Events in 2003

Expong 2003

Jan van Mourik

On Friday, 24 October, a delegation of the Dutch Group started for the UK to attend Expong at Swanley. Jaap Stuurman and René Boers were going to show Jaap’s layout Bryn Goch and Henk Wust, Ted Polet and myself were going to show Henk’s steam tram layout Strien / Oude Haven to the British public.

Jaap and René had to rise very early to catch the Hook of Holland - Harwich ferry service. Henk, Ted and I could enjoy their slumbers a bit longer as they had decided to use the Shuttle service from Coquelles to Folkestone. One reason for this was that Ted didn't want to inconvenience all the other cross-Channel travellers by stirring up the waves which in the past years has become a tradition… After coffee at my place we departed in sleet and rain to Calais by way of Antwerp and Ghent. After an uninteresting crossing (all you see is tunnel walls flashing by) and a short visit to the K&ES at Tenterden we arrived in the hotel at Dartford around 4.30pm. Jaap and René had already arrived by then, and after exchanging the news we heard dinner didn't start until 7pm, so we decided to take a nap and have a look at the inside of our eyes first.

After dinner we went over to Swanley to set up the layouts at 9pm. This took slightly longer than expected and by the time we arrived back at the hotel slightly past 11 (after a half-hour detour over the M25 where an exit had been closed) we found the bar had closed. So rather disgruntled we retired to our rooms and drowned our sorrow in a glass of water when brushing our teeth!

The next morning we had decided on breakfast at 7.30. We met a large number of participants in the show here as everyone had been accommodated in the same hotel. Slightly past 8.30 we were on our way to the exhibition hall to check the layout and rolling stock which luckily functioned as intended. Henk had a lot of new and untried stock with him which needed a bit of running-in. This was used together with his existing stock so we could realise a varied train service all over the day. Len Weal of Continental Modeller made a number of photos of Strien.

Jaap and René also did very well with Bryn Goch, even the rather hesitant point motors improved after a drop of oil. The article on Bryn Goch in the November issue of the Railway Modeller must have generated a lot of interest in the layout, judging from the number of visitors.

Having a five-man crew meant we were able to have a good look at the other layouts in between operating sessions. We met several friends both from Holland and the UK, including 'Kit' Kittle, Otto Schouwstra, Robin Winter and John Jacobs. Robin and John said they planned to show their layouts at the Valkenburg show of August 2004, and several other 009 Society members told us they had already booked the trip to Valkenburg nearly a year in advance! It seems Valkenburg has become a hype in 009 circles...

Around 3.30pm the customary trophy awards were made known: Alain Duchesne was awarded the Reinier Hendriksen Trophy for his 0-16.5 Tramway de l'Isle de Fa, and Jaap Stuurman was the winner of the David Lloyd Trophy for Bryn Goch.

At 5.30pm the show was over, and after packing up we went to the hotel where we had dinner together with many of the participants, all laid on by the organisers of the Greenwich & District NGRS. After dinner we had a long talk with Andrew Burnham about the way a modelling magazine is run, Andrew being the Editor of the Continental Modeller magazine.

The next morning we were present for breakfast at 7.45, which seems a bit early for Sunday, but in reality was quite an easy time to rise for us on account of the winter time shift. After a full breakfast we started back home at about 8.30, Jaap and René to Harwich, and Henk, Ted and myself to Folkestone. We had a safe trip and all arrived home with time to spare before dinner...

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Valkenburg 2003

Ted Polet

On 28 and 29 June, the 2003 narrow gauge model railway exhibition at the Valkenburg NG museum near Leiden, Netherlands took place. This show has become a regular international meeting place of narrow gauge modellers including the Dutch 009 Group and a number of British 009 Society members, and usually the latest layout that was awarded the Reinier Hendriksen Trophy (see Moors End pages) is invited to this show.

A special event was the last showing of the late Reinier Hendriksen's 009 layout Moors End, before being put on permanent display in the Museum. We ran a last train, which of course had to be re-run several times.

Again we had a very pleasant time all through the weekend. For the participants the hours before the show opens around 10am are fairly relaxed, every layout being inspected and tested whilst outside one of the Museum's 70cm gauge steam locomotives used during the day is being fired up. After 10 things become very hectic at times, especially when a train arrives and unloads all its passengers at once. During the Sunday at one time they needed a 5-coach train to cope with the visitors, which gave the little O&K 0-4-0 tanks they use quite a job to handle.

The photos in this report were made by Mick Thornton, Jan van Mourik and German 009 member Harald Wingchen. Photos of the Dutch 009 Group layouts can be viewed in the other archive pages.

De foto's zijn gemaakt door Mick Thornton, Jan van Mourik en Harald Wingchen.

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