Colchester Society of Model
& Experimental Engineers Ltd
The Colchester Society members are having a busy time. In the past months they have visited a car manufacturer for a conducted tour of the works. This was followed by another visit, this time to a company making precision sand castings in alloy and other metals. Our members watched the staff moulding the sand around the patterns, followed by the pouring of the molten metal into the mould. After removal of the sand from the moulding, the castings were then finished machined on high speed CNC machines ready for dispatch to the customer. Members watched in awe as the CNC milling machine changed the tools in half a second after each operation.
There was a good turnout of members on 28th June when Tim Cole brought his gas turbine locomotive to the Society. He gave a lecture on the locomotive describing the internals of the gas turbine and the final drive system and gearbox. The high light was when the locomotive was taken outside onto the ground level track, fired up and run for a few laps of the track
Geoff King. Colchester SMEE Ltd
Sunday 10 August -
On Sunday 10th August members travelled to Colney Heath track of the North London Society for a return visit. We ran four locomotives, three steamers and a Diesel out line locomotive. All members there had good runs on the raised track despite the weather forecast. During the afternoon a thunder storm briefly stopped play for a while, but running continued after the storm passed over. It was the first time run over the extended track for members of Colchester club, the track now being half a mile per lap on the raised level
Monday 1 September -
The visit was well attended by club members, as you can see, and all said what an interesting day it was. We were shown over the mill by the Essex County Council retained millwright and his assistant.
The Society’s meeting was entertained by Mr David Lindfield who presented a talk and video about laser cutting and water jet cutting of steel. He described the process in detail showing the members how the water jet is generated and the abrasive grit is added into the water stream at high pressure. This was followed by a film of the cutting of steel outlines by the process. Steel plates of up to 16 mm thick were cut out to a variety of shapes and the results were shown to the members.This was followed by a description of the process of cutting by laser, and once again this was shown on film in action. The members watched in awe as a profile similar to a set of tender frames for a locomotive was profiled from mild steel sheet in under half a minute to a high degree of accuracy.
A question and answer session followed by a cup of tea ended a fascinating evening. Tongue in cheek, David was invited to join the Society by the members.
Weekend 11 & 12 October -
Over the weekend the Five Inch Gauge Ground Level Club visited the Colchester CSMEE. There were nine members present who ran a number of locomotives on both days. On Saturday evening there was a fish and chips supper, which was followed by a night run in the dark, trains running until nine-
The Society was entertained by Mr Robert King and Mr Andy Tunwell, who are both members of the Bure Valley Railway steam railway staff. Andy described the history of the railway from Aylsham to Wroxham from its building in the mid 19th century. After a very varied history and a number of failures over the years it eventually closed down when the Norfolk Council acquired the track bed. This was then converted for use as a footpath and finally the Bure Valley Steam railway was built when the Council leased out the railway to the enthusiasts of the steam railway.
Robert then described the BVR rolling stock, concentrating on the steam locomotives. The design of the locomotives was discussed in detail, their history , and their faults causing failures over the years. He then described how these faults in their design has been rectified and their performance improved over the years. The maintenance of the boilers on the locomotives was also covered, when he described how the water was treated to make it suitable for use in a steam locomotive.
On Sunday 19th October the Society travelled by coach to attend the Midland Model Engineering exhibition. A very enjoyable day out was had by all who attended.
The Club’s Night Run was a very enjoyable evening. Five locomotives were run by members, three on the elevated track and two on the ground level tracks. The meeting finished with a fish and chips supper for everyone who attended.
The Society was entertained by Mr Bill Pirie who is a retired police superintendent. He described his career, both before he joined the police force and afterwards. The talk described the funniest , and at times hilarious, incidents that he experienced whilst on duty.
The club were given a series of short talks by several of the members. Geoff King discussed the modifications that he has made to models over the years. Other members Eddie Carter and Ian Pryke also presented short talks.Ian showed the members the method he uses to close the heads of round head rivets on his current model. Ian described his workshop methods of setting up axle boxes in the lathe four jaw chuck.
Club members were entertained by club member Peter Bohn who talked about the history of measurement, and how society arrived at the present feet and inches standard. Starting with the the ancient standards of the length of the King’s elbow to finger tip, he described how the units changed with history.
On display was his collection of micrometers and other means of measurement, from the last hundred years or so. Micrometers for measuring the thickness of paper, thread sizes, gear teeth and tube wall thickness were shown to members. Also discussed was a brail micrometer for blind people to use. Digital micrometers from the beginning of the 20th century were passed round to his audience. It was plain to see that there is nothing new in the science of measurement.
A number of members braved the weather See photos here