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.

Autumn 2016

Badlesmere - Wednesday December 12th RM

The "Circuit’s" baseboards were all joined up when I stepped into the hall. Very impressive. People had been busy setting out tables to support it and now the tweaking was taking place with Paul fixing latches. He had his team sticking down underlay at the same time. The “Sarre” workers suffered a minor setback with a point, but, with many hands available, that was soon repaired. They went on to lay wire in tube for points and ready more rail for final fixing. Shock horror! Roger found that he’d tidied everything possible, having binned or sent home yet more odds and ends. David G had the magic touch with the heating meter cards and we could then bask in warmth. The great clear up swung into action as we packed away trestles and baseboards then heaved tables back onto the hall’s low stage.

Seven of us have a drink in the Red Lion, where we encouraged the log fire to burst into life despite its explosive nature.  We wondered about having an “At Home” during the summer and if we could somehow squeeze all three layouts into the hall and still have space for visitors.  Reflecting on all the changes the group’s coped with in 2016, we wished each other an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.

Faversham - Town meeting - Saturday December 10th 2016  RM

We had a super sticky chocolate cake, baked by Pat Shimmon, to celebrate our Group's 30th Year.  Ross showed an entertaining set of captioned photos of our history before asking people about their "30 years ago" exhibits.  The afternoon had begun with the chairman's traditional Christmas Quiz, Roger scooping the prize.  Earlier many members had lunched together.  The day ended with  films of a snowy Somerset & Dorset Rly.

Badlesmere - Wednesday December 7th 2016  RM

Great progress was made with track work on "Sarre" and the circuit's final baseboard, while Jim prepared lengths of rail.  Equipment was sorted into new boxes to support the layouts when they take to the road.  Many of those there went to a remembrance service at Throwley Church for Alastair with his family and colleagues .

Badlesmere – Wednesday November 23rd 2016 RM

Most of the day was concerned with furthering our new projects. The new circuit, half of which was set out on large tables where a tripod was the pivot for marking out the track curves. Next Paul and Barry stuck rubber underlay to three sections and joiners were adjusted. In the other corner, trestles were set up with the four sections of “Sarre” fitted together. With Ron, the Johns and David Ho. gathered around, track positions were transferred to the baseboard cork. By the end of the day rails were being lightly tacked into position and John B. sent a tank wagon rolling.

In the store Roger and David G. were making more space.  A set of plastic storage boxes is awaited for keeping exhibition equipment.  Jim was on track preparation duties for some time.  A selection of model buildings from the Barn were on the stage for members to adopt, as was some pre-used track.  We all felt that quite a bit of progress had been made over the day.

Elham Model Railway Show – Saturday November 19th 2016                          RM

When I strolled into Elham’s well appointed village hall, all the hard work had been done by those who’d set up on Friday or got up early on Saturday.“Edington”, the largest layout of twelve, was running well with our operators talking to visitors while keeping trains moving. (Possibly a back siding wasn’t working, but was ‘fronted up’ with some colourful vans and wagons; and one fiddle-yard connection was re-soldered during the day.)

The GOG stand and EKOGG’s sales table was centrally positioned, with Roger kit bashing; usually surrounded by seated visitors having a chat or delving into boxes of goodies. There was a tendency for our members to congregate there between looking at the amazing n-g rotating layout and the colourful n-g with bottle kiln. The locals ran a good buffet and provided our workers with packed lunches. We all seemed to meet a fair number of acquaintances and catch up with news. I skittered off home mid-afternoon, only to wonder how the ‘take-out’ got on in the rain.

Saturday 12th November  -  Faversham town meeting

More than a dozen members met and heard about some of the chairman's railway journeys around Europe.  As well as high speed lines in Spain and a visit to East Germany soon after the wall came down, we saw his travels on Slovak railways and visits to the Open air Museum at Martin SK.

Wednesday 9th November at Badlesmere

Another productive day, with despite rain and chill, we ended with eleven of us and the hall’s chairman who arranged heating. (He returned at three, as we were piling out of the door, to finish his repairs.) We basked in a warm red glow from the heaters over lunch and while we worked. The complete extent of Edington was tested with John B’s latest diesel shunter with “tramway bell” (Rivarrossi) and a pair of vans, which I’m afraid reminded me of a track lifter’s train. A couple of electrically dead rails where re-connected, leaving just a fiddle yard rail slide to fix.  The goods shed was stuck down and loose guttering fixed too. Ross had his B4 out on the line as well.

Meanwhile, tools were sorted to make a couple of basic/emergency sets for exhibitions and the rest boxed for sale. This made two sets of storage trays superfluous, so we gained a bit of space. That was just as well as we had to find space for the “Sarre” boards, which David Ho. had brought in. The plan had been spread on the joined boards so that we could gather around it and we put forward ideas on the track layout and how the scenery with buildings should the look. Finding space for it in the store meant for careful packing.

Alastair Malcolm

We were saddened to hear of Alastair Malcolm’s death in early November.  Chairman during a time of great advances for EKOGG, then President, he had been struggling with ill health over the last year.

When I first met him, he had just offered the use of the extensive loft in the barn adjoining his garden to the group.  We bundled into cars and threaded narrow tracks for an on-site visit, then Alastair plied us with beers as we discussed plans while sitting on his lawn.  Soon we were frequent visitors; preparing for our future layout, using his extensive workshop (where he’d built his small monoplane) and brewing gallons of tea in the kitchen.

Alastair encouraged me to start fortnightly weekend meetings and occasional mid-week sessions, and was happy for us to turn up late mornings, which began our tradition of picnics on the lawn.    I particularly remember him up ladders above the stairwell, repairing our ceiling.  He joined whenever he could, but having many interests and working in the City suggested that I become vice-chairman.

Membership grew under this regime with the group developing skills and confidence, and assisting with barn maintenance.  We were always made welcome by the Malcolm family and Alastair was enthusiastic when we began our exhibition layout.  However, becoming unwell, his move to the town and our move to Badlesmere ended a splendid era.

We’d seen his family recently and, luckily, Alastair was well and cheerful, when he visited our operating session few weeks ago.  A great friend, he will be much missed by us all.  Our thoughts are with his family. Rob Moody, Chairman EKOGG

October at the Wimbledon Show John, Chris and Roger were at the Wimbledon Show exhibiting Roger's "Coles Yard".  By the look of the photos they enjoyed themselves.

Folkestone Model Railway Show – October 2016 Luckily some of our members were able to take up Peter Vickery’s invitation to bring stock to the show and run on the large O gauge circuit. Colin S. said it had been a great visit running his own models and seeing the variety of trains brought.

October 19th - Wednesday at Badlesmere

“Fifteen. That’s a record”, said David Hopkins when he’d looked in the register, the largest number of members we’ve had at Badlesmere. There was plenty going on for them to take part in, with Graham and myself holding baseboards for Paul, a brass fettling table with bogie wheel sets, sorting sales boxes, assembling “Cole’s Yard” and finding how to operate it, finding info. from the books on the table, looking at Brian’s 4-4-0 and the other stock that had appeared, as well as the hall chores. Roger’s coal yard layout is going to the Carshalton Show with a few of our members, so finding how to put it together and operate it was needed. They said they were going to take magnifiers to read the wagon numbers for shunting.

October 15th - Saturday in Faversham  - RM

Plans for the projected East Kent layout were laid out on the tables when we gathered in the Fleur Hall, so there was plenty to chat about. David G had come up with a film from British Transport Commission, which showed British Railways’ and London Underground’s progress in the 1950s. It jogged the memories of some of us and was a really good watch. After tea and ‘notices’, we saw a signalman’s films centred on Kemp Town, plus Hayling Island and a look at the Devil’s Dyke branch. Earlier many members had a convivial meal close by.

October 5th - Badlesmere - RJM

I caught up with happenings when I returned, hearing about planning for the mini layout.   Colin Curtis, who we hadn’t seen for a while, came.  The baseboards for a future oval layout are shaping up beautifully thanks to Paul.  Meanwhile Barry and David had started a bogie production line.  Jim shewed a nifty set of wagons he is about to finish off, while John B worked on narrow gauge stock.  Several locos took turns on the minimalist track I’d brought in, including a rather swish O2 from Barry.

September 14th - Badlesmere - Ross Shimmon

We spent a lot of the meeting discussing the various options for the proposed new small portable layout. David Ho translated the ideas to drawings on paper, ending up with a full-size one. Jim concentrated on preparing one of the recycled baseboards for the new layout, drowning out the sound from the Dapol Terrier. Sound? Yes, Chris brought in his Dapol DCC 'Thames' in full Stroudley's 'improved engine green' with sound. How did he do it? Well, he also brought along an oval of set track, together with an all-singing, all-dancing ZTC controller. Once we had muffled Jim's noise, we could hear the Westinghouse pump, the doors closing, the guard's whistle, the engine's toot in response and, gradually, the loco starting its train. Very impressive. Jim brought along a Minerva Peckett 0-4-0ST, which very nice in its lined green livery and ran very smoothly. No sound, though. David Hayes handed over to Ross for possible loan to the Colonel Stephens railway museum a super model of a Ford railmotor. We were delighted to welcome Mike Perry, fresh from exhibiting his splendid 'Tar Works' at the Faversham show, to his first meeting at Badlesmere. Mike is still looking for a fool-proof way of introducing a convincing tar smell to his layout. Answers on a postcard please.