Colchester Society of Model

& Experimental Engineers Ltd

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Sun 15 July - Visit to Romney Marsh Model Engineering Society

6 members with 4 locos made the significantly long trip down to the South Coast to enjoy the hospitality of the Romney club.( It being St Swithin's day we can report there was no rain during our visit. ) Their raised level track is an oval following the boundaries of their large site and we ran there for about 3 hours or so. The 2 B1s and the Britannia present didn't really get the chance to "stretch their legs"  but the Julliet worked manfully completing an estimated 5 miles distance as did every one else as we were all on the track together!

Interestingly the Romney club have a very large garden railway section which is well supported and raises questions as to why there is so little interest in this gauge at Colchester .

Fortunately the traffic flowed well for our journeys in both directions and we hope to welcome Romney to Colchester for a reciprocal visit.

Fri 20, Sat 21 & Sun 22 July - Visit to Canvey Island Railway & Model Engineering Club

See photos here

Sat 28th July - Children's Party

A very successful and lively party was held at the club site . There were at least 12/15 youngsters  with an age range 3-6 supported by Mums, Dads and Grandparents. With a train running on the raised level track and another on the Ground level there was plenty of opportunity to ride behind a steam engine and both trains ran fully loaded and continuously during the afternoon. When the time came for the Party Tea, the train crews were glad of a break for a cup of tea and a do-nut, kindly offered by our guests.

The children emerged from the clubhouse about 3-45pm and rode the trains until the conclusion of the Party at 4-30pm. Our passengers were not confined to the children and we were pleased that the adults joined their children on the rides. Each train was staffed by a driver and guard and each trip went twice round the track.

As usual, members of the Society pitched in doing the various jobs necessary for a successful event. We hope our guests enjoyed their visit to the CSMEE and will tell their friends and maybe place a booking.

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Sun 5th August - Fingringhoe - The Five Parishes Summer Show

The Colchester Society of Model & Experimental Engineers again put on a display of member models at this year’s

5 Parishes Show, held on the Monkwick Ranges Fingeringhoe.

The models comprised of Lives Steam Locomotives, Stationary Steam Engines, Boats, etc. But the main attraction appeared to be Simon Webb’s Traction Engine which gave ride to children of all ages throughout the day.

The weather this year was better than last year, mostly sunshine but showers later in the day.

We had a large number of visitors though-out the day, this included the Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester who both spent time showing an interest in the models on display, and the CSMEE activities in general.

Mick Wadmore, Exhibitions Manager  See photos here


Fri 10th  August - Children’s Party

A further Children's Party was held on Friday 10th August for the usual fee. Some 12 children with supporters were on site by 2-0pm and quickly took possessions of the 2 trains running on the Raised level track. The 9F was the strongest loco with the NG 2-8-0 contributing also. At the break for the party tea, the NG withdrew and was replaced with a B4 and Maid of Kent running double headed who saw the session out. The enthusiasm of the children was exciting and it was noticed that though the party concluded at 4-30pm the 9F was still circulating with 8/10 passengers at 4 -40pm. As always our party guests left the club room and kitchen in immaculate condition and will be welcomed back at any time. Thanks to the organising team, the train crews who made sure everything ran smoothly and our guests and their supporters who seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Sun 12th August - Club Steaming Day

The usual "Start of the month" steam up was delayed a week to avoid a clash with the 5 Parishes Show. Being a beautiful summer day there were several young railway engineers present who ran under supervision on the GL track driving a  battery loco. These days seldom attract significant numbers being no different from any other Sunday, nonetheless several locomotives ran during the course of the day, rides were given and picnics enjoyed.

Sat 1st September - Great Bentley Show

Sun 2nd September - Family Day

Family Day-

The Colchester Society of Model & Experimental Engineers Ltd again attended and put on a display of members models at this year’s Great Bentley Summer Show.  The show was held on the magnificent Great Bentley village green, reported as the largest in England.  We started by erecting the Society’s Gazebo at nine o’clock and by 10.30 all was ready to receive the public. This year the show appeared to start quieter than normal but by lunch time we had a steady flow of visitors. As usual our visitors showed a great interest in the models on display and particular interest when they were able to speak with the member who made the displayed model.The weather throughout the day was dry, this was the first show this year where the heavens did not open up and soak everybody.

After another successful day, we started to pack-up at 4.30pm and by five o’clock we were off-site.

Mick Wadmore, Exhibitions Manager   See photos here

 Sun 9th September - Meet the Neighbours Day

                                                            Meet the Neighbours Day -

Again this year, the CSMEE organised a “Meet the Neighbours Day”.

This is where we invite all our near neighbours living in President Road, Jefferson Close and other local houses to share the day with us at our Lexden site.

Throughout a glorious day from 11.00 o’clock until 4.00 o’clock in the afternoon we operated trains giving our guests rides on both the raised and ground level tracks.

We also had a small display of members’ models in the club house, where light refreshments and drinks were dispensed by our lady members.

From 12.30 Jack and Jackie Manning assisted by Keith Payne provided a barbeque dispensing their excellent hamburgers to both our guests and members.

During the day we had over one hundred visitors together with their children/grand children who all appeared to enjoy themselves, many asking if they can come again next year.

All in all I believe it can be said that this was a successful and enjoyable day shared by both our neighbours and the members who took part.

Mick Wadmore, Exhibition Manager  

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Sat 29th & Sun 30th September - visit by GL5 Association

At the weekend 29th/30th September the Colchester Society played hosts for the Five Inch Gauge Ground Level Society [GL5]. Over a fine weather weekend the GL5 members ran a wide range of steam and Diesel locomotives on the Colchester ground level tracks, running until late evening in the dark to the colour lights in the semaphore signals. The Saturday evening ended with a fish and chips supper in the clubhouse, only to recommence running again the next morning. There were nine locomotives running over the Saturday, consisting of six steam locomotives and three Diesel outline locomotives. On Sunday a further six steamers were run and the Diesels once again, but the raised track was also in use by non GL5 club members. Rolling stock totaled over seventy wagons running in goods trains around the track, or being shunted in the two marshalling yards controlled from the two signal boxes. Coaching stock totaled seventeen carriages which were running as express passenger trains.  See photos here

Sun 7th October - Club Steam Day

Sun 14th October - visit by Chelmsford Society of Model Engineers

 Sun 21 October  - visit to Midland Exhibition

Fri 9 November - Auction

John Bye left the contents of his workshop to the Society in his will and it was this which was auctioned.

 Fri 21 December  - Club Christmas Party

50 members and guests came together for a Christmas Party at the club house. The entertainment was provided by Rick Christian, a folk singer and musician who played for more than hour, with members joining where possible. Afterwards a buffet was served along with mulled wine..

The raffle was extremely well supported with all 30 odd prizes being donated. We plan to send a donation to St Helena's Hospice.

Jon Mottershaw


 Wed 26 December  - Boxing Day Steam Up

The weather was kinder to us than we have been used to  these days ,which resulted in half a dozen locos in steam ahead of the rain forecast for the afternoon. The Ground level track saw a B1 towing the 7 1/4" G passenger trolley and with a guard riding at the back  gave rides to the many children on site. A tank engine also ran on the GL track taking some of the pressure off the RL track.

On the raised level track there was a lot of activity, with a full set of signals indicating several locos running simultaneously This meant frequent signal  checks but the time was used to explain to the children and their parents/grandparents on the rides why this was happening. Several youngsters had a "go" at driving under supervision.

Though the weather deteriorated in the afternoon, the bulk of our members and guests had departed by then, no doubt heading for another Christmas feast.

Happy New Year

Jon Mottershaw

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