Group Report

The OO9 Society

West Midlands Area Group

Report of Area Group Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 10th December 2018

As the perfect antidote to Christmas shopping, twenty-four yuletide escapees attended our December area group meeting. Seasonal sociability suitably sustained.

Peter Hardy’s test track witnessed arguably The-Most-Intensive-Traffic in the history of West Midlands Area Group meetings. This could get very complicated, but here goes. Steve Mann ran his L&B ‘Axe’ 0-6-0T, seen at our previous meeting but now in apple green livery, plus his chunky Five79 ‘Skylark’ 0-4-0T still in the metal on Minitrains F&C chassis, Peco GVT loco on Kato chassis finished in a sort of cornflower blue livery but now awaiting retro-fitting of a 3D chassis-adapter insert, and a nicely-bashed Peco L&B coach cleverly converted to an auto-coach finished in a fetching blue’n’cream livery and complete with roof-mounted bell (retractable by the driver?) looking suspiciously like the one on the GWR ’King’ loco. Ben Powell ran his stylish Kerr Stuart ‘Diana’ 0-4-0T in grey livery with distinguished black-on-white lining with neatly-chamfered corners. Next, David Churchill wowed us with his comprehensively-modelled Backwoods Darjeeling B-class loco out-shopped in grey primer and running very nicely thank you (he should write a book about them) plus, from the other end of the traction spectrum, his Motor Rail 6-wheel diesel Narrow Planet 3D kit with etched overlays, also in grey primer. Then it was Will King with his Backwoods ‘Russell’ 2-6-2T still in brass and also running well, his Kerr Stuart ‘Haig’ Chivers loco on Roco chassis seen previously in this parish but now in a very dark green livery, his Nonneminstre Rye & Camber Bagnall 2-4-0T ‘Victoria’ but to be named ‘Sassenach’ after painting, and a Brian Madge Quarry Hunslet 0-4-0T with two interchangeable superstructures also un-painted. Will also ran some rolling stock – his famous (notorious?) three-truck bogie bolster with three-tree-trunk load, a Society open wagon on Colin Ashby chassis and a Mike’s Models coach modified to incorporate end balconies with Narrow Planet etched railings on Dundas bogies awaiting only a roof. Phew, wot a show – if you weren’t there, you missed it. There’s a few hundred hours of dedicated modelling toil gone into that lot – to think we only paid three quid to see it all running in the comfort of our hired hall.

From the RTR sector, Mac Strong ran a brace of Minitrains Krauss 0-4-0T locos, one black, one blue, while Bob Taylor ran his Bachmann Baldwin 10-12-D no 590.

In the adjacent armchair-modelling department, aka collectors’ corner, several members categorically denied having a Christmas list, but it should be said that this is a no-less-valid branch of the hobby – someone has to stand on the public side of an exhibited layout or provide relief operator duties. As I recall saying at the Loughborough convention – ‘I’ve never modelled with such a nice group of people, and I shall keep on never modelling for as long as I can get away with it’.

Back to the scratch-building zone. Tim Williams showed the monumental working incline section from one of his quarry layouts (fresh from its demo role at Warley) operating with a pair of incline wagons which he had designed and printed on his very own 3D production facility.

Mike Wall showed his newest micro-layout ‘Boch’s Tunnel’ being a scenic oval with, er, tunnel, cleverly modelled within a wooden sewing box approximately 16 x 12 x 5in and running his Minitrains Baldwin 2-6-2T and Colin Ashby Society coach. Indefatigable ingenuity.

Will King showed yet another recent addition to his growing library – a copy of ‘The Rye & Camber Railway’ by Laurie A Cooksey autographed by the author. Will also brought along a box of back issues of quarterly newsletters from the Welsh Highland Railway offered free to a good home.

Meanwhile, in the vicinity of the kitchen, a potential cause of complaint (celebration?) arose – there was not a single mince pie on the premises. This situation was derailed by ample supplies of home-made flapjack from Jane Webb’s kitchen (a follow-up to the Warley consignment) plus a large tin of chocolates supplied by Andi Nethercoat. Andi also out-shopped hot beverages while Peter Hardy dispensed the Fairy Liquid (other detergents are available). Our grateful thanks to all concerned.

We meet at Moorfield Hall, Hartshill Road, Shard End, Birmingham, B34 6QX from 7.30 to 9.30pm on the second Monday of every month. There is a nominal charge of £3.00 to cover the costs of hall hire and refreshments. Our next meetings will be held on 14th January, 11th February and 11th March 2019. So we’ll do it all again next year (oh yes we will). If you have any queries please contact Julien Webb at

Angela Baker, Model Reporter