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 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 Hof to 7¼ in gauge! The 009 Society also held their AGM in the middle of the day while all this was going on.

 So, how to cover a big show like this and provide as reasonable balance as possible has been the challenge. Another challenge was the ghastly green painted walls in the huge main hall, which caused a colour cast challenge which I struggled with for photos showing the whole of layouts, apologies for some of the poorer quality images that resulted and also one of the side rooms was extremely dark which affected overall layout photos even more so. In order to show as much of the show as possible, I’ve split the report into two parts. Access them in the usual way by clicking on the link text below each of the two photos.

 I hope you enjoy the report!


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”!

I hope you have enjoyed this report. The next one will be of a visit I made later in the year to see Robin Brogden’s Museum of Transport. If you haven’t seen this layout, it has something of everything in it and I guarantee you will be impressed!

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.

Click HERE to view the Photos for this Report

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 out in Dorset that Brian Guilmant and members of the Wessex NG Modellers organised, some 150 including participants, support staff and swanners around with camera shoehorned their way into Colehill community hall. As 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, what more could anyone want on a cold Saturday 3 weeks before Christmas! These events are much more fulfilling and enjoyable than the big mainstream exhibitions, full of the same products from Hornby, Bachmann, Grafar and etc with just a couple or so NG layouts of the sort we all like – and at 3 or 4 times the entrance price as well!

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 Scotland, one from Manchester and 2 from Birmingham. Nobody was disappointed as Andy Cundick and the Wiltshire Group team pulled out all the stops as they always do, to ensure that everyone had a splendid day out enjoying top quality modelling as well as an overload of sugar with the famous extra sticky lardy cakes that are a feature of the event!

Monday 20 September 2021

20 September 2021, It's Been A While! Time to Start Catching Up!

 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 

14 Layouts plus 7 MOMING layoutsBerger Hall - Bill Corser 09

Unfortunately I was unable to get to ExpoNG in 2017

2 December 2017 Colehill - Wessex NGM Dorset members day
11 Layouts plus a number of small dioramas by Toby Hollins-Jones
Hirson Bellvue - Howard Coulson HO9 (Howard does not recognise "HOe"!)

I was also unable to attend the annual "start of year" SWOONS open day at Ilton in January 2018 so my next outing was all the way to Merseyside to attend:

17 February 2018 Rainford - "Narrow Gauge Stan" - Stan Williams' roundup of North West NG layouts
10 Layouts
Tan yr Allt - Roger Christian 009

7 April 2018 Eastleigh - Narrow Gauge South. A really big show in its new location
36 Layouts
Aldbourne - Adrian Ponting 009

Another long period without being able to get to any shows until:
13 October 2018 - Christchurch MRC exhibition at Bournemouth
Just 1 large Layout covered
Museum of Transport - Robin Ogden 4mm scale

27 October 2018 Swanley - ExpoNG
22 Layouts plus 8 small Dave Brewer Challenge Trophy entrants
Launceston - Richard Holder 009

1 December 2018 Colehill - Dorset 009 Modellers and Wessex NGM open day
14 Layouts
Portewen - Roger Gadsby (RM Railway of the Month March 1992)

12 January 2019 Ilton - SWOONS 13th members open day
13 Layouts
St Petroc Quay - Harry Dawe 009

30 March 2019 Rainford - The NG Show and 009 Society AGM
15 Layouts
Loch Ewe Harbour - David Johnston 009

29 June 2019 Exeter - Exe Model Railway Society MRX - NG layouts
7 NG Layouts
Pontfadog - Toby Hollins-Jones 2mm scale 5mm gauge

12 October 2019 Christchurch MRC exhibition at Bournemouth - NG Layouts
4 NG Layouts
Tarrant Valley Railway - Wimborne Railway Society 009

19 October 2019 Corse & Staunton - M5/M50 NG Modellers Exhibition
10 Layouts
Derwent Road - Bill Flude 09

7 December 2019 Colehill - Dorset 009 Modellers & Wessex NGM open day
11 Layouts
Tansey Bank - Bob Vaughan 009

11 January 2020 Ilton - SWOONS 14th members open day
The last event that I attended before the Covid lockdowns
8 Layouts
Fort Whiting - Charlie Insley 009

7 August 2021 Pewsey - Wiltshire Group 009 Group 18th biennial open day
The first outing for me after Covid public meeting restrictions lifted
10 Layouts
Garreg Wen - Matthew Kean 009

That lot should give me something to get stuck into over the autumn (and hopefully not longer than that - but we'll hope for the best!) - if I manage to get the free time to get on with it!