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.

Autumn 2013

October 30th - Working Party: Notes from Nigel Grant

My repeated requests to the Meteorology Preference Service turned up trumps and we were blessed with an amazing autumn day. Ten brave souls turned out, including Alastair’s son Douglas, who clambered around the balcony.  Everyone quickly found their niche and got on with a daunting number of jobs transformed barn, nearly a thing of beauty.  Jim and Jackie deserve a special medal for burying themselves in the murky shed.  They worked out a good way of supporting the fire escape walkway.  David H rigged up temporary light and power in the shed so they could see, and has plans for a more permanent metallic facility pathway (this absurd phrase comes from BT; it means cable).  David was also modifying controllers.  Roger, Rob and John B attacked the woodpile by the stairs, to sift the good bits from the scrap.  The scrap pieces joined the bonfire pile.  An old trolley wheel ready for a tip trip was reclaimed by Alastair - an essential part of his scaffold tower.  Colin S clearing and carrying, told anecdotes about 100 mph train runs.  Geoff Roberts was able to look in for a while.  There’s plenty more to do, but we’re well on the way.  A brilliant effort.

October 19th: Notes by John Plumpton

I arrived just after Barry, was closely followed upstairs by Alistair.  Ross arrived as we were eating our lunch, then Maurice with his bag full of stock.  Roger appeared with his wife and took boxes of surplus items for sale at the SEG0G show; passing his brother Stuart as he went.

We spent the afternoon doing some constructive talking, drinking tea and running trains.  Ross ran his 'P' class tank at slow speed, whilst Barry ran his 'King Arthur' and Maurice a collection of LMS stock.  A power cut ended our afternoon jaunt, so we tidied up and covered the essential tracks for winter, locked up and said good bye to the layout for a few months.

October 12th: We kicked off our Fleur Hall session with Ross Shimmon showing scenes of Southern lines from Peter Hingley’s collection. EKLR and K&ESR locos featured, along with Reading General.  Hampshire and Dorset were prominent in slides that I’d found; the bias slightly leavened with pictures from Wales and further afield.

Several models were on display.  Ross put out photos he’d taken at the Indian Railway Museum – plenty of scratch and freelance building opportunities!    After a quick events update, John Buckle showed 8mm film of steam days on the Isle of Wight.  Earlier a few had light meals at The Chimney Boy.

October 5th: With members on trips or at exhibitions, it was a quieter day at the layout. Jim May, joining us for the first time, found his way to our picnic unassisted, which few have managed.  Ross was first to sign the “Running Paths” blackboard; his Hudswell-Clark moving slowly and smoothly. Barry had a G6 out, before trying his SER 4-4-0.  Jim had brought a Southern Q1 for testing.  John P planned for a small loco yard at Nailbourne. Ross planted Hindi signs at the tunnel abutments and played us recordings he made of O2s at Ventnor. David G took command of the electrics on Nailbourne. Soon operating improved, and his goal of people shuttling trains between terminals, while others use the circuits, came much nearer. [Photos by Rob: Q1 in our rural retreat / Jim, Ross & John P on electrical duties]

September 21st: We had 13 people turn out, lunching after we’d lugged power tools upstairs.  The circuits saw a lot of use with Alan’s GWR steam rail-motor attracting much attention.  On Cavedale locos shuttled to and fro. John M’s latest Victorian loco joined them and Barry’s C class worked two smart Maunsell carriages.  The couplings, deep beneath the corridor connections, caused consternation. Meanwhile Paul and Nigel opened voids on either side of the loft, then fixed replacement flooring.  Those around Nailbourne moved shelving to give better access.  John P had us all out in the fresh air for tea, Joe S providing fruit cake and Barry bemoaning lack of wheels slowing down his loco production line.  The tidy continued with yet more bin bags being taken away.

[Photos by Rob: John M's Victorian loco / Alan's rail-motor]

Summer 2013

August 31st: London & South Western locos walk away on longest freights.

We busily coupled three link wagons into rakes until we went cross-eyed, then shunted them to the outer circuit where Geoff’s little B4 pottered along.  It had 37 on before taking a rest.  With 7 more behind, Ross coupled up his B4 and away it trundled.  Maurice, who’d instigated this, made it up to 50 wagons for his LMS Black 5.  It was later joined by an 8F and, finally an 0-8-0 for triple heading.  The LSWR took over with a S15 which took them away at the speed of a “Perishables” out of Southampton Docks!  When I left electro-diesels and GWR locos were lining up for their turns.

The fourteen of us also admired new floor panels, culled junk, replaced layout supports, examined track plans, and had a convivial picnic.

August 17th: In hard hat I ventured up to find David H and Nigel working on the new door.  They’d made a new frame, fitted the glazed door and proofed outside.  The new lifting section was nearly complete.  Our home looks smart as Roger’s people totally cleared the landing floor and filled numerous black sacks with clutter.  Floor repairs continued with the occasional clatter of a piece dropping into the depths.  We chatted over mugs of tea looking down on the combine in the oil seed field.  More trains should run next time.     [Photo Nigel: Joe B & David H working by the new door]

August 3rd : Layout Session from notes by Roger H.  Another good meeting preceded by the taking of sandwiches in the garden.  We also enjoyed a visit from Peter and Stan from SEGOG.  Stan had KESR No 4 and A S Harris with him which pleased Ross.  Alan ran a BR rebuilt Bulleid pacific and Barry his unpainted version.  They were soon in deep conversation on the merits of kits and construction methods, with David all ears.

Colin and Ross spent time on Nailbourne's scenery, while David moved powerful controllers to the main circuits.  Nigel spent time on the roof discovering in a practical way that it will bear his weight, and looked at the end wall.  (STOP PRESS:  Nigel found a new door and he and Roger delivered it to the barn on 5th.) Joe B will be meeting up to create a lift-out section in the track there.

After tea Peter Clark had a 2-HAP, built from one of his own kits, a 73 electro-diesel and a class 37 diesel running on DCC.   We had lights, engine sounds, horns and smoke.

All in all a typical barn meet (ahem).  RH       Photos: Ross S - "Colin & David G work on Nailbourne" + "Stan's ex-P&SWJ loco"

August 1st: Eight of us joined the Fielding family at Robin’s funeral in Lynsted, where Police outriders led escorted the hearse.  We returned to Mary’s home to remember Robin’s life with S gauge modellers and friends.                                        RM

July 20th: It was a subdued day for the eight of us at the layout, this Saturday. We had the news that Robin Fielding had died at St Thomas’ on Thursday.  Well known as an exhibitor in S gauge circles and an active member of Colonel Stephens Society, Robin was a founder member of EK0GG and one time chairman.  We will greatly miss his positive and practical help.

While chatting over our picnics, Roger told us about his visit to the Pett Show with the sales stand. We compared colours for PD&SWJ models. Up in the loft, a fluorescent light was installed above Nailbourne’s platforms, so we could actually see to work on scenics! Difficulties on the main line highlighted a need for beefier controllers. Tidying continued.

Before an early mug of tea, we checked out the structural repairs we hope to tackle.  The session ended with John and David H sawing timber into shorter and shorter lengths to support the projected loco shed, to the accompaniment of the Macbeth witches’ speech…

July 6th [From notes by Roger H]: Although many of the usual suspects were absent, we still had a good turnout: fifteen, including two new members and Val. 
After spending too long enjoying the sun, we finally dragged ourselves into the cool of the barn.  David set to with the lighting; Nigel attacked the floor with assorted helpers (it seemed to be someone else each time your scribe looked....) Maurice, Joe, Alan and Richard ran some stock and I've a feeling that Barry may have run his M7. 
Roger sorted out some of Peter's stock to take to the Pett show on Sunday 14 July at Pett Village Hall.  John the tram purchased a possibly complete Dukedog to finish so that he has something to run at the layout and others made off with machine tools.  On Nailborne with the grass over the tunnel was completed. Ron brought some brickpaper that he had made earlier.


June 15th: Ross and Colin brought the tunnel mouth to life with chalk slopes and shrubbery. The electro-static grass fascinated us. Ron is producing more brickwork for the bridge approaches. Electrics completed John P and David H had a G6 running on the curve, where loco stabling is planned. Meanwhile Joe B made a large hole in the flooring. in his inimitable way. He seemed none the worse and continued with laying the first new boards. (We have received a grant from G0G towards materials.) SEG0G members Joe S and Alan K came with cake and several locos. Maurice and Robin soon directed them to the circuits. Area Rep. Geoff also turned up a little Sentinel shunter. Roger was preparing for our sales stall to the Pett Show. John P had a selection of plans for our exhibition layout, some of which David G took to be drawn up, before we make decisions. Various people joined Alastair to examine the tractor, as mowing was needed; while the lighting bods were scaling the heights above.



June 7th: Before having breakfast in Kidderminster we delivered Peter Hingley's book collection to the Severn Valley Railway's three bookstall managers.

Perhaps some older members of the SVR will remember our late chairman helping at Bridgenorth.  His sister Jane Rigby arranged for the donation.  Some of Peter's models have gone to the Light Railway Display at Tenterden.

June 1st: Eleven of us lunched amongst rampaging grass and hedgerow plants before going up to the layout and being very busy. Fitting bulbs and tubes continued, while down below the new floor sections were waterproofed with a strange red mixture brewed by Joe. "Hardwick" modelled by our first chairman, the late Peter Hingley, was on the main line beside an LMS freight with salt vans. Cavedale was being shunted by a LSWR well tank. Nailbourne was readied for shuttle trains, and track recovered from old baseboards.  Models and equipment for sale were sorted and gathered; some being destined for our stall at the Pett Show on Sunday July 14.

John P and David G updated us on plans for a quality exhibition layout from scratch.  Hand built track on profiled boards with plug in buildings will be the order of the day.  The setting/era should allow virtually any stock.  They hope members offer their favoured layout soon, so detailed planning can start.