Thursday 13 December 2007

East Yorkshire Area Group

Work continues apace on the East Yorkshire Area Group's layout Botanic Gardens, and wiring up of the plain track and pointwork on the entrance to the coal yard is aproaching completion. James Wells has been busy building more loco stock (a Class E (J71) from a using a Mainline body and Mainly Trains chassis kit) so at least we'll have several options to test the trackwork!

James has also started a couple of new blogs on his own activities: more details soon! There is also a thread on the Botanic Gardens project on the RMweb model railway web forum.

Further updates (and possibly images) after the Festive Season...

Tuesday 11 December 2007


Our meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month, this month being 18th December. If no visit or other arrangement has been made, we now have a default venue, the Thatched House pub at Stanley, a village just North of Wakefield, on the East side of the A642. Any member reading this is welcome to join us. We usually arrive around 7.45 - 8.00 pm. At the moment the first part of our meeting is taken up with arrangements for Scalefour North, so if when you arrive you don't recognise anyone, just listen around for people talking very seriously about things that really matter. A note of caution here. The telephone directory lists a Thatched Cottage, a restaurant. You will not find us there as we don't trust our table manners.

This is my first attempt at a blog, so if anything comes up on the Society Blogs page, I will be as interested as anyone else. I have every hope of learning how to add pictures and becoming as competent as other contributers.

Jim Harrison

Tuesday 27 November 2007

DRAGging towards Christmas

No let up in activities down here in Devon as we rapidly approach Christmas - a large number of us made our way to the Taunton show in mid-October, as you'd expect, and our regular meetings every fortnight have continued to attract a dozen or so members.

Two weeks ago, because some members had not yet seen it, John Farmer brought along the boards for Swaveney, the 1970s layout of the late Nigel Hunt that DRAG have taken into care with a view to restoration and possible return to the exhibition circuit. The layout represents a small terminus on the M&GN, and was possibly the first P4 layout exhibited that had been built by individuals - Nigel and Andy Rush mainly - rather than a group. We believe its last show was York in 1977. The trackwork and wiring are in reasonable condition, but the scenery is a bit tired-looking and some of the buildings are suffering a bit from age.

However, we need to avoid being distracted by this project until we have finished the Mk2 test track. So far much has been designed and many components have been purchased, but we are yet to actually build any of it. Hopefully this will have started before Christmas when we visit one of our members in East Allington near Kingsbridge, who has a wood workshop facility, to kick-start construction.

Meanwhile, on the social side, we are looking forward to our annual dinner at a pub near Totnes in mid-January.

Thursday 22 November 2007

Fylde Area Group

The 15th of November saw another Fylde Area Group meeting well attended, 13 members discussing a variety of topics with a number of locos to run on the layout.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 13th December (not the usual third Thursday) when we will have a presentation by Dr. John Sykes on 'GN Lines in the West Riding' followed by a hotpot supper.

Please contact Mike Norris (details on Blue Sheet) if you require additional information.

Sunday 18 November 2007

Crewe Area Group Has Lunch

As we meet on the second Sunday of the month, it should come as no surprise that today (3rd Sunday in Nov) we held our annual lunch at the Crewe Arms locate hard by the station and with a 66 ticking over outside the gents loo just to get us into the feel of the thing. Our ladies are invited to this event as a thank you for all that support and forbearances during the rest of the year, and as one occasion when a day out on the hobby provides refreshments a cut above cantean fare!

Talking of exhibitions some of the normal suspects are seen here behind the Kutsford East at the recent Manchester show.

Next Month. Xmas pies a Tony's, definitely 2nd Sunday this time Always a popular event and always with a railway to play with, if you ask nicely

Thursday 1 November 2007

Craven Group Layout at Bolton this weekend

If you can get to Bolton, Lancs, this weekend, Heath End will be there, slightly more advanced than at Scalefour North. The Exhibition details can be found at and the venue is St. James' Church of England School and Sports College, Lucas Road, Farnworth, Bolton, BL4 9RU

Saturday 27 October 2007

Fylde Area Group

This months talk by member Graham Seed was very interesting and well received. Graham brought his test track and Lenz system, along with a cordless phone to show how easy it is to control several locomotives at once. After a brief introduction we were quickly into CV's (configuration variables) , demonstrating how easy it is to get motors running right by listening to the motor and watching for surges in the movement of the locomotive. It was amazing to see just how much entertainment can be had running four locomotives up and down 5 foot of track when there are three drivers!

Next meeting - Run and Natter - 15th November - please contact Mike Norris for further details.

Monday 22 October 2007

EYAG expand!

The East Yorkshire Area Group increased their membership by 50% recently when Dave Burman and Chris Leach were joined by James Wells, a talented young (well, compared to the other two of us!) modeller. His enthusiasm has spurred us all on to greater efforts. The picture shows, l to r, Dave, James and Chris standing by the group's under-construction NER layout, Botanic Gardens, which is hosted by the Hull Model Railway Society.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Craven Scalefour Group Congratulate You!

Our current complement, as picture shows, are , back row, L to R, Paul Hatherley, Roger Courtenay, Roger Cox [secretary], front, L to R, Allan Smith, Paul Severs, Howard Lorriman. We will be exhibiting our circle 'Heath End' at the Bolton show on November 3rd and 4th. Our next 'social' meeting is at Roger's [see Blue Sheet] at 7.30 p.m., Monday 29th October, new blood welcome! For more on our layout and individual models, see Cravenscale Blog at Paul S

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Hull Town Docks at the Leeds Show

Jim Harrison AGO of the West Yorkshire Area Group will be exhibiting his layout 'Hull Town Docks' at the Leeds Show, held at Leeds Grammar School on Saturday 27th (10.00am-6.00pm) and Sunday 28th (10.00am-5.00pm). The school is situated on the east side of Harrgate Road (A61) at the northern boundary of Leeds. Would any members attending the show please introduce themselves to Jim. Picture courtesy of Jim Summers.

Friday 12 October 2007

North East Finescale Group Meeting

Some pics of our meeting last Friday. This was hosted by David Boorman on the 5th October 2007 and will forever be known as the 'Fish & Chips' meeting. The meeting was held in the Community Room of Orchard House in North Shields. The picture shows from left to right: Bob Jones, Dave Dunn, Paul Moore, Barry Nicholson, John H Wright, Tony Cormack, David Boorman, Mick Simpson and Yvonne Simpson.

Glevum Area Group

The Glevum Area Group's website: has recently been updated.
Changes include some preliminary details of the changes being made to the group layout "Brinkley" and also progress on "Lydmouth". The latter is being built by one of our group for the DEMU challenge.

Thursday 11 October 2007

Uckfield Model Railway Club Exhibition

The Uckfield Model Railway club exhibition takes place on the 20th and 21st October with two P4 layouts: Dartly and Cheddar, plus a presence from the Wealden Area of the Scalefour Society.
Follow this link for more information:

Fylde Area Group

Next Thurday 18th October, sees one of our members, Graham Seed proving us with a talk/discussion on slow speed running using DCC.
Graham was one of the DCC demonstrators at this year Scalefour North and is well known for his slow runnign locomotives.
Please contact me directly (phone number on Blue Sheet) if you need details to attend.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

DRAG - testing, testing

Hi everyone, just getting used to this blog thingy!

Down here in the southwest we had our regular (fortnightly) meeting last night, with the usual set up of the Mark I test track on which a variety of stock circulated through the evening. Various natterings continued in other corners of the room concerning things like getting on with the new improved Mark II test track and helping Andrew Eaton with some conceptual ideas for his home layout based in the Black Country in the 1920s.

We also discussed Scaleforum of course, and I am pleased - nay, gloating - that 80% of the DRAG membership made it there. Some are shown on this photo, looking remarkably chipper given that this was about six in the morning on Exeter St Davids station! Tim Maddocks did a great job in organising cheap group tickets so that everyone got up for around £27 a head, and still giving six hours or so at the show on the Saturday. Brian & Jane Pearce and myself were up all weekend anyway on official duties, and three other members made their own way.

Sunday 7 October 2007

Narrow gauge at Scaleforum 2007

We had a great weekend in Leatherhead with Borth-y-Gest. help was at hand from S gauge modeller Leslie Bevis-Smith (and I was amazed at the number of SGMRS members who attended - they claimed to be there to take the 4 out of our title....)
The real business of showing S4 narrow gauge on 7.83 gauge was a a pleasure, and doubled by being awarded the MRJ Chalice for James Spooner, seen here in action on the layout. Sound and smoke are all genuine - no digital computer trickery at all.... Thanks to all for a great weekend. Paul

Invitations sent. New authors signed up

A total of 44 invitations have now been sent out to the Scalefour Society Area Group Organizers and/or their designated representatives so that they can become authors on this Area Groups News Blog, I've also invited the Society's Webmaster and Scalefour News Editor to join. So far: Mid-Devon; NorthEast Finescale and Craven Area Groups have signed up, so I'd like to welcome David, John and Paul and say that I am looking forward to reading their posts.
Now we can go live to the rest of the Society and really raise the profile of the Area Groups and keep the membership fully informed of all the excellent modelmaking that's going on under the auspices of the Area Groups.

Thursday 4 October 2007

New Area Group Pictures

As I wait for more pictures to arrive for the Scaleforum Retrospective that I'll be putting together I have news of more Area Groups that have updated their entries on the website.
Manchester (with some photos to come), Weston, Dukeries and the Norfolk & Suffolk who have sent some very nice pictures of their layout 'Coldfair Green'. (See right)

Wednesday 26 September 2007

An Area Group at work

Here is a picture of the East Scotland Area Group taking part in a group tutorial on turnout building last Saturday. Jim Summers tells me that they emerged with eight sets of points plus some other trackwork by folks not in the picture. "Not a bad total and better than watching the football." Jim concluded.

Picture by Simon Wall.

Saturday 22 September 2007

Further Updates

Both the West Scotland Area Group and Sarum Finescale web entries have now been updated. With Scaleforum almost upon us I have sent further reminders to the groups that have still not updated, so hopefully there will be some more news this week.

Thursday 13 September 2007

Fylde Area Group latest

I've now almost completed the process of contacting all of the Area Groups asking them to revise and update their website entries.
Of the 44 groups: 23 have been updated, 5 were updated during the year before I started this, 11 more have been contacted and I'm waiting for a response and there are 5 that I'm having problems with.

I've just uploaded the latest revision; by Fylde Area Group:

Sunday 9 September 2007

Area Groups Update

I have just uploaded revised entries for both the Bristol Area Group and the Crewe Area Group
Many thanks to Tim Venton and Will Litchfield. Hopefully we will be seeing some pictures soon.
There is also a small amendment to the entry for the Netherlands Area Group following today's most enjoyable bijeenkomst (get-together) in Amsterdam.

Sunday 2 September 2007

South Yorkshire Photos

South Yorkshire Area Group have now had some pictures added to their entry on the Society website:

Monday 27 August 2007

Area Group Progress

In the last month considerable progress has been made with the Area Group coverage on the Society website.


AUSTRALIA (WEST), BRISTOL, CREWE, ESSEX, KENT (EAST), WILTSHIRE (NORTH), BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (NORTH), and CHESTER & WIRRAL are all groups that have been contacted but I still need to chase up for information.


I have also added a clickable maps section to the site:

Monday 13 August 2007

Craven Area Group Blog

Craven Area Group now have their own blog which you can view at:

Wednesday 25 July 2007

Southampton Area Group pictures

Southampton Area Group have also sent me some pictures of their layout Southwark Bridge which I have uploaded to the Society website.

East Scotland Area Group pictures

East Scotland Area Group's entry now has pictures added, see:

Sunday 15 July 2007

Area Group Co-ordinator

I have volunteered to take over the role of the Society's Area Group Co-ordinator from Deputy Chairman Richard Hall. This will hopefully dovetail with my work on the Area Group pages of the Society's website.

Thursday 12 July 2007

Area Groups Update (edited extract from P4talk)

I just thought that I would let you all know that I have recently taken on the task of trying to bring the Area Groups section of the Society website up to date.
From the existing information on the Blue Sheet and the website we appear to have 50 Area Groups although it's clear that some are not much more than a one man contact point.
After working my way through the information already available on the site I have classified the groups as follows:
1) No information about the group on the site;
2) Information is time expired and out of date;
3) Limited content or information;
4) Otherwise good but not updated for more than two years
5) Recently updated;
6) Completely up to date.

I have initially attempted to contact the Area Group Organizers for the Areas that have no entry of any kind on the website along with one or two others.
I have now finished tidying up the pages and have added at least a name and link to the Blue Sheet for more info for every group that has no other entry as well as adding the info that I have received so far. See: and

I believe that it is very important for the Society and the service that it provides to its members that the Area Group information on the website is kept fresh and as up to date as possible. I shall continue to attempt to make contact with the Area Group Organizers that I have not spoken with yet as we really need to be providing more information, especially to new members and getting this right will help.

Unfortunately the vast majority of Area Group entries on the website have not been updated for more than two years and more than half of all the Groups have had nothing about themselves published in Scalefour News during the last five years, so any helpful input will be appreciated.

Sunday 24 June 2007

Area Group Webpages

I have started work on updating the Area Group information on the Scalefour Society website and have initially been in contact with the Area Group Co-ordinators for Essex, West London and Lincolnshire (North).