Step 3 of the Government’s road map, Monday 17 May, coincided with a possible Group meeting. Mike H checked that we could gain access to our club rooms, and eleven members duly gathered. Although it was about a year since most of us had met, we carried on where we had left off. It was very refreshing to just chat about models, and the real railway, and the cracks on the Hitachi 800 sets operated by GWR and LNER – and other non-Covid related topics.
Prior to Lockdown, there were two projects in hand which were basically conducted by two different groups of members. These are
- a model of Parkstone in 16.5 mm finescale, set in the early 1960s, and
- a fictional terminus at Chitterne in EM gauge for the EMGS Chairman’s Challenge and set in the Big Four period.
For the latter project, much time had been spent electronically refining the design and Chris H had built the lightweight baseboards. On the evening we were able to put Templot printouts, scaled by Chris B, on to our baseboards and we were, at last, able to see where we were heading. Chris B also brought one of his sketches so we could appreciate more fully how the layout could look.
A second meeting three weeks later showed further development by Chris H who had put cork underlay in place and used his woodworking skills to vary the levels of the trackbeds to suit our specific requirements.
So we have the prospect of track laying in the immediate future and inevitable decisions to make. Currently, the younger members are discussing the operation of turn outs. As one whose education included briefly studying thermionic valve theory your scribe is happy to leave this to those who know what they are doing.
There is much to do but it is great relief to be able to talk things through with fellow members face to face. Let us hope that we can continue in this manner for the next few weeks and months.
This report – written by Joe Newman – appears in issue 229 of the EM Gauge Society newsletter.