September Newsletter 2020

The Chairman's Dribble.

Hello everybody!

We are nearly out of September and in a few days we will be in October and but for three months the year will be gone. Lets hope 2021 will be a better year and perhaps we can start to enjoy ourselves and also our hobby.
As you will be aware we have managed to keep the track maintained with a limited crew of six people. We have spoken to Mr Parrott and we can now work Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and play on Saturdays. But still with only six people on any one day as laid down by H.M. Government; this allows members to contact MickW to book a slot. Pictures on Dropbox will show the progress on how the crossing is progressing and is not far off of being finished and to all who worked on this project, a great job has been done. Norman H and Ralph R have been refurbishing the fence round the outside of the track with new posts and runners which look fantastic.
I have now started to do some testing on Traction Engines and Loco’s when they can be fitted in, so if you need a test you can contact me direct or MickW and we will do our best to accommodate you as it will be good to get some of these done.
This year has been a very trying year, but we are getting through and are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
At the moment it does not seem as we will have our AGM in November, but the accounts are being done and as soon as we have them we will provide you all with a copy.
So, please keep safe and I hope to see everybody sometime in the not to distant future. Dave M. Chairman

The Secretary's Report.

Well, where has 2020 gone? Have we got the better of this Virus? When will we be able to get together for any sort of normal general meeting? Will we get an AGM? All questions and no answers.
We will have to think very hard in the future if we are to continue maintaining the track and improving the facilities and where will any future finances come from. I doubt if many of you will have given it much thought, but just by missing the last five months we are at least £125 poorer because we have not held the normal meeting raffles. We also did not get The Weeting Rally and we have not been able to have any activities which make us any money at all. If we were a business we would have perhaps gone broke. The insurance company has NOT refunded our fees even though we have not been able to run. So to continue to improve and maintain we will need to do something.
Until we get an AGM, I am happy to continue as Secretary. MW

Thoughts, The trials and tribulations during this period of Covid-19 which none of us, have ever seen before.

Since Wednesday March 4th 2020 when we held our last general meeting it has been hard to please everyone in our club. The one thing about being British is we all have the same freedom of speech and this can sometimes mean that we can each hear a statement and each member can have a different point of view.
I remember as a manager, I was sent on a course of management and was absolutely gob-smacked when we were given an A4 sheet of paper and ask to write down what we saw. I saw a ghoulish witch! I was only one of three managers who saw this were by every one else, perhaps 22 other managers, saw a beautiful young girl.
It took some explaining to me to see it their way and yes the picture was done to confuse but it taught me that there are always many ways to look at one single problem and not every way is the correct way. So I learned to listen to others and not get stuck in to ‘my way is the only way’.
I think and hope that when you perhaps read this that you may think the same way, because I feel there are members who think they are always right, you may be, but please think there can be many points of view.
This period of lock-down has been very difficult because the rules are NOT clear and are written by very clever people who may be saying one thing and could be saying another – it is a legal way out of yes, when they really mean no. So please, lock-down has been difficult; it has been unique; so please let the current management do their things and if you are not happy about it then ‘Stand up and be counted at the next AGM’, when ever that may be. I have said enough.
We, as a club have been working three mornings a week since June 6th 2020 and we are well on with the crossing. We are tackling the fencing which looked dreadful when we came back to work. This is on going , but is going very well. We are cutting the grass regularly and the site is starting to look very good.
We could perhaps start a florist shop as we have quite a lot of lovely dahlia flowers, but then I am sure they would not last long. MW

John Cartwrights Obituary

As most of you will know, our member John Cartwright died of a heart attack on the evening of Tuesday 14th April 2020. John was a regular member and attended every single work day that I can remember. John was always there making tea and coffee and was always ready to ‘Chat’. He will be sorely missed! John’s funeral was held at Brecklands Chapel at 11 O’clock on 4th May 2020. It was at a time when only a limited number of people could attend and so there was a very poignant video funeral available through ‘Obitus.Com’, which myself and Dee W watch.
We learned that he had lived his younger years in Twickenham and became a keen member of The Hanworth Rugby Club. John had his own trade engineering company in Southend and moved to Norfolk in 1982. He had two Daughters.
He obtained a pilots licence to fly light aircraft and would regularly fly from Tivitton Airfield in Norfolk.
He first had a stroke in 2007 and a heart attack in 2011 and all the time he was a member at BDSME he walked with sticks. He was learning to play the Banjo. John modelled aircraft and boats; his workshop was in a spare bedroom where he had a mill and small lathe; he was building a ‘Sweet pea’ before he died. The last piece of music play for him was The Rolling Stones ‘Brown Sugar’ which said everything about John. RIP.

Three pictures of John C controlling the tea urn; his favourite bit of kit. Always a smile from his kitchen and one day when we had a whole day working we had lunch – and who cooked it? well, everyone had finished except John. So? Yes! John C.

Jeffrey Broads Obituary

I have already advised everyone by email that our old member Jeff Broad has died. Jeff died in hospital on 19th July 2020.
Jeff was born in Sawbridgeworth, Herts on the 26th March 1928 and had a normal comprehensive school education. He entered work as a car mechanic and when his National service came up he joined the Northamptonshire Regiment. He was part of the 2nd battalion of rifles and was called up on 18th April 1946; his trade on enlistment was a fitter apprentice. His Nation Service was mostly spent in Austria, until he left the 2nd Bn, The Northamptonshire Regiment, in April 1948. He had a very nice military conduct record, which said, good; reliable; responsible; worked without supervision. His working life was all in metal and he worked for a Bishops Stortford company called Millers.
His passions were gardening and furniture making along with Model Engineering. He almost completed two Minnie traction engines, one each for his two daughters. He also had a mention in Model Engineer Vol 177 no 4024 September 1996. It said “Built by Mr Jeff Broad of Brandon DSME, this fine 1/32 scale model of a two high, non reversing stand (Rolling mill) was a fascinating item at The Hewitt School in Norwich when Norwich DSME had a show”. See below
Len Cd

Len C, Peter E and Jeff B

The Crossing Update

Right from June 6th an iconic day for two reasons: D Day 1944 and restart day back at the track after lock-down. The weeds had had a real go at overwhelming the site, but we soon got on top of this and the grass was cut and the weeds pulled up. The whole track was sprayed with weed killer and we were back on top again. Geoff B took command of the flowers and things started to look, well normal and great.
Before lockdown we had finished the sleepers and these were ready to creosote and bolt together to make 3 lengths of solid oak beams crossing the crossing at 3.7metres long, 12 inches wide 6 inches thick.
We had with the great help of Shaun C dads tractor digger, dug out, well say about 10 cubic metres of soil down to the chalk base, so 10 cubic metres of ballast , hard core, sand, and oak timbers had to be placed to within millimetre’s according to the drawings. Of course the track, track wise was reasonably level, but the three levels of the track from the inside to the outside were anything but level and anything but square to each other. Anyway, if a job is worth doing, its worth doing properly, so we used the drawings as what had to be done and started laying hard core. I think we had 5 or 6 tons of type 1, as well as all the old broken blocks and bits laying around the site, and 4 tons of sand, we used 52 blocks, and 60 one cwt kerb stones, we have used 545, 100mmx 200mm x100 paving blocks to make a walk way on the bridge side and work is still on going, but the finish is in sight.
The pictures are I hope self explanatory

Picture One
Picture Two
Picture Three
Picture Four
Picture Five
Picture Six

Picture one: ballasting inside line.
Picture two: already sanded with the two sleepers being joined together .
Picture three: laying the joined together sleeper in the inside position. 
Picture Four: Inserting blocks before walk way is installed.
Picture Five: all three sleepers installed , ballasting centres before sand and kerbs are installed.
Picture Six: inside track rails being installed, there are three different width rails so that there is only a small gap between

Each rail, five all together, to help the traction engines pass over the rails smoothly.

Newsletter June 2020

The Chairman's Words

Hello Everybody!

These past few weeks have been very difficult for most people: this pandemic is something that we did not except, but it seems this is something we are going to have to live with. Over the past few weeks the committee and myself have had to take steps to comply with government guidelines and sometimes these steps have not been easy to understand, so, hence it has not suited everybody, but this is what we have had to do, whether we like it or not.

Over the past week, to comply with the new guidelines we have been able to open the track to allow six members only at one time, on Monday Wednesday and Saturdays, to attend and do some necessary maintenance work, providing we keep social distancing. As you have seen, this has to be shared out with everyone, to allow members a chance to visit the track. If this is a success we will introduce Boiler testing, which we will be looking at as soon as possible, so please bear with us. So, as soon as there are any changes to Government ruling, we will inform you.

There is a risk assessment form which needs to be filled in by each member, if they visit the track, to comply with the Government tracking system. I know this is hard with all these new rules, but we need to keep people safe, so please bear with us and let’s hope we can soon get back to a normal life if possible . So please keep safe, I hope to see you all soon. DM Chairman BDSME.

The Secretary's Report.

Well what can I say, what a few months, was it “Hell” or what? personally I found the time and the lock-down, “what I always imagined retirement would be, because when I was at work I thought 30,000 mile a year driving was a lot, but even being retired I was still doing nearly that same mileage, until March lock down I have not done 300 miles and well this has been great. Missed Mondays, Wednesday, and Saturdays, but have learned how to screw cut in the lathe, how to waste nearly 3 feet of 1/2 brass rod, but well the discipline has been great, some more done on Tom Rolt and a box under the bench with my first ever engineering project “ Rob Roy” has been out on the bench and I have now made and scrapped four cross head pumps, So Paul B, when will you be going to the scrap man because I have a rather large scrap box at the moment, but hey I will get there.

Now back to us. Brandon & District Society of Model Engineer, from the emails I have received during lock down I feel that there is something in being a model engineer, one or two “I’m bored” emails, but all in all some very very positive one’s and Kevin’s Under the bench Challenge has been taken up by several members and pictures are in the remaining pages of the Mardle.

Alas, we has lost our friend John Cartwright, not to the virus, but a heart attack, his humour and wit will be missed by many, but, not perhaps by all. We need a new caterers assistant: is there a rule of last in? perhaps not. Anyway for now it’s bring your own until things change.

Several other losses – The Weeting Rally, The extra Money,

Fawley Hill, Sir William McAlpine railway visit is cancelled but booked for Next Year.

All the normal traction engine rallies are I believe off.

We have had an email from a company called “OWL Castings”

Their email says we are a small metal casting company and have been servicing the needs of model engineers for over 10 years, as part of our expansion into model steam locomotive sector and to help keep sprits up in this strange time we are willing to offer your members a 20% discount on all of their metal castings. We cast in iron, bronze, brass and aluminium, and will be happy to provide quotations if required.

Their web site is

A telephone number is also provided.01843 297110.

I would just like to say I do not have any connection what so ever with this company

Just one more thing. John Cartwrights machines and tools are for sale. I know in this time it would be difficult to see what he has, but his Daughter has sent me some pictures. Alas, they do not mean a lot to me: she has offered his recently started Sweet Pea to the club if we have someone who would like to take it on and finish it.

He also has a lot of metal and Sam his daughter would like to sell it all very quickly.

Please let me know if you are interested?

Just some news. Perhaps some of you will be interested in the news that during lock down several members of the committee have been talking about the clubs activities. looking forward, perhaps arguing about which way forward, but certainly we are all in contact through the internet program “ Zoom”. This is similar to “ Skype”, but personally I am not sure which is best as I have been a Skyper for perhaps fifteen odd years. It costs nothing and is a really good way to speak to family and friends over either a video link or even as with me several of my Indian friends do not have computers with cameras on so we basically type the message and talk through typed messages. Anyway, during lock down we have continued to talk trains, traction engines and civil engineering. Perhaps there could be an opportunity if lock down goes on and on that we could have a general meeting on the internet: time will tell. 

See you all as soon at it is safe to do so. mw

Light heartedness has been in the fore, and here are a few of the words.

Steve HW. My self-Isolation Quarantine Diary.
Day 1– I can do this!! Got enough food and wine for a month
Day 2– Opening the 8th bottle of wine, I fear wine supplies might not last.
Day 3– Strawberries: some have 210 seed, some have 235 seeds . Who knew??
Day 4– 8.00pm removed my Day pyjamas and put on my night pyjamas.
Day 5– Today, I tried to make hand sanitizer. It came out as Jello Shots!!
Day 6– I get to take the Garbage out, I’m so excited, I can’t decide what to wear.
Day 7– Laughing way too much at my own jokes!!
Day 8– Went to a new restaurant called “The Kitchen”. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal, I have no clue how this place is still in business.
Day 9– I put liquor bottles in every room, tonight I’m getting all dressed up and going Bar hopping.
Day 10– Struck up a conversation with a “Spider” today. Seemed nice, he was a web designer.
Day 11– Isolation is hard , I swear my fridge just said , “ what the hell do you want now”?
Day 12– I realised why dogs get so excited about somethings moving outside, going for walk or car rides. I think I just barked at a squirrel.
Day 13– If you keep a glass of wine in each hand, you can’t accidentally touch your face.
Day 14– Watched the birds fight over a worm. The Cardinals led the Blue Jays 3-1.
Day 15– Anybody else feel like they’ve cooked dinner about 395 times this month?
Day 16– There are 3691 tiles on my neighbour’s roof opposite.

OK, one for the engineers.

I recently called an old engineering friend of mine and asked him what he was working on these days. He said that he was working on “ Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminium , and steel under a constrained environment” , I was extremely impressed, until upon further enquiry, I learned that he was “washing up” the dishes with hot water under his wife’s supervision.


Donald Trump goes on a fact-finding visit to Israel. While he is on a tour of Jerusalem he suffers a heart attack and dies. The undertaker tells the American Diplomates accompanying him, “ You can have him shipped back home for $50,000, or you can bury him here in the holy land for just “$100”. The Ameri-can diplomats go into a corner and discuss the two options for a few minutes. When they return to the undertaker they tell him that they want Trump shipped home. The undertaker is puzzled and asks,” Why would you spend $50,000 to ship him home when it would be wonderful for him to be buried here, and it would only cost you $100? The diplomates replied,” A long time ago a man died here, was buried here and then, three days later he rose from the dead.

We just cannot take that risk.

More More. Should we, why not.

One day Donald Trump, President of The USA, was visiting his troops, when one of his bodyguards no-ticed that in the crowd a member of the public was pointing a gun at the President, his immediate in-stinct was to call out “ Mickey Mouse”. With that a shot went off but no one was hurt.

At the enquiry afterwards the body guard was asked, why the hell did you shout Mickey Mouse, the bodyguard said “ it was my very first day as a body guard and I had been briefed earlier that I should say one of the Walt Disney Characters, but I got the wrong one. The enquiry then said “ what was this character, and he said “ I remember it now , I should have said Donald, DUCK.

Ok Just to the bottom of the page.

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a women below. He descended a bit more and shouted “ Excuse me, can you help me”? I promised friend I would meet him an hour ago, But I do not know where I am.

The women replied “You’re in a hot air balloon hovering at approximately 30feet above the ground, you’re between 59 and 60degrees north latitude and between 107 and 108 degrees west longitude”

You must be an engineer said the balloonist.

I am, replied the woman, how did you know?

Well answered the balloonist everything you have told me is technically correct, but I’ve no idea what to make of your information, and the fact is I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help at all. If any thing you have delayed my trip.

The woman below responded, “ You must be in management”

I am ,replied the balloonist, but how did you know.?

Well said the woman” you don’t know where you are, or where you are going. You have risen to where you are due to a large amount of hot air. You have made a promise, which you’ve no idea how to keep, and you expect people beneath you to solve your problems. The fact is you are in exactly the same po-sition you were in before we met. But now somehow, it’s my fault.

Two more, I promise.

A lawyer and an engineer were fishing in the lake district. The lawyer said “ I am here because my house burned down, and everything I owned was destroyed by fire. The insurance paid for everything.

The engineer said” My house and all my belongings were destroyed by a flood, and my insurance com-pany also paid for everything.

The lawyer looked somewhat confused. How do you start a flood? He asked.

Last one.

Did you hear about the constipated engineer?

He worked it out with a pencil.

It was a natural log


The Under The Bench Challenge

Dear Members,
We hope you are keeping safe and getting
Through these tough times OK.
We have heard on the grapevine that many of you
Have been spending plenty of time in your
Workshops, carrying on you with your model
Engineering projects. Some people have even
Started new ones! These include new railway
Locos, rolling stock, various wheels, woodturning,
stationary engines, and one member is even
considering cooking their dinner in the smokebox
Of their scale traction engine!
What will you make?
Keep up the good work, keep safe, and we look
Forward to seeing you and your project when we
next get the chance. KB

Below: Chris H pictures. The rear wheel picture shows the traction engine wheels rivet being squeezed in. Chris say the rear wheel is 30” diameter and weights more than he can lift.

Geoff B – first picture following his nightmare. Then rejigged.
Second – very competent set up.
Third picture – All three holes superbly finished.

Brian M project in lockdown, a nice looking pedalo.

Geoff B new “Steam raiser”

More of Geoff B boat along with the steam engine which will power it. Looking good.

The following four pictures are John M project. Two rather nice oscillating engines made to “LBSC” design. 

John said “It was more Watch making than model engineering”.

7 1/4” Gauge Container Wagon by Kevin B.

Norman H electric 7 1/4” Electric loco, made to Norman’s design with materials in stock.

Looks very good. Well done!

Mike L our newest members new workshop. Mike has completely insulated and revamped the area during Lockdown.
Looking very good. Now looking for his next project

John Cartwrights Models and Machines. Let me know if anything take’s your fancy.

Norman S project during lockdown. A “Gypsy “ caravan. Looks a very interesting project. Well done!

Mike H 0-6-2 Metre Maid and new Driving Trolley. Looking great!

Newsletter March 2020

The Chairman's Dribble.

Hello everyone! March is here, so spring is just around the corner, so summer cannot be far away. So lets hope for some nice weather. As most members know there are several events planned for the coming year, so make notes in your diary’s. Norman H and Ralph R have refurbished the foot bridge with new wooden slats all the way across and it looks a very professional job.
The railway crossing, under the guidance of Mike S and Mick W with their willing crew of workers are well on the way, so things are looking good. So all in all things are moving for-ward quite nicely. So lets hope the weather is good to us so we can have an enjoyable year. Well that’s all for now, let us all make this another good year. DM Chairman

The Secretary's Report.

The new running season is about to start again. At the track we are working hard to get every thing ready. Our plan is to finish it as soon as possible.
As you will see in the calendar dates are being added and our first day will be the Apprentice day where we would like the junior members or members who would like to drive steam engines and perhaps have not had the opportunity, only back and forth, but some experience.
I need to impress on you all, I need the Hockwold forms filled in and returned as soon as possible. Hockwold Show is on Sunday May 31st, so if you want to exhibited then please do your form and let me have it. The FRIDAY May 8th VE celebration day, nothing concrete here yet but a celebration perhaps to be-hold!.
Remember our website We still do Mondays and Saturdays and perhaps Wednesday when the weather is kinder. Will let you know MW

Annual New Year Lunch.

This year’s Lunch was held at the Santon Downham Village Hall on the 12th January 2020, the caterer’s provided us with a selection of dishes which made this meal for £15.00 a very special meal. There was a bar where you could buy what ever drinks you wanted and there certainly was not the hustle and bustle of our previous venue. We were all together and feel that it was somewhat special. The meal was served very promptly and it was hot and all very nice, and looking round the plates which were empty, perhaps meaning it was good, or everyone was really hungry or we were not served a lot and could have done with some more, very much a long way from the truth, but I did not have any complaints so, it would seem you all had a good meal.
It was certainly different all being together and it was I hope a success. This year we had 46 persons attend and we could probably have had perhaps another 16 so maximum 62, without being overcrowded, still that’s for the future. We had a few engineering jokes read out, not much laughter. But it put things in order for Dave M address, Thank You, Dave. Enclosed are three pictures, just to show you all, the ambience of the place. MW thanks to Gill F and John M for the pictures.

Track Report

During the last few months the lean too has been completed and is a very good addition to our storage problems. It needs some tinkering, Paul B is adding some lights and Geoff E is going to add some rails so we can keep our members trollies and the like, in a bit more se-cure place than in the tunnel, so watch this space.

The Crossing

The crossing is coming on a pace. The hard core and sharp sand has been purchased and delivered ready for making the foundations really solid. The metal has been purchased and being worked on, the crossing has been dug out to the chalk with the help from Shaun C, Dad’s digger, oh, so much easier than digging and wheelbarrowing the spoil away. The old broken kerb stones are being laid in the bottom of the footings and at present this is up to date where we are.
The rails are being made, but most days have been too cold, too wet and too windy to do any welding, but we will get there. Mike S is drilling and milling the 3.8metres rails for the crossing at home and when this is complete we will purchase the railway sleepers . All in all we coming on exceptionally well with a very good set of worker each working day. We are doing Mondays and Saturdays at present and hopefully when the weather is kinder to us, Wednesday will be back, but watch this space.
Below is a couple of pictures of the digging out process.

We dug out the crossing to the chalk, which was about 24” deep we then “Whacked “ it and laid all the broken kerb stones and blocks in the bottom, we then filled in the gaps with a fine layer of sand ready for the ballast to come next.

We are going to include a walk way or zebra crossing for people to cross on, run-ning next to the bridge, a me-tre wide, this will be block paving we have acquired , thanks to Norman H the crossing will be approximate-ly 12 feet wide, to our metric men about/ not exactly. 3.64m

The crosses are our levels, these horizontal pieces of wood are the rail hights from either side. Here Geoff B is “ Whacking “ the ballast down hard and flat. Still more to come but the weather this month has been a right Pain.

This is one of the longer sleepers being set up ready to mill the top and bottom slots in the side, this will give us a groove which we can bolt a piece of 60mm x 12mm x 1metre long bar on each side allowing us to join two sleep-ers together and butt up the kerb stones flush to the sleepers.

Another picture showing the road crossing between the blocks, the kerb stones will be laid flat side up and between the sleepers, with a centre section from the flat concrete slabs we have. On the left side will be a paved walk way made from paving blocks.

Ballast has been laid and we have been waiting for the sleepers to be milled with the side fixings to join two sleepers to-gether. This has now been completed and delivered to the track, along with the metal side straps and bolts.

The Bridge Repair

Following last year’s emergency repair, something had to be done with the bridge. We have purchased some very adequate timber for the job and this has been sawn up and painted ready to be fixed across the walkway of the bridge. We have also, well Geoff E has welded a strong central angle along the whole width of the bridge the make the tim-bers more stable, see below the pictures. This is an ongoing project so watch this space.

The Boating Pond

We still have a bit more painting to do on the posts. The wire netting has certainly done a fantastic job, as the water is very clear and clean. The rain continues to fall and we have had to keep the level of the water below the top of the frame so we have had to pump some water out to satisfy this. The grass has started to grow and all in all this now looks a picture, instead of an eye sore / trip hazard boating lake. When the sun shines it does look very good, especially when the new plants go in, so again keep your eyes pealed.

News update due to the Coronavirus.

As you all know we are in the midst of a global epidemic where the rules are changing every single day.
You will have all seen our latest email Sunday 22/3/2020, just to remind you that Brandon & District Society of Model Engineers is now in complete shut down on all aspects for the foreseeable future.
We will of course update you as and when we hear any more from the Government to tell us when things can be reversed.
As you all probably have realised, The Mardle was mostly written before the epidemic really started, so the dates in the calendar will probably not go ahead but we will advise you as and when we know anything definite. So, we will have to play it by ear so all we can say at present is keep safe, keep calm and carry on and we hope to see you all after this “ Virus” has run its course and gone away. DM & MW

Newsletter January 2020

The Chairman's Dribble

Newsletter January 2020

Well, hello everyone. We are not far away from the new year. Looking back over the past year, I do not think we have any thing to complain about, things have run pretty smoothly and jobs at the track have been completed in plenty of time, so let’s hope the same happens in the coming new year and we can make 2020 a good year. So, I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I wish you all a very Happy New year. 

Dave M.

The Secretary's Report

2020! Where has the last 20 years gone?

Well first of all, I do not have a lot to report. Halloween run, even on two days, we could not make it happen because of the weather. No one wants to go to Alexander Palace, so this is off, from BDSME’s point of view. We have the dinner on the 12th to look forward to, otherwise it is pretty quite.

We have the crossing to complete and a couple of things to do on the pond and BDSME site will have been transformed into, what I hope you will all consider to be a Model Railway and Traction Engine site that you are proud to represent. February will be the start of the fifth year of the “vision”, so hope to see you all doing “ Your thing or things” in the future .
I hope you all had a super Christmas and I wish you all the very best in 2020.
Let us all go forward and make our track a site which people will come and say “ Wow” that is some railway track.

The Boating Pond

This project is nearly finished; you can see in the bottom picture why the wire netting was put round the pond, this really has stopped most of the leaves from ending up in the water. We have fitted two gates at the bottom end, these just need to be finished and painted with the posts being creosoted and this then should be a pleasure to sail or steam your boats on in the future.

Newsletter Sept 2019

The Chairman's Dribble.

Hello everyone to the September 2019 Mardle. Well this has been a busy year with many things going on. There has been improvements to the track, much work being carried out by our members on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and our resident gardener Geoff B giving us some nice plants to look at , as we ride round.

November the 6th is the AGM of the BDSME, so this is when election officers and committee members takes place, so if you want to take on any of these posts, please come to the meeting and put your name forward. We will be pleased to see you.

The nights are drawing in, don’t forget we have our Halloween run on the 26th October, and you never know what will turn up on the day.

Well , that’s all I have for this Mardle, see you all soon, Dave M. Chairman.

The Secretary's Report.

Another BDSME year nearly at an end, time really does seem to fly these days, The AGM in November. Subs are due at the AGM please.

We have Saturday October 26th our Halloween run to come, I think this will be a fish & chip supper, so we can all have some fun running into the dark.

There is the Midlands Model Engineering show at Fosse Way to come, 17th to the 20th October 2019. Still a couple of seats available.

We are still working at the track, Monday’s Wednesday’s and play on Saturday’s so if you feel like helping please come done, or if you just want to talk, we are there. We will be doing the crossing after the Halloween run, so during that time the track will be closed for all the way round , so if you need to run it will have to be forward and then back, or back and then forward.

Just a bit of light banter

Scientists at Farnborough built a gun , specifically to launch dead chickens at the wind-shields of airliners travelling at maximum speed.
The idea was to simulate “bird strikes” where birds hit the aircraft at speed, to test the strength of the windshields.
British Railway engineers heard about this “GUN” and were eager to test it on the wind-shields of their new high speed trains, which were also susceptible to “ bird strikes”.
Arrangement’s were made, and a gun was sent to British Rail Engineers. When the gun was fired the chicken shot out of the barrel, it smashed the shatterproof windshield, blast-ed through the control console, snapped the engineer’s back-rest in two. Horrified, they sent Farnborough the results of the experiment and begged their scientists for sugges-tions. Farnborough responded by suggesting that they should try again, BUT, this time the chicken should be defrosted first……………
My Boss yelled at me the other day,” You’ve got to be the worst train driver in history. How many trains did you derail last year. I said” Can’t say for sure it’s so hard to keep track…….
Got a couple of railway buffers going cheap. It was an end of line sale…………
Went to a Railway fancy dress party, everyone was wearing platforms………….

Field Report

The track is in pretty fine fettle; the new 7 1/4” pits have proved their worth during the Weeting Rally. So too is the new improved Engine lift that is an absolute triumph. Well done guys, a super job.

We have added a new signal box thanks to Norman H. Following a red light problem, we have added a sounder so it is now safe and after leaving the station you are warned that the light on the gantry could by red by a sounder fitted to the signal box. Thanks Mick H and Paul B and Geoff E.

The pond just has to have the seasonal wire netting put around it and this should make sure we do not end up with tons of leaves in the pond when the trees decide to drop their leaves; this is on going.

The crossing is being decided on and at present we are looking at various ways of making the crossing safe for loco-motives to drive over whilst making sure that if any thing needs to cross the rails, they will not move. As soon as we have had the “Halloween Run” in October we will be on with this.

The “Ladies Lounge” is complete and is there as a quite place to sit or just have a chat; again time will tell what this becomes, but at present it is a quite place for the boiler testers to complete the numerous forms that need their concentration on after a boiler test.

Paul B and Mike H are rewiring the tea room and fitting LED tubes, so watch this space, you soon will not recognise the place.

Geoff B continues to tend the flowers and these this year have been wonderful. Well done Geoff.

The grass is regularly cut and all in all the whole place has become a “ place to behold” well done to the loyal work force, we still continue to work Mondays, Wednesday and play Saturdays so if you are at a loose end any one of these day, there is tea and sometimes food. So, perhaps, we will see you soon.

Below are some pictures of the lean-to storage shed. It will be the same length as the container with double doors.

This project has come a long way in four years. Well done everyone! What an achievement!

From this...

…To this

The Quarterly Mardle – June 2019

7 1/4 inch Steaming Pit

The Chairman's Dribble.

Newsletter June 2019.

Hello everyone, what has happened to our summer? Last year at this time we were in a heat wave, but maybe it is getting ready for The Weeting Rally, which is only 5 weeks away. what! it will soon be Christmas. Well, the track is looking good. A great job has been done on the pond but we need  to find some water still. The new lift is in place and what a lift! The old rollers on the small traverser are about to be replaced. What can I say, except a great job has been done by all of our ground crew, also we must not forget our resident gardener, cast your eyes around the plants, wonderful. We have one more meeting before Weeting. Your tickets will be ready by then, so you need to arrange to pick them up, they will not be posted unless you have sent a SAE to Steve M. Well, I better get back to my workshop and try to finish my engine ,hopefully to be ready for Weeting, so goodbye for now. DM

The Secretary's Report.

Hi to you all. Here we are, well into June, half way through the year. We are on our way in having the track in tip top condition, looking forward to The Weeting Rally  July 19th 20th and 21st 2019. We have just had The Hockwold show, a small parking problem, but we could have secured a new member so, worth all the effort. We have had already our first family running day, done and dusted. All the jobs we have started are coming to completion. We had a grand day out at Doncaster with a mini bus taking the strain, and 10 members having a buying day as never before. Midlands next in October 17th 18th 19th 20th, we will probably go on the 19th, so please let me know places are limited on the mini-bus. Weeting Rally will be upon us in no time, we still have things to do, but we will be ready. It is technically 25years this year of the inauguration of the track at Weeting, are we up for “ a bit of a do” let me know your thoughts and I will see  what we could do. We have the technology, do we have the “hands”?

We have had an invitation to visit “The East Coast Casting company in Watton on Wednesday 11th September 2019 at 3.30, for a one hour visit, if you are interested then please “ EMAIL ME” soon as please. No fee.

Also a running day has been suggested on 29th June 2019, I will email you all in due course.

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking Steve HW for the donation of a small workshop band saw to BDSME.  Thanks Steve. MW

The Track Report

Several projects to report on this time. Completion of the second 7 1/4 steaming pit; Update on the refurb of the pond; our very substantial new engine lift; the finished new digital signal light system and last but not least the Chairman’s Office.

Second 7 1/4” steaming  pit

Built next to the engine lift bay, we have had to make a new set of points to be able to insert this new steaming pit. This will enable the larger engines to be fired and closed down in a more comfortable place than having to kneel down to oil and drop the fire, you can do these things in relative comfort.  See the pictures.

Update on the Pond

We have finished the building of the frame work of the pond and have re- positioned the liner, you can see from the pictures, where the liner used to be, we are continuing to fill in round the outside of the pond, we cannot beat the soil down until we get  it filled with water, so we have been doing a bit and waiting for it to settle, but it is all in hand. We have built some steps down to the waters edge at the bottom of the pond so you will not have to bend down to put you boat in the water. We aim to grass round the sides and then erect a wire netting fence round the pond to help stop the leaves and rubbish being blown in the pond, especially when the leaves begin to fall in autumn. You can see the progress from the pictures.

The New Lift

Mike S , Mike H, and Geoff E have spent an enormous time on the very, very substantial project. Mike S and Mike H have produced this piece of kit from their own drawings and ( WHOW) if you have not seen it in the flesh then you will be gob smacked, it will lift the “Titanic”. It was built to fit in the existing pit, so there were some constraints but this will be the envy of many a model engineering club. We have had it professionally welded and painted and Geoff E and Mike H with Mike S supervising have installed it, and it looks fantastic. So please bring on your engines and you will be on the track in a flash.

We continue to work on the Summer house, Work  force A has to become work force C from time to time, most of the painting has been done, the window “glass” has been cut and all the beadings painted prior to them being installed, we have had to provide a new lock, following the previous locks key being stolen when the miscreants had an afternoon seeing what was worth taking, the key was gone, so we now have a new lock to be fitted. All is very much under control for time and this will be ready for Weeting. Below are the pictures to show our progress. 

Strumpshaw 2018 & 2019

Strumpshaw Steam Rally is a very good show. We have members who go as themselves and win, yes, win prizes. In 2018 Norman S won “THE BEST STEAM EXHIBIT” with his super traction engine. Below is his picture, well done Norman, well done indeed.

This year another member with his traction engine won.

Geoff B for “THE MOST OUTSTANDING EXHIBIT”. Well done Geoff, very well done following your 2017 ‘Dick Brown Cup’ award, very well done indeed!

Geoff B “wagon train” well done. Geoff.

Newsletter March 2019

The Chairman's Report.

Welcome to the March 2019 Newsletter. 

Hello everyone! well, we are truly into 2019. It is the beginning of March, with some lovely sunny weather, but I think we are in for a change.

Well the track is looking good and the lights have been tested with the results needed. The two 7 1/4” gauge pits are nearly finished and the track with the new points looks good. So shortly we will be starting on the pond. This should then complete what is needed to make the site look good.

My thanks to the team that works up there in all weathers, which has allowed these trans- formations to take place. So on this note I will say goodbye for now and hope to see you all on Wednesday night at the auction and hope it brings in plenty of money.

Dave M.

The Secretary's Report.

Where has the time gone, as I write this piece, next week will be March, 2019 it only seems last week it was Christmas, but time and tide waits for no man, has someone said that be- fore? We already have had one running day, our third year anniversary of “The vision” apart from being a cold day we had an absolute excellent turn out – Thank you all very much. 

This year is the 25th Anniversary of the “Inauguration of the Weeting track opened by Mr Parrott on 21st May 1994. So could we have a celebration on this theme?

There will be a couple of extra dates on the calendar, so please make a note, also anyone wanting to go to The Hockwold show you need to get the form available from me in by 19th April. If you want to show or take part in the Weeting Rally this form is available from Steve Mahoney, and this also needs to be in with Steve by 19th April 2019.

We still have a working party at the track, Monday’s Wednesdays and Saturday’s, Saturday’s can also be a play day, so watch out for announcements, on the email. We will be working on the pond soon so many hands made light work, if you can help, you will be most welcome.

Have a good summer and I will see you soon.

The Track Report

We are still doing the second 7 1/4” pit, the points are cut and welded in the track, the rails are fin- ished inside the pit and are currently being painted and welded in position, the track from the points to the pit are being laid and certainly by the time you get this, it should be all up and running.

We have done some preliminary work on how we can tidy up the pond and get rid of all the “Health and Safety issues “the blocks”, we have asked and been told we can spend up to £500 on posts and boards to make it all neat and tidy. We have the necessary permission to let the water out, so all should be a carpentry job . Our next major project.

We have been donated an old “ Summer type House/Shed” and have installed this, after getting per- mission to redirect the fence along the right hand side as you enter the small gate, work is nearly fin- ished and it is looking very nice. To become an office and quite place to sit and view the trains going by during any running day, It already has the seal of approval of the ladies, see picture, below, taken during a rather cold running day in February.

Mike H and Paul B have just about finished the soldering and there been lots of “green” “red” Amber so all is working as it should. So we will be able to control the engines with the new signals.

The new engine lift is at the welders and is being welded ready for installation when complete, watch this space.

The Quarterly Mardle – December 2018 Issue

The Chairman's Dribble.

Newsletter December 2018.

Hello Everyone! Well, another AGM has been and gone. I feel honoured to have been voted Chairman again for the coming year and hope that I can keep everyone happy.

Also, Mick W is still Secretary and Mike S, the man who looks after the money is still our Treasurer. I would like to welcome Stuart Fletcher and Geoff Bethell to the committee and look forward to their input. I would like to thank Paul Bailey who has worked hard as chief boiler inspector and has now decided he would like a rest and I have now taken his place and hope to keep up his good work.

Your Chairman Dave M

The Secretary's Report.

Another year has passed and one or two changes have been made to the committee, lets hope new blood will mean new points of view and more ideas for making BDSME even more successful.

We have the dinner to attend on 13th January 2019 at The Olde Windmill Inn at Great Cressingham. We also have the London Premier Model Engineering Show at Alexander Palace during the weekend of 18th 19th and 20th of January 2019, advance tickets are available.

We are still working at the track every Monday, Wednesday and play/work on Saturdays, so you are all most welcome on these days to come and help, or just to come and see where we are up to in the track work.

Let me please say subs are due from Nov 1st, and welcome to all in 2019. mw


The Track Report

As I hope you will all know, the basic ballasting of the track has been completed . We have two projects on the go at the moment, this is:

A. Mike H and Paul B have with some help, rewired and updated the signals. 

B. We are building two 7 1/4” gauge  style pits for maintenance and dropping the fire for the larger 7 1/4” gauge engines. I will start with B.

B. The two pits, first one has been put to the left of the moveable rails leading into the Loco Shed. Geoff E has built a new set of points which have been installed in the track just before the Ladies Toilet, this give us a branch, left into an Eight foot by Five foot pit which is lined with blocks and then the two sides have a railway type size sleeper on end at the sides giving the loco men an eighteen inch deep pit to fire and maintain their engines. The floor has been tiled with slabs, and at present Geoff E is welding up all the steel work, all found available under the Work shop, once all is welded, we will lift it out and paint it to stop it rusting. We are digging out the soil from the points to the pit so we can lay a new ballasted layer of track for the rails to be laid on and welded into position.

When this is complete we will do the same type of pit along side of the lift pit, this will require a three way set of points, but when it is finished it will certainly move us into the large engine capability, so watch this space in the future.

Top left, Geoff B cutting the frame for the track bed.

Right, The position of the new points, still some work here , but this gives us our branch to the 7 1/4” pit.

Below, Only the  “ Health and safety things to finish, and the track back to the points and we are in business.


A. Signal Report

Mike H continues to make progress with the modernisation and upgrade of the signal  system. Based on the original work undertaken by Myles C, the new system closely follows his prototype system, but with a few changes.

Now housed inside the hut and protected from the elements, the control cabinet houses a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). Mike H tells me that this device can control the movement and priority of train automatically. You can see from the photos below that the whole thing is compact and incorporates a mimic board to one side so that the state of the signals can be seen at a glance. Various functions can also be selected from push buttons on the front of the panel. Paul B has reconfigured the batteries to give the correct supply to the new cabinet and has taken the opportunity to tidy up the adjacent cables.

The track sensors, all but a couple, have been replaced with stainless steel versions and it is hoped that this will eliminate the issue of corrosion seen on the  old brass types which should help reduce the number of bad contacts. To help overcome this problem Mike H has also included additional sensors so that where necessary a loco passing over the sensor will have more than one opportunity to  make a connection. Belt and Braces, maybe? These additional sensors also allow better separation of the trains going over the diamond crossover.

New cables have been laid around the track and the two cabinet’s, one at the foot bridge and the other at the gantry now only house soldered connections back to the control cabinet. Gone are the old screw terminal blocks which were prone to corrosion and failure.

Mike H say that he hopes to be ready to start testing by February 2019.

The Box inside the Hut with the Repeater on the left, needs to be seen to get the full potential of  the work.



Thank you Dave Beeken for sending me these photographs of Brandon track through email; this was when Dave came along at the Anniversary Sunday.  

If anyone can throw any light on any of these people, please let me know.

Thank you MW


BDSME Newsletter September 2018

Chairman's Dribble

Newsletter September 2018.

Well Hello! Where has the year gone? We had our first members running day back in May and then in July, we had The Weeting Rally, our Anniversary at the end of August, and now our AGM is only just a month away. What a busy year?.

Well the anniversary was a great success thanks to Peter and the members of the sub committee and everybody else that was involved.

We had a good Weeting rally, so in part, the year has been good to us.

We also now have six paid up junior members, so, all in all I think the club is doing well.

The members who have been working at the track on Tuesdays and Thursdays have done a great job and my thanks goes out to everyone who has helped to make this such a great club.

Well, I think I have dribbled on long enough. I hope to see you all at the meeting in October.

Bye for now. 

Dave M – Chairman

Secretary’s report

Below is my report on the Anniversary Dinner, as Kevin B did such a fantastic write up on the hardware at the show I have left this out, only to say WOW what a great show. Thanks to all you members who had a model on show.

Two things; first the Midlands Model Engineering show is on at Fosse Way, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 18th October to 21st October. Seniors on line tickets are £8.50. It’s a good show and well worth the effort to get there.

Secondly, our next Family running day will be our Halloween day,  Saturday 27th October. Fish and chip tea at cost and will go on till dark. Dressing up an option, an engine or traction engine is essential.

There is still a work party at the track Tuesdays and Saturday just now certainly after end of September no Thursdays as it is the shooting season and we do not want to be the targets. We are installing new cables for the digital signals and we are building a second steaming bay track at the loco shed, mainly for the larger engines and it will have an ash pit, work on the points it needs have already started, and going great. Still to finish is the ash pit and ballasting of the area around the turntable, so still work to do if you are at a loose end, tea is provided, at no extra cost, even if you just want a chat, we are always/well mostly always there.

40th Anniversary Celebration and Supper Weekend of 30th August to 2nd September 2018

Having now recovered from the trails and tribulations of the Anniversary weekend, I would like to whole-heartedly thank everyone who was involved or helped in any way on this fantastic anniversary celebration weekend.

I will not thank you individually, least I should forget someone, but, you know who you are, and I truly thank you all very much for putting in the time and effort required in making this a fantastic occasion.

When we first spoke about this year being the 40th, I found a newspaper cutting which said the club had been started in 1978 by a small group of people lead by Mr Ernie Perkins, bringing people out of the seclusion of their garden workshops, it had an active of 25 members. It was set up first in Brandon, but they were plagued with vandalism, so they moved to a second site in Brandon, again this was no better, so they moved to our current site around  1993, and the site was officially opened by Mr R Parrott on 21st May 1994, I believe , not a very nice day weather wise.

Back to our 40th Anniversary. A sub committee was set up and discussion’s started on how things were likely to go on the day. Food wise a “Hog Roast” was talked about, but the price prohibited this, other suggestions, pizza van, burger vans and the like were all put in the mix, but hey, this was our 40th Anniversary, it had to be better than what had originally been proposed. We talked about the date and it was suggested to have it over three days, a Friday, Saturday and a Sunday, set up on Friday with some running Saturday being the main day with food, and Sunday taking down and putting it all away, so 31st August, 1st September and 2nd September was selected. We were blessed with wonderful weather, thank you again who preyed for this, my knees still has callouses even now. I think in hind sight the biggest decision we had to make was what would we charge the members to supply a supper, what could we do which was “Good and Wholesome”, and could  be easily prepared and served. We had a sort of dummy run at The Hockwold Country Fair, and again the ladies stepped up to the plate, we had 18 members at this show and prepared the food, we felt would work, this was made at home and bought along and we all sat down to lunch in the sunshine, a “Ham salad with all the trimmings, including Hot Baked Potato” and this was followed by a Fruit salad with cream, Wow!!  And the surprise was a “Pimm’s” drink, what a revelation. The menu was set in stone, and we could do all this for £6.00 per head.

When we discussed numbers, it started with  70 members and wives 140 people, but as time went on it ended up as 80 people. So, some maths was needed we kept all the bills for the 18 original meals and simply arrived at enough for 80. As it worked out we were able to supply everyone with what they wanted with very little waste.

It was decided that paper plates were not what we wanted to use, so all the Brandon charity shops were given an order for 100 china  plates and 100 china bowls for no more than 5p each, and this was achieved. Knives, forks and spoons was a different matter and thankfully everyone bought along their own, so once again thank you every one. Another potential problem was going to be chairs, we had some but not 80, but we were able to borrow them from the Weeting Rally Committee, so thanks to them also.

We had some discussions, on do we let people serve themselves, but it was thought it would take too long, so we were to serve the supper, one serving table, 80 members could take 80 minutes, not acceptable, so 4 serving tables were proposed, and it might take 20 minutes, but we would need perhaps 10 or 12 servers, 

You can see it that it did not just happen. But again ladies stepped up to the plate/serving tables and when service started, we were sitting down to our supper within half an hour. Thanks, once again to all you lovely ladies and not to forget the gentlemen too. Thank you all.

The weekend was suddenly upon us, the orders had been placed, the shopping done, three large trollies worth, it was time to start erecting the three marques, 15 tables in the two big marques and 80 seats, just not possible, we could only manage 79, but there were a few members who were unable to attend. This was Thursday and Friday, the small marque was to be the food tent and the urn was set up here along with the beer and we just about had enough table area to put every thing neatly and in their correct place.

Opposite, we had the Big Bears Bash, an inspiration, I am sure I have seen that bear somewhere before? the music was just right and unbelievably it was ran from 12– volt batteries. Well done here again and thank you very much.

Saturday arrived, and it was 8am and suddenly it was 12.30pm and cake time, we must have had a slice of every conceivable cake known to man. Lemon drizzle, bread pudding, chocolate cake, you name it we had it. So again thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who especially made a cake and thank you to every one who bought in a cake, again, simply wonderful. Cake cleared away and suddenly it was 5pm and time for the raffle, thank you for doing the raffle, great job, I do not think that we have ever sold so many tickets before, but then there was some awesome prizes, and so many, Thanks again. The raffle was taking a while and supper was to be served at 6pm, the potatoes which had been on since 4pm were cooked, thanks again to our BBQ cook, and the food which was prepared at four different locations had arrived, thank you to all the ladies and gentlemen who help prepare it. This was then divided on to the four serving tables, we asked when the raffle had finished for everyone to find a seat at a table and the Pimm’s was served.  6pm arrived and we started serving, and well everything was a blur, but every thing had gone according to plan. “GREAT”  Supper finished and we had some speeches, three presentations and the cabaret. Can anyone remember the punch line?

Just some of the comments received. “Who is getting married” “This is the first time in 40 years we have had anything like this, can we do it again next year” “ I have not laughed so much in a long time” “Very well done”

Sunday arrived and it was tidy up time, each marque was taken down and put away, so that we can use any one of them individually and we know all the parts are together, so again thank you for all this, as we had the BBQ’s still, we were treated to a Bacon Buttie with tea and coffee and cake if you wanted.

We left the field with one member taking 20 bags of rubbish, thanks to you “Sir” and during the day we had a former member, the very first Treasurer running a 3 1/2” gauge    “ Rob Roy” and it thundered round ten to a dozen. The time was 2.30 and we all went home.

We were all cream crackered and I certainty do not remember having my supper or going to bed. But we had all done what we set out to do, and were complimented by so many people, all worth every single moment.

Thanks, once again to simply everyone who helped us put on a weekend to be remembered.

See you all, I hope at the 50th.

BDSME 40th Anniversary Steam-Up Weekend September 2018

It is forty years since the Club was founded in 1978, and to celebrate this milestone a special version of our September running day was planned. The weekend was to include a road run for traction engines, various games, overnight camping, lots of playing with engines, all culminating in an Anniversary Supper on the Saturday evening.

Preparations for this event had been going on for many weeks with lots of effort being put in by the sub-committee as well as other members. I’m glad to say that their considerable efforts were truly worthwhile as this weekend proved to be one of the most successful and enjoyable events the club has ever embarked upon.

Friday afternoon saw a group of traction engines and wagons set off for the Saxon pub in the village. Everyone involved enjoyed their run and subsequent stop at the pub, although one engine developed a problem whilst there, which precluded it from carrying on. We hope this issue is remedied soon. The other participants returned to the track well before dark after enjoying a good run with their engines.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny with little breeze; perfect! Those who had camped overnight were up and about, with fires lit and engine cleaning begun. More members and engines started to arrive, and soon began to get ready for a day’s steaming.

Road steam was well represented. Roger had his delightful 6” Foden tractor and wagon in steam and chugging around. Models of this type of Foden are, like the full size, very rare indeed, and shows how the boiler and overtype engine could be adapted for various needs. A handsome engine that performs very well.

Terry Y was steaming his 6” Garrett 4CD tractor “Master Potter”, which is always a delight to see.

Steve had his 4” Foden “C” type wagon present and he appeared very relaxed whilst trundling around the site, enjoying his engine in the fine weather. The wagon’s flat bed also proves a very handy perch when it is parked, allowing people to stop and natter in comfort; ideal!

Terry B and daughter Jenny B had brought along their 4” Foster agricultural and 4” McLaren road loco. Both very well built engines, they were a great addition to the road steam contingent.

Geoff B was once again doing his best to wear-out his excellent 3” Burrell agricultural and road train, taking long circumnavigations of the field. Again this engine was beautifully turned-out and is a joy to see.

Chris’s 3” Minnie “Scallywag” was in steam, and I was able to have a close look at this engine. Built from his own patterns and castings, it shows what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Apart from the high quality engineering that went into it, the engine also has other neatly fashioned features such as the Firehole and smokebox doors.

Peter G had his fine 1 ½” Burrell in steam and was exhibiting great skill in running this little engine.

Ray has his steam car running around and was giving rides to lucky passengers.

On the track we saw some of our “pod” of Sweet Peas. Andy had his 7 ¼” gauge version “Skylark” in steam and hauling passengers, with Peter E taking the controls for part of the afternoon.

Geoff E had his Darjeeling-inspired 5” gauge version “Sherpa” in steam, still looking superb in lined red livery.

Ken had his 5” gauge “Julie” running round, and I can say this engine goes very well, with plenty of power and a good, even exhaust beat.

 Hugh came with his loco-boiled version and had a good time running around the track.

Kev had brought his 3 ½” gauge version “Violet” along, though it was not in steam. Built by life member the late Eric S it was felt that it should be present on the Club’s 40th birthday even if it was simply on display.

Paul B had his 5” Simplex in steam and we look forward to Paul having a good crack at the whip with this lovely engine soon.

 Peter B had his stationary steam plant running for the afternoon, and very pleasant it looked too. This is another engine that was built by Eric S, and runs like a Swiss watch.

Jenny’s fiancé Sam had brought his 7 ¼” gauge “King of the Scarlets” for a run and enjoyed lap after lap of the track.

Ralph had his large petrol-hydraulic loco on the track which made for a very fine sight. In heavily modified and rebuilt form the loco looks splendid, and drives very nicely indeed. From the comfortable driving position you get the feel of driving a “real” engine, and there is always plenty of power available.

On the pond we had a small flotilla of boats. These included Geoff E’s graceful paddle steamer, Sam H’s little river cruiser, and Ralph’s impressive naval gun boat. The latter was patrolling or rather prowling the pond, making sure no pirates were present, whilst also keeping an eye out for the dreadful Kraken! Sadly the Kraken did claim a victim in the shape of Sam’s boat, but this was quickly rectified and his boat once again took to the water in style.

Games were available, including trying to burst water balloons with sticks over the heads of the passengers on the trains. This proved to have limited success, with the option of just throwing them proving far more effective! However I don’t think we’re in danger of having any of our members being called-up to the England cricket team anytime soon, such was the quality of throwing on display!

We were lucky to have 8nhp Burrell showman’s “Queen Mary” from the Burrell Museum come along to join the party. Resplendent in its weathered paintwork and shining brass work, this engine was generating lights into the night to the delight of those present.

Now we come to the catering department and I’m not sure that words can sufficiently convey the superb quality and excellent service to which we were treated. The small marquee housed the refreshments, with hot and cold drinks abundantly available all day, and this added to the relaxed atmosphere of the event. Members had supplied a splendid array of cakes for our early afternoon vittles’, and these were beautifully arranged and served by members and their wives. I confess to trying both bread puddings that were on offer and both were jolly good stuff!

Engine playing continued into the afternoon, although some members were busy getting ready for the evening supper. As I’ve already said, preparations for this supper had been going on for many weeks, and today was the day. The two large marquees were beautifully laid-out with tables and chairs, with table cloths and flower displays, candles and bunting. Such was the quality of this display it prompted some of those present to ask “Who’s getting married?!”, as it would be no surprise to see an arrangement of this high quality at any good wedding reception. 

With some of those attending neatly wearing dinner suits, we were treated to our aperitif of Pimm’s served at our tables. The air of conviviality was punctuated by one of our generous servers inviting us all to go up for our plates. An orderly queue was formed and we collected our meal, served to us once again by some of the members and their wives in a very organised and cheerful fashion. Our splendid supper consisted of freshly baked potatoes, salads, cheeses, baked beans, quiches, cold meats and bread rolls. Carrying our plates back to the “dining tent” we then sat down to enjoy our food and the company of those around us. Some had brought wine to have with their dinner, and whilst other beverages were consumed, we were also lucky to have a barrel of Beeston Brewery’s “Worth The Wait” at our disposal. A very tasty brew this proved to be, and many enjoyed a pint or two! At this point I was annoyed that I was not staying overnight, as I would’ve liked to enjoyed a longer sampling session! Dessert of cup cakes with “40th” icing on, and fruit salad with cream came soon after, and all reported themselves completely satisfied and that the meal was excellent.

Speeches followed, with thanks being given to all those who had played a part to make this event a truly wonderful and memorable occasion, and one that will live in the Club’s memory for years to come. We acknowledged the absence of Club President Richard, who at this time was in hospital, and we all wished him a speedy recovery. Presentations were made, and then it was on to the intriguingly-titled “cabaret”. What followed was a real treat, with Mick W and Geoff E giving us their rendition of how the Battle of Trafalgar would’ve been fought today. With Mick playing Nelson, and Geoff playing Hardy, we were given a very humorous insight into the differences between now and 1805. Poor Nelson was becoming quite frustrated at the encroachment of Health and Safety into the Navy, with such surprises as the crow’s nest being out of bounds as it is too high, the rum ration being abolished, and sails cannot be set unless the crew are wearing harnesses, full body protection and hard hats! However, Nelson did have a crumb of comfort when he discovered that at least one activity was still alive and well in the British Navy! A brilliant performance by these two members, and we hope to see them perform together again, so keep an eye out for them at your local Panto at Christmas!

After this most enjoyable dinner, the clear-up commenced, and dirty plates and platters were being boxed-up ready for washing up. Once again we are all so grateful to those who attended to this task.

With some members heading home, some members settled down to an evening basking in to the glow of the showman’s engine, having had an absolutely wonderful day. The clear up continued the following day. I just hope that barrel of beer was found to be well and truly empty by the morning!

Our thanks go to the generosity and dedication of those members and wives who made this event happen, and ensured that we celebrated the Club’s 40th birthday in most the memorable style.

A piece by our own Kevin B, thanks Kevin, glad that all the hassle and hard work turned out so well.

I was asked several times “ Who was getting married”

Our new ticket office

I suppose it had to happen, and well, now it has, the old ticket office has had its day. It was probably too hot this year, but the gallant ladies stuck it out and we probably sold more tickets this year than we have ever sold before. A new ticket office was required, no sooner than the message was received, a new ticket office appeared, with one or two alterations the ticket office now faces the public, and if the ticket ladies want to see the trains running the entrance door has be made like a stable door, top open if required, we have room for a coat rake and there is a mirror, if  the ladies need to adjust their hair or make up before leaving the office? well you never know.

Here is a couple of pictures. Signs are being made and will be there for our next Weeting Rally

We have started ballasting the area around the Ticket Office as the grass never grows here because of the trees, so from about the exit gate on the station right down to the Club hut will be ballasted as we have the track, this work is on going, and as yet is not finished.

Ongoing work at the track.

As in my report on page one, we have installed new cables for out new Digital signal system, the cables have been laid and Mike H and Paul B have installed the new box and changed the positions of  some of the electrical switches which were in the same area. We have installed all the cables into the box, but will run our “Halloween” day before we change the cables in the boxes under the Bridge and on the gantry. It is looking “very good” so come and have a look.


BDSME Newsletter June 2018

Chairman's Dribble

Newsletter June 2018.

Hello everyone! Summer is here at last. The Weeting Rally is only three weeks away. Please do not forget that Saturday 14th July is setting up day for the rally and we need all hands on deck/track.

The track is finished and the pond has been pumped out, so we are waiting for the water to refurbish it. Every thing is on track for a good rally, lets hope the weather holds. As you will see from your tickets the Weeting rally committee are asking for some fancy dress dating back to the 1970’s for the Rally Sunday, so if you have your old  1970’s suite or dress in the attic feel free to give it an airing.

The newsletter is a bit late this time, my fault not the editors, I have had a lot of work this month.

One more important thing, we need help on all rally days, so please let us know what you can do. We need cakes etc. for Saturdays tea at the Rally, OK two things, but lets hope for a good rally. Also remember Wednesday meeting at The Ram on the 4th July. 

Dave M. Chairman

The Secretary's report

Where does the time go? Here we are nearly the end of June and getting ready for The Weeting Rally. We have had our first family day and this was very good, lots of Loco’s, I think someone said at one time we had 10 on the track. The weather was great and it all went very well. We have had Hockwold Fair, and this also went very well, a l-o-n-g day but well worth it. We have had a couple of mentions in the “Model Engineer” and from this last issue we have our meetings entered in the diary part of the magazine.

The track is in great fettle even though the mole’s are trying their best to thwart us, but we are dealing with them.

There is now a big push to get every thing ready for Weeting and I am sure this will arrive very very quickly, So hope to see you all then, It’s a “Barry Potter” theme?  


Our First Family Running Day this year

We were certainly blessed with very nice weather on Saturday May 19th. Lots of models see pictures and we had some new members wanting to join the club. The track ran superbly, seeing the number of engines going round made one think of all the hard work that has been  done in the last couple of years, and how worth while this has been. To see Ken W Sweet pea pulling Kevin B trucks was certainly a sight to tell everyone what the club is all about. Geoff E “Sherpa” had an unfortunate blow out, but this was soon fixed and he with his granddaughter were soon trundling round. Our youngest member Sam H must have done miles this day with his very neat electric loco, well done Sam! Geoff B had his award winning Traction engine with trailer and water carrier running.  Peter E big Burrell traction engine  going on some long “hikes” probably not the right word, perhaps “Runs” is better, I am sure you will tell me. Peter B had his stationary engine running, and all in all it was very well represented. Ray R with his “Locomobile” Chris H and his “sorry Chris” “Fut Fut” very neat and very nice; I think there was a very nice comment on the You Tube video about it. Hugh S had his “Lion” running and it run very well.

We had a first with Norman H superb “ Edward Thomas” this certainly looked a powerful engine, and it looked good and performed well too. Well done.  Paul B had his “Simplex but alas another problem keeps Paul off the running track. Andy G had another successful day with his “Sweet William” he also must have covered miles. We had no less than 5 different boats, well not all boats not even ships but a lovely display.  Peter B skeleton canoe, Ralph R warship and MTB, Geoff E  paddle steamer complete with all the “rust “ one could imagine. Two more large Traction Engines, Terry Y and Norman S both looking and running superbly.  We all had a fish and chip lunch, well almost every one, we had a slight slip up with the number of Sausage and Chips, perhaps another day we can organise before hand – any way I hope it did not spoil the day and you all went home having seen the fun side and the hard working side of our club.

Our Latest Track Report

Well here we are and it’s June! The track ballasting has been finished and we have laid nearly 1000 25kilo blocks around the top cuttings and it looks rather special. We have laid almost 120 tons of ballast, each barrow load shovelled in to the barrow and handled from the heap to it point of use – no mean feat. We have estimated that during the two plus years we have been doing the job we have notched up 6500hours of work, but worth every minute.

We have replaced all the old contacts around the track with new stainless ones and have placed new cables in places to try and space the loco around the track; we are still wrestling with the loco’s switching the signals correctly but we are getting there.

We have dragged the Gents toilet into the 21st century and added glass windows and net curtains in both toilets – next time you use our facilities, let us know what you think, nice or horrid, we have thick skins.

We have continued to plant shrubs and plants around the site, with the addition of a small hedge the full length of the tunnel and the centre ground leading to the tunnel with have planted a row of “fuchsia” plants so look out for all these additions. Begonias and Geraniums have been added to the small garden at the Gantry end and the foxgloves are looking great.

The moles are still causing a small problem but our chief mole catcher is doing an admirable job. The grass is looking superb and we have recently emptied the pond in preparation for new cleaner safe water.

We have sprayed the track with weed killer and are keeping the weeds at bay, so all in all it is looking superb.

The fencing at the station has been “creosoted “ and so has the wooden steps and timber on the bridge.

Things still need to be done – we have to finish the Ash pit under the rails at the turn table.

So we are still at the track Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning from about 9am, so if you would like to help and participate in some good tea and coffee and sometimes cake and banter, then it is the place to be on the said days above.

Below are some up to date pictures.

Anniversary Supper - Saturday 1st September 2018

Following the dry run at Hockwold Show, we have now been able to fix a price for the Anniversary Supper and this will be the princely sum of £6.00. The meal will be a cold meat salad meal with a Baked Potato; a “Pimms” drink to welcome you into the Marquee where we hope to sit you all down to the meal; the cold meat salad will be followed by a “Fruit salad”.

We will be able to do cold soft drinks, but if you want to drink wine then please bring this –  there will be no corkage. We hope to have a barrel of beer and this will be charged.

As we will not have enough chairs, we ask you to all bring along a fold up chair.

We will be having china plates and bowls for sweet, but could you all bring your own knife, Fork and Spoon, as the £6.00 does not allow for the purchase of these.

Much discussion is going on at what music we can provide, and we hope there will be somewhere to dance, if that is what you want to do.

We will hire two toilets for the week-end and hope these will cope.

This is a ticketed meal and tickets will be on sale from 1st July 2018.


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