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.

2016 Exhibition Report.

Well, our 2016 exhibition yesterday was another great success, thanks in no small part to the weather Gods smilling on us and giving us a dry, sunny although slightly nippy day.
The 'day' started for us (as it usually does) on Friday afternoon as we get to the School and prepare it for the early setups. 4 long hours later and the early prep is done and about half of the exhibitors and traders are already in and setup.

We went home to try to get some sleep and are back in the morning before the sparrows have even started to think about making any noise. The final setups go smoothly and everyone is in and ready with a bit of time to spare. Time for a bacon roll (at last) and a quick check all is ready then the doors open and the queue (quite a long one too) is able to come into the warmth (much to their relief, I'm sure).

The flow of vistors was steady throughout most of the day and although I don't know the exact figures yet I would say they were up on last year by quite a few. There was quite a bit of interest in our Savernake project and also people coming to see Priorsfield in the flesh after having seen the Model Rail article. There were the usual minor incidents to deal with during the day, two separate and unrelated incidences of a visitor not feeling too well caused us a little concern but we had professional people on hand to help them. We also had a small power outage that affected a couple of stands for a little while, but other than that the day went very smoothy.

The quality of layouts on show was high and our judging team had a difficult job choosing a winner for our coveted Best in Show award. They finally settled on Tom Cornwell's impressive Cripple Creek US outline layout. A layout that he has only just completed. Well done Tom.
A very close second was Garsdale Head with honorable mentions going to Llangerisech and Red Hook Bay. But it was very close so well done all concerned.
We had several people showing interest in membership of the club (I spoke to 3 myself) so we will hopefully see a few new faces at the club on Tuesday evenings to come.

With numbers of visitors only just starting to trail off after 4pm we finally closed the doors at 5pm and started packing up.
Packing away and loading up went very efficently until someone took ill, an exhibitor this time, and an ambulance was summoned, the person concerned is thankfully recovering and we wish him a speedy recovery. After that was dealt with, packing up continued and despite the interruption all the traders and exhibitors were on their way home by 6:30pm.
We then had the task of packing all our stuff up and returning the school to the state in which we found it before we too could head home at about 8pm and finally get some rest.
It was, as always a busy but rewarding day.

Many thanks go to all of those involved in the exhibition; club members, helpers, Scouts, you all did a great job. Thanks also to our Exhibitors and Traders for delighting the visitors and making it the succes it was. Thanks too to the School for allowing us to use their facilities, with a special thank you to Martyn, the caretaker, for all his help in preparing for us and on the day. Thanks also the ambulance team and their swift response when we needed them.

Lastly a very big thank you to all our vistors for your patronage. We hope you enjoyed your visit and look forward to seeing you next year.