Summer 2018

18th August 2018 Saturday at Badlesmere
Rob M

Working through Sarre’s exhibition sequence of train movements kept John P employed for the afternoon, with minions uncoupling, carrying out minor track repairs and purloining pencils to annotate the master copy. It was great fun as some locos and stock had been substituted for the expected ones today. R1s became Class O1s and Terriers played the part of Class Cs, as well as acting themselves…. David Hopkins, John B, Roger H and others clustered around to help. A demand for a large print version of the running order emerged along the way.

After some fettling Edington was being tried with the new traverser in operation, Chris N in attendance on the entry roads. Paul and David G spent a fair amount of time studying the wiring beneath the board, where a multipin plug was causing a little concern at one time. That layout certainly doesn’t have coupling problem – all the ‘Dingham’ loops leaping to attention when near the new magnets.

On the long table Jim shewed us the crisp etchings of a tiny diesel from ‘Judith Edge Kits’, and Barry inspected David Hayes’s model of “Ironside”, while I sliced card for a garden shed model, when I could find a pencil to draw the cutting lines. Further along David G was displaying surplus wagons for sale. Arrangements for our two exhibition appearances were firmed up over mugs of tea and future open days mused over before we mobilized to tidy and store the layouts.

August 15th 2018 – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M

Both Sarre and Edington came out for running and titivation as we poured into the hall. David G checked the mains electric and then we were in business.

One or two gremlins cropped up on Sarre as Tim and Jackie ran through the operating sequence, but that was nothing to the bother I had with the three link couplings, despite Colin’s “helpful” suggestions. We were rescued by David Hayes, who swiftly accomplished the task, little finger decorously crooked and wearing the correct glasses. John B, after asking for helpers at the Faversham Exhibition, was busily adding bicycles, churns and people to the layout. Roger brought the big shed, now complete with local signage. The push-pull set and various vans were in use alongside Chris M’s neat rake of SECR coal wagons and brake. We also had Jim’s brass 4F and Geoff’s USA dock tank on the line.

Barry K was amongst those excavating places for strong permanent magnets in the SDJR track bed. Invisible, when the ballast was replaced, they flicked the Dingham couplings open as stock passed over. Nearby, Paul W seemed to be multi-tasking as he recovered electrics from the defunct fiddle yard.

Amid our coffee mugs Chris N was surrounded by small naked figures; some of which he painted clothes on, while others were to remain chilly. Paul H was continuing work on the small GWR tank engine that he’d made great progress on at a Missenden Abbey hobbies weekend. He brought us up to date with proposed ideas for improving the GOG management. We shared a letter from the East Sussex Group, thanking us for our contribution to their Open Day.

A goodly number of us helped in the kitchen, before everyone got to grips with packing baseboards into the store.

August 1st 2018 – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Roger Harmer & David Grimwood

As well as eight of us, we had two guests from the Wimbledon MRC, Martin Churms and Mark Hedgecock; friends of John Plumpton and David Hopkins.

The circuit was in full use. David claimed he had been ‘dapolised’ and ran a pannier tank with a newly-completed non-corridor coach (begun at Badlesmere recently to demonstrate that coaches need not take an eternity to build!) and a finally-finished Southern plv. Geoff brought a beautifully finished H Class, which went home with Roger, having run with Roger’s SECR freight. John B’s Terrier had a trip with three four-wheelers, while our visitors ran a Schools with Lima coaches before the GW took over with a Castle and then a 2-8-0 with a rake of Dapol coaches.

Meanwhile, David G continued work on the Edington fiddle yard, and fitting the first permanent magnets on the layout, and scenic work continued on Sarre. Roger took away a shed to add a company name to make it a bit more “EKR-ish”.

Geoff also had a BR(S) C2X, SR birdcage and a 6-wheel coach on view and Martin had two very long bogie bolster wagons on display.

The “excitement/entertainment” was provided by a series of power outages requiring a visit from Ian to fix them – eventually traced to a faulty water heater. John P looked after our needs for tea and coffee.

July 21st 2018 – Saturday at Badlesmere
RJM / photo: Tim S

We were sitting on the shady grass eating our lunches, as a family of buzzards rode the breeze above us, when David Ho. arrived with the milk. The next arrivals included a svelte Chris N. Inside the hall we had scenic work progressing on Sarre with brick papers (all the way from Greece) being used. Paul W took over the stage to ease the new traverser, with Jim keeping an occasional eye on proceedings. Roger and John B were assembling vans and showing Tim photos of beer vans for his brewery complex. His tall warehouse was being painted, at the far end of the modelling table, and is looking good. My garden shed model looked minute in comparison.

A train of K&ESR four wheelers appeared from Stuart’s packing case, plus little and tiny locos. We knew what the LB&SCR tank engine was, but had to reach for our glasses to view the second, as it was an 00 scale P tank in full SE&CR livery – very neat. We kept up our liquid intake while chatting and fathoming out when the banner photos had been taken. Everyone helped pack away after checking that all was tidy in the kitchen.

July 18th 2018 – Wednesday at Badlesmere
RJM

The new traverser occupied Paul W, David G and Barry K for much of the session, with a cast of supporting members making appearances; with John J touting huge power tools and Barry W wielding a small hammer. The twittering of their voltage tester showed that all was not plain sailing and had them re-soldering some multi-connection plugs. However, they ended the afternoon happy.

Sarre wasn’t without an audience either, while John P’s was ballasting. We gathered there to see Ross showing photos of the East Kent Lt. Rly. We put up our new banner for all to see, then tried to remember who owned the locos and stock featured in its large photos. I mentioned that our website’s contact page may be down for a while as we have suffered a huge influx of emails from Russia. Recently we’d upgraded to a more secure system, so only James, our advisor, was aware of what was happening.

Chris M was fettling axle boxes for a 6 wheeled coach. Ross remembered that we have some folding bars for loan to members. Barry W’s Wainwright J Class 0-6-4 appeared on Edington, along with a Jinty or two. Geoff had brought a neat P tank, just awaiting its crew. Jim and John B’s projects included plans and kits of goods stock. As usual many members helped out in the kitchen with John P bringing the supplies.

8th July 2018 – East Sussex O Gauge Group’s Open Day at Pett
RJM

John Bullimore and David Hopkins ran our sales stand at the East Sussex’s open day. After battling with burst water mainsclosed and lanes, I arrived with our pop-up banner, which I’d collected from the printers on Thursday. We spread the word about our group while John and David made numerous sales. I had to demonstrate the Aberdare on the Sussex’s circuit before its sale; Geoff Roberts, with his diorama telling the buyer the loco’s history. We were well looked after by ESOGG and enjoyed the varied layouts and stands. There was a lot more room in John’s car when we packed up.

July 4th 2018 – Wednesday at Badlesmere
RJM

David Ho. and John P missed the verge cutting and so beat the rest of us to the hall. It was fence making on Sarre, to be joined later by the ballasters. The end board of Edington was needed so David G could continue work on the new traverser. It had already gained tracks and uncoupler pads while at his home. After a tea, the Circuit was assembled under John J’s watchful eye. Jackie D and Barry K were soon testing the controllers, so that Class 60 diesels could take to the lines. They kept away from the explosive mix of wagons being assembled by Ross: a petrol tanker and gunpowder van behind his 1930’s DM. His tweezers and modified couplings worked well. An R1 chassis, Roger H’s, appeared between trains as its innards were tweaked.

John B loaded up for the Pett Show where we have a sales stand. Meanwhile Paul H puzzled over how to display a van kit ina small glass case. We had a very chatty lunchtime Geoff R joining us at that time. I checked the running of a high sided wagon as four and six wheeled carriages ran by. Wrecking tools in hand, Chris M, attacked the old fiddle yard, then installed recovered switches on the new traverser with a throng of members offering advice. There were plenty of people lending a hand in the kitchen and masses of us when it came to stowing away.

June 20th Wednesday at Badlesmere
Rob M

You could see Sarre’s platform was being fixed by the large brickbat strategically positioned. Groundworks seemed to be the order of the day, with ballast, low vegetation and dabs of paint being applied by various people. A few wagons were being finished off and were propelled along the tracks; in my case to the conclusion that a bit more weight plus some sound deadening was needed.

Magazines, fronts of warehouses, drawings of sheds and stock shared the long tables with magazines, lunches and olives in wine (Thanks to Chris T.). Paul W was looking at tiny pieces for LSWR flap fronted ground signals, before he headed off for a grand tour of northern preserved railways. There were several people lending a hand in the kitchen. In all, a very convivial day, with a sneaking thought that some members were camping out overnight to be ready for us to open up.

June 16th 2018 – Saturday at Badlesmere
RJM (photos by Ross Shimmon & RJM)

Hither Green continental freights swept around the Circuit, as Colin tested SR electric locos that he’d driven. (Models scratch built on a wooden base.) A small posse of Hudswell Clarkes waited beside the other track as Stuart’s four-wheel coaches were coupled to his Terrier loco; the assembled masses using Ross’ variety of shunters’ poles. Next, the saddle tanks played with mixed trains.

Clearances were eased the alongside Sarre’s warehouses and scenic checked further along. John J’s arrival had triggered setting out the Circuit. The driving wheels of a GWR large Prairie went for a run, with Paul W keeping an eye on it; the rest of the components being on our modelling table. There, Jim was showing another partly assembled brake van – brass this time. Tim joined them, once he’d organised a dozen more teas. He has the front of a four-storey brewery warehouse taking shape, with some very neat card windows and doors. As time drew on various members tidied in kitchen and stores before drifting off, just leaving the hard core of orators discussing the New York elevated track becoming a garden walkway; the K&ESR; being escorted out of Nine Elms Shed by police dogs….

June 6th 2018 – Wednesday at Badlesmere
RJM

Light engineering meets Edington in the form of a new traverser. This had emerged from Paul W’s workshop and was soon matched to the “branch” end of the layout. On a lightweight metal frame, it has a short fixed area leading to the traverser’s bed, where the parallel storage lines will be. The far end for the loco release tracks has its own legs which support the traverser section.

Further along the hall Jim was securely screwing his range of warehouses to Sarre’s baseboard before the rest of that layout was joined on for running. Stock ranged from Falcon, the trailblazing to a saddle tank with light railway coaches. Those on the modelling table held a P tank workshop with Barry W giving expert advice. Guards’ vans were next along, followed ideas for private owner wagons suitable for Herne Bay and nearby. Low sided BR trucks were at the other end across from scenic work. Roger was seeking help for our stand at the Pett Show on Sunday July 8th.

May 19th 2018 – Saturday at Badlesmere
RJM

John J was busily dragging us into the 21st Century with DCC; his “Western” diesel performing with sound. That was on the outer Circuit which had earlier been running in with simple dc. Paul W had sorted the missing wiring so his pannier and auto coach had taken the outer line, while Barry’s locos had used the inner. I noticed a D1, a W and a G6 hauling a rake of BR red and cream stock – Darstaeds that David G had brought in. Roger had a stack of boxes to open revealing Classes 33, 47 and 60 to be tried on the inner line. John B followed with freight wagons and an 08. Nearby, David G added parts to a coach kit and a whiff of solder hinted that Paul H was working on a pair of GWR tank engines. Further along Jim concentrated on brake vans. We’d thrown the windows open on a balmy day, but it was still hot in the top of the storeroom where David Ho fixed shelves.

May 16th – Wednesday at Badlesmere
RJM

On a blustery day, we opened up to find remnants of the Medieval Fayre stacked around the hall. We soon had work tables out and heard about the event from those who’d helped. Chris M said how he’d done a fair bit of operating on Sarre under the watchful eyes of a family who talked through the movements with their children – No pressure then… Tin plate trains had run, but with occasional mystery short circuits.

A blow torch was Paul H’s choice of tool for his project today. David G’s carriage is taking form swiftly with extruded aluminium roof, ventilators fixed, in position. Batch building seems Jim’s forte; not warehouses this time, but six-wheeler brake vans. Over by the window John B had added a water tank to Sarre and, with Jackie, was working on scenic detail. The station building debate was continuing with the feeling that the present building balances the warehouses. Paul W, whose colourful signalling article has just appeared in GOG’s Gazette, soldered nearby, having found the wireless section of the Circuit. John J had brought in some fittings for it. When I slipped away, the soldering was continuing.

May 2nd – Wednesday at Badlesmere
Notes from Roger Harmer / photo by Ross Shimmon

By the time Roger arrived, with a DCC control set to be tested by Chris N, both Sarre and the roundy-round had been erected. Tim had brought an alternative system, that he is donating to the Group, and that had been connected to the roundy-round, where he had a Peckett running around making puffing and other noises. (A short-circuit meant that the inner circuit could not be used for the DC locos.) Chris N ran his sound-fitted Brighton Terrier “Thames” for a little while. Then, we swopped control to our DC system and Ross ran his blue Terrier. Ross also provided some KESR-based stock for the locos to pull.

On Sarre, comparison was being made between the extant KESR-style station building and an EKR-based building. As Sarre is based on the EKR, the latter is to be used and the other one stored. This means some changes to the platforms which currently have cut-outs which are no longer needed. John P had just ripped the existing platform off the board when David G reminded us of the Medieval Fayre on 12 May when we will have Sarre on display, so it was, “Back to work on the platform, guys”. A tinplate layout from Colin S will be there plus and a table of demonstrators and book sales.

Meanwhile, having sorted out Roger’s DCC, Chris N and Ross, using one of the magic products that Chris N finds on the Internet, repaired a damaged resin casting from the early days of resin use. At the other end of the table David G and Ha were doing things in brass.

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