2011 009 Society Sussex Downs Group Members Day

This evening is the end of a very busy bank holiday weekend for me, amongst the many other things that happened Saturday was the biannual member’s day staged by the Sussex Downs group of the 009 Society.

A fairly informal, friendly feeling day with quite a few familiar faces and some cracking layouts.  As I was busy manning the Narrow Planet stand for parts of the day I wasn’t able to point my camera at every single layout, but here are the ones that I did get photos of:

Nigel Lawton’s Chalk Pit

Nigel’s layout was positioned right next to the Narrow Planet stand, and during the afternoon there was some fun with a WD wagon containing a camera that was sending images to a security monitor beside the layout.

Quite impressive considering the small mechanisms that Nigel is so well known for.

Charlie Insley’s Kinwardine Wharf

Charlie is a prolific 009 modeller, and usually comes to our Kent area group meetings carrying boxes of goodies for one or other of his layouts in much greater quantities than everyone else, and it’s all to a very high standard.  The kitson in the photo below is one such item, an old Centre Models kit of the Leek & Manifold Railway tank loco mounted on two Fleischmann 0-4-0T chassis.

Phil Savage’s Batasia & Ghum

Phil’s layout is a big jigsaw of bits of ply, legs etc. and is very interesting to watch being assembled.  When it’s put together its clear that it’s a model of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway by the spiral and the way it hugs the hillside passing a tea plantation.  The last time I saw Phil’s layout the scenery was bare polystyrene painted a sort of grey-brown colour.  Aumusingly Phil described it as “a pile of elephant dung”.

When completed it should be very atmospheric, particularly with all the scenes that can be captured along the ‘Hill Road’ which the railway follows for much of it’s length.

Dick Wyatt’s Dovey Valley Railway

This is a layout that I’ve long wanted to see.  When I was first getting interested in railway modelling as a youngster I used to pick up old copies of Railway Modeller.  Even at that age I often used to hone in on articles on narrow gauge prototypes and layouts, I don’t really know why.  But one layout that I collected articles on was the Dovey Valley Railway, inspirational then and even more so now as it still runs very well!

It’s nice to have seen how all the different images that I once saw in yellow aged copies of the ‘toddler’ all fit together, a very photogenic layout indeed.

Martin Collins’ Llandecwyn

I was fully expecting Dovey Valley to be the highlight of the show for me, but that accolade went to Llandecwyn.  It’s only part finished at present, but shows great promise of being a superb layout.

The fenceposts in this photo are an example of the custom etch work that could be undertaken for your layout by Narrow Planet, these were produced for Martin and look very effective in position on the layout.  Just before opening time, whilst I was wandering around, Martin was having a few gremlins including his model of  ‘Beddgelert’ getting stuck in the tunnel, I wonder what is living in there which hindered it’s passage!?

Whilst looking around Martin’s layout I noticed one particular rock face which looked extremely detailed, following discussion with Martin is appeared that they are from moulds made by the same company that I am planning on using on Isle Ornsay.  I’ve only seen results of castings from them online, but if these are the sort of results that can be produced then I’m even more keen to get hold of some now!

During the course of the day I caught a fleeting glimpse of a new kit which the 009 Society will be putting into production soon, it’s of a Hudson coach with open sides.  The handrails are very fine and well represented on the example I saw.  I look forward to picking up a couple in the future.  It’s nice to see the Society producing models again.

Finally, a shot of Mick Thornton proving that he doesn’t always carry a camera with him! For those of you who have not come across the ‘Roving Reporter’, Mick does an excellent job travelling the country to the major narrow gauge shows capturing the exhibits and events on camera. He had a very well stocked Fotopic site, but sadly when Fotopic went bust it was all lost. Mick has put a lot of effort into reinstating his web presence on his new blog. If you haven’t already had a look I strongly urge you to do so, but make sure you’ve got several hours (if not longer) spare, a cup of tea and plenty of biscuits.

Thanks to all the Sussex Downs members for their hard work, it was a very enjoyable day! I look forward to repeating it in 2013!

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