For once the weather forecasters got it wrong… well almost! They predicted rain all day but fortunately only a couple of light showers in the afternoon dampened the colourful scenes around Broadfields. It was a shame that only a few visitors took the opportunity to celebrate our 80th year with us. One member from the Bournemouth Society, one from Crawley, and three members from The East Grinstead club arrived early in the day to make the most of the sunshine. Secretary, Andy Cole, had erected a make-shift exhibition tent in the middle of the garden area which was quickly filled with exhibits, both from the club and arriving members.
The sidings past the battery charging shed were filled with locos. Some belonging to the club, others to members that were technically ‘on shed’.
A few of our boating members arrived but declared the weather conditions unsuitable for their boats. The only member to use the pond for any length of time, with his 12th scale speed boat, was Sean Hibberd.
On the garden railway Keith Barrett had the clubs G scale loco in steam. This loco was kindly donated to the Society by Keith Whitting and now has a ‘full boiler’ ticket, giving members of the society the chance to steam and run a G scale loco. At the electric end of the garden railway Brian Priestman put on his usual excellent display of electric locos and rolling stock.
Tim Osterly started things off on the RLT with his 5” gauge tram, quickly followed by Bournemouth member Mike Green who ran his 3½” gauge Schools Class loco without problem. Our friends from East Grinstead brought “Sir John De Bank”, a 5” gauge Hunslet which saw several drivers take turns to run it all afternoon. A delighted Harry Hibberd ran my B1, Broadfields, for almost the whole afternoon.
For a short time one member from Crawley ran his 5” gauge three cylinder compound loco but unfortunately had to retire due to injector problems.
On the GLT Pluto was given an airing, being driven by a constant stream of different drivers. Dave Matthias’s Pullman did a few laps, to show willing, to be quickly followed by Charlie Lallow who had brought LouLou. For a short while Dan Callcut drove Super Simplex, L30, on the GLT but after about 30mins he switched over to the RLT siting “I can’t see the fire” for a valid, and quite reasonable, reason to swap from one track to the other.
It was wonderful to see the arrival of the 4” scale traction engine which trundled around the playing field and then popped off to the pub!!! Apparently the locals were very enthusiastic with the exception of one lady in the pub garden who said “That’s all very nice but can you turn it off now as the smokes beginning to annoy me.” The lady then promptly lit up a cigarette!!!
As in previous years the ‘girls’ did a fantastic catering job and provided a ‘banquet fit for a king’. A special thanks to anyone who helped in any way with the catering.
A special thanks to Andy Cole for overseeing the event and for providing the shelter for the display.
To anyone that helped make the day a success, in anyway, then THANK YOU!