East Somerset Society of Model and Experimental Engineers
Founded in 2001, the Society is a relative newcomer in the well-established field of Model Engineering societies. It is based at the Bath & West Showground near Shepton Mallet, Somerset in the south-west of the UK, and draws members from as far afield as Bristol and Yeovil. Members come from many different walks of life and are of varying levels of skill and experience – and all are still learning! Their interests include:
* road steam engines
* 3½”, 5″ and 7¼” locos and stock
* clocks and automata
* aero engines & aeronautics
* railway signalling
* internal combustion engines
* tools and workshop accessories
* hot air and stationary engines
* industrial archaeology
* preserved steam railways
Bath & West Railway carries 75,000th passenger
The B&WR achieved another milestone at this year’s National Gardening 03 Gardening Show 2011 Show when it carried its 75,000th passenger. Sir Henry Elwes presented Teddy Hutchison with a commemorative B&WR baseball cap to remind him of the event.
Outing to ESSMEE
25 September 2011
A small group members and friends met at the Bath and West Railway during the open weekend in late September. We were met by Canon Roger Davis who had invited us to make a visit when he gave his talk on building the railway to the Fraternity in January. The railway is normally open for the Bath and West Show and other major events at the show ground. On these occasions a charge is made for the trip along the line but on the open days admission is free as is travel on the trains.
Our first journey around the half mile line was behind LADY MARION a 7¼ inch gauge 0-4-2T. The Fraternity’s headboard was carried on the smokebox lamp bracket. This loco hauled the special train at this year’s Bath and West Show with Sophie Countess of Wessex on board after she had officially opened the new station.
On our return Roger introduced us to George White who is the chairman of the East Somerset Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (Roger is the President). We were shown around their well equipped headquarters with storage and workshop facilities, library and the essential refreshment facilities. In addition to the new station canopy improvements have recently been made to the siding and stock handling arrangements. Although there is some secure storage available in the HQ most of the locomotives are owned by members and are taken off site. There is a society diesel loco SHEPTON and work is under way on a steam locomotive.
The signal box has an impressive lever frame with electro pneumatic working of points and signals with interlocking. The signalman is kept busy controlling operations around the station area and also the level crossing that is on a major route for visitors to the show ground. This all requires manpower and a good number of the one hundred or so ESSMEE members were on hand to operate a quite intensive service of trains.
Roger had explained to us another of the developments south of the level crossing where two 5 inch gauge goods yards are being constructed to allow shunting and making up of goods trains that can then be dispatched to the other yard. This is linked to the main running line but will normally be operated independently. ESSMEE members also have other interests and while we were there several model traction engines were running around the roads in the show ground.