Here you will find the most recent report which has featured in the O Gauge Guild Gazette's 'Guild News' section. The report is reproduced here in full. For space reasons, the Guild News often finds it necessary to shorten the reports that are submitted. Photographs from those reports will not be found here. Some of them may be found in the Photogallery. The reports are submitted to the Gazette about six weeks before they appear on the website, i.e. they don't appear on this website until the Gazette has been published.
Preston 0 Gauge Group Report First Quarter 2017
This quarter has been notable for the new, still-to-be-christened motive power depot which is slowly beginning to take shape. At the beginning of the year Chris Garside cut the baseboards to shape and brought them to the club where they were hoisted into position by a team of the club’s strong men. A rough plan of the depot has been drawn out on paper and various items of pointwork, most of it constructed by members, have been scattered around to get an idea of what goes where. The main shed building’s pits have been routed out and a coaling tower has been placed roughly in position. Some of the scenery around the edge of the main layout ‘Hawksbridge’ has been removed to allow the fitting of the access pointwork to and from the main lines. When completed, this wil be a very useful addition to the layout which will make it easier for members and visitors alike to store their motive power out of the way and to attach and detach it from trains in a much more realistic wat than the current ‘Hand of God’ method. A notable and very enjoyable event this quarter was ‘GRONKFEST’ which was held on February’s Saturday Open day to allow all those new Dapol 08s to congregate. At the height of the session I think we counted around twenty of the useful little beasts. At one point there was a quadruple 08-headed freight trundling round the slow line. Several of the 08s present were not from the Dapol stable, however, especially one bright yellow example which flew around the Up Slow Line at a speed of at least 60 m.p.h.! Such was the attraction of ‘GRONKFEST’ that we recorded our highest ever Open Day attendance. Now, we must think of something similar to replicate this success, maybe when the Pannier tanks or the Jinties appear... Other Open Days have of course taken place this quarter and many visiting locos have been spotted, one of the more unusual ones seen was a DRS liveried Class 86 electric, its owner of course having to put up with many jibes about lack of catenary. Equally unusual, no, even more unusual, was that man Jack with his GWR Directors’ Saloon, that is Grand Wichita Railroad not God’s Wonderful Railway in case of any confusion. Following the recent O Gauge trend, and apart from the multitude of Gronks, there is noticeably more and more ready-to-run on show-I spotted a couple of the latest Lionheart GWR suburban coaches behind one of the same firm’s Small Prairies at the end of March. Heljan diesels are commonplace and several Little Loco Class 15s have also been ‘copped’. If the evidence of our Open Days is anything to go by then our chosen scale is certainly thriving and going through a kind of Golden Age.
Preston 0 Gauge Group Report Second Quarter 2017
It’s been a quarter of records tumbling at Preston: firstly we had a record turnout of guests for the May Sunday Open Day, and, secondly, we had a record number of Men in Shorts at the May Saturday Open Day! Well, it was very hot...
Norman writes about the May record breaker, ‘Members of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Society paid us a visit which meant of course some very nice L & Y locos and Peter Fitton’s lovely brown L& Y coaches. The budding new shed complex is useful for parking static locos awaiting their turn in service. Sunday Open days resume on October 8th with an American and Continental Day on October 15th.’ Thanks, Norman.
This quarter has seen our annual AGM: we have a new Chairman in the shape of Tony Stevenson who has stepped up to replace Tommy Day, to whom go our grateful thanks for steering us through the last few successful years. The club remains in a very healthy financial state, even though our Treasurer reported that the profit ratio on refreshments is slightly down. With tongue firmly in cheek this was blamed on Brexit... Several new members have recently joined the club and have already begun to reap the benefits of membership, testing their locos at the head of stock on ‘Hawksbridge’ and enjoying the Club night banter which is a feature of, I think, most clubs.
For a dozen or so members of the club one of the highlights of the quarter was a visit to and guided tour of the Ffestiniog Railway’s Boston Lodge works. The very high standards of workmanship were much commented on and some of the group have been seen eyeing up the clubroom and muttering something about Narrow Gauge. Grateful thanks go to Bill and his brother who organised the whole day out, as well as the club members who drove a long way in a day!
More and more trackwork, including several handbuilt points, has appeared on the as-yet-still-to-be-named Motive Power Depot and it is noticeable that both members and visitors have been displaying their pride and joy on the temporary set-up. A facing point into the complex has been installed on the main outer circuit but is not yet in use (it doesn’t lead anywhere yet anyway!)
We hope that if you have visited our Group this quarter you have appreciated your visit and have enjoyed reading about our activities. If you are a visitor to the Guild Forum you may be aware of a heated debate about the future of the printed Guild News. For as long as that publication exists we will continue to produce these reports.
and a slight change in direction of rolling stock, The eleven coach rake of blood and custard were on the down fast with locos like 10000/10001 double headed and a Duchess, Britannia and Merchant Navy all enjoying the challenge. Again there were several diesels on the Tanks as well as a Mickey (Black Five). On Sunday November 13th, Don Chadwick brought some foreign bogie tanks which several diesels hauled on the down slow. As usual, there was the rake of maroon MK1s hauled by a variety of steam and a maroon WesterThe Xmas season was celebrated in a lower key than in previous years because of potential problems with falling decorations setting off the alarms. (How do we know?...) The annual club Xmas meal took place at a new-to-us venue of the Butlers Arms, Pleasington. A good time was had by all. Which just about sums up Preston 2015! Plenty to look forward to next year too, the Open Day dates are up on the website and will appear in the Guild News.
n diesel on the up fast. There was also plenty of activity on the other main lines some small engines like a GWR 14XX doing some hard work.’ Thanks, Norman.