Group Report

Report of Area Group Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 9th April 2018

On a downright FILTHY night, 22 moisture-resistant narrow-gaugers made it through the rain to soak up the action at a very lively April area group meeting. Layouts with water features were anticipated.

No less than 5 (five!) layouts or test tracks were on display, two of which had pretensions of being both test track and layout at the same time. Julien Webb’s ‘plank’ test-track-cum-layout ‘Xavier’s Creek’ (water feature) now boasts a passing loop and an extra siding in a very nice alignment, which had been graciously and seamlessly installed by Peter Cullen. Traffic on the night included Julien’s Francis Samish-built Bagnall 0-4-2 inverted saddle tank ‘Excelsior’ on Joe Works chassis, David Churchill’s Ferro Train 2095 Diesellok in OBB scarlet, newly acquired from the 009 sales stand at Narrow Gauge South, Julien’s modified Chivers HO Tralee & Dingle 2-6-0T in smart black livery with larger (4mm-scale) cab on Farish Black 5 chassis and a selection of Fourdees 6-coupled locos and coaches from Dick Johnson.

Peter Cullen’s fully scenic ‘test track’ with canal basin (water feature) was also in wannabe-layout-mode and running Peter’s Paul Windle Peckett ‘Liassic’ with the usual selection of Peter’s distinctively loaded wagons. Awaiting the road was Andy Smyth’s Minitrains Brigadlok with mixed train of Roco rolling stock, also newly acquired, this time from the Severn Valley Railway exhibition.

Andrew Bizley brought along his ‘Morston Quay’ module with estuary shoreline (water feature), being the central section of a series of 9 (nine!) boards plus two fiddle boards, all 1200 x 600mm, comprising the ‘North Norfolk Coast Narrow Gauge Railway’. Motive power included three Roxey Mouldings Cyprus Government Railway locos on (1) Farish 2-6-0 chassis, (2) Minitrix Mogul chassis and (3) Farish 4-4-0 chassis, plus a Jouef Decauville Steatite 0-4-0T re-painted in ultramarine blue livery.

Peter Hardy’s oval test track, imperiously bucking the trend by studiously avoiding any hint of a water feature, offered a locomotive comparison service by running a brace of Talyllyn ‘Dolgoch’ locos, these being Peter’s neatly turned out Gem kit in matt green livery on scratch-built chassis and Steve Mann’s straight-out-of-the-box Bachmann ‘Rheneas’ version – the detail differences were numerous and fascinating. Also running here was Peter’s scratch-built Volvo-esque diesel, still looking dead nifty.

Mike Wall presented his ‘Wallsend and Brookesbridge Light Railway’ now incorporating not a water feature but new and seemingly well-watered greenery to the perimeter areas in the form of ‘Polak’ static grass and Woodland Scenic shrubbery. The running roster consisted of Mike’s quartet of ‘B-trains’ – Bohler, Brigadlok, Baldwin and Bagnall (wing tank) all by Minitrains.

Teas and coffees were out-shopped by Maggie Pestridge and Peter Cullen, with Peter Hardy wielding the tea-towel. Thanks folks, we couldn’t have done it without you – drunk our drinks that is.

We meet at Moorfield Hall, Hartshill Road, Shard End, Birmingham, B34 6QX from 7.30 to 9.30pm on the second Monday of every month. There is a nominal charge of £3.00 to cover the costs of hall hire and refreshments. Our next meetings will be held on 14th May, 11th June and 9th July 2018. If you have any queries, please contact Julien Webb at . julienwebb@westmidlands009.co.uk