Having not been able to get to the SWOONS do in 2018, first one I’d missed for many a year, I was determined to make it for the 13th South West 009 Soc Group open day at Ilton, somewhere west of Yeovil on the Somerset Levels this time, and I’m very pleased that I did because it was another memorable day out amongst friends and the fellow-afflicted NG modelling enthusiasts who had travelled from near and far to take part in the fellowship of the Tardis that is the Merryfield Village Hall and to have first dibs of the year at the wonderful 009 Soc Sales Tables! It’s only a small place, but Geoff Bowyer and his fellow SWOONS members know how to fill it with examples of quality modelling and still find room for a hundred or so to come and enjoy the delights! As ever, Matt and Maria Gicquel travelled from their Devon Railway Centre to lock themselves in the kitchen and provide cakes and of course, hot Oggies, all day. Much appreciation!
All photos in this Blogspot and those accessed in Google Images via the links in each report are my Copyright and may be saved for personal use only. They may not be republished elsewhere without the written permission of the Copyright holder.
Hello and welcome to my twice reinstated and updated photo reports of visits to narrow gauge model railway layouts and events! Following the sudden and untimely cessation of Fotopic in March 2011 and with it the loss of my photo galleries, I started this blog in order to try to keep my "Roving Reports" available to those who enjoy viewing them. I have linked this blogsite to the old galleries which I originally rebuilt and posted in albums in Picasaweb Once all the old reports had been rebuilt, I have continued to add completely new ones to cover my visits to events from April 2011 onwards.
Meanwhile......Because of the way this Blogspot works, the most recent postings appear first and the oldest ones last. Each report contains a link to the Google Images photo album plus captions for that report. The link will take you to the front page of the Google Images Album for this report. Left click on the first photo and it will open into a manually operated slideshow. A panel should open alongside the image on the right showing the number of the photo and the caption text. If it does not appear, click on the small white disk top right of the photo panel and it will open. On albums created before August 2016 which were created originally in Picasaweb, these are now in the Google Image Archive and the caption panel has to be opened manually for each image. I apologise for this, blame Google!
Once back in the blog, any report can be accessed sequentially from the blog by scrolling downwards and if required, click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of the list, or simply go to the Blog Archive on the right of the window and select any report by simply clicking on the title.
Monday, 18 October 2021
Friday, 15 October 2021
01 December 2018, Colehill near Wimborne, Wessex NG Modellers OPen Day - Catching Up, Late Report 7 of 15
This little gathering in the first week of December has become a regular end of year get together with a chance to make some last minute Christmas purchases from the well stocked 009 Soc sales tables, see some great narrow gauge modelling and enjoy like minded fellowship in a totally informal and friendly atmosphere. This was the 7th occasion and, like the previous ones, attracted visitors from near and as far away as the West Midlands as well as those enthusiasts who brought layouts along, notably Jim and Lyn Owers from the Isle of Wight and Bob Vaughan from Watford, just to share the day with modelling friends and colleagues. For a change I managed to overlook taking any photos of the 009 Society sales stand, but I can assure all that it was there! Overall, a splendid pre-Christmas get together was enjoyed!
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
End of October, getting cold and wet, clocks going back to wintertime and it is once again time for ExpoNG! Having not being able to get there for the first time in many years in 2017, I was determined to make it to Swanley this year and I’m glad I did as, not only was it a very good event, but sadly, it was also my last one as I couldn’t get to the next year’s event in 2019 and as it turned out, that was the final ExpoNG for the foreseeable future for a number of reasons, including the, at the time, unforeseen Covid pandemic and lockdowns. ExpoNG might return in the future but many don’t think it will be in the same format as we had all become used to at the White Oak Leisure Centre.
This 2018 event featured two anniversaries – the 35th ExpoNG and the 50th anniversary of the Greenwich & District NG Railway Society, who are the organisers of the show. Fitting then that the Dave Brewer Challenge this year was to be a difficult one, in producing a working layout in a space of only 50cm x 35cm. Eight skilled modellers rose to the challenge and their excellent results are covered in Part 3 of this report.
I would have normally made a report of a large event such as this into 2 Parts, but to make it easier for me to put it together, and hopefully for you to view the photos and captions, I have put it into 3 Parts of approximately 50 photos each. When you have finished viewing one of the parts, click on the main “back arrow” top left of your screen to get back to the blog page and then click on the link to get to the next Part you want to view, or to scroll down to another report. I hope that is clear enough, I’ve no doubt that I will be told quick enough if it isn’t!
Friday, 1 October 2021
14 October 2018, Museum of Transport at the Christchurch MRC Exhibition, Catching Up, Late Report 5 of 15
After NG South in April, I was unable to attend any further
events until later in the year when I learned that Robin Ogden would be
bringing his 4mm scale
I have struggled to find the best way to present this report as much of this splendid layout describes itself very adequately through the images, so I decided that photo captions would be left out unless it seemed necessary to add supplementary information in some cases and that I would as far as possible restrict the words without rambling off into general comments!
Robin made a comprehensive description of the layout in the exhibition programme and I can’t improve on that, so here is the introduction to The Museum of Transport, extracted from Robin Ogden’s own words:
Situated in a coastal town somewhere in
Railway exhibits are housed in a purpose-built gallery where may be found historic and unusual locomotives, carriages, signals and other artefacts associated with a century and a half of railways in the British Isles. A self-service cafeteria is open in the railway gallery. The building is glass fronted with the roof removed for maximum visibility.
In the first dock is moored a freelance passenger steamer, St Olaf and a retired coastal lightship based on the Spurn Light. In the second dock are a steam paddle-tug, a Clyde Puffer and a smaller vessel, whilst at the other end of the layout a dry dock is home to a model of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s former passenger and mail ship, RMS Scillonian.
The front part of the layout offers an area available for varied displays: bus rallies, military vehicle displays, classic vehicle rallies etc as well as home to a scale model RAF Lancaster bomber. A visiting brass band plays a selection of melodies and there is a hot air balloon for visitors to be elevated to 200 (scale) feet to enjoy overall views of the museum.
High time to visit the photo report:
Thursday, 30 September 2021
07 April 2018, Narrow Gauge South, Barton Peverill College, Eastleigh - Catching Up, Late Report 4 of 15
For the 14th biennial NGS, Exhibition Manager Tim
Couling and assistants from the Wessex NG Modellers moved from the long term location
of Sparsholt College near Winchester to Barton Peverill College in Eastleigh,
which offered better access for visitors and a return to the popular large hall
style of venue, which had not been available at Sparsholt for a few years. A
huge effort by all involved in the organisation resulted in a fantastic show, with
no less than 33 layouts and 27 trade, publicity and society stands, covering
all scales from
Click HERE to view the Photos for Part 1
Half way through the layouts now! As I reported for both the 2014 and 2016 NG South events, it was quite a challenge for me to fit in an hour or more for the 009 Society AGM and to find sufficient time to get round everything and record everything. I had to shorten my time in front of some of the layouts, but have tried to confine the quick “click and move on” visits to those that we have all seen previously in these reports as far as possible. One layout in this section has been given an extended coverage, which is only fair as it was awarded the “best in show”!
Sunday, 26 September 2021
17 February 2018 Rainford, Merseyside, The Narrow Gauge Show (NG Stan) - Catching Up, Late Report 3 of 15
For the first time, I was unable to start the year off with a visit to Ilton for the SWOONS event in January and with the demise of the sadly missed NG Southwest, it looked as if a barren first part of 2018 was on the agenda. However Stan Williams came to the rescue as far as I was concerned by organising a show at the familiar venue of All Saints parish hall in Rainford, Merseyside, which I think was titled “The Narrow Gauge Show”, but will hereinafter always be known as NG Stan! Very appropriately the show included no less than 6 amongst the 10 layouts present that were either owned by or built by Stan and/or Roger Christian over the years, and poignantly, although I certainly didn’t know it at the time, was that Roger would sadly succumb to long term illness later in the year so from my own perspective at least, it was a timely opportunity to make the long journey from Dorset to Rainford to attend. RIP Roger, you were a true ambassador to the hobby and are very much missed by all who knew you.
Wednesday, 22 September 2021
02 December 2017, Colehill near Wimborne, Wessex NG Modellers Open Day - Catching Up, Late Report 2 of 15
For the 6th annual day
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
5 August 2017, Wiltshire Group 009 Society 16th Biennial Members Day and MOMING 17, Pewsey - Catching Up. Late Report 1 of 15
A Saturday in early August and the year is an odd numbered one, so once again it is time for the biennial Wiltshire Group gathering in
Pewsey, this time being the 16th occasion. Some 200 or so
like-minded enthusiasts found their way to a village hall in rural Wiltshire
from all over the country, including 2 traders who had travelled from over 400
miles away in
Monday, 20 September 2021
It has certainly been a while, in fact rather more than that: approx 52 months since the last roving report was posted back in May 2017!
Several reasons for this: family health matters took over my life for a a long time and as a direct result, after posting the Beds & Bucks report from May 2017, the next event that I managed to get to was Pewsey in August of that year. However my rather antiquated and cumbersome photo processing "system" is extremely time intensive and before getting photos, suitably edited, cropped and in a lot of cases due to bad lighting on both layouts and in the halls themselves, quite a lot of tweaking using a very old image software called Paint Shop Pro, the original versions that were made by Jasc Software, not the current Corel produced one of the same name which is far more advanced, but also far less user friendly and simple!
And then there are the captions! A lot of people don't bother with captions, they just upload their photos and leave it to the viewer to try to work out what layouts and owners etc they are looking at. I like to give at least some clues to what the photos are of, which those who have given feedback previously have always commented favourably about. This all takes time and effort as well, and........ well they never got done, the next event I managed to get to after that also got into the queue and on it went.
A constraint of continuing the blog as it is, is that Google in its wisdom won't let you "insert" blog posts between others, they have to appear sequentially. So, as I have always been running what amounts to a continuing diary, then I didn't want to make postings out of date sequences. The result of this is that the backlog got longer and longer and life matters got heavier and heavier. 4 years later I found myself in a position of being 4 years older, but also 2 major illnesses in the family, one ongoing and one over 2 months in hospital and a 2 year recovery marathon, plus a house move in the middle of the pandemic, and in all that time, admittedly slowed by the covid pandemic stuff, I found that I had actually managed to get the camera out and attend 15 shows, 13 of them in the first 2½ years outstanding - 2017-19, just 1 in 2020 and so far 1 in 2021 with the likelihood that things may start to get rolling again next year, so certainly time to take stock and look at the viability of trying to catch up on lost postings and carrying on into the future. BUT I discovered that in those 15 events I took over 2500 images - many of them not very good images as well, so there has been some intensive work and much time spent in recent weeks going through them and getting them resized down to the standard online 800 x 600 format, ready for sifting down to a reasonable number and then starting the big task of captions!
With most attenders at events seeming to have very smart phones that take wonderful photos just by pointing at the subject, then there may not be much of a need for "roving reports" such as mine any more, only time and feedback will tell on that one.
Anyway, in case it takes a long time (I think it will) to catch up, and I hope it is catch up, not keep up as more events start to reappear in the diary hopefully, I'm starting the ball rolling here with a little taster so that each of the 15 events visited by me since 2017 get a mention, and then the outstanding reports from these can be built as time allows hopefully in the near future and not in another 4 years time!
Here's a brief taster then of the 15 so far "missing" roving reports:
5 August 2017 Pewsey - Wiltshire Group 009 Soc 16th biennial members day and MOMING 17
Unfortunately I was unable to get to ExpoNG in 2017
Sunday, 28 May 2017
Monday, 22 May 2017
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Thursday, 16 February 2017
Click Here to View the Photo Album for this Report
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Sunday, 11 September 2016
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Friday, 5 August 2016
Thanks Google! Due to some imbecilic decisions made within the Google Ivory Towers, I discovered on 6 August, AFTER I had spent hours preparing and uploading my delayed report on the Oxfordshire NG Modellers open day event at Steventon, that although Google had put out notices a while ago that they were going to stop supporting Picasaweb, they arbitrarily and without definite notice, pulled the plugs and blocked access to Picasaweb at around 1800 Hours on Friday 6 August - sods law perhaps in that I uploaded my newest report at around 1730 and as is normal, I had done the insertion of the captions etc online, checked as far as possible for errors and only then did I attempt to go "public" to allow unrestricted viewing to discover that all access had been blocked.
THANKS VERY MUCH, GOOGLE!
I have been trying to find a workaround for this but I'm afraid that the apparently all singing and dancing Google Images replacement is just not the same as Picasaweb and many of the features that I have been building in to provide easy access for those who like to visit my photo albums have been removed from the "improved" new service.
As at least a temporary fix I think I have found a way to maintain public viewing on the existing blog postings (there are around 100 albums here with up to 200 or so photos in some of them) via the link in the blog that will take you to the Google Archive where they have put all my Picasaweb albums.
This means that if you press the "Click Here to View the Photo Album for this Report" link you will now be taken to a Google Archive which shows decent sized thumbnails for the images in the album. Click any of these and they will open up and show forward and back arrows to navigate through the album.
There are captions in a very small font size below the photo, but only two lines of text will show. If I have made a longer caption you can access the full caption, or any of them in a more readable format by clicking on the "i" button top right which will open a drop down box with the caption on it. You have to close this box to be able to move on to the next image.
When you have finished viewing, click the left arrow top left of the pane and this will take you back to the album title page with all the thumbnails. Click on the back arrow top left on the menu bar and this will take you back to the blogsite.
I have now updated the links on all 100 or so of the photo reports in this blog, so you should be able to access any of them as previously.
I have now found out how to edit captions but have not yet figured out how to create a new blog posting and link it to an album of photo images now that Picasaweb has gone. The acid test for this will be when it is time to produce my next report!
Please bear with me on this whilst I seek solutions and also please join me in cursing the CRETIN who dreamed up this "improvement to the Google service"
Amended and toned down from the original rant, 8 August 2016.