2 June 2019: Welwyn

Dorothea: Photo by Malcolm Harrison

At the start of June, twelve of us met at John Shawe’s house in Welwyn – that’s probably a record for our group. We started in warm sunshine with some rides on his 5-inch gauge garden railway behind “Dorothea”, the live-steam quarry Hunslet, and then admired a beautifully-detailed 16mm scale Lynton & Barnstaple coach and some wagons brought along by John’s friend Chris. Then the test track came out, and we were stunned by new member Ross Morgan’s 3D-designed and printed Guinness locomotives and train. None of us had seen such smooth 3D printing, achieved with a modern LED printer whose exact specifications were beyond most of us! The locos ran on a 3D-printed chassis using Nigel Lawton parts, and the chassis included the linked drive shaft.  When we had recovered our breath, Stephen  S brought out his 40-years old K’s Fiery Elias (Bachmann diesel chassis), the new Tomytec steam loco and the equally smooth-running ADE Ali Shan Bo-Bo diesel. Conversation was wide-ranging, from considering the disadvantages of modern batch-production to trying to work out a catering rota and tidying-up routine for the Open Day. Some of us braved the heat (although by then it was hailing outside!) and ventured into the attic to run Ross’s Shay (3D body extension on Atlas loco) on John’s 009 layout; the 8mm and 18mm gauge layouts were equally in evidence.

3D printed chassis for Guinness loco. Photo: Andy Holt

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