West Herts Area Group of the Association of 16mm Narrow Gauge Modellers

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                 WHAG’s Programme for 2017


October 21         Brambleton

October 28        Berry Lane MC   Rickmansworth

November  4       Berry Lane MC   Rickmansworth

November 11       Brambleton   

November 18       erry Lane MC   Rickmansworth

November 25      Steam in Beds Exhibition

December 2

December 9

December16        Berry Lane MC   Rickmansworth with Hot Mince pies ( £10 this meeting only)

December 23      Christmas

December 30      Nearly New Year’s Eve Steam up at Brambleton (Saturday )                                                                     

                            January 2018

January 20                  Brambleton’s 50th Birthday Exhibition.

                                   WHAG’s indoor layout will be in attendance.


Brambleton Newsletter (Not Quite a Gazette)

June 2017


Over the past few months there has been quite a lot going on up at the site so we thought it might be a good idea to put together a newsletter about what has been going on and some outline plans for the future months.

Over the past months Friday has evolved into being a working day at the site for those who can get there predominantly those who do not have to work anymore aided by Jim when he is not working.

Looking Back

The first thing was following last Septembers open day Stockton was demolished. The reason for this was that all the timber supporting the roof and shutter openings had gone rotten and the walls were becoming unstable. A builder was found to do the blockwork to replace the building on the same footprint. In the space of 4 days supported by Alan and Jim the new structure went up. Following this the roof was put on by the Friday working parties along with steel shutter frames and shutters constructed to make the building very secure. Much fun was had trying to sort the door out (I think it took nearly as long as the rest of the building). A new track base within the building put in along with a workbench and racking for storage. The main works were completed shortly after Christmas and subsequently new track laid and items moved back in after some sorting.

Then we moved onto general tidying up trying to sort out what we had got moving logs etc to a pile near the garage and some removal of trees that were in the way of future projects.

The next major project was a large amount of earth moving to re landscape the area outside of Stockton/Nine Elms and Brambleton the opportunity was taken by using the surplus rubble from the demolition of Stockton to raise the area. To add to this we hired in a mini digger and dumper truck and moved about 80 dumper loads of topsoil from the garage area to reprofile the large grass area. To this was added compost from the hole where the leaves etc have been left to rot down over the years to provide some goodness. The site was then profiled rolled and then seeded in April. Unfortunately, when the work was being done it was quite wet so we had to wait for it to dry before the final levelling took place and the area down in the woods could do with some sorting in the future. The area was seeded but as there has been no rain it has not taken as well as would have liked and it needs more attention.

We then moved on to building a new workshop/area which has been partially completed the idea is to have a secure area to store tools/mowers/blowers with attached to it a car port area for the tractors and other gear which we are accumulating. All the construction work has been greatly helped by having a diesel welder and petrol generator as well as the tractors etc to shift things around with. The area needs to be levelled to allow easier access etc once the buildings are completed. The main purpose being to get tools etc out of Stockton and the other sheds to centralise them and allow the other building to be used for running the railway.

Other than that much work has been done to clear areas of the site and tidy things up . Doing this has meant that we have a large pile of trunks/branches to be further cut down into logs during the winter which we are working with a couple of people to take away to sell which may generate some more income.

The Future

Once the existing buildings under construction have been completed the next major item is to replace the wooden steam up area on the 16mm site with a steel framed one like we have at Brambleton as the wooden one is starting to collapse.

We will then be into the winter period when it is planned to do some pruning of the large oaks in the centre of the O gauge circuit. These have not been touched for years and are becoming extremely large and have a number of dying branches which if they fall would do considerable damage. We have a tree surgeon who is prepared to help us at reduced cost when he is not otherwise engaged and we assist in the clearing up operation.

Talking of clearing up there is a large amount of scrap metal (water tanks, steel sheet, dead wheelbarrows and other items) that have accumulated over the years and need to be taken out of the site and either given to a scrap merchant or removed by skip but this means getting it all up the barrow path.

Jim then has plans for a further expansion of the 16mm line into the woods which will take a bit of doing.

This is all in addition to the general maintenance of leaf clearing building maintenance etc.

It would be nice to reinstate some of the block instruments if anyone would like to volunteer to take this on the cabling needs to be sorted and the instruments themselves need some TLC it would be a shame if open days etc are no longer accompanied by the sound of bells. During the open day a number of comments regarding the blocks were made by those who spotted them in Nine Elms. Quite a number of visitors talked about having seen similar in operation at the St Albans Signal box open days.

Open Days Etc

The Jan 2017 exhibition was very successful making a record profit of £3,500.

The May Open day was a great success this note is written immediately afterwards. The numbers of people attending was very high with lots of families and people interested in the railway from many conversations it seemed like we had quite a lot of first timers. The tea stall was very busy and ran out of cake and hot dogs by 4pm. Many thanks to Yvonne, Sarah and Dagmar

Many thanks to all those who contributed to the day especially putting things away afterwards and those who do the unsung jobs such as Nigel on the car park, Peter Wesley’s father who puts posters around Harpenden and Alan putting out banners in advance.

Overall the day made a record £2,124.50 made up of £1,580.80 on the door and £543.70 on refreshments. This is over £300 up on the previous record for the spring open day last year. With deduction for expenses the profit this spring is £1,777.56                   .

Other Dates For Your Diary.

The 16mm line is open on the following dates.

15th July

12th August

21st October

11th November

We are also thinking of opening the O gauge site on some Friday evenings with a limited amount of stock available and allowing for people with their own stock to come and run it.

The Barbecue is 15 July

September Open Day is on the 9th September