We were physically isolated from one another until mid-August but we had some interesting email discussions with questions raised and (usually) answered during that time. Richard S and Rob, our two relatively new members, sought information about modelling techniques and also about prototype matters. The many answers revealed the depth of knowledge and experience that exists in a Group such as ours with the very diffuse interests we have individually.
Rob also spent time installing MERG DCC on a loco and wrote it up for us all to enjoy on our members’ only website – very challenging to some of us. More traditional modelling saw Lawrie spend time producing buildings for the new Group layout of Parkstone while others have concentrated on their personal models. But not all of us have found the motivation to do this. We have, however, had a good discussion by email on a possible programme for Group activities in the future, when (if?) life returns to normal.
Group meetings were re-started on Monday 10 August and, at the time of writing this report, there have been three meetings with about one third of members in attendance on each occasion. As I suspect with most model railway clubs we have a significant number of older modellers, some of whom have underlying health problems and who are not prepared to venture out to such meetings. Despite this, those present were able to use the test track which must have been very refreshing since most of us cannot let our locos ‘stretch their legs’ at home. Some work has also been done on the fiddle yards for the new Parkstone layout which will be 4mm finescale but to 16.5mm track gauge. Discussions have also continued on a possible layout for the EMGS Competition but we are waiting for further information as to exactly what is allowed in terms of baseboards and fiddle yards.
The Government’s introduction of the ‘rule of six’ is unlikely to change our arrangements other than to make it necessary for members effectively to book a place at forthcoming meetings.
This report – written by Joe Newman – appears in Issue 226 of the EM Gauge Society newsletter.