Monday, 1 August 2011

Lionsmeet 2011

The Steaming Bays at Chelmsford

The 2011 'Lionsmeet' was held on Saturday, 30th July at the Chelmsford Society of Model Engineers' track at Chelmsford.

We were using their elevated multi-gauge railway which has provision for 3.5-inch, 5-inch and 7.25-inch gauge vehicles in the form of a dumb-bell. There's a Sector Switch Unit (traverser) giving access to the steaming bays which are served by a traverser and a station area with a substantial umbrella roof, clubroom and refreshment facilities. A footbridge links the station area with an exhibition area where a marquee contained a display of various 'Lion' and other early locomotive models and gave access to the steaming bays.

Around the elevated track, a dual-gauge ground level oval track supports 5-inch and 7.25-inch models. This line had some very impressive dual-gauge pointwork.

Alan Bibby was on hand to make sure everything ran smoothly and OLCO President E.F. Clark, OLCO Chairman John Brandrick and OLCO 'Lionsheart' magazine editor John Hawley were in attendance. The morning was spent in preparing locomotives and earnest discussions. After lunch provided by the host club, the competition started at 1 p.m.

Once again this year, there were four competitors on three 5-inch gauge 'Lion' models. By convention, the previous year's winner (Andrew Neish) ran first, followed by his father, David Neish on the same locomotive. Then Jon Swindlehurst performed his run and, finally, Adrian Banks with his newly-built 'Lion'.

Each competitor was allowed an untimed lap or two to determine what load he wished to carry behind the Chelmsford dynamometer car, followed by ten minutes to try to produce the maximum work done. David Neish has recently designed and built a 'LIONsPOWER' measuring unit which replaces the drawlink between locomotive and train and displays work done on a small electronic unit. This unit was used to collect comparitive readings, but the contest was awarded based on the results from the Chelmsford dynamometer car.

The performances are summarised below:-

Name Work done (ft./lb.) Position
Andrew Neish 51081 3
David Neish 53843 2
Jon Swindlehurst 74605 1
Adrian Banks 6775 4 (retired)

Adrian had only recently completed his model - indeed, there is still more work required - but he very sportingly agreed to compete. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire after a piston gland worked loose during the run. Andrew and David put up their usual strong performance but it was Jon, taking a much heavier load, who produced the winning result.

E. F. Clark presenting the Mike Parrot Memorial Cup to Jon Swindlehurst.

Jan's pictures of the event are here.