2014 February 8th - AGM & Model Display: The largest display of models and competition entries that I can remember surrounded us at our AGM. Twenty-two members displayed some two dozen projects, including EKLR buildings, loco frames and whole rakes of wagons.
A similar number of models were in the competition; from signals to tunnel mouths, with an awesome selection of stock between. John P’s busy garage scene, Alan K’s detailed GWR Siphon, David G’s sparkling Somerset & Dorset carriage and Barry W’s impressive SR “Merchant Navy” came top of the classes.
A focus group to cost the new exhibition layout was set up during the AGM.
[Photos by RJM: BR "Merchant Navy" loco / Preparing for the AGM / Local private owner wagons. *More photos can be seen in the gallery section.]
2014 January 26th: Kent’s G Scale Group had invited us to join their pleasant open day at Teynham. The displays featured large models of various scales and outlines clattering along track, with the smell and sound of live steam from the central circuits. I found our four reps hard at it, drinking tea, modelling and shunting. Richard B was studiously constructing surrounded by displays of stock; some of it emerging from Nailbourne’s tunnel. Ross S was on “front of house duties” talking to visitors, while Maurice B and John P were about to swop shunting duties at “Cole’s Yard”, Roger H having set up before slipping away.
December 14th Town Meeting: With a buffet of soft drinks, mince pies and Christmas cake we were well prepared for John Minter’s Quiz. Questions, many linked with photos, from Banner signal repeaters to locos that disappeared into holes, kept us on our mental toes. Roger Harmer became this year’s winner. Footage from “The Wrecker”, with the spectacular smash into the steam lorry at Lasham, had started the afternoon.
Laid out in full size was the plan for our future exhibition layout. (It even had an Austerity tank engine for scale.) David outlined the project. The fluid curves look good and there is scope for some scenery. Discussion centred on the baseboards.
The barn roofing work is now seems complete. Earlier those dining were shocked to hear that their inn is being redeveloped! [Ross has been helping on Christmas trains from Tenterden, as can been seen from his photo.]
November 16th Town meeting: A bright red, dual flag liveried CP diesel and its consist stretched across the tables as Roger told about crossing the plains of western Canada by train. Slides showed passenger stock, loco and grain traffic in those provinces. John P organised refreshments, so Joe Barron can at last emerge into the hall. In vintage 8mm time with John Buckle, it was over to the USA for the Mount Washington Cog Railway and Silverton Railroad. We also saw trolley buses, Port Erin and the Seaton Tramway.
November 14th Working Party - notes by Nigel Grant: There was brilliant progress on all sorts of fronts: painting, electrics, carpentry, and furniture moving. The space cleared will be home next year for the new exhibition layout being plotted and planned as you read this. David H did his usual sterling stuff with wires, sockets and switches; and we now have light and power in The Shed. Roger and David G heaved large bits of furniture around to amazing effect.
Jim and Colin S turned the wobbly patch of old flooring at the bottom of the stairs into a thing of beauty. It’s much safer and stronger than the old floor. The heaps of wood under the stairs are no more, and the good stuff neatly stored. John B, Colin, Roger and Jim completed the clearing. They found treasures under the stairs including two ancient cast iron bedsteads.
Rob M and Paul C defied the old dictum that “blue and green should never be seen” as they painted the walls above the layout. Thanks very much, everyone. A terrific effort, with results to match.