Sunday, 23 November 2014

On Trac at Thorncombe [1]

Thorncombe is a small out-of-the-way village in Dorset with its nearest station being historically the now-closed Chard Junction ...
... but now part way between Axminster and Crewkerne.

Getting there by bus is not easy! And no use for a Wesdnesday club meeting ...
... and nowhere much to stay overnight even if you did! It does have a surprising lavish shelter, should you need to wait a week for your return journey.
The village is quaint with an attractive church ...
... and a good old fashioned direction finger post ...
... which leads to the splendid village hall.
It was here, last Wednesday, that fbb was well and truly on trac!
About 40 mainly mature mainly male meet once a month to listen to talks, watch films etc. on a wide variety of railway matters. Two visitors had trekked all the way from Weymouth.  fbb enjoyed a very through illustrated talk ...
... from Colin Brading; up to the high standards expected. That was after the usual battle with the Microslop Windslow confuser.
It seemed to be something to do with passwords. Why do people bother with a password on a computer that only they and close family will use?

Before fbb set off on a wet and windy drive to Thorncombe, Mrs fbb had asked "what sort of meeting is it?" fbb riposted that he had no idea, but if the speaker mentioned Fowlers Ghost ...
... he would obviously know his stuff. He did and he did!
There was tea, prepared by ladies. (As is well known, male railway enthusiasts are incapable of making tea!) There was cake ditto. Cake plus cuppa £1. There was a raffle but fbb did not partake.
There was a box of old books for sale and fbb did partake ...
... and there was a library of DVDs which members could borrow. fbb was politely warned that he could not borrow as he was not a member. (Ooo-er!). Which was a slight snag with Trac's financial filosophy. Membership starts in January and is at a bargain price of £10 per annum. Visitors are charged £3 a meeting. So paying 66.6 (recurring) percent of the annual fee for November and December meetings seemed poor value. In the end fbb negotiated £3 for the two meetings!

During the tea break, your chubby blogger had the opportunity to meet the club's most frequent attender ...
... and fierce guardian of the second hand books box! fbb did not catch the name but "Fido" did not seem as interested in the Metropolitan Railway as was fbb.

Trac also organises an annual model railway exhibition which fbb was unable to attend due to a family visit. But the layouts on show are of high quality; very enterprising for a small club in a rural location.
Should you be in the area on a meeting day, you would, fbb is sure, be most welcome. Combine the evening with a daytime visit to Forde Abbey (April to October) and/or Buffers model shop; both of which are nearby. Web sites as follows:-

Trac (here)

Forde Abbey (here)

Buffers (here)

But, overall, a spiffingly good evening despite a touch of Devon and Dorset monsoon mixed with foggy patches. fbb recommends that visitors "case the joint" during daylight if they want to find it. Maybe SatNav would also do the trick.
Elder grandson busking (with official permit!) in Oxford yesterday.
Bowler supplied by fbb's No 1 son.
 Next bus blog : Monday 24th November 

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