The Chairman's Dribble.
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 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: 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.