14 March 2023 Update

Sent on behalf of the Chairman

Fellow members, for those that have not had the chance to get to the club lately, here is the latest position.

As you were advised, all of the woodworking on the village hall side has been completed (except a few finishing pieces) and possession was handed to the tracklaying team. I have to tell you this group have really delivered for us. All of the O gauge track is complete as far as the boards allow, and also the OO only needs a few pieces to be complete. With just the TT and N to be done, it is anticipated that possession will go to the electrical/electronics team in the next week or so.

Therefore, anyone who can contribute to this skillset are welcome nay encouraged to get involved. If you will forgive the pun, we have built up a good head of steam, and I would like to see the current rate of progress maintained, or even improved if possible.

Our primary goal is to get the branch line fully operational in time for the Datchworth Village Day in early June, and confidence is very high on achieving this. Please note that the full wiring is being installed, but only the branch line track will actually work. Please do not try to jury rig a control system to any of the other track, this could cause damage, expense and delay.

Phase 2 of the build will take us from the front door to the Juniper Room wall. With what we have learned from Phase 1, this section should not take too long. However, what we will need is space to work. All preparation work is being carried out so all materials will be available on day 1 and so expedite the work. It will be necessary to store Coleware for up to 4 weeks to give us the necessary room. With the pre-planning we are doing, we very much feel this a conservative estimate, and hope we can reduce this time frame. Some of the preparation work needs to be done outside, so until it becomes a bit warmer, we cannot give you an indication right now of when Coleware will go into storage, but notice will be given. It may not be until after Datchworth Village Day. Obviously, the same will apply to Sandmarch when we get to that area (Phase 3).

While Coleware is stored, we will be able to make a better access point for when it returns. We will also be fitting adjustable feet to try and improve running. In the process of this, the layout will end up slightly lower than it currently does, approximately 3 – 4″/75 – 100mm. This will allow the fiddle yard to under sail the new layout a small amount, and open up the passageway through the clubhouse.

Back to the main layout, Gus (O Gauge rep) is starting work on buildings and so on, cleaning up and / or repairing our current inventory. This can be done remotely, so if you can help with this aspect, arrange to meet with Gus at the club, pick up a model or two and agree what needs doing.

Huge thanks then to all of those who have brought us to this point. I am sure everyone can contribute in some small way, even if it is just making tea and offering moral support, and it’s always nice to meet members you don’t normally see.

Finally, a reminder that the AGM is coming up (April 29th 2023), a separate communication will be sent soon with all of the details.