August 2022 Mardle No 24

The Chairman's Report.

Hello everyone. 

It’s hard to believe that we are nearly into September, where has the year gone? A plus, we did get the Weeting show and a reasonable turnout, thanks to everyone who helped during this time. We have had plenty of hot weather, and also we have had family days , with still more to come, some-thing we have not had in for some long time, and may it last. Well I hope everybody has enjoyed them-selves so far, I know Mick has plenty to tell. By the time you read this Mardle we should have two new members, so things look positive.
See you all soon. Dave M. Chairman.

The Secretary's Report.

Well, the last Mardle was March, sorry this one has taken so long, but they become ready and something else happened and now it is the end of August with still more to tell you but here it is, were did the time go?. What super weather for Weeting and following the Training day, Weeting Rally and Brandon Festival all completed but what a hectic period. All turned out well, Weeting Sunday a bit slow but we deserved a slower day. The Brandon Festival, and the following week, clear up time, same old, same old but we got it done and now it is time to reflect and go forward with numerous things which have cropped up during this period.
Thank you to everyone who helped in what every way you did, without this specific help we would have struggled in managing to give so many rides this year,. Thank you all very much.
Last Saturday we had another Family day, super turn out, lovely weather, but save that for the next Mardle.
Our next running day is Saturday 24th September 2022 It is our Queen’s JUBLIEE Celebration Occasion, so PLEASE BRING YOU OWN JUBILEE PICNIC, we will supply the drinks and have a lovely calm picnic with all your friends. It is also our “ Bring and Buy Sale Day” never been done at the track before , so first time, have a sort-out in your workshop and anything you have not used lately, and things you need to get shot of to make space for that new piece of equipment, it’s your chance to sell it and collect some money. 20 per cent to the club please.

Finish of the two sets of points between the bridge and the Loco Sheds.

The points have been finished, this has made it easier to move the engines to the loco shed. Have a good look, a lot of work has been done here, so well done everyone.

We have added a small signal to show the drivers which way the points are in, this should help during The Weeting Rally to avoid hold ups in the station. Here it shows Ken W giving the points the seal of approval.

Finishing the Loco shed rail changes.

The rails have been finished leading into the Loco shed, a very nice job it is , and makes moving the rails to line up with the Loco shed rails a much easy job, lots of fiddly welding, strengthening and the jobs is another triumph and makes it neat and tidy, so well done every one.

The finish of the track going into the Loco shed, this work has made moving the rails from any of the four positions so much easier, another improvement and well worth the effort. Well done guys, again, great job.

Putting the Water on, in the Tea Room.

On Tuesday the 3rd of May 2022 several members attended the track waiting for Jack to come and dig the trench for laying the water pipe from the tap beside the small ring opposite the track and the front side of the tea room.

This was not the beginning, because Mick W had ordered the pipe on the internet, paid for it and by Friday 29th it had not arrived and as this was the bank holiday weekend it was not going to arrive in time for Tuesday, so it had to be purchased again, so we would have the pipe for Tuesday. A trip to Clarkes at Walsham on the Saturday 30th April secured 50 metres of 32mm MDPE pipe and another payment, we now have the pipe so all was well in the world , so to say.

Back to Tuesday, as we did not have Jacks mobile telephone number we just had to wait but by about 12 o’clock we decided that this was not going to happen so we all made our way home. Just as the last members got in their cars, a 30 ton Lorry in a swale of dust came hurtling down the road to the track and it was Jack, no digger but Jack said unfortunately the digger he wanted was delayed at another job , but there was a bigger digger, and should we do it today, “ It was a no Brainer” Yes please , how long would it take to pick up the larger digger, Jack said half an hour, so with three members left we telephoned the guys who were already at home, they had some lunch and returned and there was our normal crew ready to start.

We had already dug a few holes trying to find where the pipe went and decided that we should start parallel to the fence running along the side of the small ring, the second dig and we caught the pipe in the ground and pulled it out of the tee joint at the tap. OMG the water filled up in the hole and we had a problem, we quickly turned the water off and pushed the pipe back in the tee and the water was back on, we knew now where to dig the trench, this was about 12.30 and by 2.30 the trench was dug, the pipe laid and the trench filled back in, a potentially big job, done and dusted in about two hours. Thanks to Jack and his digger. The pipe was in.

Next was to join the tea room end to the sink , Ralph R had already put a copper pipe down to the outside of the Tea room, we joined the ends and then ran a new waste pipe into a soak away, a whole wagon load of bricks and rubble to give the water time to soak away in a jiff. Ralph set up a quick check using the tap at the field end and all was fine, only to join up the tap end, this needed to be an early start in case there was a problem, well with workmen like Ralph R and Norman H there was never going to be a problem. Cut the pipe, join the tee piece , a nice tighten up and the water was running out of the tap. What a brilliant job. The Kitchen is starting to be a real kitchen, what ever next. Watch this space. A few of the pictures taken over the time the job was being done. Well done Guys.

March 2022 Mardle No 23

The Chairman's Report.

Hello everybody. I hope everyone has managed to keep safe and well. The weather we have had in the last month has been great and hopefully raised the enthusiasm we had before this virus set in.

Well at the moment Weeting is still on to happen at the track. I hope you all returned your forms back to Mick (Sec) and our running days as listed are going ahead. The extra two sets of points have now been completed which will help to transfer engines up to the shed instead of having to go halfway round the track. There is some work at present going on at the entrance to the Loco shed, which should be com-pleted shortly. This is being done to help make the lines easier to move when retrieving stock from the Loco Shed, so let’s hope we get some more good weather, so that we can get out and play. I hope to see you all at the next meeting on Wednesday night. DM

The Secretary's Report.

First Mardle this year; well what has been going on? Well, first it has been very cold and sometimes very wet, but it has been winter, so is to be expected. Several jobs are being done: the kitchen is finished; the two sets of points are finished; the work shop has just been started. The field is starting to look good, although the moles are a problem. The year is back to normal, except getting to the field which is somewhat expensive, so the long distant worker members do two days and the locals mostly three. We have now had two general meetings this year and generally the year has been mapped out (please look at the diary on the last page to see the latest updates). So we have 6 running days: The Weeting Rally; Brandon Festival and The Hockwold show to attend. This looks a busy year, and we will obviously have to maintain the passenger trucks and keep health and safety under control, but it all looks manageable. The tractor needs some loving care and new parts which we can cope with. The bridge step planks which broke have been repaired. Probably, or next thing will be spraying the weeds to tell them who’s boss; all very manageable. Later in October we can organise a trip to the Midland Model Engineering show at Fosse Way, so if you are interested let me know. Later this month you should be able to speak to Dave about boiler testing. Please do not forget the Web site, all the pictures which are taken and not in Dropbox are now on the web site. 

Sad times at the club

2022 has started and a sad time for the club. We have had two people in the club who have passed away.
First on the 11 January 2022 Len Cook “Leonard William Cook” Len to his friends passed and at 96 years was cremated at Abbey Chapel, West Suffolk Crematorium on Tuesday 1st February 2022.
At the wake held at the Bell Hotel King Street, Thetford his daughter Sharon remembers seeing at the track The Yellow Electric engine and said she remembered always being
happy to come down with Dad (Len) when he was going to the track. Len an active mem-ber and Secretary during his time, was one of the members who started the club going.
Elizabeth Ann Harding aka “Beth”, wife of Mike Harding, has also passed away on the 13th February 2022. Her funeral was 28th February 2022 at West Suffolk Crematorium. Beth will be remembered in her yellow vis jacket on the station keeping the children in order on as many as twenty Weeting Rally’s. Beth will sorely be missed by everyone.

The Weather

The weather of late has been cold; too cold for the gas heaters to work, but the wind recently caused the signal box to be blown over and damage the fence; it has been righted and the fence strengthened. But we will have to put some metal bars in the ground to make the signal box safe .

Lighting at the Loco shed end

We have moved the solar light panel so we can have lights in the 4 buildings now at the Loco shed end. Where it was, there was never much sun, so it has now been moved. There is a picture in the Mardle where I can fit it in. Well done again.

Two new sets of points

Following much discussion, it has been decided to add two new sets of points in the track between the Bridge and the Tunnel. This is to help two things; sometimes during Weeting Rally we can get a hold up in the station and if we have three trains going, the last train sometimes has to stop, but cannot get into the station. This causes a problem when the train stops; the passengers think “Oh dear, I suppose I better get off” – wrong! The guard has to stop them alighting because they will be walking all over the track. But with these two new sets of points, it will enable the train to be changed from the middle track to the in-side track, and continue round so that by the time they get back, the backlog may have eased. It will also make it easier to get an engine from the turn-table up and into the Locomotive shed without having to go round the track twice to get into the loco shed, especially if the loco is NOT in steam.
Geoff E has taken this on and has cut all the pieces of metal required, all from items under the workshop; he has been ably assisted by Mike L and Ken W, and sometimes Steve HW. Well done guys! It is now all complete and you can come and run your engines to your hearts content. There are many pictures, so here are a few to show you how the work went on.

This is where it is going.

Three, four, five again. Yes, it’s square!

Mind your eyes again.

Ready for the rails.

Three, four, five!

Mind your eyes!

The generator is busy today!

This will line up great!

All showing what needs to be done with the two new sets of points.

It has all been completed; a very professional job! Well, we would expect nothing else. So, come and run you engine and give it a go. Well done guys!

Latest Photos of the new sets of Points

The Tea Room upgrade.

The tea room is complete! It is done and finished. During the Christmas break, Norman H and Ralph R, dismantled the kitchen we had been offered by The Littleport Bowls Club, and in the same day every thing had been dismantled and delivered to the track the same afternoon. As I write this piece, all the cabinets and cupboards are installed and the tiling is being done. We have tiles under the work surface and even tiles on the floor. There are many pictures, so have a good look at what I want to say is “This is all due to Norman H who secured the kitchen for free. So it is a big thanks to you to Norman; he and Ralph have done all the work and I have to say “Seeing is believing”. We will have a kitchen where we can put away everything and it can be kept clean and tidy; a Tea room to be proud of. Again well done guys

You can see that Norman and Ralph have done a fine job. We have also got approval from Mr Parrott to add water to the sink if we can find where the water is. We have tried with a water divining implement to find where the water is; when the weather is finer we will see if it is possible. I hope you will all be impressed.
Well done Norman and Ralph! “A suuppeerr Job”.

Workshop Project

We were very fortunate to be awarded a grant from the Brandon Council to upgrade the workshop. The workshop tends to be (a dumping ground, where everything not wanted at home gets left at the track) So we have started to sort out everything in the workshop. We have some nice tools, but it is very difficult to use any of them because of all the rubbish piled on top of them, so the rubbish is going to go.
We also want to make the generator more accessible; nobody can remember when the last time it had an oil change and reading the instruction manual it suggests this is done every 25 working hours. So we propose making a secure separate space at the end of workshop, where we can get at it without having to be a contortionist.
Our aim is to make it a proper workshop so if the lathe is needed to do anything you switch it on and make the piece. At present this is NOT possible, so watch this space.
We will also make the existing ring main larger so that we can plug in the machines and use them if anyone of them should be needed. It is not a 5 minute job, but certainly something which has been required for ages.
So please, we are happy to accept items which Paul B can recycle and get money on, but if it is something you don’t want, then please take it to the tip, because this is what we are having to do. This is work in progress.

Some photos from the last few days. The frame for the workshop wall to house the Generator in. Photo on the right is the inside track new Points.

These two pictures are the new Brandon & District Society of Model Engineers new “Challenge Trophy” called the MSW Challenge Trophy. It is to be awarded each year to the member who accumulates the most points during the year for things they have done. More details when we get a set of rules out in more detail. It does have a square cover to keep it clean.

December 2021 Mardle No 22

The Chairman's Report.

Hello everybody, well we have had the last meeting for 2021 on Wednesday 1st December which was our Christmas get together and there was a good turnout which ended the year nicely. It has again been a difficult year, but there now seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. We have a good selections of venues for 2022 and let’s hope things do not get in the way to upset anything. Keep your fingers crossed. Many thanks goes to all the members who have given up time to get the track back to full operating standards and also the ladies who have provided us with help and the sausage rolls and cakes which I might add have all gone down very well, (Well done everyone).
I would like to wish everybody a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you all in the New year and lets all enjoy our hobby. Dave M.

The Secretary's Report.

Well, here we are again the end of another year at BDSME, it has been a strange year, lockdown till March, then only 6 members, and very difficult to manage the numbers wanting to work at the track, a nice situation you might say, but members were being asked to stand down, not easy. But then we were all free. A station canopy finished and work just Mondays and Wednesdays meant play days every Saturdays, this is awesome. Boats ,Planes, Drone’s, Electric loco’s , Steam Engines’ and Traction Engines’, I have not in my time at BDSME seen so many TRAINS, that is to say, Locomotives with trucks and guard vans , very realistic. We are also decorating the tea room, we have been offered some second hand kitchen cabinets and work surfaces, no cost to the club, just we have to dismantle it and ferry it to the watch this space in the New year.
Just a reminder, there are still spaces for the New Year Dinner, so let me have your selec-tion and we will see you on the Sunday 9th January 2022. Do not forget the WEB SITE

Decorating the Tea Room

We felt it time to spruce up the tea room, so as we have had the offer of some second hand kitchen cabinets we thought why not. A very small shopping list which was completely donated contained at least three bottle of sugar soap cleaner, a couple of sets of “Marigolds” and well, years of grime was gone in a jiffy. We then moved things around so we could first undercoat the ceiling, then the left hand wall looking from the door, and even after one morning session it was looking great. We also decided to enclose the electrics in a side cupboard, which has a double opening doors so when we are running, one door opens to show the signal equipment but when Dave M wants his Boiler testing kit out, the double doors open to let him in to his spacious new cupboard housing the pump and all Dave’s paperwork.
Not finished yet but all the undercoat has been applied and soon the top coat will be finished, we have even painted the floor with a special floor paint. Enclosed are a few pictures of our progress.

August 2021 Mardle No 21

The Chairman's Report.

Hello everyone.
I am sorry to say that one of our long term members Mike Buddle passed away on Wednesday 11th August. Mike regularly cut the grass and chased the moles away at the track, and was a good friend of our President Mr Parrott. Our thoughts and condolences will be sent to his family; he will be sadly missed.

On a lighter note, the club is now open again, club meetings are being arranged and Saturday is now a play day, so please come and visit, have a play, or just sit and have a chat, tea and coffee on tap. Let’s hope we can now put the last eighteen months behind us and get back to normal. As usual there is plenty of content in the mardle, due to our editor Mick W who does a sterling job and keeps us enlightened. Well have a good read, come and visit, hope to see you all soon. Dave M Chairman.

The Secretary's Report.

Number 21 Mardle, who would have thought way back in December 2017. The work force has been exceptional during this very strange year of Covid 19, the crossing and the light system have all been completed, and we have already had a Traction engine trundle over the new crossing , very smooth, so a good job done, The new station has also been completed and Mr Parrott has cut the ribbon to officially open “Fengate Halt” Station, some 27 years 64 days since he cut the ribbon opening the new track at Weeting. He had a ride on Dave M super engine, after he alighted he said this was the first time he had been driven round our track behind a steam engine.
Looking forward to having a general meeting. I contacted “The Ram” and we can start meeting in a different room on 1st September 2021
It would seem the Midlands Engineering Exhibition and 2022 London Exhibition will not be held.
The running day on 24th was a great success we had a great BBQ, Raffle and had some real trains running, three traction engines , a boat, and hey we have been seeing a crocodile swimming in the pond, very life like. We had nearly 50 members so a really good turn out, look forward to the next one.
We have been invited to attend The BRANDON Festival on 21st August 2021 so this should be interesting, if you want to be part of it, please let me know ASAP. mw

The Station.

Following the return to the track on March 29th 2021 we found that the wind had completely destroyed the station, lifting the very substantial posts it was built on out of the ground. For some time the members attending the track felt that when the crossing was finished it would be nice to build a new station. We had a committee meeting and it was put to the club, some objections but it was agreed that we could do it as long as we did not spend a lot of money, well we spent £320 for the roof material and all the ex-tra costs was donated by the work force.
We obtained 11 large 8ft x 4 ft pallets, FOC , we bought 6 second hand roof trusses which were donated, the post were donated, all the water ware , guttering and the like acquired and re used. So we set to with the 8 posts, dug with the post hole digger, some three foot deep, packed with hard core and couldn’t be moved. The pallets were dismantled and over 250 pieces sawn, drilled and a round bottom sawn using a band saw, they were then undercoated and then top coated so you can see we have been hard at it.
The roof panels were purchased, Geoff B and his very large trailer went to Chatteris near Cambridge to pick them up and with in a week the whole station had a roof, we had to make the roof top and we also made a trim to cover the end sides, you can see that it has all gone together nicely. We then added the guttering and piped it to a 1000 litre container and have had a filter built to collect the rubbish before the water is allowed in the tank, we hope this will help with the steam engines requirements of water. Of course you could not have a station with out a clock, this was also donated, a couple more additions are to be added and the station will be fully functional and was opened by Mr Parrott on the 24th July 2021.
Well done to all the members who helped build it and thank you to the members who donated to help it keep the cost down for the club.

All six trusses erected

First roofing sheet being put on.

Nearly there!

A couple more to complete the roof.

Free pallet wood, drilling and cutting and erecting, the finished Station was opened on July 24th 2021. We had a new supply of water and this was a real tri-umph , just the roof material was paid for the rest was donated by the work force, So thank you guys a good job done and dusted. mw

Going Forward.

Going forward, I went to see the people in the Ram Hotel on Wednesday and asked them when we could perhaps continue to hold our monthly meetings at the pub. They have said yes, but not in the old room, but a room through the Restaurant, perhaps a bit smaller but will hold our meetings going forward
We have the workshop to convert to a proper workshop, we have had a grant from Brandon Town Coun-cil to do this so perhaps when the weather is not so kind we could have a blitz and have a place to be proud of . Perhaps in the future, as project to work on are diminishing, Instead of working perhaps we could have some lectures and practicable thing to do, we could have some of our very talented members being teachers for the day, time will tell.
But also , perhaps we only do one day a week and Saturdays, only wild thoughts, but some of the work force do come a very long way to help us.
We have the Brandon Festival on the 21st August 2021 to look forward too, probably will be like The Hockwold show.
The Midland Exhibition has been cancelled this year, and it seems London Alexander Palace for 2022 is also cancelled.
I imagine one way or another September will be our first general meeting, and then November’s AGM were things could all change.

May 2021 Mardle No.20

The Chairman's Report.

Hello everyone, here we are again and things seem to be looking up and the tunnel is starting to look a lot lighter. If you don’t already know The Weeting Rally seems very much as though it is going to happen, so barring any mishaps, it will go ahead. So keep everything crossed, for any details we will know nearer the date.
As per the emails sent to everybody, the new station is well underway, this was due to wind damage to the old station during lockdown, so it has to be replaced, so for the rally we should have a new station.
Can I remind members that if the rally goes ahead some will need steam tests, so please get in touch with Mick W or myself so we can arrange things. On this note I have in the last week been in touch with the Boiler Registrar to see if due to the covid situation if they would relax the 10 year cladding removal, bearing in mind we have not been able to run. The reply I received was NO this could NOT be done, he said, because engines were not used, this did not stop the deterioration of boilers, so any steel boiler that is 10 years old must have the cladding re-moved to be safe and comply with our insurance. I hope everyone has been keeping safe. See your all soon. Dave Moore. Chairman.

The Secretary's Report.

Once again out of Lockdown and we are at the track Mondays ,Wednesdays and Play day Saturdays, but you must ask me for a slot, please. As you probably know June 21st is the date the Government will be updating us on the future, I hope it will be good news and if it is then we need to start planning for the future. The Weeting Rally if it is good news will be on, 16th 17th 18th July 2021.
So if its good news then we should also be looking towards the future. Perhaps September 4th and 5th a 42nd an-niversary? October 14th 15th 16th 17th , just one day say Saturday a day out to the Midland Exhibition. October 31st a Halloween running day with Fish and chips. Wednesday November 3rd AGM, Thursday 4th reality again, Christmas meeting 1st December. January date to be advised for Alexander Palace. Back to normal.
If 21st June is a disaster, and lock down, OMG I cannot even contemplate this so I am being positive. If you have any more suggestions get them in and we can see what can be done.
If you want to run a traction engine or steam loco it has to have a boiler certificate and so again start looking to the future because it will be June 1st soon and 5 months of 2021 has already nearly gone.

Brandon & District Society of Model Engineers.

The last 12 plus months have been a real trial, no meetings, no running days, no Weeting rally, all in all a real test which has been hard. Several members have tried “Skype” and/or “ Zoom” and the like and alt-hough it has been interesting we have never been able to get a bevy of members together to have a real chat.
Lock-down last March 2020 lasted till Christmas and in that time we were only allowed 6 members at the field at any one time, this created a logistical problem of each member had to book a slot, a record kept on everyone’s attendance. With a work force of sometimes 10 members it was often difficult when trying to do the work we were doing, i.e. the crossing, but we all worked to get the job done and by the time the next lock-down came , we had completed the crossing and also built a tool shed between the two metal containers at the top end of the field. This will give us a lot more room in the workshop, all the garden tools and equipment being placed in the tool shed.
November 2020 we were unable to have our usual AGM and all the officers and the committee stayed on until we are able to get together and have another AGM.
We lost our friend John Cartwright, not to covid, and we were not able to go to his funeral. But a first certainly for me to watch a friends funeral on my laptop.
We also lost a member from way back, that being Jeff Broad, Jeff died of old age and was not a covid casualty.
We lost three members this year who did not renew their subscription’s, Peter and David T, and also Mike B who unfortunately has become ill and has lost his licence to drive so he said he would not renew his subs.
We did however produce the annual accounts and although we had no meetings, no income was accrued so we need to be frugal in the future , until we have built up the funds again. As I said above we lost three members ,but during last year we had three new members so the insurance was covered without a worry.
We are back at the track, Mondays and Wednesdays work days with Saturdays a play day, so please get your slots booked for the future. Dave M is also doing boiler tests so please book this with him or me.
We are going ahead with The Weeting Rally, the Weeting committee are saying providing the Government don’t pull the plug then Weeting will go ahead, so we are working towards this, please remember also that if you have no boiler test certificate, then you do not have much time. Please speak to DaveM.
In the mean time we are still working hard to get the field ready the track ready and have every single thing finished and arranged so we can continue to work and play efficiently and safely under current ‘Elf and Safety’ rules.
As the weather gets better please get your slots booked and come and see us down the field, we do NOT yet do tea or coffee but that might ease soon, get your boilers tested and passed and come and play trains or planes or traction engines or boats or what every you have to play with. You would all be very much welcome to your Model Engineering club. BDSME. mw

Insurance concern during early 2021

Dave M our chairman wrote a letter to The Model Engineer and it was published in Vol 226 No 4659 11th March 2012, in the section Postbag.
Dear Martin, Over the last few days, it has been brought to our attention that our club insurance will be falling due once again. We are being asked “ As no activities have been allowed due to Coronavirus, Just what was the insurance for?”
We understand the need for building and equipment cover, that should stand, but the general public third party insurance cover is definitely suspect as NO public running days have taken place, as they are not allowed. Surely a reduced premium in this case should be offered. To someone who takes insurance very seriously, to pay for a £5million third party public insurance cover, when nothing is happening and no-one is present is somewhat one sided.
The same would apply with personal insurance for officials within the club. Also any cover that is for events outside the club that are not allowed to take place should , we think, be offered at least a 50% discount for the duration of these special circumstanc-es directed by the government. I understand the insurance company offering the cover is operating as an agent for the under-writers but, surely, a small bite of the cherry is better than nothing at all.
I would be interested in what other model engineering clubs have to say.
Best regards Dave Moore. Chairman. Brandon & District Society of Model Engineers.
In the same magazine Martin Evans the editor also added a piece in “Smoke Rings”
He wrote” Dave Moore Chairman of the Brandon Club, writes( see Postbag, Page 332 to point out that, with fewer days of pub-lic running in clubs this year there must have been a sizeable drop in Public liability claims, This surely represents a bit of a wind-fall for our insurers so it is perhaps reasonable to suppose that they might share some of this with their customers in a form of a discount on this year’s premiums. It seems a little tough that the clubs have had to pay, effectively for insurance that they can-not make use of, Now, of course, I don’t know how much of the claims paid out is for public liability, but it’s worth asking the question, isn’t it?.
Model Engineer Vol 226 No 4662 22nd April, reply from Mick Funnell Chairman Bright & Hove Society of Miniature Loco Engineers
Dear Martin,
Dave Moore’s letter (Post-box ME 4659 26th Feb) struck a chord as our treasurer and committee have expressed similar views in recent weeks as we await the insurance renewal request. I am sure that other clubs within the hobby feel as we do that the public Liability element of our premium should be adjusted to account for the closure of our miniature railways over the past season and, what looks likely to be, a considerable chunk of this coming season.
Another organisation( not model engineering related), of which I am a member , has similar concerns and has received an advi-sory leaflet from the brokers prior to the renewal date which details ‘ Special Consideration for Insurance Renewal in 2021’. On the matter of Public liability insurance, the leaflet states ‘Even if your activities have reduced, your risk of a significant claim remains, even with remote and/or online services.
Am I being cynical, or is this a way of saying that the public liability element of the premium remains, without adjustment!?
Could we persuade our insurance experts to give us their views on this matter. Our annual insurance premium’s take a large chunk of our annual income and I have no doubt there will be some smaller societies who will be struggling to cope with having lost at least a year’s income.
Fortunately, my own society had sufficient reserves to make up for our loss of income due to Covid, but the prospect of another full premium charge before we are able to (hopefully) re-start public running operations will make a big hole in what remains.
Best regards Mick Funnell, Chairman
Brighton & Hove Society of Miniature Loco Engineers.
We will have to see what the outcome is?

A Bit Of Nostalgia

Paul Bailey has found some old reference to our club in some old editions of Model Engineers.
Thanks Paul! Here goes.

January 1990

It is a long time since we heard from The Brandon DSME. However a new editor of the news Journal has been pressed ganged into service is pleading pitifully for someone to write something. As far as the club matters are concerned it seems that they intend to move their track because they cannot combat the continuing vandalism. It is now a matter of deciding whether or not the new one will cater for 7 1/4” or indeed if there will be two tracks. An interesting snippet from the society is that the Burrell Museum in Thetford is making pro-gress and it looks like being a very interesting project.

May 1990

The track of The Brandon DSME has been lifted and transported to Weeting where it will find a permanent home on the rally field. This follows a situation where continued vandal-ism has kept the members constantly repairing and replacing sections of it. The new home should be better located to prevent further problems, there being a regular security patrol on the estate. The move came just too late to prevent the concrete slabs from which the station is constructed being stolen a day or so before. Members of the society are also in-volved in the proposed Burrell Museum at Thetford and we understand that this too is coming along well.

June 1990

The move of The Brandon DSME has started with a lot of hard work by members, but rapid progress is being made. Three of the club’s senior citizens showed their mettle by shifting thirty two trailer loads of stone blocks from the old site to the new. A member has cut and supplied several hundred new sleepers for the track, so there is every chance that at least some track will be available for the club to use when the Weeting Rally takes place.

August 1990

Brandon DSME are making very rapid progress with their new track. All the civil engineer-ing is now complete, as well as the main track circuit. The old track site has been complete-ly vacated and was well tidied up before the club considered themselves finished with it. Apart from a good effort on the track the members are also well involved with the new Bur-rell Museum at Thetford. The club is only small and it is quite incredible the percentage turnout they get for their various projects.

March 1993

The AGM of the Brandon DSME saw the committee re-elected en-bloc. There has been a new post created, that of a safety Officer, this is because of the anticipated forthcoming legislation on the subject. The clubs efforts at the annual Weeting Steam Rally last year ap-pear to have been well received and progress at the site seems to be making good pro-gress.

May 1993

Improvements to the tunnel have been under discussion by The Brandon DSME. The pre-sent structure is not thought to be in accordance with the safety regulations which now ap-ply. The alternative is to remove it, but no decision has yet to be made as to which course of action will be adopted

August 1993

We don’t often hear of a model engineer who is also a fitness enthusiastic . Chris Raines of Brandon DSME ran in the recent London Marathon and certainly fits (oops!) the description. His first ever try at such an event, Chris completed the course in less than four hours, a time which would have done credit to many more experienced runners. It is possible that awareness of a healthy lifestyle is moving up the agenda? Brandon DSME has announced that smoking will be banned on future coach trips. To ensure economic use of coach space, guests are invited to accompany members on these trips. It seems that some guests have objected to members disposing of their old socks in their pipes during the journey!

November 1993

Brandon DSME played a prominent part in the Weeting Steam Engine Rally, their perma-nent track is on the showground. The model tent was well stocked with more than 100 models displayed. The awards were made as follows:
The Dick Brown Cup: Malcolm Roberts for a 4” scale Burrell Agricultural Engine.
Brandon Traction Engine Tankard: Richard Morgan for a 4” Scale Foster Traction Engine.
Brandon Model Tankard: Eric Best for a fleet of Fowler B6 locomotives

March 1994

Work is progressing on the track at Brandon DSME, it caters for three gauges at ground level: point work construction in these circumstances is always something of a problem. They have decided to use electrically controlled traverser type point work, which should give a smooth transition to locomotives of any gauge. The footbridge has been raised to give a better clearance, and steaming bays with a transporter that can be raised to assist off loading of models from vehicles is part of the project.

June 1994

Track improvements have been made at Brandon DSME, Lights have been installed at the level crossing, which should reduce the problems of drivers of traction engines who have been known to say they did not know when trains were coming. The steaming bays are also progressing. Moles have caused some difficul-ties, leaving mounds of earth everywhere, fortunately, as far as is known, they have not decided to come up under the track itself. To save having to run a generator to charge the batteries at the steaming bays, the site not having electricity installed , a couple of solar panels have been purchased to take care of the job. They say, the sun shines on the righteous, so lets hope the members remain on their best behaviour.

August 1994

Mid-May saw the official track opening at Brandon DSME. This was designated as an open day for members, friends and relatives. Club President Mr Richard Parrott cut the ribbon to allow the first official train to pass under the footbridge. The track was given a thorough test before The Weeting Traction Engine Rally. Solar panels have been installed in the roof of the club house, These charge the steaming bay batteries. A good idea for any society with out mains electricity at their track, it mean the batteries do not have to be removed for charging.

I hope these items brought back some old memories!

Ask the expert

Andy Turner, partner at Mercer & Hole is here to help.
Question: Will I pay tax on profits from my hobby?
Answer: You will NOT pay tax on a hobby. But if it is classed as a business activity you may need to pay tax. HMRC looks at a number of factors together to determine whether an activity is a business activity or a hobby. These in-clude.
Is there a profit seeking motive.
The number of transactions.
The nature of the asset or product that generates the income.
Existence of similar trading transactions.
Any changes to the product or asset held that may make it more marketable.
The way the sales are carried out.
The source of finance.
Interval of time between purchase and sale.
Method of acquisition.
The government has also introduced a £1,000 trading allowance to cover small scale ventures such as selling home made items like food, arts crafted products or toys. This mean as long as your gross income from this activity does not exceed £1,000 you should not have to have to pay tax or national insurance contribution.

The Crossing

The crossing is basically finished, The warning lights are still to be rewired, but it has been rather cold for this sort of work. We have sewn the grass seeds to the entrance and this is growing and we are watering it as the rain never arrives when you want it. 

Couple of pictures.

Boating Pool. i.e. water level

The boating pond has filled up during the winter, see the level as at 17/4/2021, there is no algae in the water and Dave M continues to put in the powder which keeps the bad things from happening, so this has been a success.

Saturday 10th April 2021

Saturday 10th we started boiler testing and as Saturday is now a PLAY DAY a couple of our members came and played, we will soon be at a point were we can invite you to run an engine, still a lot of crud to remove but this is on going, just book a slot and come and see what you may have missed over the last 12 or so months.

Chris H with his Eric S made stationery engine, bee redesigned in Eric’s memory, Chris has had a plaque made to show this. As always a super model. 

Kevin’s crane, super super 
“LITTLE and LARGE” Well done.

The Site:

The winter months have spread lots of leaves and broken twigs, which we are gradually collecting and disposing of, Three weeks ago we started to cut the grass, Thanks Stuart F and Geoff B is gardening at ever opportunity, new plants , Steve HW has been like a garden centre with plants, Thanks Steve. Still lots to do, so very much work in progress.

The Station:

The station canopy was rather damaged during the last few months. When lock-down finally ended all we could do was to dismantle it and save the metal for the future. We had been collecting material for a new station for a while and after surveying the area we decided to build a station 9 metres x 4.2 metres. We used the 3, 4, 5 method to make sure it was square, but as the station is on a curve it might look odd. We have installed the eight posts and fitted the side struts and have four out of the six roof trusses on and fixed , so, work in progress.

Play Day May 2021

Really cold, but we had some members still turn up: Norman H train, Ralph R red engine, Geoff E paddle steamer, good turn out. GREAT

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

sept 2020 5

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.

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 with your model engineering projects. Some people have even started new ones! These include new railway locos, rolling stock, various wheels, wood turning, stationary engines, and one member is even considering cooking their dinner in the smoke box 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!

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