down and fetch a magnet on a rod…  Ross worked on Nailbourne’s coal yard as Barnfield’s baseboard was improved and shelves added.  David H’s improved controller was doing its stuff; Roger getting his R1 rolling with coal wagons and Barry following with H tank 31550.  I began to run-in a Hudswell-Clarke with a SR road van in tow, before Ron tried out a GE 2-4-0.  Colin’s plywood 2 BIL whizzed around in parallel with Barry’s “Sir Blamor de Ganis”.  Having built up his strength with broken chocolate biscuits at tea break, Colin heaved a Class 47 onto the track to end the running session.   [Photos by Rob M & Ross S]


Spring 2014

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.

Winter 2013 - 2014

2014 February 8th - AGM & Model Display: The largest display of models and competition entries that I can remember surrounded us at our AGM. Twenty-two members displayed some two dozen projects, including EKLR buildings, loco frames and whole rakes of wagons.

A similar number of models were in the competition; from signals to tunnel mouths, with an awesome selection of stock between. John P’s busy garage scene, Alan K’s detailed GWR Siphon, David G’s sparkling Somerset & Dorset carriage and Barry W’s impressive SR “Merchant Navy” came top of the classes.

A focus group to cost the new exhibition layout was set up during the AGM.

[Photos by RJM: BR "Merchant Navy" loco / Preparing for the AGM / Local private owner wagons.  *More photos can be seen in the gallery section.]

2014 January 26th: Kent’s G Scale Group had invited us to join their pleasant open day at Teynham.  The displays featured large models of various scales and outlines clattering along track, with the smell and sound of live steam from the central circuits.  I found our four reps hard at it, drinking tea, modelling and shunting.  Richard B was studiously constructing surrounded by displays of stock; some of it emerging from Nailbourne’s tunnel.  Ross S was on “front of house duties” talking to visitors, while Maurice B and John P were about to swop shunting duties at “Cole’s Yard”, Roger H having set up before slipping away.

December 14th Town Meeting: With a buffet of soft drinks, mince pies and Christmas cake we were well prepared for John Minter’s Quiz.  Questions, many linked with photos, from Banner signal repeaters to locos that disappeared into holes, kept us on our mental toes.  Roger Harmer became this year’s winner.  Footage from “The Wrecker”, with the spectacular smash into the steam lorry at Lasham, had started the afternoon.

Laid out in full size was the plan for our future exhibition layout. (It even had an Austerity tank engine for scale.)  David outlined the project.  The fluid curves look good and there is scope for some scenery.  Discussion centred on the baseboards.

The barn roofing work is now seems complete. Earlier those dining were shocked to hear that their inn is being redeveloped!  [Ross has been helping on Christmas trains from Tenterden, as can been seen from his photo.]

November 16th Town meeting: A bright red, dual flag liveried CP diesel and its consist stretched across the tables as Roger told about crossing the plains of western Canada by train. Slides showed passenger stock, loco and grain traffic in those provinces. John P organised refreshments, so Joe Barron can at last emerge into the hall. In vintage 8mm time with John Buckle, it was over to the USA for the Mount Washington Cog Railway and Silverton Railroad. We also saw trolley buses, Port Erin and the Seaton Tramway.

November 14th Working Party - notes by Nigel Grant: There was brilliant progress on all sorts of fronts: painting, electrics, carpentry, and furniture moving. The space cleared will be home next year for the new exhibition layout being plotted and planned as you read this.  David H did his usual sterling stuff with wires, sockets and switches; and we now have light and power in The Shed.  Roger and David G heaved large bits of furniture around to amazing effect.

Jim and Colin S turned the wobbly patch of old flooring at the bottom of the stairs into a thing of beauty. It’s much safer and stronger than the old floor.  The heaps of wood under the stairs are no more, and the good stuff neatly stored.  John B, Colin, Roger and Jim completed the clearing.   They found treasures under the stairs including two ancient cast iron bedsteads.

Rob M and Paul C defied the old dictum that “blue and green should never be seen” as they painted the walls above the layout.  Thanks very much, everyone.  A terrific effort, with results to match.