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Just thought I'd mention it was 2 years ago today that we had our SECAG modular meet.

 

A great day out, but it's a real shame it never took off. 

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It is a real shame 'Nut,

 

It is even more of a shame that this beast of a module had to pull out!!

 

post-22762-0-61705800-1498670166_thumb.jpg

 

Gary

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Is that the current state of "the beast" or how "the beast" was 2 years ago?

 

Brockhole Curve still exists (essentially now a photographic background) but everything else has been "recycled" into other projects or the bin.

 

Perhaps "modular" is not dead but sleepeth... but it needs someone with more ability to encourage others than me.  With my imminent "move out of the area" I'm still debating whether to drop SECAG or extend its area of reach by another county... however it's not exactly been active since either has it?  Also the school is being redeveloped in the next couple of years so the "sit and ride" may also go.

 

But it was a fun day regardless... and I've used some of the modular standards such as wiring, banana sockets etc in subsequent projects anyway.

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It hasn't come on much more. There is still no scenery, I am using another layout to practise techniques so that I can get this one right! It is however wired and working, ready for any modular meets that may happen in the future.

 

Personally I think we should extend SECAG to include your new place at the very minimum!! It is a shame it hasn't been more active, it's a shame I am not very good at this organisation lark otherwise I would give something a go!!

 

Gary

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it's a shame I am not very good at this organisation lark otherwise I would give something a go!!

 

All that you need to pick is a venue and a date that works for people, and  put the invite out.  People will either come, or not.

 

I'm very happy to share with you whatever paperwork I have from then that may be useful and any planning assistance such as how to lay out modules on the floor.

 

Merstham worked well as it was close to the M25 so easily accessible, and being so close to Gatwick there were lots of places for overnight stays if necessary.  Picking a village hall in Much Nattering in the Marsh that's 30 miles from civilisation and the nearest station, with one bus every other tuesday, will probably be more of a struggle although it's not too much for the determined.  Remember we had an honorary member from Cumbria come down to the last meet...

 

As always, if people are interested, they will find a way round the cost/distance/location barriers where they can, and if after a few months you only get 3 people interested then it may be that you can change the venue and use your own garden/garage/pub skittle alley/other cheaper location nearby and make something functional between you still.  Modular layouts don't need to be 500ft end to end (I think we managed 60?), even 20-30ft is more of a run than most of us are able to manage on our home layouts - and making it part of an existing model railway show might well work for those that want something "different".  The East Surrey N Gauge group (local to me) frequently take a modular layout to shows and you never quite know what's going to appear - and you get specialist american modular meets too so there's definitley the market, I think the problem is just us UK modellers...

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You make it sound so easy!!

 

I honestly struggle with organising the kids birthday parties, never mind something where things have to actually work!! Although I may be able to manage something if I had assistance. Perhaps I should put a call out and see if there is a mood for doing it!

 

Gary

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You make it sound so easy!!

 

I honestly struggle with organising the kids birthday parties, never mind something where things have to actually work!! Although I may be able to manage something if I had assistance. Perhaps I should put a call out and see if there is a mood for doing it!

 

I understand that not everyone is the organised/leadership type - however it doesn't need to be complicated or time consuming as you're only dealing with potentially a dozen people.

 

There's no harm in putting out a call for interest - the worst that can happen is no response.

 

Suggest...

1) Decide on a minimum amount of participants for it to be viable.

2) Choose a date that works for YOU primarily. (or pick several dates and put it to a vote)

3) Find a suitable location that's available on that date and figure out its cost.  Also find out if you have to pay a deposit and if so when, and when the final balance needs to be paid.

4) Worst case scenario per person cost (cost divided by people) rounded to the next fiver so you've got a bit of play money for refreshments.  Cost can go down if more participants.  Non refundable deposit towards any out of pocket expenses.

5) Advertise. 

6) Collect information from those interested as to what they can commit to bring.

7) At cut off date decide whether event is viable and collect final payment

8) Have a great day!

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It is a shame that 'Dave' never took off as a viable extension of the hobby. Not to rub it in but for the North American Modellers in the UK the opposite is true. In the same past 2 years I've attended 5 Freemo meets including the NMRA convention. I've had my module included in 3 of these. Time permitting I could have done 4 more. Interestingly 3 of the 5 I've been to were held at Merstham. I've just signed up for a new one in Wells this coming November. The trouble we are now seeing is there are more and more modules appearing every week. 

 

I think a lot of the difference is simple bloody mindedness on the part of British outline modellers. They want to do it their way or not at all. I look at all the problems Andy Y had just getting a general consensus on naming the modular standard, never mind the actual standards. Now it has become a bit chicken and egg. Nobody is willing to spend time and £ building a module if there aren't any meets, and nobody is going to put their necks out organising something if there aren't any modules to attend. Having said that, I wonder if there is any viability in having a hybrid meet. One hall, 2 smaller modular setups. That way we get the best of both worlds. Experience from the North American modellers along with a lower risk starting point for the UK modular modellers. 

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I think part of the problem is that "Dave" was brand new and nobody modelling UK outline really knew what to do, whereas Freemo/Fremo/whatever are well established so there are plenty of existing meets to go along to now just to view, and get the inspiration to build a module whereas our meet was (and still is) the only one that happened and it wasn't really viable to open it to anyone to just come along as we were just proving the standards worked and that modellers who had never met could bring modules together and make a functional layout out of them all - just like the american modules do at their meets, except there's a much bigger userbase to call from all over the UK.

 

Any future layouts I build (and I have several at the planning stage) will be built to "Dave" standards so I can enjoy them at home, however if future meets do go ahead then I know I have something to contribute.  The only thing I need to plan better is fitting it all in a Fiesta because I'm glad it was only a short trip for my wife to carry two stock boxes on her lap in the passenger seat...

 

I had hoped that by now someone in another part of the UK would have put something together but my guess is that pretty much everyone who came to our meeting has progressed no further, and nobody else is itching to get involved as nobody has posted there for over a year, or very much at all since our meeting report.

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Like Andrew I'm active in the Freemo meets having done them in Armitage, Exeter and Merstham and bizarrely my 009 idea, that was intended to be just me, has been taken up and five of us are building modules that can be joined up too.

The only difference is both those were built to a 'dictated' standard with operation standards built into it.

The Freemo uses JMRI routing to provide lists but my 009 one just uses cards. Each module owner provides a wagon for each 'spot' and then the layout planner designates a destination. Effectively your wagon and someone else's one swap between the two locations so they have real purpose in where they go.

I had to drop out of the first meet after adapting my finished layout to match so it's still ready shifts allowing ;)

As Nut and the others found it's fun and a very social weekend.

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Has it really been 2 years?! Time flies by. My modules progressed no further and have been dismantled due to lack of storage space when we moved a few months after the meet. I know there was chap that was trying to push harder with it (can't remember his user name), and had even arranged with Tim Horn some boards built and marked to show the standards, but got no further. Time and space allowing, I'd give it another go, it was a fun day very well organised by nut.

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