GMES 50th Steam Rally, Guildford.

As we do nearly every year, we were showing one of our layouts (this year it was Whitmoor) at the Guilford Model Engineering Society's 50th Steam Rally at their site in Stoke Park, Guildford. The weather Gods again smiled on us as it was a nice warn and sunny weekend. Whitmoor is now complete (if any layout is actually ever complete) and got a lot of kind remarks during the show.
The show was well attended with a lot of families in evidence on the Sunday in particular. The Mayor turned up on the Sunday morning to present trohpies and I am very please to say that GMES presented us with the Brian Barrow Trophy. This is awarded to people who have shown great support to GMES over the years and it is the first time they have awarded it to a group rather than individuals. We feel very honoured to recieve it and many thanks to the GMES. We will be proudly displaying it at our Open Day on 19th August.
Many thanks to the GMES for inviting us to the event, it was great fun.

Puffing-A-Wey Festival, Dapdune Wharf, Guildford.

We were again invited by the National Trust at Dapdune Wharf to show our Priorsfield layout, which since it depicts a river and canal lock is in keeping with the river steam theme of the Puffing-A-Wey Festival they hold. It really is a fun day with all sorts of steam powered boats on the river and attractions on the wharf. The Barge Shed where we are is situated right on the river edge and we had the whole of it for our use. So we set out Priorsfield, our test track (for kids to play trains with) and also the front boards of our Savernake OO layout that is under construction. This drew a lot of interest from people and I was able to demostrate the model canal sections on it that have a narrow boat which will travel up and down the canal.
All in all it was an excellent day both for us and for the National Trust who had a great many visitors.
Many thanks to the National Turst for asking us to take part.

2017 Exhibition, Surrey Sports Park, Guildford.

Our annual exhibition has moved to the new venue of the Surrey Sports Park, and what a good venue it turned out to be. The facilities were excellent and despite having to setup everything up on the day we were all in and ready for doors opening at 10am. A goodly crowd flowed in through the doors and the hall was nicely filled throught most of the day, only tailing off late in the afternoon.
Brian, our resident Loco Doctor, was busy all day fixing locos brought in by members of the public again. During the day he was presented with an award by the Chicester Lions Club for the many years of support he has given them. The Chichester Lions also presented Astolat MRC with a similar award for our help over the years.
Another award that was made during the day was our coveted Best in Show award which this year went to Oakwood. A lovely pastural layout with excellent detailing of farm scenes.
Many of the visitors used and appreciated our free Historic bus service to and from the station and our driver Richard did sterling service ferrying them back and forth throughout the day. By 5pm, when the doors closed we had all had a good day.
Many thanks to the Surrey Sports Park for allowing us the use of their facitlies and also to all the club members and helpers who helped to make it a successful day.

Open Day, Dapdune Wharf NT, Guildford.

Despite a torrential downpour before opening, the rain actually held off for the rest of the day. Although it never really got sunny for more than a few minutes. But the public still came out to see our Open Day and the Barge Shed was busy most of the day. With 5 layouts on display plus the test tack, which was being operated by the kids to their delight, there was plenty to see.
Brian, our resident Loco Doctor, was busy all day fixing locos brought in by members of the public. While others of us not operating the layouts, chatted to members of the public about all things railway. A fair few were showing interest in joining the club so we may see a few new faces on Tuesdays.
After the NT closed we had our usual BBQ and raffle evening, this time raising money for Guide Dogs. The prizes were quite good but alas none of them came my way.
Many thanks once again to the National Trust at Dapdune Wharf for allowing us to hold yet another successful Open Day.

02.07.2016 - 03.07.2016
GMES Model Engineering Exhibition, Stoke Park, Guildford.

With the weather looking rather iffy we took Whitmoor down the road to Stoke Park for the annual Exhibition of our friends The Guildford Model Engineering Society. Whitmoor's scenic work is progressing rapidly, but there is still plenty to do (and Colin was doing some of it during the show which interested some vistors).
There is plenty to look at at this show which is more for the larger working steam scales. They have two permanent outside tracks running ride on services to the delight of the kids (which some of us older kids enjoyed too! ;) ).
The weather on Saturday was showery which was a bit disappointing but Sunday was sunny most of the day and the place was fairly packed with vistors. There was plenty for them to look at with a large array of model traction engines chugging around the site. One stand had a working model gas turbine jet engine which regularly drew a crowd when it roared into life.
We had a good time and a good oportunity to put Whitmoor through it's paces. We also downed several flame grilled burgers and bacon rolls (but don't tell anyone that!)
Many thanks to GMES for inviting us and we will probably see you again next year.

Club outing 2016 - Pendon and Didcot.

Time flies and we are off on our annual club outing again. This time it was Pendon Model Railway Museum. An earlish start for our minibus with a pickup along the way for the Chairman, saw us arrive about 15 minutes before they were due to open. But they saw us all waiting outside and opened up early to 'process' us all, which was good of them.
I can't remember how long it has been since I was last there. Pendon modelling moves at it's own pace, as anyone who has been there more than once knows, but there were lots of changes for me to see which were of course superbly done with stone by stone accurate buildings with complete interiors illuminated for all to see. Something for us all to strive for, perhaps.
After a pleasant couple of hours looking around, having a cuppa and making some purchases, it was back on the bus for the short-ish trip to Didcot Railway Museum where we could take a look at the full size trains.
By this time the weather Gods had decided that is was going to be a nice day and the sun had come out which made wandering around the site and taking a ride on the trains even nicer. A couple of our members even managed to blag a ride 'up front' in the steam railcar which was going up and down the line (lucky *******s!). When our legs could take no more we all piled on the bus again (just as it started raining!) and set off home.
A fine day out enjoyed by all. Many thanks to our driver Paul. Thanks also Pendon Museum and Didcot Railway Museum for making us so welcome.

Changes at the Top.

Our 2016 AGM has resulted in some changes in the Management Committee. Jim Kemp stepped down as Chairman, having completed his maximum 5 Year term and Ian Gallaher, previously Club Secretary, was voted in as his replacement. Ian immediately paid tribute to Jim's excellent stewardship of the club over what has been an eventful five years, adding that he had a hard act to follow.
David Wilde, having decided he needed a break from being Exhibition Manager, having done the job excellently for the last 15 Years, has taken over the now vacant role as Club Secretary. In recognition of his sterling service to the club as Exhibition Manager over the years, David was presented with a new locomotive, DCC fitted of course.
Exhibitions from now on will be managed by a team since the job has now become too big for one person to handle everything. Jim Kemp will now act as the coordinator for this team.

23.04.2016 / 25.04.16
West Essex Model Rail Exhibition, Ilford.

This weekend saw us split, dealing with two exhibitions on the same weekend. David Wilde had his layout Ventnor at The Rotorail exhibition at Fareham College While another group of us tripped half way around the M25 (twice) to attend the West Essex Model Rail Exhibition in Romford with our Priorsfield layout. This meant a couple of very early morning starts, but we were made very welcome by the Ilford & West Essex MRC crew, and the exhibition was an enjoyable weekend of train running for all of us.