Events in 2009

Ted Polet

Expong Swanley 31st of October, 2009

Three Dutch Group members, Jan van Mourik, Dick van Beek and myself, left for Calais on the Friday morning, to cross to Dover. In the hotel at Dartford we met Angus and Sheila Watkins, and just like last year we gave Brian and Mick a hand at setting up the Sales stand during the evening. For the occasion Hazel Brewer made us temporary Stewards of the Greenwich & District Narrow Gauge Railway Society (thanks, Hazel!), which also meant we could enter the hall at an earlier time on Saturday morning. This is the best occasion for us to meet our British friends both of the 009 Society and the GDNGRS, and a good chance to visit all the trade stalls and have a go at Brian's stores. The down side is that you miss seeing too many good layouts. I hardly noticed Graham Watling's Whitsend Tramway due to the crowd in front of it, and I even didn't speak to him, but luckily Jan van Mourik made some nice photos of it. Maybe another time, Graham - my apologies! Jan also made the best photos, freehand with his small camera. I don't know how he does it. I had brought a tripod but due to the lack of time I had to resort to the flash, resulting in the worst photos I ever made. I added captions to the photo galleries, telling more about several layouts.

Briqueterie Dargil et Latard (0-14 scale), Groupe Escadrille St Michel:

Dunbracken (009), Tom Dauben:

Blackwood Valley Railway (0-16.5), P J Saunders:

Photos by Jan van Mourik    

Photos by Ted  

Valkenburg 5/6th September 2009

On September 5th and 6th, the Dutch Group attended the 11th narrow gauge model show at the Valkenburg Museum, together with several other narrow gauge modellers from Holland and Britain.

This time, we were glad to see Dave and Midge Grassing again, who had to cancel their visit last year. They brought their excellent H0n3 layout 'Stump City'. Robin and Sue Winter brought a very small WW1 diorama which was presented in an original way. Richard and Helen Glover brought 'Sand Point', an 009 layout with a turntable fiddle yard hidden behind an industrial building. Chris Krupa brought Matthew's Corner, a detailed Gn15 micro layout. Don and Val Sibley brought Pontevedro, a re-incarnation of an earlier freelance tram layout with strong Belgian ties. There were several new layouts from Dutch builders, like Henk Wust's 'Punta Marina' and René Paul's 'Forks Creek Yard', in addition to several layouts shown at earlier Valkenburg shows. As usual we had a very good time and the show included the Saturday night barbecue and the steam special around the lake.

Stump City, Dave & Midge Grassing:

Ole Bill Springs, Robin Winter:

Forks Creek Yard, René Paul:

Video by Dave Grassing  

Photos by Jan van Mourik    

Photos by Ted Polet 

Annual General Meeting, Doncaster, 9th of May, 2009

On Saturday the 9th of May, 2009, I was very pleased to be able to represent the Dutch Group at the AGM and members’ day held at Edlington near Doncaster. Together with my brother Marcel I crossed on the Thursday night ferry from Rotterdam to Hull. Friday morning we went sightseeing in the Doncaster area, then retreated to the hotel from where we contacted Garry Whiting about setting up the layout. The South Yorkshire Group was host to the AGM in the Hill Top Primary School in Edlington, which is used by the South Yorkshire Group for their meetings. After a quick meal we went to the school and set up the layout.

On Saturday morning the school was a hive of activity with other members setting up their layouts. We quickly put the rolling stock on the layout and started trial running, meeting many good friends who came to say hello. Although the show wasn’t very busy due to the fact this was a members only day and due to one or two other narrow gauge societies having their AGM on this same date, the morning passed very quickly. Numerous high-quality layouts were in attendance.

Gilderdale Mine (Peter Hogarth):

Draig Goch (Darren Hedges):

Rae Bridge (Ted Polet):

AGM 2009 photos    

Photos of the Doncaster and York areas  

At 2pm the meeting started with a presentation of the accounts, followed by the re-election of the Committee and a proposal to change the Rules. Finally several members were awarded trophies and certificates of commendation. Regrettably the day was over quickly and the layout had to be taken apart again. After thanking the South Yorkshire Group for their hospitality, we were invited to an Indian dinner by Garry Whiting and Bill Luty.

On the Sunday after the AGM we made a detour to York, having a look in the old town, followed by a visit to the National Railway Museum, which houses a great number of famous exhibits I had only seen previously in photographs. Despite most of them being standard gauge, I devoted a separate photo gallery to the Museum. Finally, we collected the car and continued to Hull and the ferry back home. Click HERE to view the NRM photo gallery.

LNER A4 'Mallard':

L&YR 18" gauge works loco 'Wren':

Livingston Thompson, 1885 Boston Lodge Works, Ffestiniog Railway, 1' 11.5" gauge:

National Railway Museum photo gallery  

Dutch Group meeting, 29th of March, 2009

On Saturday March 29th 2009, the Dutch group met at my place in Leiden. It was the first meeting in quite a long time, and we had 13 members present in all. We were glad to see Eddy Bolderdijk and 'Kit' R.G.Kittle who was in much better health than in recent years. Several members brought models, books, videos and other items of interest. Kit appropriately brought a book on the St Kitts railway! Hans van der Linden had two styrofoam layout mock-ups, one full size and the other half size, of quite promising layout ideas. This is an interesting and quite effective method as it enables you to view your idea as it would look in reality, and in three dimensions as well. Photos are in the gallery. Jaap Stuurman brought a few models for a project he has been planning for some time as a sequel for his well-known Bryn Goch layout. He showed a Crosville bus garage that would be at home in his chosen prototype area Wales, and the steam tug 'Afon Dyfi' intended for the harbour on his new project. The tug was adapted from a Dutch Artitec model, and Jaap with his seafaring background transformed it into a good likeness of a British steam harbour tug, which even features a smoke unit!

Otto Schouwstra brought his new high voltage electrostatic grass dispenser and gave a demonstration of its effectiveness on a small piece of plywood. Photos of this tool are shown in the picture gallery. Rob Reinders brought a fine little conversion of an Egger/Jouef loco into the well-known Austrian 0-4-0 'Stainz', which we posed on the C&DR layout for photos. The C&DR was in operation for most of the afternoon, by the way, in its new room on the first floor of my house. Bert van Rhijn brought a few models, including a few tank wagons, one of which was made from the cap of a felt tip marker, and a beautiful bogie carriage made by Dick van Beek, lettered for the 'Bert van Rhijn' railway (a pun on the Dutch Rhenish Railway which existed until the early 20th Century).

Towards the end of the afternoon, a discussion was started about ideas to link up several Dutch Group layouts for exhibitions. This idea has been circulating for a few months now. Inevitably this leads to questions of electrical and size standardisation, height above the floor, layout theme and the amount of liberty allowed to individual layouts taking part. The basic idea is that even members who have little time or space to build a layout might be induced to build a small scenic section that can be linked into a larger set-up. The discussion is by no means concluded, but we are making good progress.

Finally, six of us went to have our customary Chinese dinner. Jan and myself ordered a specialist menu, whilst the others aimed for a one or two course meal. Well... the unforeseen effect was that the others had to endure an hour of growing but unsatisfied appetite whilst watching Jan and myself working our way through starters and soup. The fact that the restaurant was quite busy may have contributed to the delay, but anyway I won't repeat what Jan and I had to endure from the others. In the end, the main course appeared and soon even the worst grumbles subsided except perhaps for digestive ones!

'Bert van Rhijn' Railway carriage built by Dick van Beek

Crossville garage by Jaap Stuurman:

Full size foam mock-up for a Darjeeling style layout by Hans van der Linden. :