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.

In August 2016 Google blocked access to Picasaweb in order to force everyone to use their "much better" Google Images, so I had to do the whole exercise again. Thanks! .

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 photo album plus captions for that report. The link will take you to the front page of the Google 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. Move forward or backwards by clicking the right or left arrows on your keyboard. When you have finished viewing, click the back arrow showing top left of the photo panel and this will take you back to the album opening page.

Close it in the normal way by clicking on the "X" top right or click the return arrow top left of the Windows screen to return to the blog, depending on which browser you use. 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.

Thursday 1 November 2012

06 October 2012, M5/M50 NG Modellers Open Day, Corse & Staunton, Gloucestershire

Another early start, this time heading towards Corse and Staunton in rural Gloucestershire where the M5/M50 NG Modellers, with support from a number of members of the West Midlands Group, had laid on an excellent variety of goodies to make the journey very worthwhile for the considerable numbers who attended.

With the layouts supplemented by the full sales stands from both the 009 Society and the 7mm NGA, plus a number of traders and preservation societies, a super lucky dip lottery from Shirley Harper; and Jane and Janet with almost all the Webb family in support providing 5 star refreshments throughout the day from bacon butties at breakfast through to ploughman’s lunch with non stop cakes in between - what more needs to be said, it was a great day out in the customary friendly and informal style. 

Here's a selection of photos which I hope covers most of what there was to see.

Monday 15 October 2012

29 September 2012 - Small & Delightful Railway Group Open Day, Compton Dundon near Street

The Small & Delightful Railway Group, who organise NG Southwest at Shepton Mallet, held their own biennial open day at Compton Dundon village hall, near Street in Somerset on 29 September. Unfortunately this time round, attendance was affected by the group having a new location, which was not widely publicised, and their own website published the event as being the weekend before! Added to this, a couple of layouts dropped out just the day before, so those hardy exhibition chasers that did manage to find the show had rather thin pickings. On the plus side however, both the 7mm NGA and 009 Society sales were present in full and some real bargains were able to be identified without jostling amongst crowds, the day was the expected informal and friendly gathering - and the Victoria Cream Sponge cake baked by the Glastonbury Lions ladies was probably the nicest I have ever sampled! 

Friday 31 August 2012

18 August 2012, Narrow Gauge Midlands, Water Orton

Up early and on the road north again, this time to Water Orton and the West Midlands Group biennial members day ably organised by Jane Thompson Webb (5 Star Catering) and Julien Webb (everything else) with fellow West Midlands group worthies for another friendly, informal and enjoyable day amidst like minded narrow gauge modelling enthusiasts. 9 x 009, one HOe, one 00n3 and a 4mm scale 4ft 1½in tram layout along with superb trade support from CWR Models, RT Models and Worsley Works plus artist Angela Baker with some very nicely painted backscenes and of course the 009 Society sales stand with volunteers who once again came considerable distances to contribute to a great day out in the Midlands. Plus of course Jane’s superb refreshment service and a surprise to delight all followers of pioneering narrow gauge modelling (see the photos below!). Great stuff, looking forward to the next one already!

Tuesday 10 July 2012

30 June 2012, Oxfordshire NG Railway Modellers Members Open Day, Steventon

Despite the downpours, floods and pestilence this summer, Richard Holder and his fellow Oxfordshire NG Railway Modellers were granted fine weather for their first group open day and nearly 250 participants, supporters and visitors were rewarded with a super event that was well worth the considerable organisation and efforts committed towards it. 14 top quality layouts, 13 being in 009, with between them, 4 featured in Railway Modeller, 3 trophies and a further AGM Certificate of Commendation, ensuring that the description of "top quality" really was accurate. This Members Day really did tick all the boxes in terms of all that is best about this type of do - friendly, informal, great fun, splendid refreshments available all day, and a great venue - very suitable for future events, which we all hope will be considered for a repeat by the host Group!

Saturday 28 April 2012

14 April 2012, NG South, Sparsholt College, Winchester

It is incorrectly assumed by many that, because the biennial NG South, at Sparsholt College, near Winchester, also hosts the 009 Society AGM, that it is exclusively an 009 event. Well, amongst the 30+ layouts that Alan Rolfe and the Wessex NGM team had organised for this year's Hoedown in Hampshire, half of them were in other scales, so a fair balance was provided for all interests. Overall there were 59 stands including trade and societies. It was a top class event as it always is and I hope my selection of photos will at least give a flavour of the day of what will surely turn out to have been the best narrow gauge show this year. Well I thought so and so did lots of other commentators on t'internet. I hope you enjoy this selection. That's enough from me, let's have a look at the show!

Saturday 31 March 2012

24 March 2012, Cornish NG Expo, Threemilestone near Truro

To Kernow and The West! As 009 Society Sales Officer Brian Guilmant was unable to travel to the Cornish NG Expo at Threemilestone near Truro on 24 March I was asked if I could take the sales stock on his behalf. Well what's a 17 hour 400 mile round trip, and reveille at 0400 when there is a promise of not only a bacon butty for breakfast but a genuine Cornish Pasty for lunch? A splendid little group do was held, very well hosted by Tom and Lyn Snook, and of course the Cornish NG Railway Modellers. I would especially mention Bob Ayers who came all the way from Gloucestershire to spend the whole day on the sales table with me, plus Marion Blair who also stepped into the sales team. Thanks to you both for your sterling work and enabling me to "swan off with my camera" for an hour or so to grab some snaps of the delights on offer! Although the hall seemed quiet at times, I believe the day was very successful and Tom reported that there were 165 through the door - very good for a group event of this type. I certainly enjoyed the experience and of course the 5 star catering, which is of course illustrated here to show those that thought the far south west to be beyond their travelling range what they missed!

10 March 2012, Narrow Gauge North, Rawdon, Leeds

To The North! Despite living in Yorkshire for many years of my earlier life, I never got to NG North, so this year I thought that it was high time that I made another trip beyond the Watford Gap from my home in Dorset. I duly set off into the pre-dawn gloom very early on Saturday 10 March, and arrived in what is regarded by southern softies as "the frozen north" in Leeds some 5 hours later to find sunshine, lots of cheerful people and lots of trains, even if some of the people were difficult to understand! A very good day out, good to renew acquaintances with friends that I don't often get the opportunity to meet face to face as it were and well worth the expense and long hours to get there and back. Must do it again next year! There were around 20 layouts in the show, which is supported by all the major societies, so obviously there were also a wide range of scales represented in the layouts, plus a 7¼” gauge passenger carrying line set up by the 7¼ Society along one of the corridors!

Friday 16 March 2012

3-4 March 2012, Strabane at the Romsey Model Railway Exhibition

On Sunday 4th March I had a “2 hour window” in the morning so decided to visit the Romsey Model Railway Exhibition, organised by the local railway modellers society. This is a fairly small show, normally about a dozen layouts, of a variety of scales and types and always good quality. This year there were 3 narrow gauge layouts: Feltwell Road in 009 from Stuart Reeve and sons, John Thorne with his 009 Purbeck and Andy Cundick with his 00n3 work in progress: Strabane. I have photographed Purbeck and Feltwell Road several times before so as time was tight, I concentrated on Strabane, as it is a while since I last saw the layout and the work has progressed a great deal since then. So this short report is entirely for County Donegal Railways fans! More of Andy’s superb Irish models are in the Donegal and Bradford-on-Avon reports from 2009.

One of Andy Cundick’s information notices at the front of the layout states that Strabane is “the fourth in my trilogy of County Donegal layouts” – and there is a bit of Irish for you! Previous 00n3 layouts in the “series” were: Donegal Town, Castlefin and Letterkenny. Andy has also exhibited another Irish narrow gauge layout showing the Londonderry & Lough Swilly border station Bridge End, just outside Londonderry on the Swilly line to Buncrana and Burtonport.

Photos of Strabane, showing just how far this ambitious layout has progressed since its first outing can be seen in my reports from: Narrow Gauge South West 2009 and Narrow Gauge South 2010. And there’s more to come! So far Andy has modelled just the northern end of the narrow gauge part of Strabane station, as far as the footbridge, for those that are familiar with the location. He intends to add a further 8ft beyond the bridge, and was also telling me of tentative plans to extend the width of the station boards to show at least part of the Great Northern Railway (Ireland) broad gauge station. Ambitious indeed and I very much look forward to seeing further progress of this project.

Sunday 4 March 2012

18 February 2012, Narrow Gauge South West, Shepton Mallet

This year's "Small & Delightful" NG South West on 18th February was most definitely NOT small as to celebrate the 20th NGSW, it had been decided to make it a really BIG one and with 51 layouts counted, not including society demo layouts etc, it most certainly was that! Despite some very late trade stand cancellations and only discovering that several of the planned rooms were no longer available the night before the show, the organising team still managed to put on what was almost certainly the biggest NG specialist one day show we've ever seen, and in many people's opinion's including my own it was one of the best as well. With over 50 layouts, there can only be a brief glimpse of each one, but I have tried hard to include at least one photo of every layout and something of the flavour of NGSW as well!

Wednesday 8 February 2012

22 January 2012, Beds & Bucks NG Modellers Members Open Day, Barton Le Clay

The 7th annual Beds & Bucks NG Modellers open day was another very successful event for Mark Howe and his colleagues with no less than 14 layouts present, several traders attending, 009 Society sales kept busy all day; and catering manager Terri Howe reported no less than 150 sausage bap kits constructed and then consumed – as well as a host of other super eats. It was an easy decision for the travelling culinary assessor to award not only 5 stars but the rare honour of golden frying pan as well………………

It was good to again see junior narrow gauge modellers being actively encouraged and all in all I experienced a very friendly, informal and inspiring day out that made the 300 mile round trip for me well worth the expense and time.  Once again, congratulations are in order to the Beds & Bucks NG modellers for their hard work in laying on a splendid event.

If you didn’t go, but decided to visit one of the several “mainstream” model railway exhibitions that were scattered throughout the country on the same date, then not only did you spend a lot more money in entrance than you would have done getting in to this event, but you missed a grand day amongst like-minded enthusiasts that had all the qualities that make narrow gauge modelling stand out from the other strands of the model railway hobby.

Sunday 5 February 2012

14 January 2012 - SWOONS Members Open Day, Ilton, Somerset

Another splendid start to a new year as the South West Area Group of the 009 Society (SWOONS) held their 6th Members Open Day at the Merryfield Hall in the small village of Ilton, between Yeovil and Taunton in Somerset  As usual, a good selection of layouts were provided by both the members of the group and some invited guests.

This is a small, informal and friendly members open day and attendances are never going to be counted in the several hundreds, but those who make the effort to travel to the depths of rural Somerset know that it is well worth braving the winter in order to have a good day amongst some very skilled modellers, plus of course a golden opportunity to have an in depth rummage through the whole extent of the fabulous 009 Society sales stock without being pressured or jostled by the 3 deep crowds that lay siege to the treasure trove at larger events. Congratulations to all the SWOONS members who worked hard to lay on an excellent little event and to the new catering team of Maria and Matt who worked hard all day, keeping everyone’s victualling requirements more than amply satisfied. Another 5 star award – well I couldn’t really drop the culinary assessment after it being featured as a star attraction on the front page of the programme could I!