2019 High Summer

21st September at Badlesmere    Ross S

We arrived to find various maintenance tasks in progress at the hall, including painting of the corrugated roof. Jim and John B quickly took up residence at the modelling tables. Jim brought his superb engine shed, while John B, having completed a six-wheeled milk tank (apart from painting and transfers), was seen studying the instructions for a Slater's 4-wheel carriage. He announced that the finished model would be fully detailed. We have no doubt on that score. David Ho, in between his much appreciated catering duties, was tackling the backscene for Sarre which had suffered some creasing. It needs to be rolled up very carefully.

Richard B turned up with some exquisite scratch-built models which he put through their paces on Sarre, due to be exhibited at the Gravesend show over the first weekend in November. First up was a lovely model of an unusual prototype, LB&SC petrol railcar No.4.  David G was soon drooling over the curvaceous and be-rivetted underframe. Other locos from Richard's stable were all elegant 4-4-0s; a lined black LCDR 'M' class, an SER 'F' class 'Onward' (named for the Paris Exhibition of1889) and depicted in its umber livery; and, finally, a beautifully finished SER 'A' class. They were all run through most, if not all, of the tracks on Sarre, which was a useful exercise, not only for Richard, but also for Sarre. All too soon it was time to pack up, whereupon David G and I realised that neither us had made any progress on our current modelling tasks. 

18th September at Badlesmere    Rob M  - photo Ross S

A huddle quickly developed thanks to Ross spreading a selection of donated scenic and modelling items on the Sales Table.  Many present found pieces of potential use to them, with the profits swelling group funds.

Sixteen of us turned up on a sunny, if breezy, day; soon having the Circuit out for test running alongside the modelling tables.  Wagons featured today; with vans, opens and a six-wheel tanker being worked on and practical advice given.  An LNER 0-6-0, carriages, a long van and a small rustic station occupied another corner.  John J brought a lighthouse to construct, while David G was setting up a riveting machine.  A GWR Prairie with a mixed train and an Austerity tank with a miners’ train were first on the tracks; Barry W and others following.  Magazines and books were shown or passed one, as we found out who had flown in a Rapide, or knew about Bristol 170s, before returning to railways.  David Ho. was preparing a backscene for Sarre and keeping an eye on the kitchen, where others lent a hand.

4th September at Badlesmere    Ross S

Nineteen of us gathered on a wet morning.  Once in we saw a hive of activity. The Circuit was being erected. Paul H was firing up a chip checker - nothing to do with fish apparently. Jim H, not content with just a few ships, had a complete harbour this time. John B was drilling a hole in another tanker.  Roger had a saucer of water ready for some transfers.  Paul W was building two S&D ground signals to replace the SR standard ones at Edington. I joined the workers on the modelling tables, starting to build an ex-LSWR brake van as used on the KESR and EKR (and the Isle of Wight). It's a mixed-media kit, white metal and plywood. Barry W punctured my self-confidence by asking if the plywood planking matched the bolt heads on the white metal frames. "Nearly" was the unsatisfactory reply.  Geoff pulled in with a L&YR Pug and brake van. He then placed alongside them a lovely, shiny Oxford models Austin 7. Later he and Paul H called our attention to the financial situation of the Guild. They asked members if they would countenance paying another £10 a year to keep the Guild afloat and ensure the continuation of the high standard of the Gazette. The general feeling was, I think, positive.

Spotted on the Circuit today were Barry W's BR(S) 'C' class 0-6-0 no.31256, John P's SR M7 no.676 in striking malachite livery, and David G's nicely weathered ex-S&D 2P no.40700 with two lovely coaches in BR carmine. There was also a BR 'Gronk' 3828 in green circling around with three tankers and a brake van. I added my, as yet un-numbered and un-named, black Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0T to the roster, coupling it up to a train consisting of both the red coaches and the tankers and brake van. Despite scepticism about its ability, it romped - well trundled - away with it. Later Colin brought out his electro diesel which initially slipped, but once on the move it found its feet. "Just like the real thing!" remarked Colin.

David Ho back from a holiday break efficiently provided both morning refreshments and tea and coffee to go with our packed lunches. David and his helpers (the usual suspects) earned our appreciation, but before long it was time to pack up and head home into a dry but blustery afternoon. 

News from Garth, our member in Australia

I've finished the glazing on the Janick Midland brakecoach and the seats are in place.  I'm pleased with my latest wagon, a Bachmann Brassworks 20ton tanker. Luckily I found it is not a varnished model so it's ready for primer.  We've been having a cold spell recently with some snow and high winds. The country is still in drought with water restrictions in place. Many of the towns are running out water.  I thought this photo might be of interest - This is one of theSouthern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) locos carting water to one of the mines out past Lithgow. Thirty wagons on this train. It will offload the water into the mine's storage dam.

Stop Press from Guildex Telford:  Mike Perry takes Best in Show for Landscapes - His splendid viaduct (Photo at EKOGG by Ross)

21st August   Badlesmere      David G

Jack brought his current layout, an 8’ by 1’3” shunting yard, along with some stock and locos to run on it. Its DCC, so interested members, along with the use of Setrack points which allow maximum space for sidings, being only 3’4” radius, which did not interfere with the industrial locos

Several members brought brake vans and twelve of them paraded around the circuit, hauled at a snail’s pace by the Sentinel, and then at more spirited pace behind Barry W’s G and Wclass tanks. Jim P’s mighty Merchant Navy made a magnificent authentic Bulleid sound even though the rake of Pullmans remained unused this time.

At the work tables, John B progressed his 6-wheel milk tank chassis, John H conjured up an atmospheric village garage, while Richard added more to his LBSCR railcar – an unusual but splendid period piece. Paul tackled Stevens flap signals for Edington, to replace the present ground signals which are too modern.

17th August Badlesmere     Ross S

Ten of us today; as Roger remarked, just enough. Half of us had  lunch at the Red Lion, the rest hung about a bit to await the unlocking of the hall. Once in we soon set up the tables and the Circuit. Edington was given a rest after its successful outing to Bexhill.  John P nobly provided us with tea and coffee. He had some help from others including Chris N. We were all very grateful

Part of Sarre was put out in order to try the photographic  backscene using Velcro and double-sided sticky tape. There was a startling difference between the section where the backscene was placed and that which still had the plain backing. The Velcro needs a stronger fixing method, however.

On the Circuit Barry gave his beautifully built Riddles 2-6-4T 80154 (now painted and fully lined out) an extended run, while Jim was running-in his brand new Dapol NCB (ex GWR) Pannier 7754. Painted a pale green, it has a removable cab roof, showing off a well detailed interior. The roof is fixed in place by two small magnets making it easy to place the crew. Jim ran it for half an hour one way, then half an hour the other, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. All was well.

We decided to illuminate the modelling tables with one set of the spotlights from the layouts. It made detailed work so much easier.  John B, having finished his 4-wheel petrol tank, was tackling a Slater’s 6-wheel milk tank. This has an ingenious method of incorporating the sprung coupling hooks needed because of the open framework – tricky. Chris N was painting some plastic figures for David G’s charabanc. As the group’s resident gadget-man, he inveigled me into using a battery tool to improve the figures he was working on. The idea was the remove flash and mould lines. It was much easier than using files or bits of sandpaper. Chris also brought along a ‘wet palette’ which enabled him to continue painting through the afternoon without needing water. Roger was building a BR standard box van from a kit for a grounded body by adding the running gear. Meanwhile David G was fettling the resin body of a single plank wagon prior to installing the etched components for the underframe which he managed to do before the end.

All was neatly packed away well before the official close of play. But not before David G had inveigled me and Fred into providing an illustrated session in the winter programme at the Fleur on the Isle of Wight railways.

7th August Badlesmere     Ross S

Nineteen of us gathered for a meeting of contrasting interests. By the time I arrived, Edington Junction and The Circuit were in position.  The prime task there was to fettle the layout in readiness for the Bexhill exhibition on Saturday. Soldering iron, track cleaning equipment were deployed, by Chris M, David G, Paul W and David Ho, while a 4F was used to test the track by running to and fro on every inch of track, including, of course, that on the traversers. It was a bit like a 7mm version of a Branch Line Society outing. No buffer stops, I understand, were threatened by the loco. The fault that occurred during  the Friends and Family open day was reported to have been caused one dry joint. Once that  was fixed, it was ‘job done’.

First out on The Circuit was Barry W’s superb BR 2-6-4T.  Next was Fred’s LMS early diesel shunter with jack shaft drive. It pulled a short train of GWR vehicles including a bogie bolster wagon built from an old, mainly wood, kit. Its load was heavy metal girders which, Fred said, made the loco slip slightly (but I couldn’t detect it). It’s always a pleasure to see what Colin S is going to bring to run. This time it was a BR(S) 4CEP EMU as used on the Victoria – Dover/Ramsgate services. It was immediately recognisable in its blue/grey livery. Colin often uses The Circuit as a test track. This time was identified problem: two of the coaches would not couple together. The coach with the motor bogie was riding too high; the Kadee couplers could not engage.  One of the locos on the other track was John B’s Sentinel 0-4-0 VBT, obtained recently at Roger H’s sales stand. It circled around with no  problem.

A startling sight to some of us on the modelling tables were three boats, including what seemed an enormous Clyde Puffer as once seen at Chatham. I was assured by John H that it was the correct size as he continued working on the bridge. Meanwhile Jim P was starting to build a Slater’s kit for a SR Maunsell bogie carriage. Why do the floor pan sides and roof come in two halves, he wondered. At the other end of the tables, John B continued building his oil tank wagon which is looking very promising. Stuart breezed in with, amongst other things, a fault finding chart for railcars. As the proud owner of a model AC Cars railbus he gave it to me! 

Tim arrived with the sheet of ply that will form the base of the planned working diorama.  Deep discussions ensued about the optimum track plan. It was eventually settled for this week at least, without the need for Templot. Several of us promised to bring templates or even actual points to help finalise the plans.

Too soon, it was time to pack up, wish our Edington colleagues good luck, thank David Ho and helpers who provided tea and coffee. Buzzards wheeled overhead as we left. 

STOP PRESS:  "We had a good day at Bexhill and received lots of welcoming and positive comments", David G & the Team at the Bexhill show with our Edington Junction layout.  Sat. Aug 10th 



2019 Late Spring - May onwards

Friends & Family Day    2019 July 20th        Rob M

Thanks to everyone for all the hard work which made it a convivial day.  We entertained a score of our families and modelling friends for an enjoyable afternoon, although we had a few glitches to cope with.

As a class 37 and a Southern Pacific mogul sped round the Circuit, Richard was quizzed about his Edwardian SECR stock, which had been running.  Grown-up children, youngsters and a great granddaughter peered into Geoff’s Diorama.  Ladies sat in line watching Sarre’s sequence of running; no pressure on those hand uncoupling, then.  Our Wimbledon friends got “hands on” with Edington, which relieved the pressure on Paul W and Chris M who were coping withelectrical hitches.  Jim M remained calm, up on the stage, producing a lightweight layout frame.  Roger had our sales table up there too.  Just how many times David Ho. asked visitors if they wanted tea or coffee, I can’t calculate.

Paul W and Ross had checked on space needed for the layouts and were setting out trestles when I arrived.  John B and John P were soon assisting before joining Jackie to arrange Sarre.  Richard took a lead with the Circuit. Fred and David Ha. came to help as Roger and Chris N were ferrying boxes.  Several of us dropped into the kitchen at various times to lend a hand.  Alan K brought GWR “Knight of the Garter” for a run, while Stuart provided large diesels, before moving to traverser duties.  A buzz of visitors had built up by 1pm.  Luckily Bill R and John M, who was clutching an elderly Furness “Copper Nob”, managed to join us.

As 4pm approached the hall quietened and we wound down.  Layouts were stored, people waved goodbye, leaving tired, but feeling it worthwhile; even wondering when to have the next Friend’s Day.  So, as it started, there I stood with Paul W, Chris M and Ross…

2019 July 17th      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M 

It was “all systems go” -  well, after electrics and points had been tweaked.  The full extent of Edington Junction stretched along one wall and Sarre along the other.  We had an L shaped modelling and dining table near the doors with a woodwork bench opposite, where Jim was working while talking with Tim.  Checking the layouts for wear and tear was our main aimready for our ‘Friends Afternoon’.  Paul W, plus soldering iron, went to ground beneath Edington for a fair while, as Chris M shunted his SECR stock above.  Traversers were closely inspected and newer members given an introduction to the controls.  1950s trains, including a DMU, tested that all roads were working.  The Sarre team seemed to be on top of their tasks, and found which locos were most suitable. We intend to give a run to all the stock brought this coming Saturday – Trains, Friends & Fun.

EKLR buildings, constructed by Colin S, caused great interest.  Nearby, vans, coal wagons and tankers vied with tank locos for constructors’ attention.  P class buffer replacement featured, as did sifting through donated magazines.  We heard about Roger’s team at the Pett Show, where they’d enjoyed themselves while adding to our and the East Sussex Group’s funds.  David Ho. had plenty of aid with refreshments today. 

2019 July 3rd      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M 

Sun, a breeze and the heavy scent of chestnut flowers – a lazy summer’s day.  But, in the hall, EKOGG were beavering away – and consuming chocolate biscuits while chatting over teas.  The Circuit, which had been put up in double quick time, hosted a variety of small locos, an LNER 0-6-0 and Colin S’s two-car electric set.  Ross and John P ran their locos in parallel: a tiny blue saddle tank and a GWR Mogul.  Allen’s battery/DC 08 diesel unaccountably lost power, so he and Steve were soon peering into its workings.  We needed four tables to jamb around today, with locos being worked on and half a dozen wagons.  Several of these ventured onto the Circuit for runs as the day progressed: P class, MR Pug, GWR tank engine, plus a wagon or two. 

Sarre was being tittivated ready for our Friends & Family afternoon. We talked through our outline for the day over lunch.  Members co-ordinating layout operation calculated stock needs, besides looking at space and power sockets.  We hope that all who bring a short train will have a chance to run it.  David Ho. is listing refreshments and hoping for us to nip into the kitchen and lend a hand as usual.  David G went over suggestions for a new station that could be slotted into the Circuit.  A North Kent prototype is proposed, set in appropriate scenery.  The worry was that this would make the Circuit rather large, which could restrict its appearances at shows.  Various shortening ideas were suggested, as was using it with fiddle yards at times.  We also wondered about how many years life at exhibitions are left to Edington before wear and tear takes its toll.

So, plenty of running, construction and helping each other today, plus plenty to plan.

2019 June 19th      Wednesday at Badlesmere                         Rob M  [photos by Ross S]

After the storm came the members – twenty-two of them.  A pile of people appeared so the Circuit was up in double quick time.  Being ‘Tank Engine Day’, we soon saw quite a variety.  Barry W ran his first O gauge loco; an Ivatt 2MT 2-6-2t.  He also had Southern types including W, O2 and J classes, while Roger had an R1 and H.  Smaller saddle tanks used the other line.  Fred trialled his GWR tanks, followed by John P running a saddle tank from one of the smaller GWR constituents.  A pannier and prairie appeared later

The Sales Table attracted John M, who dropped by between jobs, then caught up with news as we gathered for lunch.  Some trees were being positioned on  Sarre.  Two Davids were constructing small locos next to Bill, as he sorted the floor of a goods van.  Tank wagons and a van were further along, across from Ross, who called up Light Railway views on his computer.  Amongst the bags of doughnuts and magazines we sought tiny pieces of loco kits which had skidded into hiding.

Despite the showers, Alan came down from Bromley with Joe.  Roger found a DCC controller, Fred fixed wires and David Ho. cleaned a lot of oil from the rails.  Joe didn’t have much success with an A3 pacific, but his green Princess had a good run; Jack exploiting DCC to produce clanking and coasting sounds in addition to steaming.  Joe has the sound package taken from the actual loco, which he’d observed at the Midland Railway Centre.  Meanwhile, Alan ran his gleaming GWR express engine on the other track.  These drew quite a crowd, and we sat nearby chatting  until it was time to pack away.

2019 June 15th      Saturday at Badlesmere                         Rob M  [photo by Ross S]

Automatic operating 4 aspect signals are one project that John J is working on.  At present in N scale, but hopefully on his planned O gauge inside/outside line in the future.  Stuart shewed us his neat paint job on the 4-wheel Cambrian carriage he’d constructed. Tim was also in late Victorian mode, with fancy decoration on a lofty brick-based water tower.  I added a few pieces to a van body, with the tanker wagon production line to one side of me and David Ha. working on brass frets for locos to the other.

Some of us had brought packed lunches, Jim fasted and others had dined across The Lees Green.  Roger toted the sales items onto tables, so we were soon looking through packets of pieces or wondering about rolling stock.  Several helped in the kitchen, keeping up the supply of tea.  Magazines and books were shared on the tables.  A tree production line, well two, for Sarre was started by David Ho. 

Paul had supervised the Circuit being set out and soon he and John P were testing a GWR Pannier and stock. I found that my old Terrier was independent about direction of travel and John B ran an oil tank train.  Colin S and Barry W trialled larger locos; as a black saddle tank circled, while Ross waited for inspiration as to which livery it aspired to.

2019 June 5th     Wednesday at Badlesmere                     Rob M   [Photos by: David G, Ross S, RM]

The hall buzzed, with plenty of trains running, models of all sorts taking shape, and the sale, for group funds, of Ron Steward’s bequest.  Fred had joined the usual suspects awaiting the doors being opened.  We soon had tables up and kettles on, before setting out the Circuit.  14xxs and siphons took the tracks and Richard added a SE&CR steam railmotor.  Later, after a variety of trains, Jim P added a gleaming D1 which gentle hissed and chuffed.  Lever frames, tall mill buildings, tank wagons and an Ilfracombe Goods loco were amongst the models being assembled.  A part of Sarre appeared briefly, while a section of Edington was worked on for much of our time. 

Roger backed to the door, commandeered a table and was soon surrounded by boxes of stock and bits.  Sentinel, tram and Great Eastern 2-4-0 locos were soon snapped up as wagons were assessed.  Our GOG officers peered into boxes of partly built kits and sorted little loco parts to aid sales.  Bill R, who found us via web links, had twenty-two people to talk with.  Luckily, help was at hand for catering and tidying as counting that many for teas and coffees proved difficult.  We caught up on group and GOG news, and heard about using new train services to Cornwall and the amount of freight  seen around Remagen.  Another enjoyable meeting.  [Stop press: We think our secretaty is in Ireland.]

2019 May 18th     Saturday at Badlesmere                           Rob M

We had the kettle boiled and ready when the pub lunchers joined us from across the Lees Green.  Sarre once again ventured into the fresh air, but came inside for painting and cleaning, when the skies greyed and damp was felt.  This time Stuart provided an aged light railway carriage for photos, while John B coupled it to his green Austerity saddle tank.  Modelling was mainly confined to wagons, including one of the many Grampus p-way wagon variations.  Books and magazines were on the table, some of which were from our Bring & Buy table, as were various detailing models.  As usual, we had plenty of railway talk and updated each other on projects.


2019 May 15th     Wednesday at Badlesmere                     Rob M

Was it 53 or 58 wagons moving round our Circuit?  And all private owner liveries.  Trains had been coupled and sent off, then combined until they stretched halfway around the Test Track.  Terriers took a fair amount before giving way to a SDJR Class 3F.  Later various combinations of smaller locos struggled before rakes reduced.  We perched along the stage, spotting local names on coal wagons and protesting about petrol tankers next to locos.

At the table, bogie frames were folded, tiny bits added to wagons and buildings constructed.  Paul H assembled a signal cabin, while John H spread “plaster” onto a plasticard form ready for sculpting into stonework similar to the detailed cottage he’d brought.  Jim M sawed ply for the Diorama.  Sun hat on, Jackie led the way outside where we set out Sarre for David Ho. to photograph.  Hopefully they will appear in GOG’s projected layout plans booklet.  John P helped by wrapping himself in a white sheet… as Ross, Roger and I provided vans and wagons.  Barry W’s Class H, with parcels brake, took centre stage.

2019 May 1st      Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M

Spring had sprung with sand martins swooping by, so we threw open the windows and got the Circuit set for running.  John P organised refreshments today, with Jackie and Chris M joining me helping.  John P and Jackie then got Sarre’s baseboards onto tables, and facing the light, to give the facia its first coat of varnish of the day.  Jim M and Barry brought plywood, destined for the new diorama.  Allen peered into the cardboard tubes revealing plans and drawings.  Fred C. appeared in the doorway clutching a non-running loco he’d made a while back, so we welcomed him to the table.  Paul W got busy fault finding and the 14xx’s drivers turned later, but a wobbly trailing wheel needed curing.  Nearby a 6-wheel carriage awaited a curved roof.

John B was wagon building at the modelling table, after giving his small saddle tank a run.  Steve had several items of stock.  Geoff mentioned the future of the “E&T” and saw that we’ve a couple of photos of models in the Guild News.  Jim P had brought a large LSWR tank and an Andrew Barclay 0-4-0st, a Tower Models’ kit in white primer.  The small loco wiggled around occasionally pausing at rail joints, leading Jim to attack the track with a garden scale cleaner pad.  Later we were shewn a DCC controller that mimics a modern loco's driving desk, while Chris N managed to fit a tiny video camera to the front of a loco on the Circuit. A Brighton D3, in BR livery, took a Birdcage carriage around our lines, along with a SR Mogul.

2019 January & New Year

2019 April 17th                 Wednesday at Badlesmere          Rob M

Battery power and radio control came to “The Circuit” again in the form of D3120, Allen’s diesel shunter.   The loco was working, controlled by an app. on Chris N’s mobile when I was let loose on it, switching on lights and speeding up with a swipe of the finger – and it didn’t need a track cleaner.

The lines were having good use, both DCC and analogue; a selection of little diesels taking centre stage.  The NCB green pannier followed small saddle tanks and a large prairie.  John B ran a large Austerity ST, which he plans to name after his Army unit.  Now motorised, after several decade’s wait, a small crane tank had a run.  It was Geoff’s first O gauge loco, made with plasticard and OO wheels, while his ship waited off Jedda in the Red Sea.

A gentle drizzle of ladybirds descended on “Sarre” before heading off through the open windows.  Jackie was kneeling to creosote its fences, while John P seemed to prefer hanging over the backscene as David Ho. placed newspaper to protect scenery from paint.

As we finished lunching, Tim brought us up to date with his ideas for our new shunting diorama, useful points  being made by the fifteen of us.  Sizes for this mini-layout were fixed after much experimenting with eye levels and measuring of the tail gates of several cars, so we're on our way with a new project.

2019 April 13th        Meeting of EKOGG at Faversham         Roger Harmer

It was a small, select group that met this day.  Just three were able to make lunch in the Sun but five more joined them at the hall.  We began with one of the BRM modelling DVDs, wagons volume 1 hosted by Ian Rice.  This one talks about research and the need to make one’s models as homogenous as possible to maintain a realistic over all look to the layout.  About half way through we paused for tea.  After tea we changed DVD to a brief (three minutes!) look at the Welsh Highland in the ‘30s.  Following that interlude we watched “The Night Mail”, first the original but then an updated version showing how the night mail worked in 1986 (and in colour).  This included the first train in the bright red livery adopted by the Post Office in 1986 and the naming of a class 47 locomotive as “Night Mail” painted in the InterCity livery.  The updated version included aircraft and vans in the distribution network but still had forty Travelling Post Office (TPO) trains in service, sadly now gone.  For the detail fanatics, it should be noted that only the first red TPO had red roofs.  All subsequent repaints had grey roofs.  And then we went home.


2019 April 3rd       Wednesday at Badlesmere                        Rob M

Diesel shunters gently ticked over, switched on their lights then took to the inside track, while an 03, 04 and D3459 ran in turn on the outer.  Attempts for Manning-Wardles and large Prairies to share the Circuit weren’t so successful.  “Sarre” continues gaining detail, with many small touches added.  One of the “Edington” traverser’s buffer/support units was having its electric connections beefed-up. 


Light railway stock abounded on the construction table, alongside a tank wagon production line and figure painting.  Over lunch, the twenty-one of us mentioned future meetings along with calls for operators at shows.  Geoff R. suggested and is looking into a visit to a railway collection to the north of the Dartford crossing.  From North Kent John G arrived, with Jim P, and has decided to join us.  Allen W. made a welcome comeback, bringing battery power and radio control.  Terriers appeared once more, testing running with goods stock.

Running ended about 14.20 after we’d seen a SR/LBSCR K class Mogul and ran Colin’s D16/2 1Co-Co1.  He hopes that a few more penny-weights added over the leading wheels will improve running.  With plenty of hands to help we had soon stowed away and were off.

2019 March 20th       Wednesday at Badlesmere                Rob M

A practical explanation of DCC by Paul H started our session as we drank coffees (and ate doughnuts provided by D.Ha.).  With swift selection of functions Paul’s GWR locos gently hissed, greeted people with whistles and chuffed in sync. as they moved along their dual tracks.  Paul answer some questions during the demo, then spent time with all those interested during the morning.

You could tell that it was “Terrier Day” as a dozen of the little locos were on our ‘Circuit’.  They seemed happy pottering around, sometimes forming little queues, buffer to buffer.  Our three visitors looked a little bemused at times having seen our ordered selves at shows and now finding out what we do when nobody’s watching.  Paul W had quickly soldered a new connection for our DCC users so their Terriers could join the pack.  Varied liveries went by, nearly all from Dapol.

Over lunch we talked over ‘Diorama’ ideas.  Making our own track and suitable county town buildings is planned.  Opinion on whether the mini layout should be of boxed in type or of open aspect, was fairly evenly divided.  Tim is now getting together full-size plans.  Over on ‘Sarre’, the platform had gained a white edge and the photo backscene was being tried out.  Kit building continued on the table throughout another bustling day.

March 16th 2019        Saturday in Faversham        Rob M

The wind whistled and the trains slowed, branches brushing their windows, but at least were regular.  Motorways being closed caused long journeys for some of us.  Gremlins got to the dvd player, but David G found links to films of Tornado striving for 100mph through the night.

Tim introduced ideas for a diorama that could go on an EKOGG table at events, so we were soon discussing form and presentation.  Bombarded with my sketches, and comments from all, Tim will have large sheets of paper with him at the next meeting as he firms up plans.

Tea and coffee in hands, we introduced Thirza to tinplate modellers, circulated, viewed the Bring & Buy and caught up with news.  To wind up we watched LMS film of a Duchess being built; just about everything being manufactured “in house”.  Amid flaming metal and crashing drop hammers only a few leather aprons spoke of safety measures.  Barring rain, “Sarre” should be at the next Faversham meeting on Saturday April 13th, so do bring an interesting loco and piece to run.  Full supporting programme: “Bring & Buy”, film, etc.

March 6th         Badlesmere  Wednesday session                  Rob M

It was Pannier Day on the Circuit, at least to start with.  New member Jack B’s Pannier is non-running for now, but Paul W’s green GWR version was nipping round one track as mine slowly propelled its auto-coach along the other.  A Dean Goods had an outing or two and we saw Jim P’s big Prairie.  If Paul H had speeded up construction on the modelling table, we’d have had a fleet of Western engines operating.

Chris N solved the puzzling lack of water by locating another stop cock in the kitchen as nineteen members arrived.  Our DCC users plan to bring in their systems over the next months for us to learn from.  As usual, we had a Bring & Buy stall. David Ho. organised refreshments; luckily with some help in the kitchen.  After constructing his large base boards, Chris M was preparing pipework for Sarre’s warehouse while John P was added detail at the other end of the tracks.

Over on the tables a bogie carriage was being assembled, figures painted and light railway locos made for old Metropolitan coaches.  There was muttering over a resin wagon and fixing draw gear into vans.  Modern aggregate wagons were taking shape too.  We briefly saw a Standard 2-6-4t before a large LSWR H16 came out, looking for a transfer freight.  A delightful tiny Manning Wardle K 0-6-0st was pursued along the track by a Terrier, but, when it had the line to itself, Ross added suitable vans and a 4-wheel carriage to the blue loco.  Steve S had wagons to run a goodly freight with his BR mogul before running ended with a pair of Gronks; Roger’s with postal vans.

February 20th              Badlesmere  Wednesday session                  Rob M

It was a fresh sunny morning with swathes of snowdrops across the Lees Green, when eleven of us met up and set out the Circuit when Jackie had arrived on the 666 bus, members helping with the kitchen, chores and baseboard moving.  Barry K’s Class 60 was soon out next to the big Standard tank brought by David G., while a Terrier nipped around, checking wagon weights and running.  Chris N had his little 4 wheeled tram on the line and was thinking about roof detail for a pole pickup or bow.

Jim M’s loco shed has the ridge line smoke hoods fitted and a circular louvred vent over the doors, one of which has inexplicably disappeared.  I was adding missing grab handles to an American boxcar, when David G began a brass carriage kit nearby.  David suggested we have some themed running sessions; diesels; Terriers (if there is enough room for them all); South Eastern; etc.  That sounds like fun, and I expect we’d let other items creep onto the tracks when no one was looking.

Jim P unpacked a brand new WR big Prairie tank, but I’m not sure that he got as far as fitting the pony wheel assemblies to the chassis.  Down his end of the table they seemed to be taking turns swapping pairs of glasses as John B and Roger worked on wagons.  Sawing a hunk off the back of a storage shed didn’t seem to need such finesse.  That had been passed over from ‘Sarre’, as they need a slither of space for a new back scene.  John P and David Ho. were on that layout improving the platform area and baseboard joints.

February 16th              EKOGG AGM & model display at Faversham          Rob M      [photos by Ross S & Rob M  - More are on our Gallery page]

Twenty of us met for our AGM and display of models in the Fleur Hall, quickly setting out chairs and tables for our models and Sales.  The AGM was relatively painless; the committee remaining unchanged, expenses dealt with and info gleaned from the members.  Ideas for a diorama, about 4 feet long and allowing moving locos, are welcomed, as are views on the development of the Circuit, while, DCC users are to trial control systems.  An open day on July 20th is to go ahead and a trip to Pendon is on the cards.  It was interesting to hear from recently joined members just how they’d found out about us, as we hope to have a stand at several Kent area shows.

Over tea and biscuits (chocolate if you were quick) we examined the Sales table and had a good chat.  David Hopkin’s helpers and David G managed to join the rest of us, voting slips in hand, to carefully inspect the competition entries and those projects which were on display.  These were fewer than last year’s bumper crop, but impressive as always.

David Hayes and John Minter displayed their Victorian locomotives on the Project table.  The usual suspects took the first places, but there were close contenders, particularly in the Scenic section.  The two which caught my eye were a wonderfully overgrown siding with forgotten wagon by Stuart and the towering barrel warehouse by Tim.  Certificates went to David G for a SDJR loco and a compartmented carriage, Mike P for his very detailed bridge with stable built into the arch and to myself for a LSWR stone wagon.

February 6th Wednesday at Badlesmere      Rob M

From foggy Folkestone and murky Medway, fifteen of us sploshed into the hall.  The Circuit was organised by John J and John B, leaving just enough room for Edington to stretch to the doors.  David Ha. repaired a storage box that had come to grief.  When hot drinks were shared out, work started on the modelling table: resin coal and one plank wagons were at one end and plastic van kits at the other.  Between them, Paul H seemed overrun with brass number plates while Jim M and Geoff R were surrounded by locos that had been brought in.  Roger was hoping that Sarre could gain a mention in the Guild’s forthcoming book on smaller layouts.

Work on improving the Edington traverser’s sliding electrical contacts went ahead; Chris M preparing parts for Paul W.  David G and Chris N commented on how much wear layouts and stock cope with when going to shows.  Nearby, David Ho. began readying our tortoise point motors for installation should older ones fail.

Early BR diesels, from Colin S’s stable, were seen on the Circuit besides Terriers and Barry W’s SR 4-4-0.  As we lunched, we were joined by Jack B, who’d seen us at Longfield, and Steve B who’d read about us.  They bravely talked to some of the throng while having a good look around, so we hope to see them again soon.  Kitchen tidied, Circuit stowed and Edington carefully packed for transporting, we wished Doncaster’s operating team well and headed off.

January 25th – 27th  EKOGG at the Erith MR Show, Longfield Academy   Roger H & Ross S

Having collected the van, Paul W and David G loaded it and set off to Longfield where Roger joined them to set up. Roger and David G returned on Saturday, the operating team of David Ho, John B and John P arriving in good time for the opening. A switch had to be replaced (broken in storage?), and the layout was soon operating fully, with lots of favourable comments from the punters, enjoying this large show in superb surroundings (including indoor trees and shrubs enhancing the EK0GG stand). Facilities for the exhibitors were excellent, with splendid hot lunches (even a roast dinner on Sunday!).

On Sunday, the operating team of Chris M, David G, Paul W, Roger and Tim assembled in goodtime, and after a quick replacement of a failed point motor, ran a full timetable without hiccup. It was good to see Ross call by, who commented on how pleasing it was to see the layout running so well.  This has stimulated ideas for further improving the new fiddle yards and to be implemented as soon as possible.

Again, lots of interested punters, including a ten-year-old who had walked some of the S&D line itself, and another older man who used to live close to Edington station itself.

January 19th 2019            Saturday at Badlesmere                Rob M with photos from Ross S

We set the lunch table between a pair of radiant heaters and huddled.  Feeling a deal warmer, Jim M and John B set out a loco shed and a van kit to work on.

Once those from the Red Lion had joined us, we got Edington up on its trestles for further checks.  Paul W soon had one traverser opened for its sliders to be cleaned and lubricated, with John P cradling the track bed, which is wired to the base.  That done, the facia board was fitted.  David Ho. was replacing and checking point motors and connections.  Colin S and Ross S added a grove of saplings by the west goods siding and are planning for seedlings nearer the cattle dock.  Scenic boards assembled, a sunshine lettered Terrier tested the tracks.  It was joined by a gleaming Brighton Works version; the two locating places where tweaking was needed.


Stuart H breezed in from the Canterbury Show clutching Richard B’s connections for the newer traverser.  David G and Paul W now went into overdrive to install them.  We formed the baseboards into their travelling crates and carefully stowed them ready to go to Longfield Show.  Water turned off at the mains, we departed under a clear winter’s sky.

January 16th 2019            Wednesday at Badlesmere                          RM

The hall was buzzing when I rolled up, and so it continued with our work/lunch table growing to four sections to cope with seventeen of us. Under the heater at one end brass kits congregated: Barry W with a new chassis, Paul H adding GWR backhead detail, David Ha. preparing van sections, and Tim assembling a grain hopper van. Jim M’s loco shed was much admired, with its embossed brick paper, all the way from Greece.  Roofed with crafted strips and single slates, the smoke louvres have been started and the coffee stirrer doors are prepared. John B fettled a six wheeled van underframe, while Richard produced a train’s worth of pre-grouping wagons from a large box. 

Several of us dropped into the kitchen to lend and help with tidying with David Ho., who organising the production of numerous mugs of tea. 

An 08 diesel with tank wagons ventured onto the layout, where the Brighton Works Terrier and another were in the platform.  Liveried SECR tank locos, including a crane tank, lined up on a siding with an appropriate period freight train.

Preparing “Edington Junction” for its forthcoming exhibitions was the major task for the day, with all the sections being assembled.  An upturned traverser with three people holding it down while thumping the end unit hinted that damper conditions had tightened some clearances. Chris M viewed the greenery he’d been working on, then added stronger tones where needed. The newer traverser  at t’other end was speedily fixed up, its electrics checked with a SDJR saddle tank and the operating switches explained. At one stage, we got rather carried away with the facia board clips, immobilising the sliding section – easily cured. The clips to hold the controllers are done, with neater wiring into the main sections.

Members had tidied the hall when I left, leaving David Ho., David G and Paul W replacing worn micro switches beneath points and planning to tweak some fiddle yard wiring.