Group Report

The 009 Society

West Midlands Area Group

Report of Area Group Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 14th January 2019

The twenty-six narrow-gaugers who attended our January area group meeting seemingly kept at least one of their New Year resolutions. Not a bad way to start one’s modelling year of a murky midwinter Monday, unless you’ve already built a kit or something, in which case you (and it) may be featured below. It was good to be in the company of Lee Allen again, and we were very pleased to welcome new member Michael Hurt.

Tim Williams presented his latest embryonic slate quarry layout which will eventually feature a lift incline (under construction at Warley), a ‘normal’ incline, a transporter incline and a ropeway – hence the working title of ‘Dinorwig’s Greatest Hits’. On a baseboard just 80cm square, the lower track circuit incorporates three of Tim’s scratch-built stub points seen at previous meetings, on which was running Tim’s Brian Madge ‘Winfred’ Quarry Hunslet loco with a rake of slate wagons. The upper level board awaits a Y formation of track. The layout is destined to become a resident display with automated running at the new Interpretation Centre at Llanuwchllyn on the Bala Lake Railway.

A fascinating variety of new locos migrated between Peter Hardy’s test track and Steve Mann’s extended oval of sectional track (laid on the ping-pong table as usual) – David Churchill’s Narrow Planet Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0T in grey primer on Minitrains chassis and his Jelly Models Badoni diesel kit in sexy Indian Red livery on 4-wheel Tomytec chassis; Ben Powell’s Five79 ‘Weatherwax’ (originally Skylark) 0-4-2T with kit-bashed plasticard cab and bunker in smart black livery and his Meridian Models Simplex on Tomytec chassis. Andy Foster’s Fourdees ‘Russell’ 2-6-2T unfortunately deposited some of its motion parts on the track. Rolling stock on the night was a brace of Steve Mann’s resuscitated Liliput coaches nicely re-painted in blue-n-cream. Static models still in-the-build were Peter Hardy’s Golden Arrow Garratt K2 0-4-4-0 kit on impressive scratch-built brass chassis, Will King’s Parkside Dundas ‘Blanche’, acquired at the recent Ilton Open Day, plus his Rother Iron Works (Rye & Camber) coach, bashed from a Roco coach, with Meridian Models bogies, and Julien Webb’s eye-catching Indian-style 3-vehicle articulated railcar using several Ashover coach sides finished in red oxide, with power car straddling the centre pair of bogies, produced for the 009 Society Railcar Challenge.

Mike Wall’s newest micro-layout, a tunnel-in-a-box entitled ‘Boch’s Tunnel’, first seen at our previous meeting, now incorporates a water feature of Realistic Water with Busch reeds. Could it be a balancing lake to keep the tunnel well-drained? Occupying the road was his Minitrains Baldwin 0-4-0ST and box van.

John Walker’s test track was powered by a minor sub-station called a Morley Vector-Zero-Two 2-track controller, more than sufficient to shift his Langley Double Fairlie on a Bachmann diesel chassis, followed by his CWR freelance railcar in apple green livery on Tomytec Bo-Bo chassis.

John Davies showed his new Manx Northern Railway No 4 ‘Caledonia’ 0-6-0T loco scratch-built in brass finished in maroon livery on a Triang TT modified ‘Castle’ chassis and his Atlas HOm Billard 150 railcar motorised by a stretched Berlinnerbahn Bo-Bo TT chassis.

In the literary department, there wasn’t a queue for getting your copy of ‘The Incredible Darjeeling B Class’ autographed – but there ought to have been. To hijack a famous political speech: ‘Never before in the field of locomotive history writing have so many witnessed one author’s accomplishment as that of our Mr Churchill’. David reported having signed more than twenty copies to date. One is not surprised. Unsigned publications available for inspection included Ben Powell’s copy of ‘Kerr Stuart’s Internal Combustion Locomotives’ by Allan C Baker and Mike Wall’s copy of ‘Narrow Gauge Album 1950-1965 In Colour’ by Michael Whitehouse. Worthy volumes both.

In the slick products division, Andi Nethercoat took delivery of a Grainge & Hodder baseboard unit from Allen Law to be used as his module for the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association West Midlands Area Group’s O-16.5 layout ‘Shropshire Minerals Light Railway’. Also from Grainge & Hodder, Dick Johnson showed his four-pack of 009 stacking stock boxes, stacked and packed with his assorted stock. Nifty.

Teas and coffees were single-handedly served up by Julien Webb with washing up conducted in perfect harmony by Tim Williams and Trevor Street. Thanks fellas.

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 11th February, 11th March and 8th April 2019. If you have any queries please contact Julien Webb at

Angela Baker, Model Reporter

Click here to see photos from the meeting