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.

Monday 29 December 2014

30 November 2014, Dorset Narrow Gauge Open Day, Colehill near Wimborne

Following the successful Members Morning’s that Brian Guilmant had organised in 2012 and 2013, for this year he laid on a full day mini-exhibition with a selection of top quality invited layouts in 3 scales, both the 009 Society and 7mm NGA sales stands, a “drop in surgery” for sick items of stock provided by fault finding wizard Ian Turner and the usual superb refreshments provided by Muriel Guilmant and her team of volunteer ladies. Once again, enthusiasts who know a good thing when they see it came from near and in some cases very far and including those who were participating, about 100 people enjoyed an outstanding friendly day of narrow gauge modelling fellowship. What a splendid way to round off another full year of these superb little informal events. If you haven’t been to one yet, then make sure you do in 2015 – a much more enjoyable day out than you get at the big mainstream exhibitions!

Sunday 16 November 2014

25 October 2014, Expo NG, Swanley, Kent

Another Friday evening in late October, M25 totally gridlocked and still 10 miles of it to suffer before arrival at Swanley for “setting up” and hopefully managing to get to the Campanile Hotel under the QE Bridge approach before the bar closes – It must be ExpoNG time again, doesn’t time fly! This time the year 2014 formed an appropriate title for a selection of superb 0-14 layouts amongst the 18 top quality NG layouts assembled “amongst all the trade stands”. Once again the event was one of the main focal points of the year for like minded narrow gauge modellers from near and far to meet up and once again due to the number of photos I took I have had to split this report into 2 parts. A great day was had by all who managed to get there!

Part 2 continues with more layouts, including a special extended coverage of Richard Glover’s Pagham  Harbour, which was being shown for the final time before being retired. Fortunately for fans of this splendid layout, it has now passed to the safe keeping of a very experienced 009 modeller so there is a chance that this was actually not the “final” showing of the layout. In order to provide photos which I hope has given viewers something of the experience of a day at ExpoNG, producing a report with over 200 photos and with captions as well, is very time consuming, but I have enjoyed this task and do hope that you enjoy it equally. I do hope to be able to continue to produce these photo reports particularly so that those who are unable to attend either through distance, health, or personal circumstances may be able to attend “virtually” via my photos.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

27 September 2014, Small & Delightful Railway Group Open Day, Compton Dundon, Somerset

The Small & Delightful Railway Group are the small team of dedicated mainly Somerset based narrow gauge modellers that organise and host Narrow Gauge Southwest at Shepton Mallet every February. Because of the size and success of this super event, they are unable to show off their own layouts so, every couple of years they get together with some additional invited layouts from relatively local modellers to have a small, informal and very enjoyable little show of their own. To round off a splendid day out for all those who like this type of small specialist event, the Glastonbury Lions ladies provide a fantastic array of world class cakes. The Great British Bake Off TV competition pales into insignificance compared to a Glastonbury Ladies Victoria Cream Sponge! 14 narrow gauge layouts, covering all the main scales – a really splendid and enjoyable feast of modelling (and cakes!).

Friday 5 September 2014

16 August 2014, Ice Cream, Jelly and Trains in Sussex

A gathering of guests invited by Chris Ford and Nigel Hill to play and talk trains, and to consume jelly & ice cream took place at a secret location in Mid-Sussex on the 16th August. Although I’ve been invited before, this was the first time I had managed to get to this exclusive gathering. The “invite conditions” are that you have to bring a layout or something to show and I must admit I was not sure how my table of 009 stock would be received, however everyone either approved or were too polite to indicate otherwise. Hurrah! The company was outstanding as was the quality of the items brought along to show, and the hospitality of the hosts: Chris, Nigel, Karen and Mrs Ford senior, who all worked ceaselessly all day replenishing the food and the teapot was fantastic. A splendid party indeed and huge thanks for the invitation!

Sunday 31 August 2014

29 June 2014, East Midlands Group, 009 Society Members Day, Portland College nr Mansfield

So, the excellent Oxfordshire NGM members day came to a close and those of us in it for the duration all packed up and headed 130 miles north, to Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. This was the first full scale members day for the East Midlands Group and they had found a good venue thanks to the generosity of Portland College Principal (and East Midlands Group member!) Dr Mark Dale. No less than 21 layouts and several static displays as well as 009 Society sales, A1 models, Fourdees and Andrew Neale providing trade support. It was another splendid day and I for one am very glad that I made the decision to travel a long way from home and pay out for petrol and a hotel bed in order to attend - well worth it and again much appreciation to the hosting Group for a very enjoyable event indeed.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

28 June 2014, Oxfordshire NG Railway Modellers Open Day, Steventon

The first of 2 narrow gauge modelling events this weekend saw the “009 Society Road Show” making tracks to Steventon, near Abingdon, for the 2nd biennial open day organised by Richard Holder and fellow members of the Oxfordshire NG Railway Modellers. A splendid location, including a cricket match on the green outside the hall and absolutely outstanding hospitality and organisation by the Group inside the hall!  There were14 top quality layouts, a good selection of traders plus a very well stocked 009 Society sales stand and excellent 5 star refreshments. It was a super day, spent in friendly company and just the right start to a full weekend of modelling excellence! All too soon, it was time to pack up the sales stock, Rod Allcock’s Corris layout and A1 Models, all appearing at both events, and a number of 009 Society members headed north towards the Sunday event at Mansfield.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

17 May 2014, SWING, Bognor Regis

"Small Wonderful Industrial and Narrow Gauge", which is quite a mouthful but actually very descriptive of what this little event is all about. Organised by the South Downs Group of the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association, I expected the event to be awash with 7mm NG and nothing much else, but I was very wrong as actually there were only about half the layouts in the 7mm NGA own favoured scale range, the other half containing five 3½/4mm plus one each Sn2 and BIG 7/8" scale layouts as well as a 5/7¼" dual gauge steam powered kiddy ride outside on the lawn. Overall it was a splendid, informal and friendly day, in the best tradition of members days and it was very well attended by narrow gauge enthusiasts, some of whom had travelled considerable distances to join in. This was the 6th annual SWING event but my first, I certainly don’t intend it to be my last!

Monday 14 April 2014

05 April 2014, Narrow Gauge South, Sparsholt College, Winchester


For the 12th biennial NGS at Sparsholt College, near Winchester, Alan Rolfe and the hosting Wessex NG Modellers put on another fantastic day that once again proved to be a challenge to get round everything as well as fit in the 009 Society AGM within the available time! 27 layouts plus a further 3 on trade and society stands, amongst a total of 54 stands, there was a feast of top quality layouts and modelling on display, all set in the friendly atmosphere that this do is renowned for. Another overload of shutter clicking from me to the extent that, once again I have had to split my report into 2 instalments in order to provide what I hope is a fair representation of everything that there was to see on the day – I’ve even had to omit the traditional food photos this time (except for one!). I hope you enjoy the selection I have chosen!


Part 2 continues in the same room that we completed Part 1 in, where we had just looked at a splendid American 0n30 layout. Immediately opposite was another American narrow gauge layout, this time in HOn30, providing a good contrast and comparison for anyone still confused about size and scale nomenclature! Still only about half way through our tour of the diverse and entertaining selection of narrow gauge layouts that Exhibition Manager Alan Rolfe had invited from near and far, like many others who attended, I found it quite a challenge to get round everything allowing sufficient time to enjoy all that I saw, and like others reported, I very nearly missed out on a couple of rooms, but, having double checked the show programme, I am as confident as I can be that I got at least a glimpse of every layout present !

Wednesday 2 April 2014

15 February 2014, Narrow Gauge South West, Shepton Mallet

For the 22nd Small & Delightful Group's wonderful day out at Shepton Mallet, some 25% of those who normally attend looked at their atlases and worked out that as Shepton Mallet is in Somerset, it must be under 6ft of water, so must be too dangerous to attend. For the other 75% who know enough about geography to know that the flooded Somerset Levels are to the WEST of Glastonbury and Shepton is several miles to the EAST, then they had a bit more room to walk around the halls and enjoy the 25 layouts and loads of traders and societies present in what in many minds is the biggest, best and friendliest annual narrow gauge modelling event of them all. Unfortunately I got called back home on urgent matters at around lunchtime, but I still managed to get some photos of just about everything so here is my record of what was another fantastic trip to Somerset.

Tuesday 1 April 2014

26 January 2014, Beds & Bucks NG Modellers Members Open Day, Barton Le Clay

Barton Le Clay seems to get better every year! This time, the 9th annual open day that Mark Howe and the Beds & Bucks NG Modellers have put on, there were 16 layouts in a variety of scales and despite the bad weather, over 200 people were present in the village hall making it a very snug and friendly event indeed. The 5 star catering team were hard at it all day providing a never ending queue with fried sausage baps and loads of other super goodies whilst Brian Guilmant and his 009 Society sales team were under siege in an adjoining room as usual. This open day has filled the gap for a narrow gauge modelling event that is accessible from all 4 points of the compass that was left when Chilterns NG stopped some years ago and has become one of the top NG specialist events in the calendar. Well Done Indeed Everyone!

Monday 31 March 2014

11 January 2014, SWOONS Members Open Day, Ilton, Somerset

Another extremely wet and windy start to the year as Brian Guilmant and myself loaded flares and lifejackets into the 009 Society Salesmobile and set forth into the waterworld that parts of Somerset had become. Our destination, Ilton, is very near the flooded Somerset Levels and at times the A303 heading west from Yeovil was a bit like a causeway across a giant lake but we navigated a dry route and got there safely, as did a good number of narrow gauge enthusiasts, ready to enjoy the 8th South West Group 009 Society Members Open Day. Once again Matt and Maria Cicquel came up from the Devon Railway Centre and provided 5 star beverages and food including some splendid hot “oggies” whilst everyone enjoyed the usual informal, relaxed and friendly gathering amidst an entertaining variety of models provided by the host group and friends. Well done to all the SWOONS team for an excellent event.

Sunday 30 March 2014

A Visit to Tim Sanderson's Elmgate and Thatcham Light Railway

A long time ago Tim Sanderson invited me to visit his home in Haywards Heath and take some photos of the Elmgate & Thatcham. Eventually the opportunity arose in September 2013 and just 2 weeks after my photo session at Brian Guilmant’s home, I found myself visiting Tim at last. I have been an admirer of Tim’s innovative and imaginative modelling since I first read about his “Jintybash” locomotives in Railway Modeller January 2000 and subsequent articles on converted TT goods vehicles and Meridian Ashover coach modifications in the July 2001 and August 2002 issues respectively.  This is a portable layout built for exhibitions and operation and is a complete contrast to Brian’s Imperial Western in the previous report. As I couldn’t publish results of my photo session at the time, I thought it appropriate to put it in here as a fitting finale to my 2013 outings with the camera. I hope you agree!

Saturday 29 March 2014

A Visit To Brian Guilmant's Imperial Western Railway

I mentioned in the report on the Member’s Morning on 14 December 2014 (the previous report in this blog) that, in addition to organising a mini-exhibition in his local community hall, Brian Guilmant had also invited visitors to see the fantastic narrow gauge empire that he has been building in his 30ft x 14ft converted attic. As can be appreciated I’m sure, taking photos of a home layout visit with a number of people present can be “challenging”, so I thought it entirely appropriate to cheat a little here and insert a record of a special invitation that I had from Brian 3 months earlier, in September, to take a set of photos of the layout which he used some of in his article that was published in 009 News issue for December 2013. Here then is my own guided tour of the world that exists in Brian’s Attic!

Friday 28 March 2014

14 December 2013, 009 Society and Wessex NGM Members Morning, Colehill, Wimborne

Following the success of the Members Morning in Colehill in 2012, Brian Guilmant, hired the Colehill community hall a hundred yards from his home and organised another one for 2013, to the same recipe as the previous year: a selection of invited layouts, complete with the 009 Society sales stand, bacon rolls for breakfast and soup and rolls for lunch, a visit to Brian’s fantastic narrow gauge empire in his attic and for the Wessex NG Modellers members and invited guests, their own Group Christmas Meeting in the afternoon. Another very successful day, if exhausting for the organiser! Lots of people made the journey, some travelling considerable distances. I had to leave at lunchtime, but everyone that I spoke to during the morning told me that they thought it was a splendid little do and a very enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning!